This is the Rose City Riveters blog, where members can submit blog posts. 

  • 08/24/2019 12:03 PM | 107ist Admin (Administrator)

    Guest blog by Kyle Jones

    As was witnessed last night, the Timbers Army, Rose City Riveters, 107ist and even ECS and Gorilla FC, take very seriously the issue of an arbitrary “political” imagery ban in our stadiums. We are clearly willing to put ourselves out there to show the Front Office and the league how important this is. Timbers and Thorns ownership has an opportunity to move toward a resolution, even in the next day.

    Merritt Paulson and Mike Golub have both stated that the organization they lead is unequivocally antifascist. Removing the non-NWSL instituted ban on the Iron Front symbol at Thorns games would go a long way to prove to us, the supporters, that they, the Timbers and Thorns organization, are genuinely on the right side of this societal issue.

    On a business operations level, it would show their employees that management believes in the people who put on a Providence Park jacket and polo each match day to do their jobs. If they are able to distinguish the difference between a GA ticket and a reserved one from six feet away (which they are), they are more than capable of discerning a Timbers match from a Thorns one. Park staff have the ability to not enforce a non-league instituted ban for one of those teams. “Staff confusion” is not a valid reason.

    The ban being enforced at Thorns matches is solely being imposed by Thorns ownership. Period. Merritt and Mike can change that.

    Fewer than 18 hours from now, fans will be lining up to enter Providence Park to cheer on the Thorns. And this isn’t just some Yahoo! livestream. The game will be broadcast on ESPNews. This is a tremendous opportunity for the club to extend an olive branch to its most ardent supporters; for them to show us their mettle.

    Mistakes can be forgiven. Amends can be made. But both require action. As a supporter and season ticket holder for both clubs, I ask them to please, take action.

    I will continue to boycott concessions and club merchandise until the ban is overturned. And if I find myself standing silently in a stadium for another 33 minutes, so be it. I’m confident that we, as supporters, can deal with an eerily quiet stadium far longer than they can.

  • 08/23/2019 12:02 PM | 107ist Admin (Administrator)

    Guest blog from Bitty

    Why Does My Voice Matter?

    It’s a question even I have. The last few years have brought forth many opportunities for people to step outside their comfort zones, to stand up and speak out about the wrongs that are happening in our own neighborhoods. We always see crowds protesting and standing up for issues that the Right often attack, but we rarely see the people on the sidelines. People who show up, but aren’t sure where they fit into that protest. They know it must be important if hundreds or thousands or millions show up, so what keeps them sidelined?

    It’s not just a cheesy saying, every single voice matters no matter how small you think yours is. I’ve taken part in many protests and demonstrations, I used to find myself questioning if I was the right person to be protesting certain issues. It took me sometime to realize within my discomfort is an anger that drives me to be a part of the change. After all, I’m human, it’s my right to stand up and defend our rights. Even if I’m not who the Right is attacking in that moment, I’m not going to be a part of any change if I’m comfortable in what’s happening around me.

    In all of the protests I’ve been a part of, I never thought my discomfort that would come from a sports angle. But alas, here we are. We have a league (MLS for those who don’t know yet) that seems to be confused on what’s political and what’s a human right. Unfortunately, it’s common these days when the media and leader of our country are empowering alt-right movements and creating a problem our generation didn’t wager they’d see. We learned about the extreme right, fascism and Nazi’s in history classes, but to see what’s happening now is something at least I didn’t see coming. Some may say, but this is sports, it shouldn’t be political. Too bad, it already is. From the national anthem used as a recruiting method, the camo kits and merch sold by FO’s, to the American flag. It’s all political from the time game day starts. However, in a system of balances, for every bad there should be a good. This is where we bring up the Iron Front, a symbol used and designed in the 30’s to be able to cover swastikas, it’s a symbol of the resistance of Nazism. It’s a symbol use to stand against fascism. It’s a symbol of human rights, therefore it isn’t political.

    Don’t let the Front Office or leagues definition of Antifa scare you or deter you from speaking up for human rights. If you’re against fascism, you’re Antifa. There’s no middle ground. Attacking Antifa and the Iron Front is supporting Fascism and aides the rising of white supremacy under this administration.

    So as a supporter of soccer, watching this all unfold has found a lot of people wondering what they can do to ensure human rights are stood up for and hate has no place in our stands. You’re also probably wondering as an NWSL supporter, why does any of this matter to you. It matters because Portland’s Front Office has decided this horrendous code of conduct should span all 3 leagues that Providence Park hosts. Their reasoning, the employees don’t know the difference between teams/leagues. So aside from being a human rights issue that one leagues supporters find themselves fighting for, in Providence Park it expanded to a stadium issue.

    Standing up to anyone is hard, especially a Front Office. However, a line has to be drawn. First they come for the Iron Front, what will they come for next? The pride flag? The trans flag? So here is your chance to take a stand. If you’ve found yourself on the outside looking in, know you’re not alone. I often say “I’m new here” because I’m still highly unsure of where I fit in. But we’re all human, and our standing up for human rights put us right in the middle of this. Protesting has been a way to fight power for, well forever. Like any business they depend on consumer money, taking a stand can be as simple as not spending money in the stadium or on merch. Speaking out can be as simple as making your own two stick about standing up for human rights and against fascism. Reach out to those around you, work with each other, don’t be afraid to ask for help or clarification. Change starts within all of us, all of our voices matter.

  • 08/22/2019 12:01 PM | 107ist Admin (Administrator)

    Guest blog from Nash Drake

    Dear Amanda Duffy

    Hi, Amanda. Nash here. It seems that you have been extraordinarily busy, so I’ll try to keep this brief.

    Did you know that the front office in Portland has decided that NWSL has a policy against flying the Iron Front flag at matches? Crazy, right?! I’m fairly sure that NWSL didn’t participate in that decision-making process, but if I’m wrong, please let me know.

    So let’s talk about the Iron Front symbol. It was created by anti-fascists to give a symbol to counter the Nazis. Yep, Nazis. Again, you’ve been busy, so I won’t assume that you know there is a rising tide of white nationalism sloshing about in our country at the moment that is accompanied by racism, homophobia, transphobia, and on and on. In short, bad things are going on.

    I’m a member of the Rose City Riveters. No matter how busy you are, I’m going to assume that you *do* know who we are. We are aggressively inclusive. Anyone is welcome amongst our ranks. Except Nazis, we don’t like them. We have flown the Iron Front flag at a Riveters match before and I personally would like to fly it at every match to let people know that they are safe within our ranks.

    Here’s where the rub is, Amanda. While NWSL doesn’t have a code of conduct, MLS does. And while the code of conduct for MLS doesn’t say that an Iron Front symbol can’t be flown in stadiums, the Portland Front Office has decided that it should be banned because it is “political”. They also decided that for NWSL and USL, the same applies. Of all the nerve, amiright?! How far do we have to leap in order to get to a ban on rainbow flags? Pride nights? The Portland front office has said that people are “uncomfortable” with the Iron Front symbol being flown in the stadium. What happens when someone says they are “uncomfortable” with the rainbow flag or a Pride Night? Do we want to tell our players from all over the world that NWSL stadiums aren’t a safe space for them, but are safe spaces for Nazis? Do we want our LGBTQ+ players and supporters to think that NWSL matches are not safe spaces for them, but are for bigots?

    Again, I know you are busy, but I am hopeful that you aren’t so busy that you are willing to let one front office dictate a policy for an entire league and its supporters. I’m further hopeful that you and I can agree that human rights are not political and that this will be addressed quickly so that we can all go back to growing this league that we are all so invested in.

    Best,

    ~Nash

  • 08/20/2019 12:00 PM | 107ist Admin (Administrator)

    Some may wonder why Riveters are sharing this. Aside from falling under the same 107IST umbrella as Timbers Army, we also have a stake in this matter. Riveters have flown the Iron Front for years with no concerns or issues- and no policy provisions from NWSL suggest it is inappropriate (aka “the league” taking issue with it). The justification is dubious at best- the Thorns front office seem to believe their stadium personnel are not able to distinguish the difference between Thorns and Timbers, and a blanket ban would eliminate confusion. Irrespective of their stance, one thing remains true. When you ban a symbol of resistance to oppression, you are taking the side of the oppressors. Rose City Riveters know what side we are on.

    The following is a statement on behalf of the 107IST board of directors.

    As many of you have seen, the Timbers Front Office issued a statement about their ban of the Iron Front symbol at Timbers, Thorns, and T2 matches. We would like to address some of the points in the statement.

    Yesterday’s statement from the Front Office comes directly on the heels of one of the most upsetting weekends in recent memory for many of our members — a weekend where avowed white nationalist demonstrators descended on Portland, many of whom had publicly called for violence. The timing is puzzling to say the least and damning at the worst.

    When discussions about the Iron Front image started, we repeatedly asked the Front Office for a public statement, but we could not get anything in writing. Finally, with the first home match looming, we effectively had to force the FO to put together something we could share with our members.

    If the Iron Front flag ban is an MLS policy, we have never seen any kind of official document from MLS stating this, and, once again, the most recent statement about it appears courtesy of the Timbers Front Office — in fact, the only “official” statements have been from the Timbers and Sounders front offices. The Seattle statement, in particular, included additional information that was not shared with us by our own Front Office or by the league.

    The 107IST board has been working with the Independent Supporters Council (ISC), who have been attempting to engage in a dialogue with MLS headquarters on these issues since January.

    The Timbers Front Office continues to use the word “dialogue” around the Iron Front situation, but this is an incorrect word. This policy and any associated actions have been unilaterally dictated to the 107IST board by the Front Office. Any “dialogue” at our meetings with them has been met with vague replies such as “We will continue this discussion later” or “Thank you for the input, but the league’s policy on this stands.”

    The Timbers Front Office continues to maintain that they have received much support for the ban, but they have shared no metrics and few details. At the time of this writing, the 107IST board has received more than 50 copies of emails to the Front Office opposing the ban, and 0 emails supporting the ban. We recognize that we are likely to hear from only a subset of supporters, but these are the only metrics we have on letters to the Front Office, and they are wholly at odds with what they say they are hearing. Most importantly, however, some decisions are beyond metrics: Deciding when and whether to stand up for human rights and inclusion should not be subject to email and phone call ratios.

    The 107IST board has expressed in no uncertain terms that not only do we disagree with the implementation of this policy, we also disagree with what it represents at a more basic level: the ability to arbitrarily, unilaterally, and subjectively interpret symbols and ideas as “political,” something we’ve already seen happening across the league in recent weeks. This is especially worrisome with clubs and ownership in MLS who refuse to even acknowledge Pride Nights by claiming they are “too political.” Our Front Office has acknowledged that the policy is fluid, open to interpretation, and has the potential to change.
    We are frankly appalled that the Timbers Front Office has repeatedly attempted to conflate their support for marriage equality five years ago with the issues discussed of late, apparently to somehow buy back goodwill for their position. The support of basic human rights should not be used to attempt to gain points in the court of public opinion — it’s the bare minimum to which we should hold our institutions accountable.

    The MLS Fan Code of Conduct was envisioned to bring about clarity, specifically with respect to equal treatment of supporters across the many clubs in MLS. The implementation of that has been anything but, showing that clubs (for example, Columbus, Atlanta, Chicago, and LA) can — and will — interpret the rules however they see fit, with supporters paying the price.

    As our city, county, and state governments join with community organizations and the business community to make it clear that hate is not welcome here, we are disappointed that our Front Office is not a part of these efforts. While they continually reiterate that they share our ethos of acceptance and against hate, we have continually left the door open for them to do the right thing in this situation. That door is still open.

    The 107IST board remains committed to asking MLS and the Timbers Front Office to rescind the subjective ban on “political displays” and come together with supporters and human rights experts to enact a Fan Code of Conduct that protects the game we love, as well as the supporters who make it unique.

  • 06/19/2019 11:59 AM | 107ist Admin (Administrator)

    Thank you for your pledge to TransActive Gender Project! For more than 12 years, TransActive has been a leading voice in creating a more affirming and inclusive world for gender diverse and transgender children, youth and their families. The money received from your pledges will be used to continue expanding outreach to individuals, families and communities in need of TransActive Gender Project’s services.

    To make your online donation:

    Click here to go to the Lewis & Clark Graduate School Giving page. In the field named “My Gift Should Benefit” click on the drop down menu and select “OTHER”. Enter “TransActive Gender Project” in the field that appears.

    Thank you again for your generous support!

  • 05/24/2019 11:54 AM | 107ist Admin (Administrator)

    From the beginning, a core value of the Timbers Army, the Rose City Riveters, and the 107IST has been that we are unquestionably and vocally an anti-fascist and anti-racist organization. We have never — and will never — tolerate discrimination or bias for any reason. We believe in acceptance, understanding, inclusion, and love. You can read about our central beliefs in this blog post, which we posted after the MLS Code of Conduct was released. We firmly repeat: The fight for human rights is not a political one.

    The Independent Supporters Council and supporters groups around the world share these values, and we are aligned in working together to combat prejudice and oppression.

    As a vocal stance against fascism, we began displaying banners with the Iron Front logo in 2017 (although some also made appearances as far back as 2011 and the USL days before that). The Iron Front logo has stood as a symbol of the fight against persecution and fascism since World War II. Originally designed to symbolize the resistance against Nazi rise, it now stands primarily for the fight against all oppression. With the recent rise in targeted attacks against so many groups — LBTGQ+, immigrants, women, religious groups, and more — and the presence of fascists in our stadiums, this symbol represents our firm stance of combating hatred in soccer, our communities, and our world.

    We have been working with the Timbers/Thorns Front Office for several months on the Iron Front symbol — what it stands for and how important its meaning is in these times. The FO stands by our beliefs, and they have agreed that we may use the words anti-racism and anti-fascist in our displays.

    However, in conjunction with MLS, the FO has decided that this particular image is not to be used in any signage at Providence Park going forward, including Thorns and T2. What follows is a letter the 107IST board received last week, clarifying this policy. 
    (Ed.: Small, clarifying additions are noted in brackets.)

    The 107IST is relaying the following message to our own supporters as well as fellow supporters groups in other cities.

    Take heed.

    Providence Park Iron Front Signage Policy

    Following last night’s meeting [May 14] we want to close the loop on the Iron Front dialogue with a clear written message you can share with the TA.

    Rule

    No Iron Front symbology will be allowed in Providence Park during Timbers, Thorns or T2 games. This rule includes any creative “work-arounds” like we saw in Vancouver this past Friday [May 10] and any Iron Front-based clearly organized displays that make a public statement. Due to the extensive dialogue on this issue and subsequent breaches of trust in Vancouver and in other media, We will be enforcing strict punishments for any violations of this rule out of the gate, starting with multi-game bans for violators.

    The question was asked last night “if its Iron Front now, what next?” The answer there is simple: any signage that’s political or fails to comply with the MLS Supporter Code of Conduct, which is now clearly spelled out. And while the Iron Front is not specifically cited in the Code of Conduct it is unequivocally prohibited by the league.

    Background Reasoning

    With the bottom-line regarding the Iron Front out of the way, here is some very important context behind the issue that everyone should understand:

    Even in the context of the new Supporter Code of Conduct guidelines, there is still a fair amount of local discretion teams can apply, something we personally fought very hard to ensure. The Timbers have always been the most lenient of any club in the league in allowing freedom of expression from its supporters. To that end we advocated very hard to the league to allow signs stating “Anti-Fascist” (the very spirit of the Iron Front prior to its antifia appropriation) would be acceptable and, furthermore, allowed the 107ist/TA to publicly communicate that to the ISC. The same applies to public denouncement of racism etc.

    The reasoning behind why the Iron Front symbol is unacceptable is as follows:

    • The Iron Front symbol has been clearly appropriated and linked to the antifa movement, and sometimes in a context of violence. There is no question that antifa and its current rise is why some in the TA suddenly have decided to use the Iron Front…if not why wouldn’t anti-fascist be ok?
    • Symbols of politics are exclusionary and antithetical to the inclusive TA and Timbers ethos
    • There are some added security concerns waving antifa symbols pose to all fans
    • We have received many complaints about the Iron Front from fans who are clearly anti-fascist but feel uncomfortable with antifa imagery in their sporting experience for all the reasons stated above

    We know better than anyone that the beautiful game can be a conduit for positive change in society. But we also fully agree that the Stadium should be a politics-free zone. Team, Town & TA. We believe that the end approach to the Iron Front and the dialogue that lead us there have been reasonable.

    We hope this clarifies the issue. As we often say, we won’t always agree but we will always be open, honest and respectful. We have rarely drawn lines in the sand. We have a track record of being cooperative and working with the TA on a variety of potentially divisive issues that together we have resolved in a positive and peaceful way. It is our sincere hope that this is another case of just that.

    For almost 10 years the Timbers and the 107ist have had a tremendous mutually beneficial relationship. We recognize the 107ist are volunteers and are deeply grateful for your service and all that TA does in support of the club we all love.

    The 107IST board disagrees with this decision, but we felt it our duty to inform our members of this change. We will continue our work with the league and the Front Office on addressing the presence of hate in our stadiums and our communities.

  • 03/22/2019 11:53 AM | 107ist Admin (Administrator)

    As we all prepare for the new NWSL season, we are also excited to showcase a new level of partnership between the Rose City Riveters, the 107 Independent Supporters Trust and Portland Thorns FC. Starting with this weekend’s preseason tournament, fans and members will be able to purchase merchandise in a new Crosscut line, specifically designed by the Riveters to show our support of the club. The Crosscut line will continue to be a line that supports the community projects of the 107ist and Stand Together.

    Over the last 6 seasons, we have developed a close relationship with the Thorns, both on and off the field, and through this new partnership we are able to use club imagery in designs that we would not normally have access to. This is a partnership and collaboration to help produce a unique collection for fans but also raise funds for the community.  

    The Crosscut Collection was born in 2015 as a collaboration between the 107ist and the Timbers, and now we are growing that relationship to include the Thorns. The agreement from 2015 will continue, wherein PTFC will donate a portion of the proceeds to Stand Together and the 107ist will use our proceeds to fund ongoing efforts to support soccer from the grassroots to the highest level. We are thrilled to expand our impact on the community through this partnership. 

    It’s important to note that we are still focused on making our own gear for supporters, and will have new merch throughout the 2019 season. We will be launching new gear at watch parties or at the Fanladen (1633 SW Alder) before home games, and we will be using our social media channels to keep you updated on what is dropping and where you can get it, so don’t worry. We’re not going anywhere.

    Once again, we are stoked to be able to work with the Thorns on this project and we hope you enjoy the new Crosscut Collection. Keep an eye on the official Thorns social media channels for sneak peaks of the new items. You will be able to purchase them in the PTFC Team Store (currently on Burnside) and on https://www.shopthornsfc.com/. Once the stadium re-opens, you’ll be able to get the items in the Thorns Team Store.

  • 12/22/2018 11:52 AM | 107ist Admin (Administrator)

    Let’s Have a Party!

    Come join us at the Lucky Labrador Beer Hall – Quimby for some holiday fun.
    We have some cool stuff to raffle & white elephant gift exchange if you want to play along! All funds raised will be donated to the Bradley Angle House.

    Cash or Cards accepted.

    Details:

    Saturday, December 29, 2018

    6:00pm – 9:00pm

    Lucky Lab –
    Quimby Beer Hall
    1945 NW Quimby St, Portland, OR

    All ages welcome!

    To volunteer for this event, click here.

    White Elephant rules:

    Numbers will be handed out upon submitting a gift.
    Participants must stay in bar for the entire exchange. NO LEAVING unless gift has been locked down.
    Gifts can be stolen TWICE. Essentially the third person to hold the gift keeps it.
    Item should be wrapped & between $10 – $15. Funny, Nice and Weird are always good.

  • 11/14/2018 11:52 AM | 107ist Admin (Administrator)

    Guest post from Riveters Outreach
    Sometimes the weather stinks, your head is pounding, stayed late at work, came home to a child covered in a mysterious rash, or for any number of reasons Just Can’t Soccer. Nine out of ten of your close friends are STH already so you sign today’s match ticket over to the Riveters, breathing in well over $13 worth of relief that you don’t have to put on shoes again.

    What you may not know is that Riveters set aside the funds raised from reselling those tickets and make an end-of-season donation to Harper’s Playground, a local charity organization created by one of our own 107IST community members, that is focused on creating playgrounds accessible to all kids.

    Maybe it was all those $25 Key Bank Club upgrades, maybe it was the free sunscreen we keep on the Fanladen counter now, but I wanted you all to know that your ticket donations raised $2031.00 for this incredible cause.

  • 09/26/2018 11:46 AM | 107ist Admin (Administrator)

    There’s a little blue sign that has always been posted in the breezeway of the 107/108 entrance. For years it referenced Timbers Army/Timbers. More recently, the sign was updated, with Rose City Riveters/Thorns included.

    The North End was always home for Riveters- but this seemingly small change was significant. We were officially whole, equal, valid- not just in our own eyes, but now in the eyes of the stadium, too.

    The purpose of that sign? It welcomes the reader to Providence Park, and advises that the person observing the sign is now entering a supporters section.


    Standing, chanting, singing, flags waving. Raucous, loud, enthusiastic. Smoke, two sticks, banners. And, perhaps most noticeably- drums, trumpets, capos. All for Thorns FC. These top-tier athletes deserve all those things as much as any pro team; we have a wide swath of supporters eager to give them their hearts, enthusiasm, and energy.

    Do you want to root for the girls in red? With every fiber you’ve got? Welcome. You’ve got a home in the North End.

    Within minutes of the end of the NWSL championship match, unfortunately, we encountered some concerns about how we do what we do in the North End.

    Some were concerned about capos yelling. Others didn’t like the salty language. One was angry that she was called out after choosing the second half to sit down and eat her lunch in 107.

    More so, several believed standing and cheering throughout two, 45-minute halves was and is too hefty an expectation. More than a few felt our tradition of enthusiastically cheering and chanting for Thorns FC so long as they remained on the pitch was impolite. Discourteous.

    We hear these concerns.

    We also know that there are a couple simple truths in life: the first is that you can’t please all the people all the time, and the second is the importance of letting go of what isn’t meant for you.

    Some folks want to sit and casually enjoy the contest while multitasking with other things- and we respect that. It just can’t happen in our supporters section. Some want G-rated language. That, too, will likely never happen in the North End. Some do not want to be “yelled at”- but that’s part of what capos do. And capos will always be a part of the Riveters support experience.

    The vast majority of the stadium outside of the North End is perfect for those who want a comfortable, civil experience with no standing. (and certainly, we understand and respect that some folks will need to utilize the North End ADA sections, and your being seated in those sections is absolutely OK, and no one has any expectation that you stand at all, capos most especially.) For a little extra expense, spectators can sit where stadium employees will bring hot dogs and licorice whips directly to the seats, gratis- you don’t even have to stand to get your food! What a world. Providence Park is a beautiful stadium with many great views of the pitch, and most you can comfortably remain seated in.

    The North End is small, comparatively. But this small wedge of stadium is the source and summit of Thorns support. The loud energy. The smoke. The waving flags. The undying adoration. Players want to come to Portland not for money or the housing options- they come because we hail them as heroes. 

    We want to give them all of this, every single time. Because they deserve it. Every single bit, with no deceleration, louder when the score tips against us, if anything. Scarves up! Sing! Loud!

    If this isn’t meant for you, we understand. Between your ticket rep and guest services, you will find the right fit.
    And if unrelenting support- jumping and clapping and screaming and raising your scarf high above your head when the other team scores, for 90 minutes every home match- if this is for you?

    Welcome.


Member, Independent Supporters Council

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