A statement on behalf of the 107IST Board of Directors
As the engine that fuels The Timbers Army and the Rose City Riveters, the 107IST board represents a growing and disparate group of supporters. We know that as supporters we will disagree about many things, large and small, in person and online. But as an organization there are some things on which we all agree.
Recently we received a report of an incident in the stands right here at home that caused an individual to feel so unsafe that they left the game early. Both the board and the front office responded. We wish we could say that this was an isolated incident, that only one person in the stands has ever engaged in harassing behavior, and that it was only one time. We wish we could say that everyone who comes to jump and clap and sing for the team always feels safe to do so. Sadly, we cannot.
In the course of the investigation and conversation resulting from this incident, we are also examining some truths about ourselves as individuals and as a group that might be hard to take. As AMAZING a community as we are, we need to do better, much better.
As 107ISTS, the Timbers Army and Riveters have a long-standing history of standing up to racism, sexism, and homophobia in the stands. We have long called ourselves champions of basic human rights. While this is most definitely true at our core, we also know we need to do a better job of putting our words into action. As a board and as individuals, we are taking a long, difficult look at what we need to do to create the conditions that give victims of harassment or assault the space and safety to know that they have advocates who will listen and respond. We need to learn how we, as a collective, can be better at intervening in the stands when we are bystanders witnessing such incidents as they occur. As a board, it is our duty to lead; and as individuals, it is each person’s responsibility to play a role in making the North End, and every place we gather, a safe environment. Our diversity and our numbers can, and should be, a strength.
In the coming weeks, the Board will be sharing a process for providing a safe, anonymous (if desired) and confidential place for folks in the stands to report incidents. We will also be improving our capacity to self-police, by providing bystander intervention training, first to game day operations and our own volunteer security people, and eventually to more members of the 107IST community at large. We are also evaluating implementing a code of conduct that clearly spells out what we should expect of ourselves and of each other, whether we’re cheering in the stands, gathering at a social event, painting tifo, or volunteering in the community.
We need to be better at clearly communicating what we all expect of each other. We need to be better at responding, both in the moment and after the fact, and we are committed to doing so.
Please hold us to it.
This is a guest post by TA members Emily, Nicky, and Dawn*.
Don’t be a shitty person. One of the reasons I fell in love with this community was the awesome people. It’s unfortunate that a few people in the TA ruin this experience and make others feel unsafe. Some of our founding bricks are acceptance and to spread the love. No one should feel unsafe or uncomfortable at a sporting event, during a goal celebration or otherwise. Keep your hands, hugs, beers, stuffed birds, and kisses to yourself unless you have permission. Use the Platinum Rule: treat everyone how you would want to be treated, but better.
Don’t be shocked or naïve that these things are happening. We’ve been trying to tell men that harassment happens almost on a daily basis, practically everywhere (our texts, pics or uninvited DMs, social media and in real life, possibly right in front of you). This harassing toxic behavior is perpetrated by people you like, maybe friends you know, or quite possibly even you. We are tired of hearing things like “He just likes to hug too much”, “He gets handsy when he drinks”, “Oh that guy, he kisses everyone when he’s happy”. No matter what we hear, whatever the excuses for the behavior, it’s not OK.
This is a BIG FUCKING DEAL. For all the lamenting we do about preserving TA Culture™, there has been a shocking amount of apathy when it comes to this shit. The amount of people who could name multiple offenders in the TA (including TA leadership) and know that this is ongoing, without having done anything about it, is damning, and if left unaddressed it will literally actually ruin TA culture (more so than bad corporate merch or eliminating chants ever could). It already has, to a certain extent – ruined the TA culture. There needs to be a seismic shift in the way we deal with this.
Speaking up when someone harasses you is hard and uncomfortable. It’s not always that easy to remove yourself from the situation. A lot of times if someone has been harassed or victimized they just want to get out of the situation. Plus, it feels shameful. It takes time to come forward, it takes time to come forward to someone you trust, and it takes time to be sure the person you trust is your ally.
Stop telling women “You should have…" or "Next time, you should do this”. Take a step back and start listening, switch your mindset to “I’m thinking about what I can do to make sure this doesn’t happen again”. Start having uncomfortable discussions with your friends when you see something. Call out a fellow ‘TA’ when you see this behavior.
It’s frustrating to be living in what feels like a broken system. There’s a lot of work to do to help fix it, like having nonviolent bystander intervention training or identifying the safe places/people for reporting harassment, always asking permission before you assume someone wants to be hugged, and maybe one of the easiest is for you to just speak up when you see it. Our society is a mess, but together if we all work to be better, do better, we can get back to being the community filled with awesome people that care about one another.
*Dawn is a 107IST board member, but here is writing as an individual supporter.
Artists Repertory Theatre: Our neighbors over at Artists Rep have announced their 2018/19 Season.
The 19th Hole (Hotel Deluxe): Free golf! Our neighbors up the hill at Hotel Deluxe have opened the 19th Hole again for the season and are now an official partner of 107IST. Check out their canned beverage menu of 75 craft beers, wines and cider, the pop-up beer garden and mini golf course on the corner of SW 15th & Yamhill is outfitted with lawn games, food cart bites, sun shades and picnic tables.
Portland Pickles: Feel like checking out some baseball this summer? Show your 2018 107IST membership card for the following opportunities:
Olympic Provisions Public House: (SE 33rd Division) Show your 2018 107IST membership card for:
4-4-2 Soccer Bar: (SE 17th Hawthorne) Under new ownership. Show that card:
House Spirits Distillery: (65 SE Washington) 107IST members receive:
NW Portland Hostel: (NW 18th)
Cricket Cafe: (31st SE Belmont) Show your membership card for:
The members of the Timbers Army take pride in giving back to the Portland community, and Match Day Drives have quickly become a fun and effective way to do that.
Inspired by the Rose City Riveters’ efforts, the Timbers Army helped a handful of organizations last year, collecting everything from toiletries, to school supplies, to gift cards to help homeless youths settle in to new housing.
This year, we are going to do things a little differently. Instead of focusing on a different organization every match, we will support a different organization each month for the rest of the 2018 season.
The first organization we will be supporting through Match Day Drives is Friends of Seasonal and Service Workers, who assist the area’s seasonal, farm, and service workers. The items that they are looking for are dry beans, uncooked rice, and cooking oils.
Here are the organizations we will be supporting for the rest of the season:
June - Friends of Seasonal and Service Workers
July - New Avenues for Youth book drive - http://newavenues.org
August - School supply drive for IRCO - http://irco.org
September - Cat Adoption Team - https://catadoptionteam.org
October - My Voice Music - http://myvoicemusic.org
We will post wish lists for supported organizations at the start of each new month.
On June 7, 107IST brings you a preview screening of “Nossa Chape” at Cinema 21, with proceeds going to benefit Gisele Currier Scholarship Fund. Tickets here.
The film had its world premiere in March at the South by Southwest Film Festival and is making its way across the country this spring.
To whet your appetite, Timbers Army OG Shawn Levy, who was film critic of The Oregonian for 20 years, had a look at it and offers this review.
“Nossa Chape” is a documentary, but you can be forgiven for thinking of it as a horror movie.
It takes as its starting point a tragedy that no one can fully imagine, even if, at some level, it seems like one that ought to have occurred more often than it has.
On November 28, 2016, a chartered plane ran out of fuel and plummeted into a mountainside in Northeast Colombia, killing 71 of those on board, including 19 players from the Brazilian soccer team Chapecoense, 25 team officials and guests, and 20 journalists who were along to cover the team's appearance in the Copa Sudamerica final.
This wasn't the first time the footballing world has suffered such a calamity. Indeed, as even a partial list of the times that it has happened demonstrates, this brand of catastrophe is an indiscriminate beast.
Torino of Italy (1949), Manchester United of England (1958), Green Cross of Chile (1961), The Strongest of Bolivia (1969), Pakhator Tashkent of Uzbekistan (1979), Alianza Lima of Peru (1987), and the men's national team of Zambia (1993) -- all wiped out, or deeply ravaged, by air crashes, all leaving families, communities, and even nations devastated, all creating holes in the world that survivors and supporters were forced to fill with the seeds of rebirth.
It's impossible to comprehend how any community could function after this sort of nightmare at any time, but, as this film makes clear, the Chapecoense story was especially cruel.
As a team, Nossa Chape (“Our Chape”) was one of the feel-good stories of Brazilian soccer -- in all of South American soccer, in fact. Representing Chapeco, a city of a mere 200,000 souls in Brazil's southwest, the team rose from the obscurity of the fourth division to reach Brazil's highest tier in 2014. Just two years later, Chape qualified for second-most prestigious club tournament in South America and made a heroic run, defeating several larger, better-known teams to advance to the championship round against Atletico Nacional of Colombia. They were en route to the first match of that final when they crashed.
For its fans, Chape was more than just a group of sporting heroes.
Composed of the city's sons, brothers, and friends, it was a team of ambassadors bearing the name and the heart of the town into the world. And on that awful night, that heart was crushed. Chape was awarded the Copa Sudamerica when Atletico refused to accept it, but there was barely anything left of the club. Only three players had survived the crash, plus the handful who hadn't made the trip, and almost none of the front office. How do you rebuild from the ashes when ashes are just about all that you have?
“Nossa Chape” is the story of that process: the tragedy itself, the painful aftermath, the communal effort to keep the team alive, the harrowing path back to normalcy on the part of the survivors, and the aching cavity in the hearts of the wives, mothers, friends, and fans left behind.
Directed by Jeff and Michael Zimbalist and Julian Duque, all of whom have impressive sports movies on their resumes, it is an intimate, deeply moving portrait of people trying to move forward after being knocked unimaginably backward.
Along with footage of the disaster – the joking around before the flight, the recovery efforts by first responders, the shock wave as the news spread throughout Chapeco, the heart-wrenching memorial services – the filmmakers bring us close into the rebuilding and recovery efforts.
We meet devastated widows and grieving parents, and we become especially familiar with the three players who survived the crash: Jackson Follmann, Alan Ruschel, and Neto, the latter two of whom actually strive to play again after their miraculous escapes. Time and again, you are brought to tears; even in this era of great documentaries, this is one of the most heartbreaking ones you'll ever see.
The bulk of the film focuses on the team's return to the pitch mere months after the disaster: a new coach, staff, and squad trying to carry on as a competitive enterprise even as they're all still reeling.
The surviving players don't know how they fit in; the front office doesn't know what to prioritize or how to implement it; and the fans, amazingly, wait barely four or five matches before voicing their displeasure with the results (the results!) achieved by what was essentially a pick-up team playing under an inconceivable cloud of pressure, scrutiny, uncertainty, and grief.
In a sense, this is the most universal aspect of the film. Just as we can all relate to the emotional bond between team and town, we can all recognize a fan base that hungers, even angrily, to see its collective ambition mirrored on the playing field. And while we might expect the former to be strengthened by a disaster, it's amazing to see that the latter persists as well. The next time you hear someone bellyache about your favorite team's tactics or substitution patterns or “caring,” remember that there are people who can get upset that their team isn't winning matches three months after it was wiped out in a plane wreck. If nothing else, “Nossa Chape” shows us that focusing on wins and losses, even in this context, is an inherent aspect of the human impulse to see oneself reflected in a team.
That, ultimately, is what the film is about: the emotional connection that makes soccer so vital to so many people who earn a living at it or make a business of it or devote themselves to it as fans. The culture around a team has far more to do with shared humanity than with scores and trophies. That bond is the essence of community, and this film captures it with great, vivid immediacy and at a heightened level that the rest of us, tap wood, will never experience in real life.
With St. Pauli in town, there’s been a lot of referencing of our cultural similarities. However, there’s a lot we do that doesn’t get a lot of air time and now is a really good time to tell some of those stories. Not just with this meeting of our two like-minded clubs and supporters groups; this coming weekend marks a year since the deadly MAX attack that shook our community and brought an aspect of our story into global discussions about hate. For this, we’re going to share a few stories of hope from the last year.
On the Friday before the last week of school heading into the summer break, school kids get the -itis and middle schoolers are no exception. As they leave school for the weekend, they dread having to return for another week as focus is at a major low. We’ve all been there. For two girls walking to the bus from school last year, the experience was shockingly different. Walking from Hosford Middle School to catch the 4 on Division, a pickup crept next to them on the street and delivered a barrage of hate-filled vitriol that took many in the community aback, particularly since the attack on the MAX had just happened. I can’t speak to the reaction of the girls and can only imagine what that must have been like. I can, however, speak to the reaction of the community.
As members of the coalition Portland United Against Hate (PUAH), we caught wind of this incident shortly after the it happened and, given one of our strengths is quick volunteer recruitment, patiently awaited the right time and circumstances to react, with special attention given to the sensitivity around schools. (I’ll elaborate more on PUAH below.)
The principal looked to the district for help, who looked to Safe Routes to Schools for help, who looked to Oregon Walks for help, who, given our strong relationship with these groups that we’ve strengthened over the years, looked to us for help. Having the go-ahead but still wanting to keep everything on the down-low, we organized shifts during their morning and afternoon commutes and invited 107ist members that lived close to that area.
The first morning shift, no one knew what to expect. We had enough people to cover the main choke points and had teams staggered strategically through the area as school staff looped over the main walking routes to the school. As we walked out to our spots, anti-hate stickers and posters that had been put up over the weekend lined our path and we settled in for the kids to start trickling through.
Many of the parents decided to accompany their students to and from school that first day. As you can imagine, the middle school kids were not down with parental escorts and kept a solid distance ahead of them. As one bus pulled up, a kid jumped off in a bound that immediately put her twelve feet ahead of her mom as she negotiated the stairs off the bus. Most of the parents made sure to stop and thank us for our presence, or at minimum, give us a nod of approval. One parent stopped to talk as she was waiting to meet her son and walk him home; it took her a while to realize he ditched her and walked around the long way.
While we were fully prepared to represent the strength of our convictions against intolerance, what happened is what usually happens when we get together. We Spread the Love all over the place.
As members of the immediate community heard about what happened, they started to swing by and join us too. By the second day we amassed an even stronger presence, and we were assigning the local dog walkers to wander where some gaps were on the back side of the school. By the third day, we had members of the business community joining us as well.
We came together to show our disgust, as a community. We came together to show our strength, as a community. We came together to Spread the Love, as a community. We came together to attempt to heal, as a community. We came to together to move Onward, as the Rose City.
This is a process we’re familiar with as an organization. This process was affirmed when reps from the Timbers Army and Rose City Riveters attended a PUAH-hosted presentation from a national leader in the battle against hate groups: Scot Nakagawa, senior partner at ChangeLab, who played an active role in the battle against hate in Portland in the 90s, specifically in the punk rock and alternative* music scenes. His presentation and subsequent discussions covered the history of hate groups in our region and their current presence as well as best practices for curbing the influence of those groups.
A lot has been said in the last year about the history of hate in this region. It doesn’t seem to jibe with the image some have of us as a community. As a Portland native from a family of mixed heritage, I’m here to tell you it’s never been that place. I came of age here in the in the 90s and can say this place has always had an edge. I’m not going to sweep that history or the longer-term history under the rug, or lie to myself that it disappeared before raising its head in recent years. I will say that it went underground, not because of some hippy-dippy BS, but because it was actively pushed there. It’s said now that residents, the city, and businesses collectively came together to win the battle against local hate groups, but that’s not what I, or my peers, saw. Portland was a murder capital back then. Grown from the dark history of our region which more of you have become aware of this past year, gangs from SoCal took advantage of the pockets of hopelessness in our urban fabric and brought with them a wave of violence that saw many deaths from both gangs and the police. This had a hugely negative impact on the local hip-hop scene as most clubs either stopped having live shows or flat out had to close after some fool started shooting his gun outside, resulting in the scene being driven more underground while it thrived in other parts of the country. On the other side of that, we used to tell people who came here in all seriousness, “Don’t fuck with the Portland Police, they’ll shoot you”. No joke.
During the 90’s a wave of Neo-Nazi recruitment swept the country targeting the disaffected youth in the punk and alternative* rock scenes. They’d prey on their angst and offer to fill them with strength by making them out to be better than others instead of allowing them to celebrate who they are as individuals, collectively. The human brain is designed to focus more easily on fear and is susceptible to the use of hate to combat that fear as a very primitive level. Healthy communities, however, are based on trust, connectivity, and acceptance. Hate is a threat to community as it actively weakens it conceptually, physically, and spiritually. Hate is a threat to the soul of a community and must be addressed head-on.
Portland, of course, was not immune to this assault, as organizers of hate groups tried to capitalize on our sordid history and the confusion of the time. It’s the fight back that grew out of the punk scene that was different than other aspects of the city’s fight against hate groups. There was a zero-tolerance ethos against hate that was more aggressive in defense of our culture. As Abe mentioned in his recent post, How I Fell in Love with St. Pauli, this is an ethos we shared with St. Pauli supporters that directly informed the creation of the Timbers Army, that led us to form the 107ist in defense of our culture with the move to MLS, and was a key cultural element in the creation of the Rose City Riveters. Now, we can’t pretend that we’re God’s gift to addressing intolerance or that we’ve fought the toughest battles, but we are building on a worldwide movement within supporters culture and like-minded groups. Not only do we bring it to the terraces and lift it into the rafters, we take our strength and our love out into the community not just with words and dollars, but with our sweat equity. That’s what we bring to Portland United Against Hate and we are valued at the table for it.
So, some background on PUAH. The coalition was formed in the wake of the heightened frequency of hate crimes that followed the 2016 elections, when a core group of organizations within the city collaborated on a joint statement addressing shared concerns, thoughts, and feelings. Having built working relationships with many of the organizations, recognizing some of the limitations of the orgs and the overall strength of the joint statement as it applies to our ethos, the 107ist was an early adopter in the second wave once the statement started to circulate. As we brought our strength of convictions to the table, we had some of the core orgs that we’d worked with corroborate our convictions as the real deal and not just a bunch of schmucks that dance around at soccer matches.
Starting with bi-monthly meetings and frequent work sessions, the goal was to figure out how to proceed collectively. Structured under the umbrella of the city’s Office of Neighborhood Involvement, PUAH received $40,000 for a pilot project to better address hate crime and create incident reporting procedures. We presented this pilot project to the Portland City Council in their May 3, 2018 PM Thursday Session earlier this month, and you can catch that presentation here if you’d like (be warned, it gets emotional at a few points).
One thing to come out of this process was that PUAH approached the city with a multifaceted plan. As a result, PUAH received funding for a full-time coordinator and were rewarded 13 grants funding the design and implementation of a data collection tool to track hate, the creation of a toolkit of resources, structural capacity for specific organizations to respond to hate in their communities, and a wide range of strategic trainings designed to increase our capacity to address hate as a community. For our part, as the 107ist, we’re planning to host some of our own trainings on such topics as bystander intervention now that the trainings have grown through the influence of affected communities.
Okay, I want to finish with one last story. Last summer, less than a month after the MAX attack, the organizers of the Good in the Hood Parade received a piece of hate mail that was one of the ugliest things I’ve ever read. I won’t repeat it here, but I’ll say there’s no way anyone is a part of any “master race” with grammar that poor. As they operate under the umbrella of a PUAH member organization, we heard about it right away and were asked for help. We reached out to them to build a relationship and see where we could assist. With our experience helping with other events, we figured we could do some of the same things to take some of the load off their volunteers. (It’d be hard pressed to be worse than the last Sunday Parkways we did trying to coordinate the insane amount of traffic on the newly opened Tillikum Crossing. Sorry if this triggered you, Nick!)
We were welcomed with open arms and our offer of help was graciously accepted. While we thought we would be doing some intersection management again, we weren’t sure exactly what we would be doing. As the volunteers started to amass, we could tell this event was different than some of the others events we’ve helped with. It was like a reunion of people who’d been displaced from their former communities due to gentrification. “Where are you now? Oh, we moved out to [such and such] neighborhood.” It was also evident that the death threat from that ignorant POS had no effect on these groups who had been fighting the good fight long before many of us were even born. They were there to party and nothing was going to dampen that vibe. The prayer lead by a local reverend to the volunteers articulated this feeling masterfully in ways I can’t do justice to in writing this. The only sketchy moment was when a guy in a weighted vest looking all sweaty and distressed came jogging through the area from the CrossFit gym around the corner. Man, that guy got a lot confused looks from people.
Our presence proved effective as we ended up being assigned to address an issue that was more of an afterthought: parking at the staging area. As the parade staged on an adjacent street, a series of dead ends had been created which made drop-offs problematic. We were in charge of directing people to available parking and/or waving them off so they didn’t waste time looking. It was hot in the sun, but the party vibe was real and inspiring, and hanging with the low-rider club that anchored the parade was definitely a highlight. Those guys were cool.
Good in the Hood is working on bringing this year’s event together and we’re looking forward to working with them again next month. Keep an eye out for the signups in the next few weeks if you’d like to join the party.
Lastly, with the anniversary of the MAX attacks this weekend, we’ve been asked to get some volunteers out to TriMet’s memorial this to help circulate information about some of PUAH’s upcoming trainings. Check tomorrow’s 107ist newsletter for the details. We’ve come a long way over the last year, but we have a long way to go and you can be a part of that journey.
While I’m REALLY looking forward to the punk rock show/afterparty tonight at Cider Riot!, I’ve got an outro for you that seems appropriate. One Love.
*The man’s got to label stuff he doesn’t understand to make that $$$.
-by Abram Goldman-Armstrong
A football club in a river port known for strippers and beer with fans with a rabid punk rock reputation? Sound familiar?
My first exposure to St. Pauli was actually in the mid-1990s punk scene in Minneapolis and St. Paul, when I saw punks sporting the skull and crossbones logo of the supporters that had been adopted by the club. Upon enquiring about it I heard tales of these crazy anti-fascist punk rock football supporters in Germany. I was intrigued, being that my leather jacket bore the crest of the Portland Pride, our indoor club at the time, and I was heavily involved in the punk scene, publishing my own fanzine and attending demos and shows; this confluence of punk rock and football seemed like a good deal. Over the years I learned more about St. Pauli and their activist punk rock fans and was fascinated, hoping one day to meet these legendary supporters.
I heard more about St. Pauli while living in Cork City in 1997-1998. One image, from an English football magazine of a St. Pauli supporter in hard hat and safety glasses due to the amount of things thrown, sticks with me.
Back home in Portland in 2001 as we organized as supporters in section 107, the punks and anti-racist skinheads quickly established the Zero Tolerance for Intolerance stance that exists to this day. Politically aligning what was to become the Timbers Army with the St. Pauli supporters. It was only natural in Portland to have a stance against racism and homophobia, so as the Timbers Army began to take shape we looked to like-minded supporters around the world as examples. Chicago’s Section 8 was an inspiration initially, and we drew on various traditions; as we grew and the MLS loomed large, St. Pauli’s example was of huge significance as we strove to find a way to keep our vibrant traditions and supporters culture alive in a more corporate league with fewer rights for fans.
Scarf up by the supporters container at the Millerntor
F.C. St. Pauli was founded in 1910 in a working-class quarter of the city of Hamburg. Like many European sporting clubs, it boasts not only a football club, but men’s and women’s rugby clubs. For many years it was merely a sports club; then something magical happened. A movement coalesced around the club to make it into a fan-driven culture.
St. Pauli’s political and organized support began in the 1980s as part of the squat defense movement. The cops were attempting to shut down a series of squatted apartment buildings by the harbor, and the local punks were determined to defend them. Barricades were erected and street battles took place. Many of the same people who were defending the squats would see each other at St. Pauli matches, and soon began incorporating political banners into their support. Eventually the supporters organized and created a unique left-wing supporters culture, an anomaly in German football where Neo-Nazis were all too common amongst supporters. Banners against racism, as well as in solidarity with Palestinians, were common and could be seen at matches. When a plan was made to knock down the stadium with its classic terraces and replace it with a “Sport Dome” in the early 1990s, the fans demonstrated against it and stopped the project.
Now St. Pauli is know worldwide for its supporters’ radical stance, celebrating gay and trans rights, multiculturalism, and the rights of immigrants and refugees. St. Pauli hosts the Antira tournament for anti-racist amateur teams from across Europe every other summer. The work the supporters do is far-reaching in many aspects of life. Their punk rock sentiments extend from their stance on social issues to their taste in music, with Cascadia’s own Scottish punks the Real McKenzies picked to headline the club’s 100th birthday party in 2010. But I’m getting ahead of myself – I still haven’t related the story of how I came to meet the fans of St. Pauli.
In 2004 I visited the Sinn Féin Shop in Cork City and picked up the CD Granda Was a Celtic Man by a band called the Pilgrims. On it appears the true story “The Fans of St. Pauli", a fairytale story of how a lonely Celtic fan was embraced by the St. Pauli supporters.
“The jukebox played the Dubliners and the crowd all sang along,
Each boy and girl in that Hamburg bar knew the words to every song,
They most graciously invited me to join their company.
So I spent that night and the next three years with the fans of St. Pauli.
By the time the night was over, the arrangements were complete,
I’d a squat and friends, a darlin’ girl, and a brand new football team."
–The Pilgrims, “Fans of St. Pauli”
In 2006, when I went to Germany for the World Cup, I was eager to find out if the song was true, and within the first few hours of being in the St. Pauli quarter I’d hung a Timbers Army scarf in an Irish pub, which did indeed play the Dubliners.
The best was yet to come, though. After watching England beat Trinidad and Tobago, including Peter Crouch’s flagrant foul on former Timber Brent Sancho (which was not called by the referee), pulling his dreadlocks to win a header over him, Katie Moody and I headed to the St. Pauli Clubheim to watch the next match.
Imme shows off her Sancho autograph
We soon struck up a conversation with Imme, who worked with the St. Pauli community outreach team, who happened to be sporting a Trinidadian top autographed by Brent Sancho. By the time the match ended, we were trading rounds and swapping stories and were invited home by the St. Pauli fans. Tonja, who owns a punk boutique, was visiting Seattle in 2004 and she and her boyfriend went to a Timbers-Sounders match; after hearing our singing, they came over to stand with us in the away support section in Seahawks Stadium, as the Timbers Army singing reminded her of home. Through the blur of Seattle Away memories, I did remember a pink-haired German punk girl at that match. The song was true all right, and how!
We soon cancelled our hostel reservation and headed back to Imme and her partner Mitje’s flat to sing along with videos of Gary Og singing Irish Rebel songs at the Jolly Roger, St. Pauli’s bar, and talk till the sun came up. We were headed south the next day, but I was invited back, and ended up spending a week in St. Pauli.
Imme and me in the Millerntor
I visited the Fanladen, which was part coffee shop, part bar, part zine library, part meeting space; this supporter-run shop had been around since 1990. There were football zines from all over, and Heiko showed me the Celtic-branded whisky the Scots had brought over for their annual Celtic-St. Pauli party, when hundreds of Scots descend on the city. The Fanladen was the center of independent supporter activity, organizing away travel as well as serving as a home to fanzines, including the Ueberstieger, a glossy full-color magazine.
One famous away trip Imme told me about was a trip to Dresden, where Neo-Nazi hooligans planned to attack the St. Pauli supporters. The generally punky-looking St. Pauli supporters dressed up in business suits and bought copies of the Financial Times so that when the train arrived in Dresden, the hooligans waiting for it were confused – where were the freaky looking punks with dyed hair? Just a bunch of businessmen and women got off the train.
Obligatory Scarf Up pic in the Millerntor stadium
The scope of the Fanladen was very impressive, and sowed the seed in my head for how our own Fanladen would eventually be when I helped bring it to fruition five years later.
The whole visit was inspirational on many levels – the generosity and hospitality of the supporters was exceptional, but beyond that, it was just seeing the amount of organization that the fans had achieved and how they had gained so much power with the club.
I met Sven Brux, who was one of the original organizers of the supporters and now held the post of head of security for the club. He told me, “It breaks my heart every time I have to issue someone a ban for pyro.” He also gave his own account of how the political activism at the club in the 1980s grew out of punk rockers involved with defending squats from the police. As he related it, the punks would see each other on the barricades at the squat defense, and the same people would see each other at matches, and soon started bringing their politics to the matches.
The new political fans soon made going to St. Pauli the cool thing to do. At the time (2006) there was a lottery for season tickets, with fans assembling outside the stadium for the draw each year. With the stadium completely sold out, it is difficult to get a season ticket.
Watching the Germany-Argentina match with Imme, Mitje, Sven and a bunch of St. Pauli supporters in an “Ecke” (small pub, literally translating as Corner (as in corner bar), was a very interesting experience: the supporters want Germany to do well, but being against nationalism, they expressed concern about the flag-waving mobs out on the Reeperbahn. As Sven explains, the last time there was flag-waving sentiment associated with the German team doing well, there were assaults on LGBT and immigrants.
Kein Mensch ist Illegal
The St. Pauli quarter is one that looks out for its own, and the supporters work to defend the rights of immigrants. A sign on one of the squats by the harbor decries Hamburg’s status as “World Champion of Deportations.” There are large detention facilities there where immigrants are held as they await being sent back to their countries of origin. “Kein Mensch ist Illegal” (No Person is Illegal), reads a mural on the squat next door.
While I was in St. Pauli, Imme and Mitje took me to the Kunst art gallery, where there was an exhibit of Repression in the Stadium sponsored by the Hamburg-based BAFF (Bündnis aktiver Fussballfans, or League of Active Football Fans). The BAFF is dedicated to fighting for the rights of supporters in all levels of football in Germany, including the right to terracing, fighting against data collection on fans and stadium bans, and also fights to make football stadiums inclusive places for LGBT and people of all backgrounds and abilities, backing initiatives such as Show Racism the Red Card and anti-homophobia displays. The exhibit really struck a chord with me. The amount of surveillance and harassment that European supporters are subjected to is astounding, but the fact that the BAFF united supporters from all clubs to work for common goals was really inspiring. When I came back home, I talked with folks involved in the nascent 107ist about organizing something similar and began reaching out to supporters of other clubs, especially with the MLS looming, and when Seattle hosted the MLS Cup in 2009 we got supporter representatives from Union Ultras (Chivas USA), Sons of Ben (Philly), Vancouver Southsiders, San Jose, Sounders, and Victoria Highlanders to join us at Elysian Fields to found what was to become the Independent Supporters Council.
When I began publishing the Whipsaw Timbers Army fanzine in 2010, I naturally began swapping with some of the St. Pauli fanzines, including the Uebersteiger and In the Streets of St. Pauli, the zine of Skinheads St. Pauli, an organization of anti-racist skinheads established in 1996. When Ian Joy joined the team, I interviewed him about his time in St. Pauli for the Whipsaw and In the Streets of St. Pauli translated it into German and published it. They also said some very kind things about various issues of the Whipsaw.
I got to hang a TA scarf in the Jolly Roger, along with other antifa clubs' scarves
Sadly, since I started Cider Riot! in 2013, I haven’t had time to dedicate to the zine, and couldn’t find anyone to keep it going. Thus I’m a bit out of date on the happenings in the St. Pauli zine world. St. Pauli connections are truly global though, and in 2014 while visiting cideries in England, I met Kev from the scrumpy and western band the Skimmity Hitchers in Bristol, and he invited me out to practice with his club, the Easton Cowboys. The Easton Cowboys are Bristol’s anarchist football club, with 3 men’s teams and two women’s teams as well as teams in cricket and netball. The Cowboys travel to St. Pauli’s Antira football tournament and host their own anti-racist football tournament each summer, and have done solidarity trips to Chiapas and Palestine. When I showed up to practice in my St. Pauli top I was in good company, as half the Cowboys seemed to be sporting at least one article of St. Pauli merch! Kev put me in touch with one of his contacts from the Antira tournament in advance of the friendly.
As I was writing this article I stopped by the Widmer Brothers Pub to drop off entries for a cider competition, and while having a pint there, began chatting with a German visiting Portland on holiday who lived in St. Pauli when he was young. He spoke of the resiliency of the St. Pauli quarter; he said that despite its problems with homelessness and poverty, the quarter sticks together. This sense of solidarity prevails amongst the supporters.
So as we get ready to host the fans of St. Pauli, I look forward to returning their immense hospitality. We’re hosting an afterparty at Cider Riot! to benefit the Immigrant Rights Coalition. There will be punk rock, beer, cider, and hopefully some great conversation. Yeah, I know it’s a school night, but we are going to show them the best time possible! Please join us after the match for music from Green Flag and pints from Cider Riot! and Rosenstadt Brewery.
St Pauli Quarter: The district where the club plays, also home to the red light district centered around the Reeperbahn (so-called as it was a rope-making center for the tall ships which once sailed from Hamburg’s active port).
Astra: The beer of choice of St. Pauli fans.
Fanladen: The inspiration for our own Fanladen – one part meeting hall, one part reading room, one part bar.
The Jolly Roger: St. Pauli supporters pub.
Moin: Hamburg slang for Hello, often “Moin Moin”.
Millerntor: The stadium, literally the Miller’s Tower.
Reeperbahn: Hamburg’s famous red-light district.
HH (Hansa Hamburg): Hamburg was historically part of the Hanseatic League of city states. Much like our Cascadia flags, the use of the moniker Hansa Hamburg celebrates this independence from the rest of Germany.
Kit sponsors: St. Pauli has boasted a slew of rather unique kit sponsors, from Jack Daniels to the Swedish punk band Turbonegro.
We're sure all of you are as excited as we are on the board about the home opener matches this weekend. It’ll be good to see the lasses and lads out on the pitch at home, and to spend some quality time with friends we may have not seen since the last time we walked out of the gates at Providence Park.
However, for many the excitement of the new season is tempered with a tad bit of trepidation. The board has received more than a few emails from people who are already dreading dealing with issues related to people cutting in line and excessive seat saving.
The Rose City Riveters and Timbers Army hold respect for others as one of our highest values. Often we talk about this in the context of larger human rights issues, but it also should be practiced in our day to day interactions with our fellow supporters and community at large.
Part of being respectful in a match day setting is recognizing that there are established norms with regards to getting into and standing in the north end.
When you go to line up, you should not be inserting yourself into the line in front of people who have been waiting longer than you. Many of us learned this in kindergarten, and it still holds true today: Don’t cut. Go to the end of the line like thousands of other people did before you got there. You’re not that special.
Once in the stadium we have an old adage: One Scarf One Seat - this means that you may save a seat for yourself and a seat for a friend. You may not toss down 2 (or 5 or 10 or 37) scarves across any more than the seat you will occupy and the seat your compatriot will use. Everybody has friends who need to work late or can’t show up in time to get their preferred seat: again, you’re not that special.
SG representatives will be on the lookout for abusers this season: if you see something say something. Find a board member or a capo or someone with a tifo pass and let us know. We don’t want to involve security or the front office, but if we don’t deal with this ourselves we may have no other choice. And then, frankly, we all lose.
So rather than draining positive energy from the stands via selfish actions, let’s all be excellent to each other and use that energy to sing louder, clap longer, and wave our flags higher - because, in the end, isn’t that what we’re here for?
Many of you know thirteen-year-old Dylan Mapston, the soccer player and Timbers fan in Arizona who has collected donations to provide comfort to children and families as they battle cancer, through his organization Keepers Care for Kids. Last year, Dylan collected over 500 toys and stuffed animals for Doernbecher OHSU when he and his dad came to Portland for a match.
This year, with a home opener weekend that includes TWO first team matches, Keepers Care for Kids will be leading TWO donation drives to benefit two organizations.
On Saturday 4/14, for the Timbers home opener, Dylan will be collecting new toys and stuffed animals to benefit Providence St. Vincent Medical Center, which is also the home to Providence Basecamp, where 107IST members provide monthly free CPR/AED courses. Bring your new toy or stuffed animal donation on 4/14 to the fanladen on 1633 SW Alder Street any time from 4-7pm to provide for children served by Providence St. Vincent.
On Sunday 4/15, for the Thorns home opener, Dylan will be collecting new toys and stuffed animals to benefit the Children's Center in Clackamas County. April is Child Abuse Prevention Month, and the Children's Center is a private, non-profit child abuse intervention center. They see children for concerns of sexual abuse, physical abuse, emotional abuse, and neglect. Children’s Center also teaches people how to prevent abuse from happening. Children’s Center provides:
Portland, OR; Seattle, WA; Vancouver, B.C. — The representatives of the Cascadia Cup Council in Portland, Seattle, and Vancouver have jointly agreed that the results of the following regular season matches will count toward awarding of the Cascadia Cup in 2018:
As in past years, the Cascadia Cup rules and tiebreakers for these six matches are as follows:
Tiebreakers are, in order:
The result of the Sunday, May 13th match between the Portland Timbers and Seattle Sounders will not be considered toward awarding the Cascadia Cup.
The Cascadia Cup Council regrets that Major League Soccer made this decision necessary by scheduling an unbalanced number of matches among the three teams. Supporters of all three Cascadia Cup teams prefer a balanced schedule going forward, meaning that making such determinations would not be required.
About the Cascadia Cup Council: The Cascadia Cup Council is a recognized not-for-profit entrusted with the management of the Cascadia Cup. The Council is made up of one representative from each of the three founding Cascadia Cup supporters groups. The current Cascadia Cup Council representatives are: