Fascism On The Rise: Peaceful protesters in Portland, Oregon, are being abducted off the streets by Trump’s secret police: federal agents in camouflage, without badges.
The Washington Post reports:
Federal officers from the U.S. Marshals Service and Department of Homeland Security have stormed Portland’s streets as part of President Trump’s promised strong response to ongoing protests. Local leaders expressed alarm…
The Nation reports:
Donald Trump’s war on protesters is escalating, with reports emerging out of Portland, Ore., that federal law enforcement officers, wearing camouflage but without any other visible insignia, have been rounding up American citizens…
Oregon Public Broadcasting (OPB) reports:
Federal Law Enforcement Use Unmarked Vehicles To Grab Protesters Off Portland Streets
Federal law enforcement officers have been using unmarked vehicles to drive around downtown Portland and detain protesters since at least July 14. Personal accounts and multiple videos posted online show the officers driving up to people, detaining individuals with no explanation of why they are being arrested, and driving off.
The tactic appears to be another escalation in federal force deployed on Portland city streets, as federal officials and President Donald Trump have said they plan to “quell” nightly protests outside the federal courthouse and Multnomah County Justice Center that have lasted for more than six weeks.
As one might imagine, reaction to reports that unidentified federal law enforcement officers are secretly rounding up and detaining citizens in unmarked cars have been fierce.
Jann Carson, interim executive director of the ACLU of Oregon, declared:
What is happening now in Portland should concern everyone in the United States. Usually when we see people in unmarked cars forcibly grab someone off the street we call it kidnapping. The actions of the militarized federal officers are flat-out unconstitutional and will not go unanswered.
Oregon Governor Kate Brown issued the following statement condemning Trump’s “political theater”:
This political theater from President Trump has nothing to do with public safety. The President is failing to lead this nation. Now he is deploying federal officers to patrol the streets of Portland in a blatant abuse of power by the federal government. … This, coming from the same President who used tear gas to clear out peaceful protesters in Washington, DC to engineer a photo opportunity. Trump is looking for a confrontation in Oregon in the hopes of winning political points in Ohio or Iowa.
This political theater from President Trump has nothing to do with public safety. The President is failing to lead this nation. Now he is deploying federal officers to patrol the streets of Portland in a blatant abuse of power by the federal government. https://t.co/PdlZkmW0mQ
— Governor Kate Brown (@OregonGovBrown) July 16, 2020
Commenting on the situation Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler declared:
We do not need or want their help. The best thing they can do is stay inside their building, or leave Portland altogether. Our goal is to end these violent demonstrations quickly and safely. I told the Acting Secretary that my biggest immediate concern is the violence federal officers brought to our streets in recent days, and the life-threatening tactics his agents use.
Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley said:
DHS and DOJ are engaged in acts that are horrific and outrageous in our constitutional democratic republic. First, they are deploying paramilitary forces with no identification indicating who they are or who they work for. Second, these agents are snatching people off the street with no underlying justification. Both of these acts are profound offenses against Americans. We demand not only that these acts end, but also that they remove their forces immediately from our state. Given the egregious nature of the violations against Oregonians, we are demanding full investigations by the Inspectors General of these departments.
Oregon Senator Ron Wyden said:
Oregonians’ demand for answers about this occupying army and its paramilitary assaults in Portland at the direction of Donald Trump and Chad Wolf cannot be stonewalled. That’s not how it works in a democracy. It’s painfully clear this administration is focused purely on escalating violence without answering my repeated requests for why this expeditionary force is in Portland and under what constitutional authority. Simply put, the Office of Inspector General must investigate Trump’s assault on Americans’ constitutional rights now.
U.S. Representative Earl Blumenauer said:
The jarring reports of federal law enforcement officers grabbing peaceful protestors off the street should alarm every single American. This is not the way a government operates in a functioning democracy.
We are demanding an immediate Inspector General investigation into these incidents to get answers from the Trump administration and ensure these disturbing abuses of power stop immediately.
U.S. Representative Suzanne Bonamici said:
The overly aggressive conduct of federal officers in Portland is alarming and unconstitutional. Oregonians must be able to exercise their First Amendment rights safely, without being picked up and detained by unidentified federal officers.
The President is intentionally provoking unrest and discord, and our community will not stand for it. He purports to be a law and order President, but his Administration’s actions are political bluster and are making our city and our country less safe. We will not rest until we get answers on behalf of Oregonians.
More reactions via Twitter:
— Rep Peter DeFazio (@RepPeterDeFazio) July 17, 2020
This is right out of the authoritarian playbook. Americans have rights and they cannot be disregarded by unidentified uniformed agents. We need answers. Now.https://t.co/JlADJ2JwlI
— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) July 17, 2020
A peaceful protester in Portland was shot in the head by one of Donald Trump’s secret police. Now Trump and Chad Wolf are weaponizing the DHS as their own occupying army to provoke violence on the streets of my hometown because they think it plays well with right-wing media.
— Ron Wyden (@RonWyden) July 16, 2020
Authoritarian governments, not democratic republics, send unmarked authorities after protesters. These Trump/Barr tactics designed to eliminate any accountability are absolutely unacceptable in America, and must end. pic.twitter.com/PE4YfZ9Vqd
— Senator Jeff Merkley (@SenJeffMerkley) July 16, 2020
Bottom line: Fascism is on the rise as peaceful protesters in Portland, Oregon, are being abducted off the streets by federal agents in camouflage and without badges, aka Trump’s secret police.