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article imageOp-Ed: Trump's DHS and U.S. Marshalls are out of control in Portland

By Karen Graham     Jul 18, 2020 in Politics
The US Attorney for the Oregon District on Friday requested an investigation into masked, camouflaged federal authorities without identification badges who are arresting protesters in Portland, Oregon.
The terrifying actions being played out in an American state are surreal. Unmarked vans full of camouflaged and unidentified federal agents are pulling up next to protesters on street corners, then snatching and arresting them with no explanation, and yes, this is really happening, according to The Guardian.
While this is bad enough, President Donald Trump's acting Department of Homeland Security (DHS) secretary, Chad Wolf, is defending the decision and even promising more. One victim told the New York Times, “One of the officers said, ‘It’s OK, it’s OK,’ and just grabbed me and threw me into the van. Another officer pulled my beanie down, so I couldn’t see.”
US President Donald Trump has long been accused of fanning racial tensions  including during the nat...
US President Donald Trump has long been accused of fanning racial tensions, including during the nationwide reckoning triggered by the death-in-custody of African American George Floyd
Brendan SMIALOWSKI, AFP/File
The same person told the Washington Post: “I was terrified. It seemed like it was out of a horror/sci-fi, like a Philip K Dick novel. It was like being preyed upon.” Still another told Portland’s Oregon Public Broadcasting (OPB): “I see guys in camo. Four or five of them pop out, open the door and it was just like, ‘Oh shit. I don’t know who you are or what you want with us.’”
It seems that since July 14, federal law enforcement officers in unmarked vans bring operated by Customs and Border Protection (CBP), which is under DHS’s control, and U.S. Marshalls, have been driving around downtown Portland, picking up unsuspecting protesters, and the really frightening part is that they are targeting anyone, not just allegedly violent protesters.
The acting secretary of DHS, Chad Wolf, released a video statement Friday lamenting that Portland had declined the department’s “offer” of “support”. So DHS went ahead and sent in its thugs anyway. DHS’s list of reasons for invading Portland and implementing its terror operation, amid what it calls “rampant long-lasting violence”, consists mostly of graffiti incidents and minor property damage.
Keep in mind that our president has threatened to send in federal troops to get rid of anyone protesting - which by the way, we have a constitutional right to engage in. But even worse, Trump's attempts at authoritarianism is no longer creeping – the DHS and CBP are acting as full-on secret police.
Feds asked to back off
Oregon's governor and Portland's mayor demanded the troops be withdrawn and a US senator joined them in condemning the arrests. "Authoritarian governments, not democratic republics, send unmarked authorities after protesters," tweeted US Sen. Jeff Merkley, a Democrat representing Oregon.
Merkley also tweeted one video of such an arrest showing two masked, camouflaged individuals with generic "police" patches, detain a person dressed in a black outfit and place them in an unmarked van before driving away, reports CNN.
US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) admitted to being one of the agencies involved in arresting protesters.
They agency issued a statement to CNN that reads: Violent anarchists have organized events in Portland over the last several weeks with willful intent to damage and destroy federal property, as well as, injure federal officers and agents. These criminal actions will not be tolerated."
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) on Friday filed a lawsuit against the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and U.S. Marshals Service, seeking to block federal law enforcement from dispersing, arresting, threatening to arrest, or using physical force against journalists or legal observers. This is just one of many more lawsuits it will be filing for “unconstitutional attacks” on protesters in the city, according to The Hill.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of DigitalJournal.com
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