After over a month of protests in Portland, Oregon, the federal government deployed armed officers who began detaining protesters without cause before taking them away in unmarked, non-government vehicles.
The federal agents did not identify themselves, nor did they correspond with local authorities. The Oregon Attorney General—Ellen Rosenblum—filed a lawsuit on Friday asserting that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the federal government infringed on the rights of Oregonians by detaining them without cause.
Trump’s use of unidentified and unwanted federal agents in Portland, pulling protestors into unmarked vans without… https://t.co/1PFrBelGq2— Joaquin Castro (@Joaquin Castro)1595180719.0
Acting DHS Secretary Chad Wolf insisted that the federal soldiers would continue to police Portland, and President Donald Trump—who frequently paints himself as a "law and order" President—said that the unidentified federal forces would likely intervene in other cities as well.
"We'll have more federal law enforcement, that I can tell you. In Portland, they've done a fantastic job. They've been there three days and they really have done a fantastic job in a very short period of time, no problem. They grab them, lot of people in jail, their leaders. These are anarchists, these are not protesters...These are people that hate our country."
Trump credited the federal law enforcement with suppressing the protests, but reports on the ground indicate that their presence and intervention only reinvigorated the protestors, and even motivated people who hadn't protested before to turn out.
Portland tonight. It appears that the feds have caused the size of the protests to double. https://t.co/LdbAKJ6NYS— Joshua Potash (@Joshua Potash)1595046315.0
Nevertheless, Trump said that cities like Chicago, New York, Oakland, and Detroit would likely see federal intervention—with or without the endorsement of state leadership.
Democratic Detroit Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib made it clear on Twitter that she wouldn't abide that move.
They'll have to arrest me first if they think they're going to illegally lay their hands on my residents. https://t.co/CkGheyGYq8— Rashida Tlaib (@Rashida Tlaib)1595265003.0
Tlaib said that she would be arrested protecting her residents from potentially dangerous interactions with the federal troopers.
Her concern about officers laying their hands on her residents isn't unfounded.
This past weekend, a Navy veteran who was protesting asked the officers to remember the vows they took. They responded by beating and macing him.
Federal police strike protester with baton, use pepper spray and tear gas outside courthouse in Portland https://t.co/VX2xTVaaYq— Zane Sparling (@Zane Sparling)1595137543.0
The sight of the unauthorized federal forces paints an increasingly dystopian picture unfamiliar to most Americans.
This is the image that will stick with me from Portland tonight. Trump’s feds looking like an occupying army. 🎥:… https://t.co/JVUidEC3Qj— Joshua Potash (@Joshua Potash)1595236159.0
There is NO place for secret police in America #UnpresidentedIdiot is testing us to see how far he can go 🚨Let hi… https://t.co/861MCo8rB6— Lindy Li (@Lindy Li)1595216378.0
Bicycling is not a crime. But in Portland, #TrumpsGestapo will body slam you for riding a bike. This cannot stand. https://t.co/msoIY4oUbc— Derek Cressman (@Derek Cressman)1595003085.0
People agree with Tlaib that foisting federal troopers into cities Trump deems unworthy would only create more chaos and violence.
They commended her for speaking out and being prepared to put her body on the line.
@RashidaTlaib One of the many reasons I love you is that your spirt is so strong that even your harshest detractors… https://t.co/T2HTIbuMEu— 🌹 mousdrvr (@🌹 mousdrvr)1595269510.0
@bhaviklathia @RashidaTlaib Thanks for the reminder to donate! https://t.co/ctVCw4sCAu— Not Even a Real Democrat Anymore (@Not Even a Real Democrat Anymore)1595270000.0
@RashidaTlaib This is what I want from my representatives. Bless you.— Alannah Massey (@Alannah Massey)1595266227.0
@RashidaTlaib You may not be my Congresswoman, but you're my chosen leader.— 🏴🚩 💥The Countess 💥🏴🚩 (@🏴🚩 💥The Countess 💥🏴🚩)1595267427.0
@RashidaTlaib We need more leaders like Rashida!! ✊️— Unify Labor (@Unify Labor)1595267753.0
Concerns are growing that Trump is creating police states with an insidious, mysterious militia.
The United States of America should not have secret police.— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez)1595278245.0
Against the wishes of state and local officials, unmarked federal agents in combat gear have invaded parts of Portl… https://t.co/nTWil6RuSt— Bernie Sanders (@Bernie Sanders)1595091232.0
Last night I was teargassed by a federal occupying force I SAW throw canisters of poison, without warning, into a n… https://t.co/F6PSvKYoje— Sharon Meieran (@Sharon Meieran)1595195321.0
Federal agents are brutally attacking medics in Portland. We will not let these inhumane and unconstitutional acti… https://t.co/1hAo5l3P9d— ACLU (@ACLU)1595175600.0
The protests in Oregon continue.