The Trump administration has stepped into the situation in Portland. Interim Homeland Security chief Chad Wolf arrived in the city yesterday and last night protesters in unmarked vans were arrested by federal officers in unmarked uniforms.
Portland has been the scene of protests for weeks but officials accuse the President Trump of intervening now for political purposes. The Washington Post writes:
“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…
“A peaceful protester in Portland was shot in the head by one of Donald Trump’s secret police,” Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) wrote in a Thursday tweet that also called out acting DHS secretary Chad Wolf. “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.”
Portland Oregon Yesterday –
Peaceful protestors are being detained by unidentified officials.
— Southern Sister Resister (@ResisterSis20) July 17, 2020
From the Post: “I am proud to be among the loud chorus of elected officials calling for the federal troops in Portland’s streets to go home,” Portland City Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty said in a statement shared with The Post on Sunday. “Their presence here has escalated tensions and put countless Portlanders exercising their First Amendment rights in greater danger.”
Oregon Public Broadcasting first broke the story of peaceful protesters being picked up in unmarked vans.
Usually when we see people in unmarked cars forcibly grab someone off the street we call it kidnapping — what is happening now in Portland should concern everyone in the US.
These actions are flat-out unconstitutional and will not go unanswered. https://t.co/1zS6u05GOK
— ACLU (@ACLU) July 17, 2020
Watch coverage from KGW-TV in Portland above.