Intervention in Portland raises specter of federal overreach

With Portland protests over racism and police violence continuing for over six weeks, federal forces are stepping in. The federal forces are not wearing recognizable uniforms or practicing due process, often just arresting people and spiriting them away in unmarked vehicles. Police Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty organized a candlelight vigil to support her fellow citizens rights to free speech and assembly. (KGW8, July18, 2020, by KGW Staff)

Ruth Marcus of The Washington Post, July 17, 2020, wrote that federal forces were not deployed at the request of Oregon’s governor or the Portland mayor and showed up not to defend constitutional rights but to deprive peaceful protesters of their First Amendment right to demonstrate.

Acting Homeland Security chief Chad Wolf arrived in Portland last week and characterized the protestors as violent criminals and lawless anarchists intent on destroying federal property. Federal forces had already begun to use tear gas to quell the demonstrations. While Portland police acted to disperse any “unawful assembly,” crowds throwing rocks and bottles, local officials worked together to find ways to establish peace and stability in the city. (Your Basin, July 18, 2020, by KOIN 6 News Staff and Nexstar Media Wire)

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