Ever since the death of George Floyd in May of this year, there have been protests raging in Portland. Yet now it seems the city has reached a new level of disarray with the arrival of federal agents in military gear who are reportedly ‘kidnapping’ the public. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has confirmed that it deployed three paramilitary-style units in order to crack down on protests against police violence in Portland.
The Portland Mayor has now demanded that the US troops leave.
After months of protests, military-style agents are reportedly ‘kidnapping’ protesters in the city of Portland and the Major has demanded that they leave.
In the past, President Donald Trump has vowed to use his federal power to deploy such agents, in order to diffuse protest hotbeds such as those in New York, Philadelphia, and Chicago. For once, it seems he has made good on his promise.
Watch what’s happening in Portland. If Trump loses, it would not be surprising if he refuses to leave office and tries to use militarized federal agents to quell unrest at his refusal to accept the election results. Portland is a test-run of what the future may be. Pay attention.
— Beau Willimon (@BeauWillimon) July 21, 2020
Now, there are reports of protestors being grabbed on sidewalks by officers looking better suited to being deployed in a war – before being bundled into unmarked vehicles. Mark Pettibone, a 29-year-old demonstrator, told The Washington Post of his encounter with the military-like officers in which he was pulled into a minivan with his beanie pulled over his eyes.
“I figured I was just going to disappear for an indefinite amount of time,” he described.
Pettibone was then allegedly put into a cell while officers checked his backpack before he was allowed to leave after asking for a lawyer.
The same officers – who have also used tactics such as deploying tear gas and firing non-lethal rounds at peaceful protestors – have been asked to leave the city by Portland Mayor, Ted Wheeler, who has accused the agents of using abusive tactics.
Mayor Wheeler told CNN, “Their presence here is actually leading to more violence and more vandalism. They’re not wanted here. We haven’t asked them here. In fact, we want them to leave.”
This echoes the comments of interim executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Oregon, Jann Carson, who said, “Usually when we see people in marked cars forcibly grab someone off the street, we call it kidnapping.”
She continued, “The actions of the militarised officers are flat-out unconstitutional and will not go unanswered.”
Ted Wheeler and the ACLU aren’t the only opposition these federal agents have had, with a video surfacing of a naked protestor putting on a display in front of the police.
The protestor is seen walking towards the police before laying down and doing multiple yoga poses, with the officers unsure how to retaliate.
And then? Naked Athena appeared and the little boys didn’t know what to do. pic.twitter.com/Elo69SsV0t
— Donovan “It was the blurst of times” Farley 💻🐒 (@DonovanFarley) July 18, 2020
Nicknamed ‘Naked Athena’ the protestor was subject to pepper balls fired at her feet while fellow demonstrators protected their nude counterpart.
With the military-style officers causing further disorder in the city of Portland, there are concerns that the officers may end up in Chicago, after reports from the Chicago Tribune stated that there are plans for the same federal agents to be deployed to the Illinois city.