A showdown appears to be brewing between elected leaders in Portland, Oregon and the Trump Administration, as tensions continue on the ground between protestors and enforcement agents deployed by the federal government.
On the heels of reports on Friday that federal officers were in Portland snatching people off the streets, Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum has sued the Department of Homeland Security and several other federal agencies reports NBC News.
“Ordinarily, a person exercising his right to walk through the streets of Portland who is confronted by anonymous men in military-type fatigues and ordered into an unmarked van can reasonably assume that he is being kidnapped and is the victim of a crime,” Rosenblum writes in the lawsuit, in which she asks for a restraining order to prevent federal agents from making further arrests.
Rosenblum’s suit also emphasizes the threat that the government’s actions poses to the Constitutional rights of citizens, who have been protesting for weeks in Portland as part of a national uprising for racial justice.
From NBC News:
“The identity of the officers is not known, nor is their agency affiliation, according to videos and reports that the officers in question wear military fatigues with patches simply reading ‘POLICE,’ with no other identifying information,” the lawsuit continues.
The lawsuit claims that such actions compel citizens who are “reasonably afraid of being picked up and shoved into unmarked vans — possibly by federal officers, possibly by individuals opposed to the protests” from exercising their First Amendment right to assembly.
Rosenblum has also called for an investigation into the federal government’s actions in Oregon, as has the state’s governor, Portland’s Mayor, and Democratic senator Jeff Berkley:
But while Oregon’s elected officials are calling foul on the federal government’s clandestine intervention and escalation in Portland, the Trump Administration is defiantly standing behind its fascistic actions.
“This is a posture we intend to continue not just in Portland but in any of the facilities that we’re responsible for around the country,” DHS acting Secretary Ken Cuccinelli said in an interview with NPR on Friday.
Declaring that agents from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection will continue to make arrests in Portland, CBP Commissioner Mark Morgan tweeted on Friday, “CBP will restore and maintain law and order.”
With an administration hellbent on doing anything it can to distract from the abject failure that is the President, the chances that this situation will end well are slim to none.
“We must protect Federal property, and our people,” Trump himself tweeted on Sunday. “These were not merely protesters, these are the real deal!”