Thursday, July 30, 2020

Feds to try to stop using violence (video)

Bloomberg QuickTake News, July 30, 2020; Associated Press ( via, July 29, 2020); Fox News; Seth Auberon, Pfc. Sandoval, Ashley Wells (eds.), Wisdom Quarterly

Federal court to review "protest bans" in Portland arrests: U.S. court officials in Oregon are reviewing bans on future protesting that were placed on some citizens arrested during demonstrations in Portland after some raised concerns that the prohibitions violated the First Amendment. More

Feds will withdraw from downtown Portland following agreement, says Oregon Gov. Kate Brown
Oregon has struck a deal with the Trump administration to end weeks of clashes between paramilitary federal agents and peaceful demonstrators in downtown Portland that Pres. Donny Trump has made a focus of his re-election bid.

But federal and state officials gave conflicting accounts of the agreement amid continuing demonstrations and protests in the city over police brutality and police racism.

Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf told reporters that police agents who were sent in an Afghan-style "surge" to Portland will now withdraw from the city when it’s clear to them that state and local law enforcement can secure downtown streets and prevent property destruction and violence at the federal courthouse, a focal point of demonstrator’s grievances.

Oregon’s Democratic Gov. Kate Brown said in a tweet that starting on Thursday [July 30, 2020], all Customs and Border Protection and ICE officers from the Immigration and Customs Enforcement wing of the federal army used against civilians would leave downtown and return to their camps soon after.

A violent federal law enforcement presence in Portland drew national attention after U.S. agents, some wearing military-style fatigues and driving unmarked vehicles, began patrolling Oregon’s largest city.

(Fox News) Federal government has agreed to withdraw feds from Portland

Reports are that they have been whisking away bystanders, civilians, demonstrators, and protesters, using aggressive tactics akin to random armed kidnappings and ultimately sparking even larger demonstrations and opposition from local leaders.

“These federal officers have acted as an occupying [militant] force, refused accountability, and brought violence and strife to our community,” Gov. Brown said in a statement.

Sec'y Wolf told reporters that his agents will remain in Portland “until we are assured that Oregon state police and the plan that the governor has put together is successful.” Federal officers will resume their operations to offensively surround the courthouse if needed, Sec'y Wolf said.

“We will surge up, and we will surge down over time depending on the circumstances,” Sec'y Wolf added.

Trump has repeatedly called attention to the often peaceful and sometimes violent protests in Portland, blaming Democrats and "anarchists" as he has tried to cast himself as a Hitleresque "law-and-order" dictator.

The president tweeted Wednesday that without federal agents’ presence “there would be no Portland” and threatened to send armed federal militants into the city to do local policing, just as Obama and Biden made possible when they signed the NDAA against the wishes of civilians, constitutional scholars, and groups like the ACLU.

Democrat Joe Biden pretended to condemn the Homeland Security Department’s presence in Portland, saying the agents had no clearly defined mandate or authority. [It seems he will send them in with the NDAA as his authority and a clearer mandate to violently clampdown on demonstrators.]

Trump’s decision to send federal agents to Portland and other cities to "quell unrest" as if it were an native uprising in the time of imperial U.S. expansion across the Southwest and combat crime has raised questions about whether the move violates the Constitution. It has reignited a national debate on the militarization of civilian police.

Federal officials had said that their use of unmarked vehicles is a standard practice, because demonstrators target patrol cars. Officials said that all officers in Portland wore uniforms that say “police,” not their names to personally identify them. This cuts down on civil lawsuits and criminal charges against the agents when they are accused or filmed abusing civilians and violating their rights.

Sec'y Wolf said he was encouraged that Gov. Brown and other state and local officials have offered a plan to end violent confrontations between federal police and peaceful demonstrators at and near and sometimes far from the courthouse, which merely serves as the pretext for their presence.

“I’m glad that they are finally seeing the errors of their ways,” Sec'y Wolf said, “and stepping up and doing what they should have been doing for the past 60 days, and that is partnering with federal law enforcement to do their job.”

Gov. Brown said that state police will remain in downtown with military-grade weapons and tactics to protect free speech and keep the peace even if it means demonstrators get arrested, wounded, or killed.

“Let’s center the Black Lives Matter movement’s demands for racial justice and police accountability,” she tweeted. “It’s time for bold action to reform police practices.”

Many local businesses had sought the departure of the federal agents, led by the Portland Business Alliance, the area’s chamber of commerce. Stacey Gibson, who co-owns a Subway franchise downtown, a few blocks from the courthouse, said she’s hopeful violence would subside.

“Hopefully it will all calm down,” she said. “Hopefully we’ll see an improvement in the violence.”
Federal court to review "protest bans" in Portland, Oregon, arrests (AP).
John Lewis' funeral set for Atlanta, Georgia church that MLK once led (AP).

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