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Federal officers seen dragging protesters into unmarked vans in Portland

By Keadin Stayer |
July 21, 2020
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Federal agents in Portland, OR.
Federal agents in Portland, OR. (Doug Brown / ACLU Oregon)

Portland, OR - For weeks now, officers under the oversight of the Department of Homeland Security have been terrorizing the residents of Portland Oregon in new attempts to stamp out the protest movement that has been ongoing since the killing of George Floyd. These officers can be seen in various videos wearing nondescript camo fatigues with no markings indicating who they are or, or what agency they are working for. These same federal officers nearly killed a protester in Portland last week after shooting him in the head with a 'less-lethal' impact device.

In an intensification of an already overzealous state crackdown on protests, these officers have been seen driving up to and detaining individuals, placing them into unmarked vehicles, and driving them away with no indication of destination.

However, this policy of secret police terrorizing protesters seems to be backfiring for the federal government. These arrests have been met with increased activity and action from protesters, frustrating any effort to ‘put down’ the demonstrations any time soon.

On July 17 the American Civil Liberties Union filed the first of a series of lawsuits against the federal government for their conduct in Portland. State and city lawmakers have also denounced the arrest methods and the involvement of federal officers as a clear violation of civil rights, demanding the recalling of these federal agents. "I told Acting Secretary Wolf that the federal government should remove all federal officers from our streets. His response showed me he is on a mission to provoke confrontation for political purposes. He is putting both Oregonians and local law enforcement officers in harm’s way," said Oregon’s Governor Kate Brown, on Twitter.

The people of Portland have not been intimidated and have continued ongoing resistance to state repression and are standing firm against state violence, continuing nightly protests throughout the city.