In the early hours of July 15, after a night spent protesting at the Multnomah County Justice Center and Mark O. Hatfield Federal Courthouse, Mark Pettibone and his friend Conner O’Shea decided to head home.
It had been a calm night compared to most protesting downtown. By 2 a.m. law enforcement hadn’t used any tear gas and, with only a few exceptions, both the Portland Police Bureau and federal law enforcement officers had stayed out of sight.
A block west of Chapman Square, Pettibone and O’Shea bumped into a group of people who warned them that people in camouflage were driving around the area in unmarked minivans grabbing people off the street.
“So that was terrifying to hear,” Pettibone said.
They had barely made it half a block when an unmarked minivan pulled up in front of them.
“I see guys in camo,” O’Shea said. “Four or five of them pop out, open the door and it was just like, ‘Oh shit. I don’t know who you are or what you want with us.’”
Federal law enforcement officers have been using unmarked vehicles to drive around downtown Portland and detain protesters since at least July 14. Personal accounts and multiple videos posted online show the officers driving up to people, detaining individuals with no explanation of why they are being arrested, and driving off.
The tactic appears to be another escalation in federal force deployed on Portland city streets, as federal officials and President Donald Trump have said they plan to “quell” nightly protests outside the federal courthouse and Multnomah County Justice Center that have lasted for more than six weeks.
One of the hallmarks of the regimes of assorted Banana Republics (looking at you, Pinochet) is the use of secret police to disappear people, and this sounds eerily familiar.
Guys, remember that Trump and his brigands and broken toys are paying for these extrajudicial kidnappings of our fellow citizens with our tax dollars. Today Portland, tomorrow somewhere else, maybe where you live.
Whatever your state, call your representatives and demand an immediate stop, and then demand that they get an explanation from the White House.
This is incredibly dangerous and unAmerican.
More info at:
I have not seen anything yet from our Failed Political Press; it doesn’t mean that they are not covering it, but I’d expect that to be at the top of the news.