Oregon Congresswoman: Federal Police ‘Inflaming’ the Protesters in Portland

Oregon Congresswoman: Federal Police ‘Inflaming’ the Protesters in Portland


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Janet Ybarra
Former Washington Journalist
Contributor on The Bipartisan Press

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It is the unidentified federal agents–not the local protesters–inflaming conditions on the streets of Portland, Ore., according to a congresswoman whose district includes the city.

Portland has become a flashpoint since the Trump administration–apparently unbidden–has been sending unidentified federal agents in unmarked vans through the streets of the city and been snatching protesters from the streets without notice or due process.

“Thank you, Ayman, for having me on the show. And President Trump said he’s trying to help Portland. No, he’s not. If he were trying to help Portland, and Oregon, he would have a national strategy for coronavirus. He’d send more testing, we’d have more personal protective equipment, he wouldn’t be standing in the way of getting funds to our schools so they can open safely. He’s not helping, they’re not welcome to bring these federal officials into our community, because they are making things worse and they’re hurting people,” Rep. Suzanne Bonamici (D-Ore.) said in an on-air interview on MSNBC. “You might have seen the story a week ago Saturday, 26-year-old man, peacefully protesting, shot in the head, still in the hospital. And over this last weekend, a woman was there, elected official, healthcare provider, she’s a doctor, she was with a group of healthcare professionals, peacefully protesting, she was tear-gassed.

“And then you had the clip of the gentleman who is a veteran, served our country in the Navy, was so concerned about what he saw happening, what these — some anonymous federal officials are doing, he came downtown to protest. They beat him with batons and doused him with tear gas,” Bonamici added. “This is the United States of America. It’s unacceptable they are inflaming people, they’re making things worse and we want them to leave now before anyone else gets hurt.”

Despite complaints by the mayor of Portland and others, Donald Trump’s threatened to expand this tactic to other US cities.

“We have to remember why people are protesting. They’re protesting because black lives matter, they’re protesting because they want to see change to systemic racism in our communities and in our country,” the congresswoman said, pointing out that these protests are among those which sprung up nationwide after the May 25 murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minn., police custody.

“And I have to say, I don’t know if this was on the cognitive awareness test that the president is bragging about passing, but you don’t address the issues of police brutality and the protests against police brutality with more police brutality. It’s making our communities less safe. We demand that they leave.”

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