Is the USA becoming a "banana republic" or does the country simply have a president who is responsible for law and order?? This is what a bitter dispute over the use of federal security forces against protesters in portland in the U.S. State of oregon is all about.
The militarized security forces sent by president donald trump’s administration – acting without recognizable insignia or name tags – are operating in portland against the will of the city and the state. Oregon’s justice department filed a lawsuit against the operation.
Sunday night saw another clash between security forces and demonstrators protesting racism and police violence. According to local portland police, mule buckets were rounded and a police union building was stormed and set on fire. The fire was brought under control and no officers were injured, police said via twitter. In the night to saturday, federal forces also used tran gas against demonstrators.
The protests in portland – nearly 4,000 kilometers west of washington – began nearly two months ago after the death of african american george floyd in a brutal police raid in minneapolis. There were also repeated violent clashes with the police and damage to property in portland. Portland has a reputation for having an active radical left scene.
The use of federal government security forces against the expressed will of a state or city is highly unusual. Leading democrats therefore accuse the government of making oregon a pawn in an election campaign in which republican trump wants to present himself as the man for law and order. Trump boasted several times this week that federal forces had brought the situation in portland under control.
"We live in a democracy, not a "banana republic," house of representatives speaker nancy pelosi declared on saturday night (local time). The abuse of the citizens of oregon for trump’s "political games" will not be tolerated. Pelosi held out the prospect of taking down the house of representatives in order to stop this "blatant abuse of power. Democratic U.S. Senators from the west coast state announced they would introduce a bill that would severely restrict the use of federal security forces.
Trump defended the operation on sunday. "We are trying to help portland, not hurt it," he wrote on twitter. The local democrats had simply failed to bring the "anarchists and troublemakers" under control. Portland mayor ted wheeler, on the other hand, called for the withdrawal of federal forces: "mr. President, this is an attack on our democracy."The deployment of paramilitary forces, who did not even know on whose behalf they were acting and who did not wear name badges and arrested demonstrators for no apparent reason, only served to escalate the protests, he said.
Government invokes right to protect federal court on site in operation that has been ongoing for several days. Trump has been campaigning for weeks on a message of "law and order". In videos of his campaign, it is suggested that if the democrats win the election, the u.S. Will descend into chaos and anarchy.
Trump’s administration deployed federal forces in the capital city of washington at the height of the peaceful floyd protests against racism and police violence – and drew harsh criticism from mayor muriel bowser for doing so. Democrats accused trump of using federal security forces like private militia.
Pelosi declared on saturday night (local time): "the month before, the government used tran gas against peaceful protesters in washington, now videos show protesters in portland being hauled away in unmarked vehicles," she wrote in the declaration. "Portland is the president’s current target, but any other city could be next," pelosi warned. Senator jeff merkley accused trump of using "authoritarian government" handbook. "A secret police has no place in our democratic republic," he wrote.