Trump Promised Using “Unlimited” Arrest Powers During George Floyd Protests. Is Portland A Rehearsal for More Protester Arrests Nationwide? | by Chris Hedges | ILLUMINATION | Medium

Politics | Election 2020 | George Floyd protests | Pre-election crackdown coming?

Trump Promised Using “Unlimited” Arrest Powers During George Floyd Protests. Is Portland A Rehearsal for More Protester Arrests Nationwide?

First Amendment Rights Violations. “Secret police” whisk peaceful civil rights protesters off the streets of Portland, Oregon as Trump seeks re-election as a law and order strongman

Chris Hedges
Jul 18, 2020 · 5 min read
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Photo by Christopher Brown on Unsplash

Background of American “disappearances.”

“Disappearing” people isn’t a new phenomenon in the United States, reports the Guardian in their news 2015 report: “The disappeared: Chicago police detain Americans at abuse-laden ‘black site’ “— The Guardian.

Trump threatens “using the unlimited power of our Military and many arrests” during civil rights protests after the killing of George Floyd. Donald J. Trump Twitter account.

Secret Police on the streets violating people’s First Amendment Rights?

Shocking videos of masked men in unmarked camouflage pulling peaceful protesters off the street into vans in Portland, Oregon to silence their criticism of police brutality in the wake of George Floyd’s killing are circulating throughout the internet and the news media today.

Some commentators are saying, “They’re kidnapping people,” according to a report in

More people to be “disappeared” as election 2020 approaches to silence Trump opponents?

Donald Trump warned civil rights protesters in a May 30, 2020 tweet:

“Liberal Governors and Mayors must get MUCH tougher or the Federal Government will step in and do what has to be done, and that includes using the unlimited power of our Military and many arrests. Thank you!” — Donald J. Trump.

Secret police on American streets is the stuff of nightmares — images of people being “pulled” into “unmarked” vans asking “what is happening” and being driven off like a movie kidnapping scene. Some commentators are calling it “Pinochet-ing” on television.

Charles P. Pierce writes in Esquire, “A major American city is being softly Pinochet’ed in broad daylight” and warns it might be a “dress rehearsal” for wider federal arrests.

Writes Pierce:

Why in the hell is this not a bigger story? A major American city is being softly Pinochet’ed in broad daylight. And, if we know one thing, if this president* and his administration* get away with this, it will only get worse. You’d have to be out of your mind — or comatose since the Fall of 2016 — not to suspect that this could be a dry run for the kind of general urban mobilization at which the president* has been hinting since this summer’s protests began. — Esquire.

KGW. Federal police pulling Portland protesters into unmarked vans. YouTube video.

Will Trump listen as local officials demand Trump remove his “secret police?”

Portland, Oregon government officials demand that the Trump administration call off its secret police force.

As top federal law enforcement officials arrived in Oregon on Thursday, Gov. Kate Brown accused President Donald Trump of deploying federal officers to Portland to crack down on protesters as a way to boost his flailing reelection prospects.

In an uncharacteristically harsh statement, Brown responded to Trump’s deployment of federal officers to quell Portland’s protests against police violence. Those officers sent one demonstrator to the hospital July 11 with a munition to the face.

“This political theater from President Trump has nothing to do with public safety,” Brown said. “The president is failing to lead this nation. Now he is deploying federal officers to patrol the streets of Portland in a blatant abuse of power by the federal government.” — Willamette Week.

Local Leaders Demand Unmarked Federal Officers Leave Portland, Oregon. YouTube video.

Trump’s order to violate First Amendment rights follows his calls for more police brutality and his “law and order” campaign playbook is not surprising.

Trump called on police to be rough with people being taken into detention after being sworn into office. Trump is no stranger to calling upon his supporters to also engage in violence against protesters. In his rallies, Trump offered to pay for legal fees if his supporters beat anti-Trump people at his rallies.

Donald Trump told police officers in a Long Island rally:

“When you guys put somebody in the car and you’re protecting their head, you know, the way you put their hand over?” Trump said, miming the physical motion of an officer shielding a suspect’s head to keep it from bumping against the squad car.

“Like, don’t hit their head, and they just killed somebody — don’t hit their head,” Trump continued. “I said, you can take the hand away, okay?” — Washington Post.

Trump has already used “secret police” in Washington, D.C. against peaceful protesters.

Trump used unmarked police to clear Lafayette Square of peaceful protesters in front of the White House as a kick-off to his 2020 presidential campaign. After police beat peaceful protesters petitioning for an end to police violence, the President held a Bible upside down in front of a church in what ended up damaging his re-election efforts.

A reporter from Australia was beaten on live television by a Trump secret police officer while reporting on a peaceful Washington, D.C. protest in front of the White House as Trump ordered the park cleared for his photo opportunity.

Trump’s secret police beat an Australian reporter on live television. YouTube video.
CNN: Video shows police attack Australian journalists. YouTube video.

Contact Your Local Representatives Officials To Pass Laws Against Trump’s Use of Federal Police To Attack Peaceful Protesters.

The way to stop Trump from deploying squads of “secret police” to round-up civil rights protesters is to contact your Congressman and Senators to have them pass federal legislation that reigns in his use of DHS officers, especially when local jurisdiction officials are opposed to their use in their cities and towns.

News reports say the Trump police are arresting peaceful protesters away from protests in order to silence them.

Despite some saying Trump will follow Constitutional limits, now is not the time to assume he will follow the norms. Trump has disregarded so many other governmental norms during his tenure. You cannot assume that he won’t order his secret police forces to act even harsher against protesters he feels are causing him to lose the election.

Trump is denying people First Amendment rights and conditioning us to accept greater authoritarianism in the United States.


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