Oregon Attorney General Files Lawsuit to Block Suppression of Protest by Federal Forces

Demonstrations continue to grow in Portland despite state repression, July 22, 2020.

Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum filed a lawsuit against federal forces July 18, asking for a restraining order to stop federal agents from making arrests. The suit accuses federal agents of arresting protesters without probable cause, whisking them away in unmarked cars and using excessive force. It is directed against agents with Homeland Security, including U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the Federal Protection Service and the U.S. Marshals Service.

The lawsuit states that federal officers "have been using unmarked vehicles to drive around downtown Portland, detain protesters, and place them into the officers' unmarked vehicles, removing them from public without either arresting them or stating the basis for an arrest, since at least Tuesday, July 14."

"The identity of the officers is not known, nor is their agency affiliation, according to videos and reports that the officers in question wear military fatigues with patches simply reading 'POLICE,' with no other identifying information," the lawsuit continues. It says that such actions compel citizens who are "reasonably afraid of being picked up and shoved into unmarked vans -- possibly by federal officers, possibly by individuals opposed to the protests" from exercising their First Amendment right to assembly.

The lawsuit is mainly focussed on the issue of arrests so it remains to be seen whether even with an injunction, the violence against the demonstrators and their suppression by the federal forces will continue. Rosenblum has so far not said that her office will take action to arrest federal officers involved in the illegal arrests and excessive use of force. To date, only the District Attorney for Philadelphia has said he will make such arrests.

(Photos: Anonymous Operations)

This article was published in

Volume 50 Number 27 - July 25, 2020

Article Link:
Oregon Attorney General Files Lawsuit to Block Suppression of Protest by Federal Forces


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