Federal law enforcement officers are cracking down on protesters in Portland, Oregon, under the Trump administration’s new executive order to protect US monuments in what the state’s Democratic governor has called “political theatre.”
Camouflage-clad officers without clear identification badges used force and unmarked vehicles to transport arrested protesters during protests on Friday
A US Customs and Border Protection spokeswoman said on Friday agents had been deployed to Portland to support a newly launched US Department of Homeland Security unit, tasked with enforcing last month’s executive order from Republican President Donald Trump to protect federal monuments and buildings.
The spokeswoman did not provide details, saying it could jeopardize the safety of agents, but said they had been trained for operations “in chaotic environments.”
Oregon Governor Kate Brown called it “a blatant abuse of power by the federal government.”
Demonstrators protesting against racism and police brutality have gathered around the federal courthouse daily in Portland since the killing of George Floyd during a May 25 arrest in Minneapolis, with crowds at times exceeding 10,000.
Portland police used tear gas on the protesters, some of whom sprayed graffiti on buildings, until Governor Brown in early July banned its use except in the case of riots.
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