President Biden Sends Federal Police To Quell Protests in Republican Controlled Cities: Imagine That
Today, without a notice or a request from the local Republican mayor, President Biden ordered an estimated 100 unmarked federal law enforcement agents to “restore order” in Mesa, Ariz., one of the nation’s most conservative large cities. Masked and unmarked federal police began arresting protesters on city streets.
Biden boasted, "The local conservative leadership has, for months, lost control ….we have many people right now in jail. We very much quelled it, and if it starts again, we'll quell it again very easily."
It could be the plot lines for an upside-down episode of Black Mirror. But, sadly, change a few names and it’s true: Replace “President Biden” with “President Trump,” and trade the conservative city of “Mesa, Arizona,” with my liberal city of “Portland, Oregon.”
Portland’s yellow-clad “Wall of Mom’s” are heroes that stand between President Trump and the rule of local laws nationwide. They make me deeply proud to be a Portlander.
They are protecting peaceful protesters being abused, for example:
[Warning: video contains strong language and disturbing images]
Using cities as a political punching bag, this is a toxic real-world example of how the current US President is undermining this nation’s basic rule of law.
Trump’s actions here in Portland, Chicago is next, and other politically progressive are un-American, antithetical to both progressive and conservative values. We must not let this aberration become a new norm for our nation.
Some republicans are voicing objections:
But too many Republican leaders remain silent. That need to change.
Every American resident, US mayor, and city council should add their support to Oregon’s Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum’s state lawsuit against several federal agencies for civil rights abuses, and state prosecutors will potentially pursue criminal charges against a federal officer who seriously injured a peaceful protester.
Like those in many other cities, protesters in Portland are passionate. Most of us protest creatively but peacefully. Because of the protesters that greeted his visits here, the first President Goerge Bush called Portland, “Little Beirut.” One presidential visit included a couple dozen protesters lined along the motorcade route, signs in hand, vomiting into the street sequence the colors red, then white, and then blue. It went global, and was more effective for their cause than any violence.
But sadly not every protester is as creative or peaceful. We need to swiftly arrest the tiny minority of protesters—when there’s probably cause—who are, for example, attacking others, burning or looting buildings.
Still, it should be up to our elected local and state governments to deal with those suspected lawbreakers. They can ask for state and federal assistance if they want. Local elected officials can take steps that are in line with local values. If local elected officials fail to do that, we can hold them directly accountable by voting them out.
The protests here are mostly peaceful, and they’re about important issues like racism, over-policing and basic human rights. What the Trump administration is doing to Portland right now should be unacceptable. He has made things much worse in the ground here.
Portland and some other liberal cities are in Trump’s crosshairs now, but your city could be next, now or by a new president.
Like Portland’s “Wall of Moms,” time for all of us to stand up for the rule of law.
Sam Adams is a former mayor of Portland, Oregon. He can be reach at www.samadamspdx.com