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  • Camouflaged federal officials swinging gas contraption, Portland, Oregon, July 17, 2020.

    Camouflaged federal officials swinging gas contraption, Portland, Oregon, July 17, 2020. | Photo: Twitter/ @killendave

Published 18 July 2020
Opinion

In a dangerous authoritarian movement, Federal agents without insignia are rounding up and detaining U.S. citizens.

U.S. Oregon Public Broadcasting (OPB) Thursday denounced that President Donald Trump has deployed federal agents in Portland, Oregon, dressed in camouflage but without any visible insignia, to round up and detain U.S. citizens.

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"Multiple videos released on digital platforms show federal officials approaching people, arresting them and leaving without any explanation to justify the arrest," OPB said in a statement.

Since at least July 14, officials have driven through downtown Portland in unidentified vehicles to detain participants in the protests that have raged for over six weeks. 

"They threw me into the van, covered my face, and ordered me to put my hands on my head," protestor Mark Pettibone described to local media.

Afterward the arrest, Pettibone was taken to federal court. When he asked for a lawyer, he was released. He was never charged, nor was the reason for his arrest explained to him.

Videos of similar arrests, without probable cause, are circulating in the social media. 

"It seems that they were kidnapping people from the streets," attorney Juan Chavez explained.

The attitude of federal officials is illegal and unconstitutional. They could be acting under the National Defense Authorization Act of 2011, which authorizes the detention of U.S. citizens suspected of being terrorists. 

"In that case, the real War on Terrorism is happening at home," Chavez added.

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