What’s been happening in Oregon over the past few weeks, under the direction of President Trump, are the actions of an authoritarian regime, not an open democracy. Unmarked federal agents have detained Americans without cause, without reading people their rights or following due process, and have targeted protestors exercising rights protected under the Constitution.
Trump and his administration have been intentionally trampling on our Constitution and using Oregonians as props to stir unrest and bolster his own failing re-election efforts.
I applaud Governor Brown’s successful negotiation with the federal government to remove federal agents from Portland and have the local police provide law enforcement for federal buildings. We don’t need federal authorities policing Oregon streets.
I strongly denounce the actions of a small group of anarchists and other destructive individuals in Portland and Eugene who have used the cover of legitimate lawful Black Lives Matter protests to sow destruction and division. Those individuals should be separated by local police and arrested so that the peaceful protesters can continue to exercise their First Amendment rights to highlight the ongoing systemic racism present in our country.
We’ve seen a number of clashes between protestors and police, as recently as last night in the Thurston neighborhood of Springfield and in Eugene, demonstrating the need to continue our work toward dismantling systemic racism and truly delivering equality to Black Americans and other people of color.
We can’t strive to become a more perfect union until we have a real leader in the White House who has the strength to meet this moment of reckoning by bringing Americans together and addressing the wounds of racial injustice. Instead, this president continues to stoke tensions in a divided and pained nation.