Chairman Raskin to Hold Democratic Member Roundtable on DHS Activities in Portland

August 3, 2020
Press Release

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) - Today, Tuesday, August 4, at 12:00 p.m., Congressman Jamie Raskin (MD-08) will hold a Democratic Member roundtable on the deployment of federal agents to Portland. Representatives Suzanne Bonamici (OR-01) and Earl Blumenauer (OR-03), who respectively represent Portland, will participate.

In early July, President Trump and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Acting Secretary Chad Wolf sent hundreds of federal agents to Portland, allegedly to protect federal property from protests against police brutality and systemic racism. This deployment, which falls far outside DHS’s mission scope, was made despite vocal opposition of state and local leaders.

Upon their arrival, DHS agents used aggressive tactics to escalate conflicts with the protestors. Videos captured DHS agents using tear gas indiscriminately, shooting non-lethal munitions at point-blank range, and beating civilians without apparent provocation.  There were multiple reports of unidentified DHS agents patrolling city streets in unmarked vans and detaining protesters without probable cause.  These police-state tactics have no place in American democracy.

The Trump Administration’s decision to deploy DHS agents to Portland and those agents’ subsequent willingness to violate constitutional and legal bounds when responding to protesters is a grave threat to our democracy and represents a dangerous step towards authoritarianism.

WHAT: Democratic Member Roundtable on “The Bill of Rights in the Balance:  The Deployment of Federal Troops Against the American People.” 

WHEN: Tuesday, August 4, 2020 at 12:00 p.m. ET

WHO: 

  • The Honorable Lew Frederick, Oregon State Senator
  • Mark Pettibone, Portland Protester
  • Kelly Simon, Interim Legal Director, ACLU of Oregon
  • Christopher David, Portland Protester
  • Timothy Snyder, Richard C. Levin Professor of History, Yale University 

WATCH: A livestream will be available on YouTube.

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