Senator: Trump Sicced His Secret Police On Portland To Create 2020 Campaign Ads
Oregon Senator Ron Wyden (D) says President Donald Trump sent his “secret police” to Portland intentionally to spur the violence that he’s both campaigning on and is against, Business Insider reports.
Wyden’s parents were refugees who fled Nazi Germany, so his comments, which he made during a Senate hearing on the federal use of force during Portland’s protests, where tear gas was used indiscriminately and protesters and journalists were maimed by so-called “less-lethal” munitions.
Wyden assailed Trump for having “heavily armed secret police snatching Portlanders off the streets,” adding that the president did so “to create images of chaos for his own political gain — to air in campaign ads.”
In an interview with Business Insider last month, Wyden said “what is happening in my hometown won’t stop in my hometown.” Not long afterward, Trump announced his intentions to send troops to cities like Albuquerque, New Mexico, where hundreds of people demonstrated last week in protest of the deployment.
The senator roundly condemned the Trump administration at the committee hearing Tuesday, saying that its rhetorical focus on “leftist anarchy” did little more than deflect from the far more numerous “murders and vandalism committed by far-right domestic terrorists.”
In a study released in June, the Center for Strategic and International Studies revealed that, over the past 25 years, the majority of terrorist attacks and plots have originated from the far-right, writes The Guardian’s Jason Wilson. Attacks from far-left groups were negligible the Center reported, having peaked during the mid-2000s.
Trump’s rival, Joe Biden has criticized the president’s deployment of federal agents, but he’s also said that “arsonists and anarchists should be prosecuted,” thereby equating criminality with political extremism.
But that rhetoric serves to obscure the fact that acts of violence by anti-racist protesters are rare, Wyden said.
“This baseless talk of leftist anarchy also erased the work being done by all those who’ve stood up in peaceful protests to declare that Black Lives Matter,” he said.
For Wyden, the real threat to Americans is “the president and his enablers, who are calling peaceful protesters ‘anarchists’ and ‘terrorists’ and sending paramilitary forces into America’s cities.”
Because suppressing non-violent protesters who are struggling for their rights and the rights of others by tear-gassing them, striking them with rubber bullets or other tactical gear is what real terrorism looks like.