Pelosi, Blumenaur condemn ‘egregious abuses of power’ by Trump against Oregon protestors
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Rep. Earl Blumenaur (D-Ore.) released a joint statement Saturday evening condemning what they said were “egregious abuses of power” after the Trump administration deployed federal officers to Portland amid protests.
“As our nation mourns the loss of our colleague and beloved civil rights leader John Lewis, we are again reminded of the immense power of peaceful protest in the fight against racial injustice and police brutality,” the congressional duo said.
“Yet time and time again, the Trump Administration shows its lack of respect for the dignity and First Amendment rights of all Americans.”
Lewis, the longtime representative from Georgia, died Friday at the age of 80. A civil rights legend and champion of voter rights, Lewis was the youngest keynote speaker at the March on Washington and led activists across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Ala. on “Bloody Sunday.”
Protests have become widespread across the country following the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis at the end of May.
While protesting has lessened in some cities, demonstrations have still been going strong in Portland, dominating the city’s downtown area for well over a month. The demonstrations have, at times, led to damage of federal buildings, prompting Chad Wolf — acting secretary of the Department of Homeland Security — to send federal officers to the Rose City in recent weeks.
“DHS and DOJ are engaged in acts that are horrific and outrageous in our constitutional democratic republic,” Merkley said.
“First, they are deploying paramilitary forces with no identification indicating who they are or who they work for. Second, these agents are snatching people off the street with no underlying justification. Both of these acts are profound offenses against Americans,” he said.