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Letters to the Editor: Expect a lot more of what’s happening in Portland if Trump is reelected

Federal agents fire tear gas and projectiles at protesters in Portland, Ore., on July 17.
(Dave Killen / Associated Press)

To the editor: Federal agents in tactical riot gear, with no identification on their uniforms other than “police,” are using “night and fog” techniques in Portland that are indistinguishable from Hitler’s Gestapo.

Nonviolent demonstrators are being picked up off the street and whisked away in unmarked vans in an unwarranted, brutal show of force to appease President Trump’s desperate need to show his toughness as a reelection campaign strategy.

What are agents from the ill-named U.S. Department of Homeland Security doing in Portland when neither the city’s mayor nor the state of Oregon’s governor have asked for them?

With Trump, the cruelty is the point. This sample of what a second Trump term would offer must end with the immediate removal of these uninvited, militarized violators of what’s left of our democracy.

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Ken Levy, Los Angeles

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To the editor: There are many things going on in the world right now that give me pause, but nothing sends chills up my spine more than the unsolicited presence of militarized federal agents in Portland.

It is odd that the Trump administration feels the need to establish an uninvited presence in one of our nation’s major cities, but he leaves the management of the COVID-19 pandemic in the hands of individual states and cities, rarely making mention of how the federal government might assist in bringing down the virus.

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I can no longer laugh when someone says the United States is on the road to authoritarianism. The evidence is now more than clear.

Lisa Bloom, Valencia

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To the editor: The United States is a nation of laws. When the state and local authorities are unable or unwilling to uphold the laws and protect citizens and their property as well as the property of the state and federal governments, then the federal government must step in.

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Otherwise, we have no law, but only anarchy.

Where were the authorities with orders to stop the looters in Santa Monica on June 1? Hard-working small business and the dreams of the owners were trashed due to political correctness.

Protecting federal property is a very legitimate operation.

John Sundahl, Woodland Hills

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To the editor: What is happening in Oregon is not just a flagrant violation of the Constitution. It is downright scary.

For those too young to remember, in Chile, the dictator Augusto Pinochet acted similarly. His forces threw people into vans without formal charges and took them away, often never to be seen again.

Police powers are reserved to the states. Oregon did not request the presence of federal troops and is suing to get them to leave. Those troops have no legal authority to be there, much less take the deplorable actions they are taking.

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The time to be angry has not yet passed, but it is also now time to be very afraid. We’re lobsters in a pot, and Trump keeps turning up the heat.

Jennie K. Welsh, Santa Barbara


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