Letters to the Editor: First they came for Portland, soon Chicago. It’s time to be scared

Federal agents in Portland, Oregon
Federal agents disperse protesters near the Mark O. Hatfield United States Courthouse in Portland, Ore., on July 20.
(Noah Berger / Associated Press)

To the editor: I am scared. First it was Washington, then Portland, Ore., — with federal agents in unmarked cars — and soon it will be Chicago.

Trump has been compared to Hitler in the past, and this is no different. This sounds, smells and looks like storm troopers on our streets, and it is escalating.

Under the guise of “law and order,” our authoritarian leader thinks he will win votes. That is all he cares about. We should all be scared.


Esther Friedberg, Studio City


To the editor: It is telling and of profound concern that Trump finds reason for a federal role in harassing and violating the civil rights of protesters in Portland and Chicago, but saw no reason for substantial federal action in supporting these cities in fighting a serious pandemic that was killing people and raging across state borders.

Surely the proper role of the feds is to support the cities and states in confronting a national disease contagion, not to interfere with local policing.

Stephen Rountree, Sierra Madre


To the editor: I am reminded of the authoritarian beginnings in Argentina in 1976 when the military overthrew the government of Isabel Peron. From that point on, the military waged the “dirty war,” in which roughly 30,000 Argentines disappeared. They were tortured, shot and buried in large pits or taken out over the ocean and dropped to drown.

The Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo, similar to how the mothers in Portland stood up to the federal agents, made a public outcry and statement about their missing children and grandchildren.

The use of Gestapo-like armed federal agents to round up protesters and rush them away in unmarked vans is a reminder of those times. I fear for the people who are being abducted — not arrested, abducted.

The authoritarian acts of a weak and threatened president scare me. I fear for what new criminal acts he will perform between now and November.

Peter Ambrose, Claremont


To the editor: So, the federal government has sent unmarked troops of dubious legal authority to Portland to disrupt and suppress protesters exercising their 1st Amendment right to free speech.

Where are all the eastern Oregon militias that have always claimed they exist to protect citizens against government overreach? Where are Cliven Bundy and his cowboy vigilantes? Do they really believe in liberty and free speech, or are they just gun-toting hypocrites?

I thought so.

Michael Hynes, Northridge