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Letters to the Editor: Portland finally proves it: Trump is pulling us into fascism

Federal officers in Portland
Federal officers walk through tear gas while dispersing a crowd of protestors near the Mark O. Hatfield U.S. Courthouse in Portland on July 21.
(Nathan Howard / Getty Images)

To the editor: Let’s call a spade a spade. We are now descending into fascism. (“Trump’s crackdown in Portland shows his wretched talent for making everything worse,” editorial, July 20)

With his poll numbers sagging, President Trump has descended into desperation. To prove he is the “law and order” president, he ordered camouflaged, non-insignia bearing, uniformed federal storm troopers to descend on Portland to wreak havoc and provoke protesters. Innocent people were abducted and forced into unmarked vehicles. They were not informed of charges by the arresting troops, who refused to identify themselves.

The desired effect was achieved. Protesters were outraged, and violence initiated by the troops was answered in return by some in the crowd. Then the president pointed to the protesters while telling the country that we will not be safe if we elect Joe Biden.

We have seen this movie before: Benito Mussolini in Italy, Adolf Hitler in Nazi Germany, Augusto Pinochet in Chile and so on. The actions of these troops are a gross abuse of our civil rights and a violation of the Constitution. This wholesale thuggery must cease if our democracy is to survive this tyrannical leader.

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Richard Z. Fond, Sherman Oaks

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To the editor: I am old enough to remember when Hitler sent his jackbooted thugs out on what became known as Kristallnacht. The world watched in horror as Jews were dragged out into the streets and beaten.

Hitler’s purpose was to create chaos and discrimination, to flex the muscles of the right-wing fascists who made up his base, and to stay in power.

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Now the White House is doing something similar: sending out specialized federal units to wreak havoc and create chaos and discrimination and flexing the muscles of Trump’s own white-supremacist base.

It is unspeakable that this travesty is allowed to remain. First he came for the immigrants from Mexico. Then he came for refugees from the Middle East and Central America. Now he’s coming for cities with Democratic leadership. Whose freedoms will come under attack next?

Lois Winsen, San Diego

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To the editor: Destroying property is not a peaceful protest. It is rioting.

If anything, the federal government has held back in its response to the rioting in Portland and other cities where there is no longer civil discourse.

I support the right to peacefully assemble but not to destroy people and property. As a U.S citizen, I am tired and disgusted with the coddling of these rioters by local politicians. Appeasement never works. It is seen as weakness by anarchists.

Remember, feeding the tiger never works because the tiger eventually comes for you.

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David L. McDaniel, Capistrano Beach

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To the editor: Trump’s use of unmarked federal troops is a truly extreme version of an old tactic: using provocateurs to agitate protesters, provoke violent reactions, justify arrests and generate negative impressions of protesters resisting brutality.

This cynical deployment of U.S. agents as provocateurs could be turned around if people kept their cool, stayed upbeat, or at least calm, and conducted sober and serious organized nonviolent civil disobedience to reveal, rather than combat, the brutality.

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This would take discipline, bravery and sacrifice.

David Fertig, Pasadena

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To the editor: Incredibly, under this president, we now see the deployment of federal agents in American cities not to quell social unrest but to create it. This is a page borrowed from the playbook of some ugly historical figures.

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Don’t think it will stop here, for the next page requires that the police remain, lest the danger return: “What if the anarchists come back? Can’t have that.”

Finally, true to the playbook, this fear by proxy must be continued right through any election day.

Ronald Ellsworth, La Mesa


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