With protests and demonstrations continuing to present themselves in America, law enforcement agencies have been keeping busy attempting to keep the peace while allowing the First Amendment to be exercised.
In cities like Seattle and Portland, a number of demonstrators have been employing a somewhat novel tactic to make their voices heard: Occupying portions of their respective cities and creating so-called “autonomous zones” allegedly void of police presence.
The “CHOP” in Seattle, (“Capital Hill Occupied Protest”), was dismantled by authorities after several weeks and several fatal shootings.
In Portland, the police have been working to prevent such an area from developing, and they’ve had help from federal forces – some of whom appear to be operating without identification and utilizing unmarked vehicles.
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This has now prompted a lawsuit from the ACLU.
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) on Friday filed a lawsuit against the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and U.S. Marshals Service after they deployed agents to quell demonstrations in Portland, Ore.
The ACLU’s lawsuit seeks to block federal law enforcement from dispersing, arresting, threatening to arrest, or using physical force against journalists or legal observers. The group says the move is one of many suits it will be filing for “unconstitutional attacks” on protesters in the city.
The ACLU’s take was predictably dramatic.
“This is a fight to save our democracy,” Kelly Simon, interim legal director with the ACLU of Oregon, said in a statement. “Under the direction of the Trump administration, federal agents are terrorizing the community, risking lives, and brutally attacking protesters demonstrating against police brutality.
Chad Wolf, DHS chief, said earlier in the weeks that these protesters were an “angry mob”, emphasizing the administration’s commitment to “law and order”.
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