Merkley Welcomes Announcement of Withdrawal of Federal Forces From Portland

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Oregon’s U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley released the following statement after Oregon Governor Kate Brown announced that federal forces from the Department of Homeland Security would be withdrawing from their occupation of downtown Portland:

“This announcement is an important step in ending the deployment of Trump’s secret police on the streets of America. These forces—with no agency or unique identification—have attacked peaceful protestors night after night and swept a number into unmarked vans. These militia-style attacks on free speech and the right to assemble have no place in our democratic republic and must end. Trump’s strategy to shift attention away from Black Lives Matter and the reform of systemic racism must not succeed.” 

Last week, Merkley introduced the No Secret Police in America amendment to the NDAA and accompanying stand-along legislation—which has been backed by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer to be included in an upcoming must-pass legislative package—that would block the federal government’s use of uninvited, unmarked secret police on America’s streets.