#Gestapo trends as Oregon leaders condemn 'shadowy forces' invading Portland: 'We don't need their help'
The unexplained arrests began after Trump said the government planned to 'quell' nightly protests outside the federal courthouse and Multnomah County Justice Center that has lasted for over six weeks
After videos showing federal law enforcement officers in camouflage sans any agency identification or badges using unmarked vehicles to drive around downtown Portland and detain protesters went viral on Twitter, the hashtag, #Gestapo, started trending on Twitter. The Geheime Staatspolizei, abbreviated 'Gestapo', was the official secret police of Nazi Germany and German-occupied Europe. During World War II, the Gestapo played a key role in the Nazi plan to exterminate the Jews of Europe.
The videos, showing the officers driving up to protesters and detaining individuals with no explanation on why they were being arrested, were posted since Tuesday, July 14. The protesters were just being stuffed into police vehicles and being carried away. A number of social media users expressed their anger and anguish over Portland's current situation. "With #FascistTrump in power, he will do everything in his power to serve his vanity and make things go his way with #Gestapo. His side wants to see you angry. They're laughing at you when you're upset. So don't let them see that anger. Be composed and push on. For justice," one such user wrote, while another commented, "I wonder if these #gestapo agents understand they will be prosecuted once Trump is out of office? I've seen arrogant people crumble before. It's as sweet as you imagine."
A third wrote, "#FascistTrump is allowing people to be kidnapped by 'military' who have no identification. Are they really military or some of Eric Prince's Mercenaries / killers-for-hire? This is #Gestapo Level s**t." A fourth opined, "What's next? Incarceration with any kind of due process? Sending AMERICAN CITIZENS rightfully exercising their right to free speech to Gitmo or some dark underground jail? Democracy is being threatened by an egocentric child, and he must be stopped NOW! Impeach him again!!!!!"
However, there were also some conservative people who thought that there was nothing wrong with what was going on in Portland. "Funny how everyone calling these #Gestapo events... Yall are finally realizing you can't just riot and s**t every night under the terrorism group #AntifaTerrorists So, you're getting what you deserve. You've been labeled as TERRORISTS. You are now being treated as such," one said, while another wrote, "Reeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee you stupid fucking libtards ..... this isn't the #Gestapo this is a return to law and order!!!! BTW this is some funny s**t to watch you all melt down!!!!"
The unexplained detentions started after President Donald Trump said the government had planned to “quell” nightly protests outside the federal courthouse and Multnomah County Justice Center that has lasted for more than six weeks. At least 13 people have been charged so far with crimes related to the protests by the federal officers. On July 11, one demonstrator was left hospitalized with skull fractures after being shot in the face with “less lethal” munitions. During the protests against racism and police brutality, the US Marshals Special Operations Group and Customs and Border Protection’s BORTAC were sent to Portland to protect federal property. But according to interviews conducted by the OPB, these officers were also arresting people who were not near federal property or engaged in any criminal activity. In a letter released on Thursday, July 16, Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Chad Wolf said, “Portland has been under siege for 47 straight days by a violent mob while local political leaders refuse to restore order to protect their city. A federal courthouse is a symbol of justice. To attack it is to attack America.”
While the unidentified federal agents refused to collaborate or even talk to local authorities, many leaders of the state have spoken out against unexplained arrests that are going on right now in Portland. Mayor Ted Wheeler’s office reiterated a statement from earlier in the week, saying officers should be restricted to guarding federal property. “We do not need or want their help,” Wheeler said. “The best thing they can do is stay inside their building, or leave Portland altogether.” Oregon Democratic Senator Jeff Merkley said Wolf was already there on Thursday looking over the president's orders to have protesters banned from federal properties and if he was there to only make the POTUS look tough then he had no business there. “Federal forces shot an unarmed protester in the face,” Merkley said in a tweet. “These shadowy forces have been escalating, not preventing, violence.”
Oregon Governor Kate Brown also called for federal law enforcement officers to leave Portland. She claimed that Wolf is on a “mission to provoke confrontation for political purposes”. “This political theater from President Trump has nothing to do with public safety. The President is failing to lead this nation. Now he is deploying federal officers to patrol the streets of Portland in a blatant abuse of power by the federal government," Brown said in a statement.