We stand in solidarity with the protesters that have been in the streets of Portland and around the country for over 60 days. We know the repression has been severe, violent, targeted and unrelenting. We are in awe of the courage, bravery, creativity, perseverance, and solidarity that have been shown every day.
We know that the US is founded on white supremacy. We know that Oregon and Washington were founded specifically as white settler ethno states. We know that white supremacist militias have terrorized Black, Brown, and Indigenous communities for centuries. We know that at this moment militarized federal officers from the Department of Homeland Security, ICE, Customs and Border Protection, and various other private contractors, under the auspices of protecting federal property, are violently targeting protesters in the streets of Portland, with plans to move into other cities around the country. We also know that local police have been an occupying force long before the feds got here. And what we know the most is that a pig is a pig is a pig is a pig.
Federal forces have expanded their roles from “protecting “ the courthouse and other federal property to targeting protesters in the streets. They are using teargas, rubber bullets, bean bags and other forms of military grade ammunition. They are specifically targeting medics, journalists and legal observers by striking and shooting people in their hands so that they cannot photograph or help others. They are targeting people as they leave protests, when people are often alone. First hand accounts report being grabbed by uniformed officers and placed into unidentified cars, driven around and interrogated and let out somewhere else in the city. We have heard at least one account of someone being sexually assaulted but we know that historically sexual assault goes hand and hand with militarized force. We know in the past 60 days over 500 people have been arrested in Portland and approximately 46 are being pursued for federal charges. These charges are primarily for graffiti – “felony vandalism” – and for using a laser pointer – “ felony assault on an officer”.
Trump’s executive order authorizes this deployment of federal force in Portland, and elsewhere, for the purpose of protecting federal property. Specifically for the purpose of “Protecting American Monuments, Memorials and Statues.” All of this brutal federal force is being legally authorized in order to protect statues of dead white racists.
We condemn this narrative that prioritizes the protection of property – the protection of inanimate objects, whether statues or storefronts – over the protection of Black Lives.
We condemn the narrative that tries to frame the public rage over police violence as the work of provocateurs and outside agitators, an old and tired trope that they resort to every time we rise up.
We condemn the narrative that tries to divide us by distinguishing the “peaceful protesters” from those that get demonized and criminalized as “violent anarchists” or “opportunistic looters”.
A pig is a pig is a pig…
While we condemn the deployment of federal forces in Portland, Chicago, Kansas City and everywhere else that they’ll be deployed in the coming weeks, we also know that local and state police have been an occupying force in those cities long before the feds got there. We don’t just want the feds out of our cities. We want all the occupying police forces, whether federal or local, out of our communities.
The reality is that city and state law enforcement have been carrying out varying levels of violent repression against protesters, as well as severely prosecuting them, long before the feds arrived. Over 10,000 people have been arrested across the country in the past 2 months. Here in the Bay Area, there have been hundreds of arrests. In Alameda County alone, there are currently more than 120 people facing serious felony charges — the vast majority of whom are Black and Brown youth. So despite the Trump Administration’s claims that deploying federal troops is necessary because local governments are doing a weak job of managing the protests, there has definitely not been anything “weak” about the response of local governments to this uprising. They too have gassed us. They too have deployed military grade munitions against us. And they too are viciously prosecuting us.
Fuck the feds.
But also… Fuck OPD. Fuck Portland PD. And fuck every other local police department.
There’s nothing new about federal repression
We have heard people describe the recent federal activity in Portland as laying the groundwork for a new kind of fascist repression, but we know that there is nothing new about any of this. ICE and Border Patrol have been conducting snatch and grab raids on immigrant communities for years. Highly militarized DHS and FBI squads use many of the same tactics in Black, Brown and Indigenous communities for alleged drug and gang activity on a daily basis. The same disgust that mainstream America feels when it sees unidentified federal agents take to the streets against predominantly white Portland should be felt every time ICE raids a community, every time a Black or brown person is shot by the police, every time a person is raped or sexually assaulted by law enforcement.
We stand today in solidarity with the uprising in Portland.
We stand in solidarity with immigrant communities faced with the constant threat of federal ICE raids.
We stand in solidarity with all the Black and Indigenous communities who are, and who have always been, targeted with federal repression on a routine and daily basis.
We stand in solidarity with communities all over the world resisting colonization and imperialism, who have experienced mass disappearances, torture, and sexual violence at the hands of the U.S. Military and other U.S. sanctioned occupying forces.
We stand in solidarity with everyone resisting white supremacy and its many faces of daily repression and violent policing.