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What To Do When You're Stopped By Police - The ACLU & Elon James White

What To Do When You're Stopped By Police - The ACLU & Elon James White

Know Anyone Who Thinks Racial Profiling Is Exaggerated? Watch This, And Tell Me When Your Jaw Drops.

This video clearly demonstrates how racist America is as a country and how far we have to go to become a country that is civilized and actually values equal justice. We must not rest until this goal is achieved. I do not want my great grandchildren to live in a country like we have today. I wish for them to live in a country where differences of race and culture are not ignored but valued as a part of what makes America great.

Sunday, July 19, 2020

Camouflaged federal agents have descended on Portland. Trump's DHS is out of control | Trevor Timm | Opinion | The Guardian

"A remarkable and nightmarish scene playing out in Portland should terrify anyone who cares about the US constitution: unmarked vans full of camouflaged and unidentified federal agents are pulling up next to protesters on street corners, then snatching and arresting them with no explanation.
If this were happening in Venezuela or Iran, the US government would be threatening international sanctions. Since it’s happening in the US, Trump’s acting Department of Homeland Security (DHS) secretary is defending the decision and even promising more.
The stories from witnesses and those who have been picked up by the unmarked vans – apparently being operated by Customs and Border Protection (CBP), which is under DHS’s control – are downright terrifying. One victim told the New York Times: “One of the officers said, ‘It’s OK, it’s OK,’ and just grabbed me and threw me into the van. Another officer pulled my beanie down, so I couldn’t see.”
The same person told the Washington Post: “I was terrified. It seemed like it was out of a horror/sci-fi, like a Philip K Dick novel. It was like being preyed upon.” Still another told Portland’s Oregon Public Broadcasting (OPB): “I see guys in camo. Four or five of them pop out, open the door and it was just like, ‘Oh shit. I don’t know who you are or what you want with us.’”
The incidents being described sound eerily reminiscent of the CIA’s post-9/11 rendition program under George W Bush, where intelligence agents would roll up in unmarked vans in foreign countries, blindfold terrorism suspects (many of whom turned to be innocent) and kidnap them without explanation. Only instead of occurring on the streets of Italy or the Middle East, it’s happening in downtown Portland.
Virtually all of Portland’s local leaders, as well as Oregon’s leading representatives in Congress, have condemned the situation and called for an investigation. But so far, DHS and the Trump administration do not seem deterred.
The acting secretary of DHS, Chad Wolf, released a video statement Friday lamenting that Portland had declined the department’s “offer” of “support”. So DHS went ahead and sent in its thugs anyway. DHS’s list of reasons for invading Portland and implementing its terror operation, amid what it calls “rampant long-lasting violence”, consists mostly of graffiti incidents and minor property damage.
Portland is almost 400 miles from the Canadian border and 80 miles from the Pacific ocean, by the way. It’s unclear what legal authority, if any, allows CBP to be terrorizing the streets to hunt down graffiti artists—even if they think they can operate anywhere that’s 100 miles from a border. In other words, it’s illegal, or it should be.
Worse, judging from witnesses, CBP isn’t just “defending” federal buildings, as it claims. As OPB reported: “Interviews ... show officers are also detaining people on Portland streets who aren’t near federal property, nor is it clear that all of the people being arrested have engaged in criminal activity.” Protesters told OPB they “think they were targeted by federal officers for simply wearing black clothing in the area of the demonstration”.
CBP has also reportedly indiscriminately fired teargas at protesters despite a judge banning Portland’s police from doing so, permanently injured a person with a shot to the head from a so-called “less lethal” gun, and fired its weapons at at least one journalist.
DHS, even in the pre-Trump era, has been an enormous waste of taxpayer resources, full of massive government waste and abuse, and a civil liberties disaster to boot. Back in 2015, I called for it to be abolished in the pages of the Guardian. Under Trump it has reached new levels of depravity. Its disturbing anti-immigration actions have shown agents seemingly going out of their way to be as cruel as possible to those they apprehend.
Anyone only has to read the news from the past few weeks to witness DHS’s corruption and creeping authoritarianism: in one story, government auditors have found that the CBP spent money meant for food and medical supplies for detained migrants on ATVs and dirt bikes for themselves. In another, DHS deployed Predator drones, helicopters and airplanes to spy on Black Lives Matter protesters in 15 American cities.
With their actions in Portland, their authoritarianism is no longer creeping – the DHS and CBP are acting as full-on secret police. If there are not steep consequences for these disturbing actions, there will be no limits on where this will lead."
Camouflaged federal agents have descended on Portland. Trump's DHS is out of control | Trevor Timm | Opinion | The Guardian

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