Trump’s troops will be removing their tear gas, batons, stun grenades, and themselves from Oregon. Their next stop is anybody’s guess. It probably will not be Chicago, Albuquerque, or any of Trump’s Indigo Blue election targets.
Oregon authorities have pledged to safeguard the federal courthouse, whose security was cited by A.G. Bill “Dis” Barr as the reason Trump federales were sent to Portland. Contra Trump, who announced that he was sending troops because Black Lives Matter had gone too far and to “quell anarchy.”
In the future, protesters would be wise to pick non-federal venues for demonstrations. After all, racism is not exclusively a federal horror. Thoughtful protesters can find more apt state and municipal targets. Legend has it that at one time, federal justice was a force against hatred. There is no reason to give an increasingly desperate incumbent the chance to lay waste cities that are proclaiming outrage over governmental malfeasance.
Removing the camouflaged paramilitary from the board deprives Trump of a weapon in his fascist arsenal. State sovereignty survives for now, and for now, it is a good thing. The Oregon governor has pushed back against an authoritarian trying to consolidate power by enfeebling the state government. Voting is a state function. Know what I’m saying?
This pushback may prevent Trump from using a similar pretext to go into swing districts of other cities in November. It may prevent him from seizing control of the election process, which is the ultimate danger. For now, the illegitimacy of the troops — anonymous troops — has been beaten back by an outraged citizenry.
The true identity of the troops in Portland remains a mystery. Administration officials, including Barr, have said that they are compliance officers with ICE, DHS, and the Bureau of Prisons. Why would they not wear uniforms and badges then? After all, they are supposedly acting as Special US Marshals.
Evan Sarzin is the author of Hard Bop Piano and Bud Powell published by Gerard & Sarzin Music Publishing. He writes and publishes Revolted Colonies (http://revoltedcolonies.com).