Dear Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley, Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici, Gov. Kate Brown and Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum:
The events of the last several days in Portland further demonstrate the Trump administration's embrace of authoritarianism. This aggressive federal campaign to detain protesters and suppress protests violates the U.S. Constitution. These federal policing actions in Portland are political theater designed to serve the reelection campaign, not the rule of law.
Indivisible North Coast Oregon (INCO), a grassroots group based in Clatsop County, applauds your work to stop this abuse of power, and to hold President Donald Trump, Attorney General William Barr and other federal employees accountable.
Our mission is to defend democracy by opposing authoritarianism, bigotry and corruption. We condemn Trump's use of federal law, policy and power to further his own personal and ideological agenda.
We believe the Wyden-Merkley amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act, and Oregon's lawsuit against the Department of Homeland Security and other federal agencies, are important and essential first steps. We hope you and your colleagues throughout the U.S. will work with you to stop these obscene and illegal actions. America must reject government storm troopers.
As historian Timothy Snyder writes in "On Tyranny": "Institutions do not protect themselves. They fall one after the other unless each is defended from the beginning." We cannot allow Trump and his administration to endanger political opponents and make political opposition impossible.
Thank you for your work to protect all of us and to defend the U.S. Constitution.
MARY BETH COTTLE
Indivisible North Coast Oregon