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Sending in federal agents is an attack on our democracy | READER COMMENTARY

Activists march through the Loop to protest the deployment of federal agents in Chicago this week Monday July 20, 2020 in Chicago.(Armando L. Sanchez/Chicago Tribune)
Activists march through the Loop to protest the deployment of federal agents in Chicago this week Monday July 20, 2020 in Chicago.(Armando L. Sanchez/Chicago Tribune) (Armando L. Sanchez / Chicago Tribune)

Ordering armed federal police in military gear to attack American citizens, who are peacefully protesting and exercising their constitutional rights, without local or state authorization is illegal, unconstitutional and unacceptable in a democracy (”President Trump says Baltimore will see influx of ‘federal law enforcement’ but doesn’t say what that means,” July 21). It is an absolute abuse of power.

Incognito federal agents were recently sent by the president, attorney general and secretary of Homeland Security to Portland, Oregon, to do exactly that, against the wishes of the community, the city and the state. And they have threatened to do the same to other Democratic urban centers — like Chicago and Baltimore. Their goal is both political and tyrannical. In spite of a deadly pandemic, a racial crisis and a looming recession, Trump and his henchmen have only one goal: get reelected by spreading fear and demonstrating the “law & order” prowess of a dictator who will protect you from the restless minorities. These events followed a similar attack by federal agents on peaceful demonstrators in Washington, D.C. so that cowardly Trump could have an absurd photo op in front of St. John’s church.

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Imagine the Republican reaction if this occurred under the Obama administration, and compare that to the current silence. Imagine these events occurring in YOUR neighborhood — armed police in military gear brutalizing neighbors, making false arrests, refusing to identify themselves, their organizations or what crimes victims were accused of committing. This is exactly what Russia did when they invaded Ukraine.

No free country can survive these kind of dictatorial assaults on democracy if they are allowed. Stand up, Speak out, and VOTE.

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Roger C. Kostmayer, Baltimore

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