Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley held a one-hour then hall meeting for Wasco County residents on July 21, starting at 12:30 in the afternoon Pacific Daylight Time. He was introduced by Wasco County Commissioner Kathy Schwartz, and after some introductory remarks, took questions from the online audience. He told listeners that he was pushing for a fourth pandemic relief bill to help Oregon, and that he was concerned about the current administration not paying attention to scientific experts.
But he saved his strongest language for the actions of the administration in sending federal officers to Portland, which he said stirred up more rioting rather than less. He said there were people who came looking to perpetuate violence on both the left and the right, disrupting the peaceful protesters.
And he enumerated the way the federal officers did not behave properly:
“They didn’t operate in cooperation with local police. They didn’t lay out rules of engagement and discuss what was appropriate. They said they were wearing identifiers for their agencies, and unique identifiers which serves as a deterrent for being abusive. They didn’t do either and said they were in camouflage, which is basically dressed for war. And they started sweeping people off the street into unmarked vans. Well, no identifier, and sweeping people off the street into unmarked vans, and refusing to say who you are – these are the tactics of dictators. They are not acceptable in a democratic republic.”
To hear the whole town hall, click on the grey podcast bar below