On the evening of Friday, July 17, a young woman sat in front of the police, naked, before embarking on a yoga session. She has been immortalized by many people and nicknamed “the naked Athena”, or in English, “Naked Athena”.
“She was incredibly vulnerable. And it would have been very painful for her to be injured by one of the bullets, while she was not wearing any clothes, ”says a witness.
Worrisome situation in Portland
This funny-looking scene nevertheless hides a situation that worries more and more in Portland. The city’s mayor, Ted Wheeler, called for the rapid withdrawal of federal forces, accusing them of exacerbating violence and tensions. Words that echo those of the governor of Oregon, who criticized a “real little political theater”, accusing Donald Trump of a communication operation.
The prosecutor of Oregon, Ellen Rosenblum, moreover decided to take further legal action and to sue the federal government vis-a-vis the illegal actions of its agents. She accuses them in particular of having violated the constitutional right of assembly, but also of having seized and illegally detained people without warrant or justification.
Democrats in the House of Representatives have also taken up the accusations to call for an internal investigation within the Justice and Homeland Security departments. “Citizens are concerned that the administration has deployed a secret police force, not to investigate crimes, but to intimidate individuals it considers political adversaries, and that the use of such tactics is proliferating in all over the country, ”they wrote in a letter to the General Inspectorate.
Last week, federal agents were filmed driving around in unregistered vans in the city of Portland. Dressed in fatigues, they did have “police” badges but could not be clearly identified.
On Sunday, Donald Trump defended his agents, assuring that they were there to protect federal buildings.
We are trying to help Portland, not hurt it. Their leadership has, for months, lost control of the anarchists and agitators. They are missing in action. We must protect Federal property, AND OUR PEOPLE. These were not merely protesters, these are the real deal!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 19, 2020
This text was originally published on the HuffPost France.