Robert Evans: Portland is living in America’s terrifying future

Business Insider, October 28, 2020

If you want a picture of what the United States would look like during President Donald Trump’s potential second term, look at the city of Portland, Oregon. This summer and autumn I spent more nights than not out on the streets, reporting on Portland’s Black Lives Matter protests and law enforcement’s response. As unrest in Portland grew into a national story, I watched the Trump Administration activate and deploy a network of militarized federal and local police to quell dissent. 

I’m here to warn you that Portland was just a proving ground. The president’s men could be sent to your hometown next. 

Who exactly was sent to “police” Portland?

Most Americans only started thinking about Portland’s Black Lives Matter protests when they watched a viral video of an activist being dragged into an unmarked van by uniformed feds. The national spotlight hit after nearly 50 nights of consecutive protests, most of which were met by a violent police response. 

Federal law enforcement entered the picture in July, after a group of protesters (many of whom were children) toppled a statue of George Washington. This infuriated President Trump, and he sent in the US Marshals. Shortly after arriving, one of the Marshals shot activist Donovan Labella in the face with a rubber bullet, shattering his skull and nearly killing him. 

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