“The President of the United States has actualized a threat he has made many times before, taking a dangerous step forward in a blatant attempt to stoke fear for political gain and suppress dissent.

As a network of local elected officials across the country, we stand morally opposed to these dangerously authoritarian actions — which only further our resolve to reimagine public safety beyond brute force policing and mass incarceration. Rather than adding federal police violence to the local police violence already motivating the largest protest movement in a generation, the federal government should be providing economic relief, rent cancellation, and the public health infrastructure needed to address this pandemic.

We are inspired by the courage displayed by the Portland community who continue to exercise their protected right to assemble and by the leadership of the city’s elected officials who are standing with communities, protecting local media reporting, and pursuing legislative action. They are giving us a model for response and resistance.

In the immediate, we encourage local elected officials everywhere to publicly denounce the use of federal law enforcement to suppress and abuse local residents and to take measures to ensure federal agents don’t escape accountability. As always, we are inspired by the work and advocacy led by Local Progress members to end the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) program, remove immigration enforcement from our communities, and reallocate the dollars that prop up our carceral and policing system into the social investments that our communities need to thrive.”


Photo: Federal officers use crowd-control munitions to disperse protesters July 20 near the U.S. courthouse in Portland, Ore. (Noah Berger/AP)