Portland protests

I’m proud to be the descendant of an Oregon family, of Minoru Yasui, who walked the night streets of Portland in 1942, in order to initiate a constitutional test case against a curfew imposed upon Japanese Americans.

I’m inspired that thousands of Portlanders are out on those same streets in support of Black Lives Matter.

The federal government singled out Portland as an example for his “law-and-order” offensive, and Portland has responded in an exemplary way – coming out in ever greater numbers, with state and local government opposing the incursion of federal troops into the city. A most heartening difference from 1942 when all local authorities collaborated with the federal government’s policy of removing and imprisoning Japanese Americans.

I applaud the recent withdrawal of federal forces from the streets of Portland, which has de-escalated the violence. I hope that the legal case brought by Don’t Shoot Portland and others will clarify limitations on the deployment of federal law-enforcement agents in U.S. cities and localities. Especially in light of suggestions by Trump that he might not accept the results of the fall elections.

We must hold the current administration accountable to our Constitution, and to us, the people. We are at a turning point in history – we can forge a new path to participatory democracy, or we can allow authoritarian repression to crush it.

Black Lives Matter!

Vote! “The vote is the most powerful, non-violent tool we have in a democratic society.” – John Lewis.

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