Protests Righteously Defying Escalated Repression by Fascist Trump/Pence Regime



Editors' Note: Trump sent a fascist federal rapid deployment force to violently repress protests in Portland that have been continuing since the police murder of George Floyd. Despite this, protests have continued and drawn forward even more people in righteous defiance across the country. This is very positive, and needs to continue. In that light, these points remain important.

In the face of the federal and local pigs, on Tuesday night, people protested courageously in Portland for the 56th straight night against police terror and white supremacy. These protests have included mothers courageously stepping to the front lines to defend protesters against state repression. 

First and foremost, it is extremely positive that people have come back stronger in the face of this vicious and violent repression—night after night. Demonstration of solidarity and manifestations of support are needed from across the country.  

At the same time, the fascist regime—and its violent forces of repression—are doubling down. On Wednesday, the protesters, again numbering in the thousands—who were joined by Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler—were again tear gassed by federal agents, and activists are still being snatched off the streets.1 

On Monday, acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf said, “I don’t need invitations by the state… to do our job. We’re going to do that, whether they like us there or not.” That same day, Trump threatened, “We’re going to have more federal law enforcement, that I can tell you.”2

These moves have rightly alarmed wide segments of society. New York Times columnist Michelle Goldberg wrote, “Protesters are being snatched from the streets without warrants. Can we call it fascism yet?”3 Yes—this is not a strategy to gain votes, or a “distraction” from the COVID-19 disaster, or “the feel of fascism.” It is FASCISM! 

Second, the deployment of paramilitary units, directly under the command of the Trump/Pence regime—with the full backing of federal law enforcement—represent an extremely serious escalation of fascism. 

The Trump/Pence regime has faced some opposition from the U.S. military for various moves related to enforcing domestic repression, law and order.4 Now, the forces deployed in Portland, being tested for deployment elsewhere, are paramilitaries loyal to and under the direct control of the Trump regime. These “rapid deployment teams” are made up primarily of Border Patrol and ICE agents, notorious for being thuggish, fanatical supporters of Trump. They’re primed to do what the regime orders them to, without any regard for the law or the Constitution. This could give the regime tremendous leverage against opposition from any quarter.

Third, these deployments represent a major attack on the masses of people, and on liberals and Democrats who now control the governments of many cities and states. 

The command of many local police forces is in the hands of Democrats who oppose Trump. By deploying federal forces, and establishing joint task forces of local and federal pigs, the regime is advancing its fascist power in the centers of both bourgeois opposition to the regime as well as the mass upsurge of protest. The American Civil Liberties Union warns, “Trump’s secret forces will terrorize communities, and create chaos. This is not law and order. This is an assault on the people of this country, the specific protections of protest and press in the First Amendment, and the Constitution’s assignment of policing to local authorities.”

Federal reach into local law enforcement, over the objections of local elected officials is part of advancing fascist rule and defeating those sections of the bourgeois ruling class who oppose the fascist regime. “Policing is a local and state function,” says a statement from the U.S. Conference of Mayors. “For the federal government to come uninvited… and arrest their residents without probable cause is an unprecedented and dangerous threat to our democracy and to the future of our great country.” Mayors from 15 U.S. cities also co-signed a letter to Chad Wolf and Department of “Justice” head William Barr demanding “immediate action to withdraw your forces.”5 

Fourth, Trump’s deployment has ominous implications for the November elections.  

Trump has never played by the rules and norms of liberal democracy—he’s a fascist hell-bent on shattering those rules and norms. It’s a dangerous illusion to think he’ll act otherwise before, during, or after the coming election. He’s already refused, in a July 19 interview with Fox News’ Chris Wallace, to commit to abiding by the results of the election—saying, “We’ll have to see.” 

One can envision how these federal paramilitary forces can be deployed if there were outbreaks of mass protests against Trump's illegitimate moves around the election. A recent letter posted at exposes the “systematic efforts by the fascist Trump/Pence regime and its supporters to undermine the integrity of upcoming elections in their favor. This is an extremely dangerous attack on democratic—and in the case of Black people, extremely hard-fought—rights, and escalation towards fascist consolidation.”6 

All this underscores the urgency of confronting the fascist nature, program and danger of the Trump/Pence regime and of building mass, sustained, nonviolent protest to drive the Trump/Pence regime from power now—NOT waiting for the election.


1. Trump Gestapo Violently Assaults, Snatches Portland Protesters, Not “Theater”—Part of Deadly Serious, All-Round Fascist Escalation,, July 20; Protests Continue Against the Fascist Crackdown in Portland,, July 20, 2020.  [back]

2. Letter from a Chicago Correspondent: First Portland… Now Trump Sending Federal Pigs into Chicago,, July 20.  [back]

3. Trump’s Occupation of American Cities Has Begun, New York Times, July 20.  [back]

4. On June 1 Trump attempted to unleash the regular military forces against the uprising nationally by invoking the Insurrection Act of 1807. There was pushback from various military leaders and Trump could not go ahead with his plan.  [back

5. Statement: U.S. Conference of Mayors Voices Opposition to Deployment of Federal Law Enforcement to Cities,, July 21, 2020; Oakland, San Jose mayors tell Trump sending agents to Portland and other cities is ‘abuse of power’, Mercury News, July 22, 2020.  [back]

6. Letter from a reader: The Republi-Fascists’ Multi-Pronged Drive to “Win” the November Elections,, July 20.  [back]

Protester vs the pigs at Portland Courthouse, July 21, 2020. Photo: AP



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