Dozens of federal agents were deployed in Bend, Ore., late Wednesday after protesters stood for hours to block the path of buses that held two people who had been seized by immigration agents, according to witnesses and videos from the scene.
The federal officers came to the scene of the protest, a hotel parking lot, in helmets and tactical gear, said Barb Campbell, a member of the Bend City Council. Using crowd-control devices such as pepper spray, the officers were able to work their way through the crowd, remove the detainees from one of the buses and take them away, she said.
The effort to block the buses began on Wednesday morning when Luke Richter, president of the activist group Central Oregon Peacekeepers, heard from a friend that officers from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement were operating in the city. He was able to find two unmarked buses and decided to block their path while livestreaming video from the scene.
Others later joined the effort, including Ms. Campbell, who parked her vehicle and set up a lawn chair in front of one of the buses. As the day wore on, hundreds of protesters gathered. Mr. Richter said he was overwhelmed by the response from the community.
Of course, the fascists who run the government responded like fascists do.
Instead of trying to de-escalate the situation, he said, the federal officials on scene said they were calling in reinforcements from Portland and Seattle to try and reclaim the detainees.
“I hope that if the federal government is going to come in with full tactical gear and weaponry like they did that it’s because all options short of violence have been exhausted,” Mr. Hummel said. “To go to force as the first option was disheartening.”
Officials in Oregon have repeatedly expressed frustration with the tactics of federal law enforcement officers during protests this summer, especially over the handling of demonstrations around a federal courthouse in Portland, which often involved the use of tear gas and other heavy-handed crowd control measures.
They are ready and waiting for shoot to kill orders against protestors. With very itchy fingers.