WASHINGTON — SPLC Action Fund President and Chief Executive Officer Margaret Huang issued the below statement in response to President Trump’s announcement that he will deploy hundreds of federal troops to Chicago and Albuquerque, N.M. to assist local law enforcement agencies against activists.
The news comes as federal troops in Portland, Oregon, continue to use unwarranted force against protestors and taking individuals away in unmarked vehicles.
“The President’s order to deploy federal troops is a reprehensible and unconstitutional attack on our democracy and our civil liberties.
“President Trump laid the groundwork years ago for the actions we're witnessing now when he first encouraged and applauded violence carried out by his supporters against counter-demonstrators at his campaign rallies. Now federal agents are doing his bidding in Portland and will soon be deployed in other cities across the country.
“Through their actions, which include the use of force and chemical weapons against peaceful activists, federal troops are now validating far-right extremist narratives that promote violence against people who are exercising their constitutional rights. We are seeing the administration’s disregard for the rule of law as it incites violence and violates international legal standards.
“These violations must stop. Our nation has a system of checks and balances. We urge Members of Congress to immediately rein in the administration’s dangerous attempt to silence our inalienable rights to freedom of speech and assembly.”