Jul. 21, 2020


Jul. 21, 2020

We are in a very dangerous moment in American history.

Last month, as you'll recall, Trump had peaceful protestors outside of the White House in Washington, D.C. viciously attacked by federal agents who wore no identification.

As we speak, in Portland, Oregon, federal agents in combat gear and unmarked vehicles are pulling protesters off the streets and jailing them without charges, despite opposition from local and state officials.

What Trump and his allies are now doing is "normalizing" the use of federal troops to patrol and make arrests of American citizens in communities throughout the country. Today it is Portland, Oregon. Tomorrow, Trump is suggesting it could be New York City, Chicago or Philadelphia. Next, your hometown.

This is what a police state is all about.

Make no mistake about it: Donald Trump does not believe in democracy, our Constitution or the rule of law.

He is working aggressively to suppress the vote and, in the midst of this terrible pandemic, is vigorously opposing the right of citizens to vote by mail. He has ignored decisions of Congress, which is why he was impeached. He has contempt for a free press and has called the media "an enemy of the people." He has used his office for blatant personal and political gain, running the most corrupt administration in modern American history. He has ruptured our relationships with long-time democratic allies around the world while he embraces right-wing authoritarian leaders in Russia, Hungary, Saudi Arabia, Brazil, the Philippines and elsewhere.

Yes. We must all come together to defeat Trump in November, but we must also act right NOW to stop the movement toward authoritarianism and a police state.

That is why I am introducing legislation with Senator Jeff Merkley of Oregon which would greatly curtail the activities of federal military forces in our communities. This bill would limit their ability to conduct crowd control to properties immediately surrounding federal buildings without the invitation of the Governor and Mayor, require federal agents to wear visible IDs, and ban them from making arrests or detentions in unmarked vehicles.

Now we need you to make your voice heard — to send a message to Congress that you are paying attention to this issue and will do everything possible to defend our Constitution, the separation of powers and the right of Americans to peacefully demonstrate.

Please add your name as a citizen co-sponsor of legislation that would force federal agents to wear visible IDs, ban them from making arrests and detentions from unmarked vehicles, and limit their ability to conduct crowd control without invitation from the Governor or Mayor.

Too many Americans fought and died to defend American democracy to let President Trump move us even further in an authoritarian direction.

And that is why I am asking you to join Senator Jeff Merkley and me in making your voice heard.

Trump's strategy of hateful rhetoric and using a crisis to seize more power is nothing new. It has been used by authoritarian leaders throughout history.

Our job NOW is to stand together, fight back, and stop the movement toward authoritarianism and a police state.

In solidarity,

Bernie Sanders



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