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Civil unrest rages as protesters and federal agents clash in Portland

Portland, USFederal agents fired tear gas canisters at Black Lives Matter protesters in the early hours of Tuesday, July 28 as tensions rose again on the streets of Portland, Oregon.

Protesters gathered for the 60th straight day amid public anger over the deployment of federal border patrol officers to Portland against the wishes of local officials. Six U.S. mayors, all Democrats, urged Congress on Monday, July 27 to halt President Donald Trump's deployment of federal forces to their cities, saying the move has escalated tensions at anti-racism protests spreading across the country.

The request came on the same day the U.S. attorney for Oregon announced the arrest of 22 people on charges stemming from clashes with federal and local police at the federal courthouse in Portland. Federal agents dispatched to Portland have drawn national attention for whisking away demonstrators in unmarked cars, beating a U.S. Navy veteran and tear-gassing activist mothers and the city's mayor. The appeal followed a surge in Black Lives Matter protests over the weekend, with an escalation in violence and the appearance of white supremacists and an armed Black militia.
U.S. President Donald Trump has sought to project a law-and-order stance as he seeks re-election on November 3, targeting cities controlled by Democrats who he says are soft on criminals. Critics say the administration is seeking to divert attention from its widely criticized response to the coronavirus pandemic. The U.S. Marshals Service on Monday tweeted it was lining up personnel to send to Oregon.

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