From Portland to Palestine to the Southern Cone: The reappearance of the disappeared

Federal agents in Portland, Oregon. (photo: via Social Media)
Israeli arms sales, surveillance and police training contributes to the militarization of police now being seen across cities in the US. In reality the disappearing has been happening for a long time.

By Benay Blend | The Palestine Chronicle | July 21, 2020

…it is possible to draw attention to Israel’s role in ‘snatching and disappearing people all over the world,’ but in particular the Southern Cone, Palestine, and now in the United States.

“What was old has become new again,” wrote local activist Lee Einer in a Facebook post this morning. Einer is referring to Donald Trump’s use of federal law enforcement officers, dressed in camouflage but with no identification, riding in unmarked cars, rounding up Black Lives Matter protesters in Portland, Oregon. Since July 14th multiple videos have documented officers whisking people off in cars with no explanation as to why they are being detained.

Reporting for The Nation, Jeet Heer contends that these actions are “illegal and unconstitutional.” Nevertheless, it is likely that they are operating under the aegis of Barack Obama’s approval of the 2011 National Defense Authorization Act which permits the detention of Americans if suspected of being terrorists.

Portland seems to be the epicenter of attention. This is partly because it is home to a large contingent of right-wing groups like the Proud Boys as well as left-wing activists grouped under the Antifa (anti-Fascist) label. Trump has recently announced that he plans to designate the latter a terrorist organization, a move that Sahar Aziz says might allow the President to quash any group that he feels opposes him in the days leading up to the ballot.

There is every indication that Trump will continue escalating tension under the guise of “law and order” until the November election. Nevertheless, as All African People’s Revolutionary Party (AAPRP) organizer Onyesonwu Chatoyer notes, Portland is not the test case. Instead, she claims, that distinction goes to “Homan Square in Chicago and the past 10+ years of ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement).” Looking back, “people have been snatched off of city streets and disappeared in the U.S. for years.”

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