SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Western Massachusetts CODEPINK, a women initiated peace and justice movement, joined in Springfield Thursday afternoon to protest the use of federal troops at protests related to the situation in Portland, Oregon.
CODEPINK seeks positive social change through proactive, creative protest, and non-violent direct action. The protest took place at 300 State Street in Springfield at Noon.
“Sending troops into our cities, it’s totally unheard of in this country. I was watching the news this morning and I thought I was watching Santiago, Chile,” said Protest Organzier Paki Wieland.
Federal forces were deployed to Portland in early July, and tensions have risen since. On July 11, a protester was hospitalized with critical injuries after a U.S. Marshals Service officer struck him in the head with a round of less-lethal ammunition.
“I am shocked and outraged by the presence of paramilitary forces, re-positioned motor patrols, agents without name plates unmarked in Portland, Oregon and being deployed to other western cities,” said Court Dorsey of Wendell.
According to the Associated Press, federal agents used force to scatter protesters early Tuesday and deployed tear gas and rubber bullets as some banged on the doors of the Mark O. Hatfield Federal Courthouse and tried to pull plywood off the shuttered entryway. The boarded-up courthouse, which has been a focus of protests, is now covered with graffiti.
Portland police said some protesters lit fires in the street and tried several times to set them at the courthouse doors.