America ‘staring down the barrel of martial law’, Oregon senator warns

America is “staring down the barrel of martial law” as it approaches the presidential election, a US senator from Oregon has warned as Donald Trump cracks down on protests in Portland, the state’s biggest city.

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In interviews with the Guardian, Democrat Ron Wyden said the federal government’s authoritarian tactics in Portland and other cities posed an “enormous” threat to democracy, while his fellow senator Jeff Merkley described it as “an all-out assault in military-style fashion”.

The independent watchdogs for the US justice and homeland security departments said on Thursday they were launching investigations into the use of force by federal agents in Portland, where unidentified officers in camouflage gear have snatched demonstrators off the streets and spirited them away in unmarked vehicles.

But Trump this week announced a “surge” of federal law

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