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San Diego City Council Votes to Oppose, Condemn Federal Intervention

‘It really doesn’t accomplish much’

By Evan Gahr, August 11, 2020 4:25 pm

The San Diego City Council has voted to denounce supposed “unlawful tactics” by federal agents against supposedly “peaceful protestors” in Portland and oppose any federal intervention in their City.

Nobody could tell from the resolution and council members’ posturing that the Portland protestors were anything but peaceful.  Their nihilistic tactics included blinding federal agents with lasers and assaulting the federal courthouse.

The United States Attorney’s Office in Oregon said in a court filing that 28 federal agents were injured during the protests. One officer was hit in the head with a two pound sledge hammer by a protestor trying to break a door at the courthouse.

“People have an absolute right to protest.Watching unidentifiable federal officers in military-style uniforms descend on cities like Portland and Washington, D.C., and violently engage with American residents has been deeply troubling,” San Diego City Council president Georgette Gómez said in announcing the resolution.“San Diego must say loud and clear that this kind of heavy-handed, authoritarian behavior is not welcome here. I thank the San Diego chapter of the Truman National Security Project for its leadership in bringing this resolution forward, and for its fierce resistance to this kind of blatant abuse of executive power.”

The Truman National Security Project, a left-leaning group headquartered in Washington, reportedly helped write the resolution, which passed by a vote of 6-2.  It was prompted by news reports that San Diego is one of 18 cities the Department of Homeland Security is considering sending federal agents.

The resolution said that “the Council of the City of San Diego denounces the use of all unlawful, unconstitutional activities and tactics by the United States government against protesters, who are peacefully engaged in constitutionally protected activities, on the streets of America’s communities.”

The councilpersons declared that they “are outraged by the actions of the federal law enforcement agencies taking place in Portland, Oregon, which, based on public reports and statements of state and local officials, include unidentified federal law enforcement agents confronting and using violent force against protesters, including the use of tear gas, rubber bullets, and acoustic weapons, without apparent legal justification.”

Opposing federal action the Council asserted “its its right to govern, in the interests of protecting the peace and preserving the wellbeing of City residents, without intervention from federal law enforcement officers, especially when their assistance is not requested and their actions may fall outside of their jurisdictional authority.”

There were two dissenting votes by Council members Scott Sherman and Barbara Bry. They both said they were opposed to federal intervention in San Diego but considered the resolution extraneous.

“It really doesn’t accomplish much,” said Sherman.

Councilman Chris Ward declared that the resolution was needed because federal agents in Portland sowed violence. “It was a disaster in Portland,” he said of the federal intervention. “It was an overreaching federal government action to incite fear, create chaos and an attempt to provoke an excuse for more widespread violence by the federal government.”

“Seeing an escalation of violence due to the presence of federal forces in places like Portland does not sit well with me or the majority of our City Council,” Gómez said of the vote. “I thank my Council colleagues for standing with me and the San Diego chapter of the Truman National Security Project in signaling to our residents that we fully support their First Amendment rights and that we condemn the use of unconstitutional activities by federal law enforcement agencies.”

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