Burlington marchers protest federal agents deployed to Portland, Oregon, and across U.S.

Hundreds of protesters gathered in downtown Burlington Friday night to speak out against federal agents being deployed in Portland, Oregon, and other cities across the country.

“President Trump has unleashed federal agents from Customs & Border Patrol and ICE in Portland, Oregon, and they are actively detaining and attacking protesters who are standing up for Black lives and human rights,” a representative from Community Voices for Immigrant Rights, the event organizer, announced to the crowd in front of the federal building on Elmwood Avenue. 

More:Portland mayor tear-gassed by federal officers, warns ‘somebody’s going to die’ during chaotic protests

Protesters in downtown Burlington called out President Trump for deploying federal agents to cities across the U.S. where Black Lives Matter protests are happening. Hundreds gathered and marched from the Federal Building to Senator Patrick Leahy's office Friday, July 24, 2020.

“We cannot deny the connection between local policing and the greater militarization of the U.S.” she said to applause from the collection of diverse, mulit-aged protesters, many bearing homemade signs.

She called out Lori Lightfoot, the Democratic mayor of Chicago who until recently was against federal agents being deployed there.

“We cannot assume that Democrats alone will save us, we cannot assume that voting Trump out alone will save us,” she said. “We will need to be in the streets to solve this problem, as long as it takes.”

The throngs marched down Church Street to the Main Street office of Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt.,  who speakers said was responsible for bringing a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) facility to nearby Williston and also worked to make Burlington a base for the F-35 fighter jet program.

Protesters in downtown Burlington called out President Trump for deploying federal agents to cities across the U.S. where Black Lives Matter protests are happening. Hundreds gathered and marched from the Federal Building to Senator Patrick Leahy's office Friday, July 24, 2020.

The protesters chanted through masks, amid the governor’s new statewide mandate, and exclaimed, “Hey, hey. Ho, ho. These racist feds have got to go”, “When our rights are under attack, what do we do? Stand up, fight back”, “No justice, no peace” and “Black lives matter.”

Contact April Barton at abarton@freepressmedia.com or 802-660-1854. Follow her on Twitter @aprildbarton.

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