The Department of Homeland Security has sent federal agents into Seattle ahead of planned protests this weekend, in a move opposed by both the mayor and the Seattle chief of police. According to U.S. Attorney Brian Moran, the agents are there to protect federal properties like courthouses—one of which was broken into last week. But Mayor Jenny Durkin and nine members of the Washington State congressional delegation, as well as several county officials, have said the move will only increase tensions in the city. Federal agents in nearby Portland have used tear gas on protestors and pulled demonstrators off the street into unmarked vans.
Durkin emphasized in a press conference Friday that she had not requested the federal presence, would not cooperate with them, and was prepared to take legal action if they intervened in the protests. “These are unusual times,” she said. “And the federal government is acting in ways that I’ve never seen in my lifetime.”