Protesters from “ShutDownDC,” the organization that followed Trump administration officials to local restaurants several years ago to protest a controversial family separation policy at the United States-Mexico border, organized a demonstration outside acting Department of Homeland Security secretary Chad Wolf’s Virginia home Saturday night and Sunday, to protest the presence of federal officials in Portland.
“We visited Chad Wolf this morning to tell him to send his thugs home and to support our friends in Portland, at the border, and across the country @popmobpdx @pnwylf Chad’s neighbors joined us — awkward!” the organization boasted on social media.
The Trump administration deployed an elite force of the Customs and Border Patrol to help defend a Portland federal courthouse amid violent unrest — unrest which has now gone on for more than 50 days. There are now federal officials in Chicago, Illinois, as well, working with local law enforcement to address that city’s ongoing gang violence problem.
The demonstration addressed several issues alongside the Portland riots.
“Marching under the ‘Shut Down D.C.’ banner, they then made their way to the DHS chief’s home where activists were pictured gathering outside with signs that read ‘Resist Trump’s Troops’ and ‘No more teargas, no more tearing families apart,'” Newsweek reported.
“We know there are no career consequences for these men and women. We know there are no financial consequences for these men and women. We know there are no legal consequences for these men and women. We must make social consequences for these men and women,” one protester told the media that had gathered to witness the scene.
The same person went on to defend the decision to protest Chad Wolf at his home rather than in a more public location.
“We must make it uncomfortable for them. We will not be good Germans. We will not be the people who sat by and watched our neighbors commit these atrocities and said nothing because their kids were home,” he said.
Although ShutDownDC received coverage for their event, turnout to the protest seemed sparse according to videos posted to Twitter.
One speaker at the protest outside of Sec. Chad Wolf’s home complains how there’s no financial, career, and legal consequences for people like him. Says there must be social/political consequences: “[Wolf] lives here quietly…and we need to do something about that.” pic.twitter.com/b47dUrKFrB
— Julio Rosas (@Julio_Rosas11) July 26, 2020
Around two dozen protesters had gathered by 11 am.
This is some low effort protesting outside of DHS Sec. Chad Wolf's home. pic.twitter.com/p8BcA2IJ4G
— Ian Miles Cheong (@stillgray) July 26, 2020
Shortly before noon, the protest left Wolf’s home and moved down the block. It quickly dispersed.
Newsweek notes that it is not clear whether Wolf was home at the time of the protest, and no one from the home appeared to scan the demonstration.
Saturday night marked the most significant night of unrest in months, after initial protests — and subsequent riots — held following the death of George Floyd in the custody of Minneapolis police first subsided. Police declared riots in both Portland and Seattle, Washington, Saturday night, and, in both cities, tear gas and non-lethal weapons were used to disperse demonstrations.