In the US city of Portland, Oregon, what started as protests to support the Black Lives Matter movement has now evolved into a standoff against the Trump administration's controversial unilateral deployment of federal police officers in the city.

Critics - including local officials - are concerned over what some see as growing authoritarianism and civil rights violations by Washington, while the government insists the use of federal agents is necessary to counter acts of violence fuelled by "anarchists" and "terrorists".

President Trump has announced the deployment of more federal agents to other US cities including Kansas City, Albuquerque and Chicago to combat rising crime. We will hear from people in Portland and discuss the increasing use of federal agents to police American communities.

To what degree can federal officers be held accountable by the public? Join the conversation.

On this episode of The Stream, we speak with:

Andrew Wilkins, Editor-in-Chief, Village Portland@tweetatwilkins

Eric Ward, Executive Director, Western States Center @BulldogShadow @WStatesCenter

Read more:

US federal agents use tear gas to disperse Portland's BLM protest - Al Jazeera

Source: Al Jazeera