Portland Mothers Form Human Wall to Protect Protesters from Federal Officers (+Video)
- July, 20, 2020 - 20:31
- World news
TEHRAN (Tasnim) - A group of more than 30 mothers created a barricade to protect hundreds of protesters from federal officers during demonstrations against police brutality and racism in Portland, Oregon on Saturday.
Viral videos and photos on social media showed around three dozen mothers — dressed in white and wearing bike helmets — linking arms and chanting, “Feds stay clear! Moms are here!” and “Leave our kids alone” at a protest outside a federal courthouse.
The women stood for a few hours outside the courthouse before federal officers used tear gas and flash bangs to disperse the crowd, BuzzFeedNews reported.
Federal officers, deployed in Portland by President Trump since last week, have led to escalating tensions in the city after protesters said the officers were violating their civil rights by roaming the streets in unmarked vans and detaining people without probable cause.
The officers have also used tear gas, batons, and less-than-lethal munitions to disperse protesters who have been demonstrating for more than 50 nights in the city following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
Barnum, a 35-year-old content marketer and mother of two, said she created a Facebook event on Friday night after she was angered by a viral video that showed two armed and unidentified federal officers exiting an unmarked van, grabbing a person, and escorting them to a vehicle.
Last week, the Trump administration, led by acting Department of Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf, sent officers with DHS, Customs and Border Protection, the US Marshals Service and the Federal Protection Service to the area, despite criticism from Oregon's public officials who said their presence would inflame tensions.
The state attorney general on Friday sued several of those federal agencies for “overstepping their powers and injuring or threatening peaceful protesters on the streets of Downtown Portland,” according to an Oregon Department of Justice release.
The Wall Of Moms group coordinated with Don’t Shoot PDX, a social justice nonprofit, to take part in a vigil for Shai’India Harris, an 18-year-old Black woman who was murdered earlier this month. The mothers then walked to the Mark O. Hatfield US Courthouse to join the crowd of protesters on Saturday night.
After the mothers stood outside the federal courthouse for a few hours, federal officers dispersed the crowd with flash bang devices, batons, and tear gas.