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Portland responds to federal law enforcement actions with ‘Wall of Moms’

2020-07-22

Following more than a week of militarized federal police cracking down on protesters with harsh methods, a new group has emerged in Portland to try and deter the Department of Homeland Security’s actions in Stumptown: the Wall of Moms.

The new federal law enforcement response to protests against police brutality and racial injustice, which President Trump and the Department of Homeland Security have threatened to roll out in other cities, quickly drew criticism from local and state officials in Oregon, especially regarding officers with no identification whisking protesters away in unmarked rental cars, likely committing civil rights violations.

The Wall of Moms has become the latest high-profile rebuke to the federal response after first showing up on Saturday outside the federal courthouse in Portland to stand between federal police and protesters while chanting slogans like “Feds stay clear, the moms are here.”

The Wall of Moms started as a Facebook group which called for mothers to “do what we do best ? protect people.”

More than 30 women showed up on Saturday night to create a human barricade and stood with arms linked for several hours before the crowd, including the wall and those the wall was protecting, was dispersed with flash bangs and tear gas — which the Portland police later condemned.

A larger group returned on Sunday and was again met with tear gas.

However, Bev Barnum, a 35-year-old mother of two who created the original Facebook group, has vowed to keep coming back.

“We’ll be out until no protester needs protecting,” she told Buzzfeed News.