As a part of President Trump’s executive order allowing federal officers to patrol cities in the wake of protesting, Portland has been consumed with unrest and violent government overreach. Protesters have been tear-gassed, assaulted, shot, and most recently it was reported that they were being removed from the streets in unmarked vehicles. It seems area moms have had enough and decided to step in to help protect the protesters.
The protests began in the city in the days following the murder of George Floyd and, though growing smaller, have not stopped in the past 50 days. And though these demonstrations would be described as peaceful protests — and not “riots” as the president likes to label them as — clashes between law enforcement officers and protesters, however, have become more violent. Coverage of the city’s unrest found its way to the Trump administration and the president vowed to “dominate” the city. Showing up in force last night, area moms have had enough.
In Portland, the federal courthouse is surrounded by a fence to keep protestors out. Preschool teacher Lindsey Smith shared a series of videos from the site yesterday and tweeted that protestors risk violence if they go anywhere near the fence. “Touching fences has resulted in tear gas, shooting, arrests, and more from police, both federal and local, over the past month and a half,” Smith tweeted. She then shared another video showing a line of moms arm-in-arm around the protestors, writing in part, “The moms are chanting, ‘Feds stay clear! Moms are here!’ at the federal courthouse. All three fences are still up.”
“What is happening in Portland right now — and I say this as somebody who’s seen war in other countries — it’s as close up to the line as you can get to actual war without live rounds,” journalist Robert Evans told the New York Times. “It’s really hard for me to see how things go much further without people dying. Since the feds got involved with police it’s gotten really brutal. I’d argue we’ve seen more police brutality in the last 50 days from Portland Police Department than anywhere else in the country.”
It seems Trump may be using Portland as a test case for how far his “law and order” sentiments can go after protesters occupied the area around the Justice Center. Now that unmarked vans are pulling people at random off the streets, Oregon senators, Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden, as well as Senator Chuck Schumer, have requested a formal federal investigation into what is happening.
While that happens, it seems the moms will step in and offer some protection of their own. “The moms are facing the federal courthouse, and the crowd is behind them,” Smith wrote in another tweet. “The Justice Center, which [the Portland police] attack from, is also behind them.”—AFP