The names, George Floyd and Breonna Taylor are still being uttered from multiple corners of the United States. Their cold-blooded murders won’t be buried underneath yesterday’s news and many are making sure of that. Protests have been flooding the streets of the nation for weeks without any end in sight. Meanwhile, police brutality lives on. In a very eyebrow-raising manner, many police officers are still wreaking havoc using the same behaviors being opposed by protestors. Simply put, things are not looking good. This is why a group of mothers in Portland, Oregon decided to take to the streets. They felt it was time for them to protect the protestors, the very people trying to bring justice to the US.
This past Saturday, a group of more than 30 moms came to the defense of hundreds of protestors speaking against police brutality and racism near the federal courthouse. The moms linked their arms to one another in an attempt to create a wall, or a Wall of Moms, to block federal officers’ access to the protestors. Throughout this demonstration, the mothers chanted: “Feds stay clear! Moms are here!” Various videos and posts on social media showcase this motherly act of solidarity.
Incredible scene in Portland right now. A group of Moms are chanting, “Feds stay clear! Moms are here!” at the federal courthouse.
— Joshua Potash (@JoshuaPotash) July 19, 2020
“As most of you have read and seen on the news, protestors are being hurt (without cause),” Barnum wrote on a Facebook event page, where she urged other mother’s to protect protestors. “And as of late, protestors are being stripped of their rights by being placed in unmarked cars by unidentifiable law enforcement.”
“We moms are often underestimated,” Barnum, wrote on the page. “But we’re stronger than we’re given credit for. So what do you say, will you stand with me? Will you help me create a wall of moms?”
Barnum, who identifies as Mexican-American, told Buzzfeed News she created a Facebook event on Friday night after she watching a viral video that presented two armed and unidentified federal officers exiting an unmarked van, grabbing a person, and taking them to their car.
Federal officers, sent to Portland by Trump last week, have created a less than ideal environment in the city between law enforcement and protestors. These officers are allegedly using unmarked cars and vans to detain demonstrators or others without probable cause. Many protestors are expressing their concerns about the recently transpired events as they feel their civil rights are being violated.
The mothers’ strategy was to use their privilege and fact that many were white-passing to deter the federal officers from using unnecessary force. They spent a few hours defending the protestors. Though it worked in the beginning, the officers, ultimately, ended up using flash-bang devices, batons, and tear gas to disperse the demonstration.
Barnum knows that their presence is not the story.
“This is about Black Lives Matter. This is not about white women coming in to save the day,” she told Buzzfeed News.
It’s been an emotional year, to say the least. The world is experiencing angst, frustration, anger, among many other feelings. Oh, but that anger is more definitive than ever, especially when it comes to the blatant injustices by those who are meant to serve justice. Protests are going to keep happening and according to Barnum, Wall of Moms in Portland will continue to show up as long as protestors need protection.