Police in Portland, Oregon were caught on video shooting tear gas at a group of protesters calling themselves the "wall of moms." The women linked arms and tried to block police from clashing with other protesters on Saturday night, according to a report by The Washington Post. Police responded by launching tear gas directly at the group at close range.
The altercation reportedly took place around 8 p.m. in downtown Portland. The women took a stand between the police and unmarked soldiers in riot gear, and the protesters they had been clashing with throughout the evening around the city. This "wall of moms" chanted "feds stay clear, the moms are here," and "leave our kids alone." Police launched multiple tear gas canisters at the unarmed women, which sparked an uproar among them and other protesters. The "wall of moms" stood its ground.
Jesus Christ feds came out of the courthouse in Portland and fired a flash bang at the moms against police brutality. At least one of these mothers is pregnant.July 19, 2020
Protests throughout Portland in the last week have shocked onlookers and led to serious concerns about civil rights, according to The Post. On Friday, the Oregon attorney general filed a lawsuit claiming that the federal government was violating Oregonians' civil rights by seizing and detaining protesters without probable cause.
Other local officials have openly asked the federal government to stay out of Portland in recent days, but the Department of Homeland Security has maintained that it is needed to "restore order." Gov. Kate Brown, Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler and others have asked the Trump administration to step aside.
Photos and videos from throughout the week have shown armed men in green military fatigues with no badges or other identifying marks attacking protesters. The Post spoke to one man who was arrested by such a group, who claimed that he was hauled into an unmarked van, held in a federal courthouse for hours, and was given no record of his arrest.
The women on the right in white are a group of moms protesting against police brutality in Portland. The canister police toss is tear gas. pic.twitter.com/raEsSh41HW— Joshua Potash (@JoshuaPotash) July 19, 2020
Other groups like the "wall of moms" have been taking part as well. One protest in Portland on Saturday night was reportedly organized by a group called Doctors for Justice. They gathered outside of the Multnomah County Justice Center, with a banner that read "stop assaulting our patients."
In many ways, these protests are related to the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota on May 25. His death sparked a wave of anguish around the U.S., leading to protests against systemic racism and police violence that have not come to a full stop since.