[COMMENTARY] Portland’s “Wall of Moms” Form Human Barrier Against Hate
For the last 53 nights, Black Lives Matter protestors have marched in the streets of Portland to protest the murder of George Floyd and others, as well as the ongoing issue of police brutality. Crowd numbers had been dwindling, but thanks to Donald Trump deploying armed and unidentified (and thoroughly unwanted) federal officers, this week has seen the numbers increase exponentially.
The people on the streets are no longer just young; a “Wall of Moms” has formed to stave off the officers. Twitter has delighted in this new development, dubbing them “#MOMTIFA” and sharing videos of them leading the crowds in a lullaby of “Hand Up, Don’t Shoot” and more.
Mimi Surbaugh is just one of the moms who geared up to take on the Feds. “The Wall of Moms is so fitting for these times,” said Surbaugh, a Portland mom of three daughters who are 18, 17, and 15. “And not just because our so-called President acts like a child–and a very maladaptive child at that–but because every time a black life is destroyed, you can’t help but think of the mothers.”
Surbaugh, who lives in the Southeast area of the city, covered herself in her homemade riot gear and headed down to join the other moms because she just couldn’t stay away. “Not to be trite, but moms are really the unsung heroes,” she says. “But here we are on the other side of protection, encouragement, and even nurturing–we were cracking up because some of the younger protesters were offering US snacks and juice boxes. Many of us were downright scared, but there was no place we’d rather be.”
Acting DHS Secretary Chad Wolf told reporters that they have no intention of leaving the city. Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum–another Portland Mom–has already filed a lawsuit against the Trump Administration for unlawful occupation, kidnapping, and other offenses they’ve committed while in the city. Trump is planning to send similarly armed federal officers to all cities with Democratic Mayors.
Protests are expected to only increase in size the longer Wolf and his anonymous soldiers remain in Portland.