The Portland dads are bringing leaf blowers to the protest to combat the tear gas set forth by police
For nearly two months, the people of Portland, Oregon have been taking to the streets to call for police reform and to protest police brutality against the Black community. Recently, a group of local moms gathered to form a wall between protesters and the federal agents who were dispatched to Portland to terrorize the city under the guise of “ending the protests.” Now Portland dads are joining the moms in the streets, complete with leaf blowers, to call for an end against police-sanctioned violence and murder against Black people.
Why leaf blowers? Because the militarized police force that has overrun Portland is weaponizing tear gas against protestors, and these dads are using their favorite power tool to blow the dangerous substance away from the crowd — which in recent days, has grown massive.
Many photos and videos with the dads — marked by their orange shirts — are making their way to Twitter and other social media outlets. Some photos show dads holding signs that say, “FATHERS AGAINST FASCISM” and referring to themselves as the “PDX Dad Pod.”
The official PDX Dad Pod Twitter account shared a call for dads on yesterday, telling them where they can buy their own leaf blower and where to join the march. “Come stand up for your town, your neighbors, your kids. Look for the other orange shirts, use the buddy system. And remember, safety first.”
“For the 1st time last night the Portland Dad Brigade came out to protest. Everyone in orange is a Dad,” Twitter user Joshua Potash wrote. “Moms around the country are organizing local Walls of Moms. Dads around the country, we need you too.”
Like many cities across the country, Portland’s protests began after the murder of George Floyd. They’ve continued for over 50 days and have been peaceful — on the part of those protesting. Seeing the unrest in the city, Trump claimed he was ready to “dominate” it. Recently, federal agents were given orders to combat the protests by clashing with civilians and shooting tear gas directly at them. They even gassed the Wall of Moms over the weekend, as seen in this disturbing Instagram video.
According to Newsweek report, the Wall of Moms organization is a “PDX-based network of women and non-binary mother-identifying folks dedicated to supporting the current civil rights movement to end police brutality by defending and supporting BLM protesters on the front line and online.”
And now PDX dads are joining together with PDX moms in a powerful display of solidarity against racial injustice. In another video, captured by Twitter user and journalist Marissa J. Lang, a Portland dad uses his leaf blower to alleviate the gas from above the crowd.
Another video shows the size of the crowd that assembled Monday night. “Out here with the moms and dads of Portland manifesting dissent against racist police and federal boots on our streets,” Twitter user Alexander Reid Ross shared.
A Portland protester named Doug Smith tells Truthout.org that the use of leaf blowers to counteract chemical agents could be more effective if enough people show up with them.
“Honestly, I think you’d need scores of leaf blowers with a phalanx of dads holding their ground under pretty perfect conditions to use them effectively in the dispersal of chemical agents,” he said. “But they are an iconic symbol of a tool dads use to clean up messes.”