Federal agents in Portland continue to escalate violence, this time by tear gassing moms who were trying to protect protesters
As protests in Portland, Oregon near their two month mark, people are still turning out on a daily basis to call for police reform and defunding and an end to brutality against and murder of Black people at the hands of the police. Over the weekend, a group of local moms started attending protests to form a human shield between protesters and federal agents, who have been dispatched to Oregon to help end the protests. The moms linked arms and stood in front of protesters, chanting things like, “feds stay clear, the moms are here,” and “leave our kids alone.”
And on Sunday, federal agents in Portland responding by shooting tear gas directly at the moms.
The horrifying moment was caught on video and posted by Instagram user Christian Burke, who wrote, “i was so excited they came out and then THE FEDS GASSED MY MOMS.”
Numerous other videos posted to social media by onlookers showed that the federal agents also used flash bangs, and Joshua Potash, who tweeted numerous videos, alleged that at least one of the moms in the line was pregnant.
According to news reports, the moms showed up at a protest on Saturday where they linked arms to try to stop violence between federal agents and protesters. According to numerous reports from protesters and news outlets over the last few weeks, federal agents have been allegedly violating protesters’ civil rights in Portland by infiltrating protests, escalating violence, and seizing and detaining protesters without probable cause. One protester told reporters he was dragged into an unmarked van and held in a federal courthouse for hours, before being released with no record of his arrest.
The Department of Homeland Security says their presence in Portland is necessary to “restore order.” Oregon Governor Kate Brown and Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler have publicly asked the Trump administration to stand down and remove the agents, who have been shown on video wearing green military fatigues with no badges or other identification, openly attacking protesters in the streets.
The open violence from these agents is part of what has pushed groups like the moms to join Portland’s protesters. Other concerned citizen groups have been getting involved as well, like the Doctors For Justice, who held a rally on Saturday Night outside the Multnomah County Courthouse with a banner that read, “stop assaulting our patients.”