'Wall Of Vets' Joins Black Lives Matter Protests In Portland

by Julie Scagell
Wall of Vets Portland protest July 24
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Vets joined the ‘Wall of Moms’ and ‘Wall of Dads’ to help protect protestors

As protests continue in Portland, more and more groups are showing up to take a stand against the federal agents using force, tear gas, and assaulting protestors. Last night, veterans made their voices known, standing with the protestors to back up other groups who’ve recently joined forces.

As a part of President Trump’s executive order allowing federal officers to patrol cities in the wake of protesting, Portland has been consumed with unrest and violent government overreach. On Friday, thousands showed up again to fight against police brutality and systemic racism, and the vets made it clear they weren’t going anywhere.

The vets showed up in support of Navy veteran Chris David, who was videoed being beaten and pepper-sprayed by federal police earlier in the week. “It’s something I believe in. The other vets here — this is the first time they’ve come down; they don’t like crowds either; we believe in something; it’s time to stand,” Jonathan Fisher, a veteran of the U.S. Coast Guard, told KATU2.

The veterans joined the “Wall of Moms,” and the “Wall of Dads,” who have been marching this week as tensions continue to rise after federal police began using excessive force to remove protests from the streets.

Spencer Platt/Getty Images

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Moms may have come first, but the dads quickly showed up with hockey sticks and leaf blowers to form a wall between protestors and police. The leaf blowers are very on-brand for dads but were actually used to remove the tear gas that police have weaponized against the crowds.

Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler was standing with the protestors this week when he was tear-gassed. Upon learning this, Trump said that “[Wheeler] made a fool out of himself” during a Fox News interview. “He wanted to be among the people so he went into the crowd and they knocked the hell out of him. That was the end of him. So it was pretty pathetic.”

Vets held signs that said “Disabled veterans 4 BLM” and “I am an American patriot. Federal troops defend property, but this does give them the right to take away my constitutional freedom.”

“What is happening in Portland right now — and I say this as somebody who’s seen war in other countries — it’s as close up to the line as you can get to actual war without live rounds,” journalist Robert Evans told the New York Times. “It’s really hard for me to see how things go much further without people dying. Since the feds got involved with police, it’s gotten really brutal. I’d argue we’ve seen more police brutality in the last 50 days from Portland Police Department than anywhere else in the country.”

Protests have been going strong for over 55 nights in Portland.