Portland Moms Create ‘Human Shield’ to Protect Protesters from Law Enforcement

A wall of moms blocks police from reaching protesters
Twitter/@RPeavyhouse

Portland moms formed a “human shield” during Sunday night’s protests as demonstrators surrounded the courthouse, tore down the fence, and set fires while ignoring the calls to disperse.

Portland saw yet another night of violent protests as a crowd gathered outside the Mark O. Hatfield Federal Courthouse, chanted, and attempted to dismantle the fence around the building for over an hour, according to a statement from the Portland Police Bureau (PPB). Demonstrators were able to breach the fence, prompting federal law enforcement to attempt to repair the damage.

Several videos on social media show the demonstrators tearing down the fencing and setting fires in the area. Other footage shows moms forming a “human barricade” and chanting, “Feds stay clear! Moms are here!”

“We are about protecting peaceful citizens’ right to protest,” Bev Barnum, the “Wall of Moms” organizer, told BuzzFeed News.

The protests continued as demonstrators climbed the fence, ultimately pulling the structure down, which gave them access to the area in front of the courthouse.

“Dozens of people with shields, helmets, gas masks, umbrellas, bats, and hockey sticks approached the doors of the courthouse. Federal law enforcement came out of the courthouse at about 11:50 p.m. and dispersed the crowd,” the Portland Police Bureau said in a statement:

Over the next two hours, hundreds of people wandered around downtown Portland, many regrouping on SW 3rd Avenue in front of the courthouse, in the adjacent parks and around the Justice Center. At 1:31 a.m. a person climbed onto the northwest corner of the Justice Center to tamper with a security camera. At 1:34 a.m. people lit a fire within the portico in front of the federal courthouse. Others gathered around the fire adding wood and other debris to make it larger.

At 1:42 a.m. federal law enforcement came out of the courthouse, dispersed the crowd, and extinguished the fire.

PPB added that Portland Police were “not present during any of the activity described.”

Demonstrators have wreaked havoc on the city of Portland for weeks as part of their greater effort to deplete the city of resources and defund the police. Area businesses have lost at least $23 million as a result of the continuous demonstrations, many of which have descended into riots.

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