News, Culture & Society

Trump’s troops vs. Portland’s moms: Parents join 55th day of protests in the city

Trump’s federal cops and Portland’s moms faced off again Tuesday night as protests entered day 55 in the city and the president’s men face a growing pushback from demonstrators and local officials.

The self-proclaimed ‘Wall of Moms’ took to the streets of the Oregon capital to protest the presence of federal agents in the city and act as human shields between them and Black Lives Matter protesters. 

As well as the backlash in the streets, the Trump administration is also facing one in the courts, with several lawsuits filed in the last week in efforts to force the federal agents out of the city.  

This comes as Trump continues to plow ahead with his law and order takeover in Democrat-run states, as he vowed to send in 150 agents to tackle the wave of violence and ongoing protests in Chicago.  

The ‘Wall of Moms’ lead protests outside the Multnomah County Justice Center Tuesday night

The group linked arms in peaceful protest for the fourth night while holding peace symbols and banners reading: 'Don't mess with mama bear' and 'Mother Mary lost a son to state violence'

The group linked arms in peaceful protest for the fourth night while holding peace symbols and banners reading: ‘Don’t mess with mama bear’ and ‘Mother Mary lost a son to state violence’

Retired US Army major intelligence officer Jenine Betschart (center) protests outside the Multnomah County Justice Center along with the 'Wall of Moms' as night fell on the city

Retired US Army major intelligence officer Jenine Betschart (center) protests outside the Multnomah County Justice Center along with the ‘Wall of Moms’ as night fell on the city

Hundreds of protesters gathered in the streets of Portland Tuesday night, holding banners aloft as they marched peacefully through the city. 

The ‘Wall of Moms’ led protests outside the Multnomah County Justice Center, sporting their signature yellow t-shirts.

The group linked arms in peaceful protest for the fourth night while holding peace symbols and banners reading: ‘Don’t mess with mama bear’ and ‘Mother Mary lost a son to state violence’.

Most were pictured wearing face masks and cycle helmets, and several held aloft flowers.  

Protests demanding an end to racism and police brutality have taken place across Portland for almost two months – ever since a white cop ‘murdered’ black man George Floyd during an arrest over a fake $20 bill. 

But the yellow-clad activists have only taken to the streets since Saturday, driven by a need to protect fellow protesters after Trump sent in federal troops.  

Trump's federal cops and Portland's moms faced off again Tuesday night as protests entered day 55 in the city and the president's men face a growing pushback from demonstrators and local officials

Trump’s federal cops and Portland’s moms faced off again Tuesday night as protests entered day 55 in the city and the president’s men face a growing pushback from demonstrators and local officials

The self-proclaimed 'Wall of Moms' took to the streets of the Oregon capital to protest the presence of federal agents in the city and act as human shields between them and Black Lives Matter protesters

The self-proclaimed ‘Wall of Moms’ took to the streets of the Oregon capital to protest the presence of federal agents in the city and act as human shields between them and Black Lives Matter protesters

As well as the backlash in the streets, the Trump administration is also facing one in the courts, with several lawsuits filed in the last week in efforts to force the federal agents out of the city

As well as the backlash in the streets, the Trump administration is also facing one in the courts, with several lawsuits filed in the last week in efforts to force the federal agents out of the city

Mardy Widman, a 79-year-old grandmother of five, said she had stayed away from the protests against racial injustice for fear of contracting coronavirus but she felt compelled to act when federal agents arrived in the city. 

‘It’s like a dictatorship,’ Widman said Monday, holding up a sign that read: ‘Grammy says: Please feds, leave Portland.’

‘I mean, that he can pick on our city mostly because of the way we vote and make an example of it for his base is very frightening.’ 

Federal forces were deployed to Portland early July, and tensions have arisen between law enforcement and protesters ever since with claims their deployment has sparked more violence and reignited demonstrations that were dwindling in size.

On July 11, a protester was hospitalized with critical injuries after a US Marshals Service officer struck him in the head with a round of less-lethal ammunition. 

Anger flared again over the weekend after video surfaced of a federal agent hitting a Navy veteran repeatedly with a baton while another agent sprayed him in the face with pepper spray. 

A statue of President Thomas Jefferson is defaced with paint and graffiti reading "Slave owner and rapist" in the Chinook Land Autonomous Territory outside the Multnomah County Justice Center

A statue of President Thomas Jefferson is defaced with paint and graffiti reading ‘Slave owner and rapist’ in the Chinook Land Autonomous Territory outside the Multnomah County Justice Center

Protests in Portland continued for the 55th night Tuesday as tensions escalate between federal agents and peaceful demonstrators

Protests in Portland continued for the 55th night Tuesday as tensions escalate between federal agents and peaceful demonstrators

Protests demanding an end to racism and police brutality have taken place across Portland for almost two months - ever since a white cop 'murdered' black man George Floyd during an arrest over a fake $20 bill

Protests demanding an end to racism and police brutality have taken place across Portland for almost two months – ever since a white cop ‘murdered’ black man George Floyd during an arrest over a fake $20 bill

But the yellow-clad activists have only taken to the streets since Saturday, driven by a need to protect fellow demonstrators after Trump sent in federal troops. Pictured the moms call on the federal agents to 'go home'

But the yellow-clad activists have only taken to the streets since Saturday, driven by a need to protect fellow demonstrators after Trump sent in federal troops. Pictured the moms call on the federal agents to ‘go home’ 

Protestors at the Mark O. Hatfield federal courthouse which has been covered in graffiti

Protestors at the Mark O. Hatfield federal courthouse which has been covered in graffiti

Richard Cline, principal deputy director of the Federal Protective Service, told reporters Tuesday that the officers are part of the Marshals Service and that the Justice Department’s inspector general is investigating.

Allegations have also surfaced of federal agents whisking people away in unmarked cop cars without probable cause.

On Monday, video showed federal agents in Portland firing tear gas at protesters pulling down fencing around the federal courthouse.

Federal agents again used force to scatter protesters early Tuesday and deployed tear gas and rubber bullets as some banged on the doors of the Mark O. Hatfield Federal Courthouse and tried to pull plywood off the shuttered entryway. 

The boarded-up courthouse, which has been a focus of protests, is now covered with graffiti.

Portland police said some protesters lit fires in the street and tried several times to set them at the courthouse doors.

The 'Wall of Moms' march heads to the justice center as night falls Tuesday

The ‘Wall of Moms’ march heads to the justice center as night falls Tuesday

Protesters along the Portland waterfront as the 'Wall of Moms' march begins

Protesters along the Portland waterfront as the ‘Wall of Moms’ march begins

Protesters pose for chalk outlines in remembrance of black lives lost

Protesters pose for chalk outlines in remembrance of black lives lost

The moms have gathered demanding the federal agents go home as several lawsuits have also been filed against the Trump administration over the move to send in troops

The moms have gathered demanding the federal agents go home as several lawsuits have also been filed against the Trump administration over the move to send in troops

Oregon’s governor and Portland’s mayor have expressed anger over the presence of the federal agents, saying the city’s protests had started to ease just as the federal agents started taking action and stoking up more hostility. 

‘It is time for the Trump troops to go home and focus their attention on other activities,’ Democratic Gov. Kate Brown told MSNBC. 

Crowds in Portland had recently numbered fewer than 100 people but swelled to more than 1,000 over the weekend as outrage grew at the federal agents’ presence and their heavy-handed tactics.  

While outrage has been building in the streets over the move, lawsuits have also been filed against the Trump administration.  

One suit filed Tuesday claims federal agents are violating protesters’ 10th Amendment rights by engaging in police activities designated to local and state governments. 

The legal action was filed by the Portland-based Western States Center, which helps organize and promote the rights of communities of color and low-income people.

This comes after Oregon’s attorney general sued last week, asking a judge to block federal agents’ actions. 

The state argued that masked agents have arrested people on the street, far from the US courthouse that’s become a target of vandalism, with no probable cause.

Trump is showing no signs of backing down after he said Monday he would also send federal agents to other cities including Baltimore, Chicago, New York and Philadelphia to crack down on protests there.  

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk