Wall Of Military Veterans Formed To Protect Portland Black Lives Matter Protesters
A group of military veterans formed a wall to protect Black Lives Matter protesters from federal police officers in Portland.
The veterans turned up to the protest, which took place on Friday, July 24, outside Portland’s courthouse. They remained united as a wall until tear gas was thrown, which caused the crowds to disperse.
Following the death of George Floyd, there have been nightly protests taking place in the city, which led to President Trump deploying federal officers two weeks ago.
There were 4,000 people in attendance at Friday’s protest making it the largest crowd since protests began in May, reported Oregon Live.
Duston Obermeyer, a Marine Corps veteran who attended Friday’s protest, said he was there alongside the other veterans to ensure officers did not infringe the protesters’ freedom of speech.
He told The New York Times, ‘Our veterans are here specifically to support the rights of the protesters to protest.’
Most of the veterans simply stood with their hands behind their backs while shielding the protesters, while some held up Black Lives Matter signs.
The veterans’ decision to create the wall is thought to be a nod to the ‘Wall of Moms’, which was created by a group of women who shielded Portland protesters earlier this week.
There has been a lot of push back following Trump’s decision to deploy officers to the city, with many campaigning to have them removed. Upon his decision, the president said that the city had ‘lost control of the anarchists and agitators’.
Two dozen Senate Democrats have since sent a letter to the Trump administration demanding answers regarding the deployment of the federal officers, reported the Huffington Post.
Part of the letter read:
Critically, it remains unclear what legal authorities the federal government has invoked for its militarized interventions in American cities. All of this is part of an alarming pattern by the Trump Administration in taking an aggressive and excessive response to protests catalyzed by the killing of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and many others. [sic]
Trump defended his decision on Twitter, stating that he did it because the government is ‘trying to help Portland, not hurt it’. He added that they must protect federal property and ‘our people’.
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