Another huge crowd tonight in Portland, including a new "wall" on the front lines: a Wall of Vets.
Here's a look at the line of military veterans getting set up here in front of the federal courthouse. Behind them, the Wall of Moms and the Wall of Dads are arriving. pic.twitter.com/gGnXHjI3k2
— Mike Baker (@ByMikeBaker) July 25, 2020
According to footage shot by the New York Times and USA Today, the group of dozens of veterans served as a barrier between law enforcement and protesters. They joined a group of Portland mothers calling themselves “Wall of Moms,” who chanted,“Moms are here. Feds stay clear.”
Both groups were eventually dispersed with tear gas and other crowd control agents used by the federal forces.
Federal agents have used aggressive measures against protesters in recent weeks as demonstrations in Portland have escalated near federal buildings in the city.
Last week, tensions between demonstrators and law enforcement escalated when reports surfaced that federal agents clad in camouflage were grabbing and detaining protestors in unmarked vans.
Duston Obermeyer, a Marine Corps veteran, told the Times that the veterans were “there to ensure our citizens did not have their right to free speech and their right to protest and right to assemble taken away from them.”
“Our veterans are here to support specifically the rights of the protesters,” he said.
Last week Christopher David, a onetime member of the Navy’s Civil Engineer Corps, was struck with a baton and sprayed in the face with a chemical irritant while attending the protests. The 53-year-old later learned his right hand was broken.
President Trump announced Wednesday that he was sending federal agents to Chicago and Albuquerque, areas that he believes are “plagued by violent crime.”
However, local leaders have been against this move.