After a group of mothers stood in defense of Portland protestors, a new group has mobilized in Chicago.
Over the weekend, dozens of Portland mothers put themselves on the line to join together in a human chain — dubbed “The Wall of Moms” — in solidarity with the citizens protesting against racial injustice and police brutality. The group has inspired many around the country, including here in Chicago, where a new coalition has formed.
Since the murder of George Floyd, now over 50 days ago, tens of thousands of protestors have marched in Portland calling for racial equality and police accountability. While the protests have been mostly peaceful, there have been instances of vandalism, arson, and violence. On a number of occasions, protestors and local police have clashed.
Amplifying the conflict between police and protestors, was the dispatch of federal agents from the Department of Homeland Security in unmarked vans on the orders of the White House, who began to round up and detain protestors without warning.
In the wake of this, one mom had seen enough:
“It didn’t take long for me to find a massive array of video displaying obvious human rights violations,” group founder, Bev Barnum, told CNN. “I thought I needed to do more so I asked the Portland working moms group to protest with me — to shield the protesters from harm with our ‘mombods.'”
The images of Barnum with a chain of dozens of other mothers in white, all wearing face masks and protective headgear, went viral. The moms remained there for hours until the police deployed teargas.
Inspired by their effort, a group has formed here in Chicago. Created only two days ago, the Facebook group already has more than 4,000 members.
“The peaceful protestors in Portland, Oregon, were attacked by Federal agents… but first, they had to break through a Wall of Moms,” the group’s description reads. “If these agents descend upon Chicago, we must be ready to stand up and let them know we are ready to put our bodies between these bullies and our children.”
While many members of the group have children, the group creator, Katje Sabin, writes that anyone who feels the need to protect others is welcome in Wall of Moms, regardless of gender or children.
The first tentative appearance of the Wall of Moms in Chicago will be on Saturday, July 25 for the Black Lives Matter Rally & March held by Rabbi Michael Ben Yosef of Tikkun Chai Inter-National.
The formation of the group comes on the heels of the POTUS’s announcement that he plans to deploy similar federal forces in Chicago as in Portland. In response to this, both Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Governor JB Pritzker have vowed to refuse the federal agents.
[Featured image:@Bev Barnum via Facebook]