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Dads With Leaf Blowers Have Joined Portland’s ‘wall Of Moms’ To Protect Protestors

Dads With Leaf Blowers Have Joined Portland’s ‘wall Of Moms’ To Protect Protestors
Posted at 8:00 AM, Jul 27, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-27 10:06:55-04

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In the midst of ongoing protests against systemic racism and police brutality in Portland, Oregon, local moms banded together to help protect protestors who have been targeted by federal agents. The mothers are part of a group called Wall of Moms, and their mission is to defend demonstrators’ right to peacefully protest. Now, dads have joined the cause, and they’re bringing leaf blowers with them.

On July 21, the Twitter account @PDXDadPod sent a tweet inviting dads to gather at the protest at 8:45 p.m. that night:

“Come stand up for your town, your neighbors, your kids,” read the tweet. “Look for the other orange shirts, use the buddy system. And remember, safety first.”

The accompanying graphic instructed dads attending to mask up and wear orange. It also featured an image of a leaf blower with the caption, “You mess with the bull, you get the horns.”

Using leaf blowers to disperse tear gas is a tactic Americans have borrowed from Hong Kong‘s pro-democracy protestors, who have a coordinated system for neutralizing a tear-gas canister that involves blowing the gas away, covering it and dousing it in water. This viral tweet from @demosisto shows how it works:

In Portland, the use of leaf blowers has apparently caught some federal agents off guard. According to a tweet from Washington Post reporter Nick Miroff, a Department of Homeland Security official was shocked that people were using leaf blowers to disperse tear gas, sending it away from protestors and back toward the agents:

Another Washington Post reporter on the ground in Portland, Marissa J. Lang, tweeted that it’s been “fascinating to see #Portland protestors get increasingly creative & extreme about gear,” with the photos showing people using homemade shields and gas masks to fend off tear gas as well as employing other innovative measures to stay safe. She noted, “A few moms out here brought their gas masks”:

Lang was interviewing a protestor when the tear-gassing began on July 22. In her second video, one of the dads clears the air with a leaf blower.

President Donald Trump deployed federal agents to Portland to protect a federal courthouse that has been tagged with graffiti and had windows broken amid weeks of protest against racism and police brutality. The state’s senators and governor, and Portland’s mayor, want them to leave, according to Vox. Since the federal agents’ arrival, protestors have reported getting picked up by unidentified officers in unmarked vehicles, blocks from the courthouse.

The Oregonian reported that 2,000 people were at the July 23 protest, and that the Wall of Moms has been out to protest every night since July 19.

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