In Portland, Oregon, the Black Lives Matter movement is gaining momentum. Since the death of George Floyd, almost two months ago, the gatherings have multiplied. And almost every night there are clashes between the police and the demonstrators. While an official investigation was opened Thursday by the US Department of Justice into the highly controversial action of federal police in Portland, the mothers of the demonstrators decided to act. Stunned by the violence of the confrontations with the police, they now take to the streets to protect their children.
Bev Barnum, the mother behind their mobilization, would never have believed that she would achieve such a result by posting a simple message on the Internet last week.
“It said something like + I don’t know about you, but I have never manifested +,” says this 35-year-old mother, who lives in Portland, the largest city in Oregon, in the northeast. western United States.
“I think we should do something. What if you had a hundred moms behind you and they made a difference? The message continued.
In just a few hours, his mailbox was saturated with mothers excited by his proposal.
“The mothers wall”
Since then, these late-breaking activists have formed “Le Mur des Mamans” and have taken to the streets every night to swell the ranks of anti-racist demonstrators.
Dressed in yellow, wearing bicycle helmets and holding up sunflower blossoms, hundreds of mothers stand arm in arm to form a human barrier between activists and federal police dispatched by President Donald Trump to restore “the law and order ”, according to his campaign slogan.
Some wave signs “Angry as a mother” or “Leave our children alone”, in reference to the last words of George Floyd, black forty-something suffocated in late May under the knee of a white police officer. After pleading with the policeman and complaining of suffocation, George Floyd called his mother for help.
” The Beehive “
“Moms make things happen,” says Barnum. “We have lots of different hats. For now, we wear that of fierce protectors, ”says the one who chose the color yellow to combine with the black of“ Black Lives Matter ”, and thus remind the bees.
Having spurred the movement, Bev Barnum says she has now handed over the “hive” orders to three Portland black mothers, but her initiative has already inspired similar “walls” in other cities across the country, such as New York and Chicago. .
Since then, the movement has spread to fathers, who also form a wall, dressed in orange, but also to veterans, with their “wall of vets”.
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