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Dads join Portland's 'Wall of Moms' with leaf blowers to combat tear gas at protests

Armed with leaf blowers to combat the tear gas set forth by police, Portland dads joined the call for an end to police-sanctioned violence against Black people.

Dads join Portland's 'Wall of Moms' with leaf blowers to combat tear gas at protests
Cover Image Source: Getty/ A crowd of about 1,500 protesters gathered at the Multnomah County Justice Center for a Black Lives Matter march on July 20 in Portland, Ore. (Photo by Nathan Howard)

The city of Portland, Oregon, has been in a state of unrest ever since President Trump signed an executive order to patrol cities in the wake of ongoing demonstrations. While those dissenting were harassed, shot at, and assaulted with tear gas, it was also reported that some protesters were being removed from the streets in unmarked vehicles. Retaliating to the extreme use of force against peaceful protesters, a group of local moms took to the streets this week to stand, arms linked, between armed federal agents and demonstrators. Joining the 'Wall of Moms' were Portland's dads, armed with leaf blowers to combat the tear gas set forth by police and to call for an end to police-sanctioned violence against Black people.







Photos and videos posted on social media show the dads clad in orange shirts holding signs that say, "FATHERS AGAINST FASCISM," "Feds go home," and "Knock it off!—Dad." Their gathering seems to have been organized by the "PDX Dad Pod," which put out a call to put "dad bods on the line to stop fascism." The group that welcomes "all papas, fathers, Femme Daddies, butches, uncles, big brothers, and anyone that owns cargo shorts," tweeted earlier this week that "we're here to destroy white supremacy and the carceral state—with corny jokes, noogies, and some real talk!!"



The official PDX Dad Pod Twitter account has been putting out calls for action every day this week, urging demonstrators to show up with "electric leafblowers to disperse the gas and something to protect your noggin." The profile also directed netizens towards their nearest hardware store to "support your local biz and buy a cordless leaf blower," and called on everyone to "come stand up for your town, your neighbors, your kids. Look for the other orange shirts, use the buddy system. And remember, safety first."



Netizens praised the city's maternal and paternal figures for showing up for the Black Lives Movement and helping demonstrators face the increasingly violent law enforcement forces. For the 1st time last night, the Portland Dad Brigade came out to protest. Everyone in orange is a Dad. Moms around the country are organizing local Walls of Moms. Dads around the country, we need you too, wrote Twitter user Joshua Potash, sharing a video of the moms and dads in action. Never thought I would enjoy watching dads use leaf blowers. Then I watched the portland protests, tweeted @bIueroyaIs.









After the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) heard about the use of leaf blowers against tear gas, an official within the department told Washington Post reporter Nick Miroff that they were frustrated and astonished by the demonstrators' actions. One DHS official we spoke to expressed frustration and astonishment that Portland protesters were showing up with leaf blowers to disperse tear gas and send it right back at fed agents, Miroff tweeted. Speaking to Truthout, a protester who goes by the alias "Doug Smith" said: "This dad expresses disdain for Trump using so-called 'elite' border patrol agents to brutally assault and abduct peaceful American people in an American city."









Smith also explained that the leaf blowers would be more effective in countering the tear gas if more protesters showed up with them. "Honestly, I think you'd need scores of leaf blowers with a phalanx of dads holding their ground under pretty perfect conditions to use them effectively in the dispersal of chemical agents," he said. "But they are an iconic symbol of a tool dads use to clean up messes." 







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