The need for strong, independent local journalism
is more urgent than ever. Please support the city we
love by joining Friends of Willamette Week.

Three Women in the Portland “Wall of Moms” Hold or Seek Elected Office

Trump’s incursion into the city has galvanized people who don’t typically confront police.

President Trump built the wall—of moms.

Among the bizarre sights within the six-block radius that violent policing has turned into a war zone in Portland, the "Wall of Moms" is the latest and most wholesome. Dressed in yellow and wearing gas masks, the moms form a barrier between federal officers and the throng of Portland protesters. They started assembling July 18. They were tear gassed. They came back in greater numbers July 19.

To be sure, these aren't the first mothers to attend Portland protests. As many activists have noted, women of color have been leaders in the uprising since its earliest days, some of them with kids. It's more accurate to say this is an assembly of white, affluent mothers, whose presence demonstrates how Trump's incursion into the city has galvanized people who don't typically confront police.

Case in point: Three of the moms who attended this weekend either hold elected office or are seeking it in November.

Dr. Sharon Meieran

Office held: Multnomah County commissioner

When she attended: July 18

What happened: Federal cops deployed tear gas.

What she said: "Last night I was tear gassed by a federal occupying force I saw throw canisters of poison, without warning, into a nonviolent crowd, including elders, the vulnerable. We can't wait for November to drive secret police from Portland! Democracy is slipping away in front of our tear-gassed eyes."

Dr. Lisa Reynolds

Office sought: Oregon state representative, District 36

When she attended: July 19

What happened: She went home before federal cops deployed tear gas.

What she said: "After hearing Sharon Meieran's story from last night, I returned to the protests better prepared. The Mom Wall stood between protesters and the fence. Tear gas was used again after I left."

Sarah Iannarone

Office sought: Portland mayor

When she attended: July 19

What happened: The feds deployed tear gas. Iannarone was wearing goggles, and in the second line of protesters, her campaign says. She helped end to those hit hardest by the gas.

What she said: "The people of Portland are not so foolish as to believe the false narratives dictated by the 24-hour-per-day psychological operation that is Donald Trump's failed experiment in fascist government. When Fox News focuses on graffiti and broken windows, they take the focus off George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and the countless others whose lives are taken too early by unaccountable police."