First, there was a “wall” of moms protecting Portland protesters — now there’s a wall of vets doing the same.
A group of military veterans joined protesters in the city for the first time Friday night, standing with their hands clasped behind their backs or holding Black Lives Matter signs, according to a New York Times reporter and others from the scene.
“Disabled veterans 4 BLM,” one vet’s sign read.
“I am an American patriot. Federal troops defend property, but this does give them the right to take away my constitutional freedom,” another sign from a veteran read.
Federal officers have been dispatched to the city since July 4, earning criticism for “kidnapping” protesters and tear-gassing crowds that have held demonstrations over the police killing of George Floyd for more than 50 days.
Earlier in the week, federal agents teargassed a crowd that included Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler, who was attending a demonstration.
Wheeler said the troops were grossly