The Portland 'Wall of Moms' movement is falling apart after a local Black Lives Matter group accused it of 'anti-Blackness' (Ashley Collman)


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wall of moms 2.JPG

"Wall of Moms" at a protest in Portland.

Caitlin Ochs/Reuters

  • The Portland "Wall of Moms" protest group has been accused of "anti-Blackness" by a local racial-justice organization. 

  • Don't Shoot Portland said Wall of Moms members — who have formed human chains to protect protesters in the city — have not done their job to shield Black women, leaving them "vulnerable."

  • Don't Shoot Portland also accused Wall of Moms founder Bev Barnum of going behind its back to register the group as a nonprofit.

  • "The lies are finally clear and we are sad but ultimately not surprised that anti-Blackness showed it's ugly face with Wall of Moms," Don't Shoot Portland wrote in a Wednesday Instagram post. 

  • The Wall of Moms have since tweeted that Barnum "went rogue" and that members are trying to regroup and "do things the right way."

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Portland's "Wall of Moms" group is straining as one racial-justice group accused it of "anti-Blackness" and Wall of Moms members said their founder had gone "rogue."

In an Instagram post on Wednesday, Don't Shoot Portland, a local Black Lives Matter group that has been around since 2014, said it would no longer support the leadership of the Wall of Moms, which formed two weeks ago to protect protesters after federal agents were sent to quell unrest in the city.

According to The Oregonian, the drama started last week when the Wall of Moms announced that its white leaders were stepping down so that Black women could take over.

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One of those Black women included Teressa Raiford, the executive director of Don't Shoot Portland.

But less than a week later, Don't Shoot Portland said it was no longer affiliating with the Wall of Moms after falling out with Bev Barnum, its founder.

In a Wednesday Instagram post, Don't Shoot Portland accused the Wall of Moms group of not doing enough to protect Black women downtown, leaving them "vulnerable."

"We began having safety concerns within the group because Black women started saying they were not protected by WOM leadership," the post said.

"Too frequently [they] would be in communication for safety, transport etc and when the time came, there would be zero response and no leadership to rely on. It's put many on the ground in direct danger."

Don't Shoot Portland also said Barnum went behind its back to register the Wall of Moms as a nonprofit, which it said was evidence that the group was "not started for BLM, but to get the feds out of PDX." 

"This was all done in privacy and without the knowledge of the Black leadership WOM was claiming to implement. The lies are finally clear and we are sad but ultimately not surprised that anti-Blackness showed its ugly face with Wall of Moms," the post read.

'Went rogue'

The Wall of Moms Twitter page later retweeted Don't Shoot Portland's post, and on Thursday said that its founder, Barnum, "went rogue."

The Wall of Moms added that Barnum no longer had access to the group's social-media page and said members were now trying to regroup and "do things the right way."

When asked to elaborate on why they had fallen out with Barnum, the Don't Shoot Portland group told Insider that she "went behind our backs with the plan of making WOM a global nonprofit that is not BLM-focused as she led many to believe."

Insider also reached out to Barnum for comment Friday morning, but did not receive a response. 

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown announced Wednesday that she had come to a deal with the Trump administration to begin pulling federal agents out of the city in phases, starting Thursday. 

The Oregon State Police have since taken over guard duties at the federal courthouse downtown, which has become the focal point of the protests in recent weeks.

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