Portland, Oregon’s, now-famous “Wall of Moms” — a group, “primarily of women who identify as mothers,” according to their official literature, who protest regularly against the presence of federal agents protecting a Portland federal courthouse — is facing allegations of “anti-blackness” from a black-led community group who says Wall of Moms secretly organized to accept donations and used the Black Lives Matter movement as cover for their own agenda.
Oregon Live reports that Don’t Shoot PDX, a former partner of the “Wall of Moms,” claims the latter group is operating without transparency and without taking women of color into account.
“Portland Wall of Moms, a group formed in recent weeks and quickly recognized as a staple of nightly downtown protests, was accused publicly Wednesday of ‘anti-Blackness’ by leaders of an existing, Black-led community group,” Oregon Live reported Thursday.
Don’t Shoot PDX listed out its complaints about Wall of Moms in an Instagram post, responding to claims by Wall of Moms that women of color are being placed at the forefront of the organization, and that Wall of Moms is concerned, primarily, with the Black Lives Matter movement, rather than with the presence of federal agents in Portland.
“After leaving vulnerable Black women downtown after marching, failing to support those on the ground that put trust in them, @wallofmoms leadership also found time to make THREE registrations through Oregon’s Secretary of State,” Don’t Shoot PDX claimed in its post. “This was all done in privacy and without the knowledge of the Black leadership WOM was claiming to implement.”
“We began having safety concerns within the group because Black women started saying they were not protected by WOM leadership,” the post continued. “Too frequently 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. Once these registration filings with Secretary of State came out, it became more clear – WOM was not started for BLM, but to get the feds out of PDX.”
“The lies are finally clear and we are sad but ultimately not surprised that anti-Blacknessshowed its ugly face with Wall of Moms,” the group said.
Wall of Moms’ leader, Bev Barnum, Don’t Shoot PDX claims, “appeared to file three business registrations on Tuesday including one that makes The Wall of Moms a 501c3 nonprofit,” per Oregon Live. Members of Don’t Shoot PDX “interpreted the filings to mean that Wall of Moms goal was to get federal officers out of Portland — not to support Black Lives Matter.” The filings show Barnum as the group’s president, per the Washington Examiner — a role she assigned herself without telling her black colleagues.
Late Wednesday, Wall of Moms appeared to admit wrongdoing, posting on Twitter that it’s trying to “regroup” and “do things the right way” and that leadership roles had changed.
“The founder went rogue,” the organization claimed. “Many of us do not agree with her decisions. And she does not currently have access to this account.”
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