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'Wall of Vets' joins protests in Portland

A group of veterans formed a line in front of protesters in Portland, Ore., on Friday as the city endured another night of tense demonstrations.  

According to footage shot by The New York Times and USA Today, dozens of veterans served as a barrier between law enforcement and protesters. They joined a group of Portland mothers calling themselves Wall of Moms” who chanted, “Moms are here. Feds stay clear.”

Both groups were eventually dispersed with tear gas and other crowd control agents used by the federal forces.

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Federal agents have used aggressive measures against protesters in recent weeks as demonstrations in Portland have escalated near federal buildings in the city.

Last week, tensions between demonstrators and law enforcement escalated when reports surfaced that federal agents clad in camouflage were grabbing and detaining protesters in unmarked vans. 

Duston Obermeyer, a Marine Corps veteran, told the Times that the veterans were “there to ensure our citizens did not have their right to free speech and their right to protest and right to assemble taken away from them.”

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“Our veterans are here to support specifically the rights of the protesters,” he said.

Last week, Christopher David, a former member of the Navy’s Civil Engineer Corps, was struck with a baton and sprayed in the face with a chemical irritant while attending the protests. The 53-year-old later learned his right hand was broken.

President TrumpDonald TrumpSenators given no timeline on removal of National Guard, Capitol fence Democratic fury with GOP explodes in House Georgia secretary of state withholds support for 'reactionary' GOP voting bills MORE announced Wednesday that he was sending federal agents to Chicago and Albuquerque, N.M., areas he believes are "plagued by violent crime."

However, local leaders have been against this move.