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Mothers’ Power in U.S. Protests Echoes a Global Tradition

The Most Revolutionary Act

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The Wall of Moms in front of the federal court building in Portland, Ore., on Monday. Credit…Mason Trinca for The New York Times

Amanda Taub

By

When mothers take to the streets — particularly those from privileged groups — governments take note. The “wall of moms” in Portland has taken up the cause against police violence.

Wearing matching shades of white or yellow, the women of the “Wall of Moms” in Portland, Ore., have become instant icons of the city’s protests, though the mothers nightly gatherings only began last Saturday and the city’s protests have been going on for more than a month.

They join a long line of mothers’ protests against state violence and what they view as authoritarianism around the world, including in South Africa, Sri Lanka, Argentina and Armenia, which have shown that mothers can be particularly effective advocates for a cause — but also that…

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