Portland Occupiers Are Evicted From ICE Property—But Continue to Camp Next Door
Federal police in riot gear dismantled the Occupy camp at the Immigration and Customs Enforcement facility in Portland on Thursday, arresting seven activists and detaining two. But the Occupiers vowed to fight on, shifting their encampment to the property next door, which is not federally owned.
Protesters organized by a local anarchist organization, the Democratic Socialists of America, took over part of the grounds on June 17 to protest the Trump administration's "zero tolerance" policy at the U.S.-Mexican border.
Operations at the facility were suspended eight days ago due to "security concerns." The ICE blockade subsequently grew into a tent city with "more than 80 tents, four portable toilets, six couches, a commissary and a medic's office."
Earlier this week, police began distributing fliers to the Occupiers warning them that the encampment on the ICE property was illegal and violators could be arrested.
Via ABC 10:
"On Thursday, Department of Homeland Security police stood shoulder-to-shoulder across the entryway to the grounds while other officers dismantled and removed the makeshift camp, protest signs and barriers of wooden crates.
A few dozen protesters walked along in front of the line of police shouting slogans at the officers. "No justice, no peace, no racist police," one group chanted. Others screamed profanities at the officers.
Seven protesters were charged with failing to comply with directions given by law enforcement officers, and blocking the building's entrances. The charges are Class C misdemeanors and the protesters were released, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office in Oregon.
An eighth protester was detained on a state charge of interfering with a peace officer and remains at the Multnomah County Detention Center.
A ninth person was detained after he drove his black SUV near a police line and federal agents saw what appeared to be two rifles in the backseat.
Thursday's action was taken to provide access to the ICE building, a spokesman for Federal Protective Services told OregonLive. There were no immediate plans to clear occupy camp from the surrounding area.
The activists said they were represented by the National Lawyers Guild.
Federal Protective Service spokesman Robert Sperling said police took no action against those in the camp outside of ICE property. That occupation would not be removed, and police would not interact with them, Sperling told KGW8.
He said to expect a federal police presence around the ICE building "for the foreseeable future," and that the next step was for the facility to reopen for "business as usual" sometime next week.