Occupy ICE Camp in Portland Responds to DHS Raid

A statement from the #OccupyICEPDX group

For Immediate Release: 6/28/18 10:00am PST

Today 6/28/18 at approximately 6am federal agents from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Portland Police Bureau (PPB) swept the driveway at the 4310 SW Macadam ICE detention facility in Portland. No protesters at the camp are armed. Officers came in full riot gear and tactical weapons.

Portland Police Bureau was involved and complicit, supporting DHS in blocking off roads and diverting traffic that allowed DHS officers to move in on the encampment.

The main camp is NOT located on federal premises. The barricades constructed around the building did not block walkways, driveways or entrances, in compliance with federal laws. Federal officers arrived dressed in full tactical gear and proceeded to brandish an assortment of weapons to intimidate activists before forming a line across Bancroft towards main camp. There were several protestors chained up in the front of the building, acting in passive resistance. At least two veterans who were also protesting in the front were arrested. DHS officers holding the line were armed with batons, and there is at least one report caught on KATU2 live-stream of officers arresting someone at gunpoint in the back entrance. There have been at least 9 arrests made today by DHS.

Prior to the sweep this morning, DHS agents had been trying to arouse and disorient and disrupt protestors over the past few nights. Threatening dad rock with lyrics like “sleep with one eye open” was played at high volume, disrupting protester’s rest. Agents placed cardboard cut-outs in windows in the building wearing ICE jackets and a large costume eagle mask was placed in one window. Agents were seen making hand gestures of guns and pantomimed shooting at protesters. Agents stood on the roof of the building and mocked protesters. Agents were shining blinking flashlights from the windows of the building overnight, and drones were flown over camp in the early morning.

Folx on the grounds have been engaging in nonviolent protest, peacefully holding the space despite DHS and PPB presence. We know that the world is watching, and we are holding strong.

We stand in solidarity with undocumented immigrants, who face violence from ICE and DHS every single day. We know that these white supremacist organizations would not hesitate to extend their violence. Our focus is community preparedness and de-escalation, to ensure that everyone (especially frontline and most deeply impacted communities) are protected and safe.

As for PPB’s involvement: This action after the Mayor’s call for PPB not to interfere with the camp and lawful first amendment protest is unacceptable and we condemn it in the strongest possible terms. We remind Mayor Wheeler of Oregon’s status as a sanctuary state, and of Portland’s supposed status as a sanctuary city. While the state and city sanctuary laws do not guarantee protection for the protest, the involvement of PPB in this Federal attempt at a raid raises serious questions surrounding Portland’s supposed dedication to immigrant rights, safety and security from state violence.

The city council voted to become a sanctuary city last year, which effectively ratified a long-standing Oregon law prevent the use of state and local resources in immigration enforcement. This vote was entirely symbolic. No additional long-term resources were allocated to the protection of the immigrant community. No concrete policy change or commitments were made. ICE facilities still exist in Portland.

Mayor Ted Wheeler – if Portland is a sanctuary, why aren’t immigrants safe here? Why is the Portland Police Bureau cracking down on those who are holding the city accountable? To city council – this is a decisive moment in which you can make good on your symbolic gesture, or you can keep fluffing up empty promises. We’re not here for empty promises, we’re here for real change.

Our demands still stand:

1. The Portland Police Bureau must withdraw from the Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF)

2. The City of Portland must end all cooperation, monetary and otherwise, with the Department of Homeland Security

3. Portland must fund an Office of Immigrant Rights, and provide universal immigration legal defense

To the movement that is igniting across the country: be alert but be unafraid. We send our solidarity to camps and prisons everywhere. Elevate, center, and follow the voices of those most affected by ICE terror. The security and safety of these folx are the top priority.

And, remember what we are fighting for: the complete and final abolition of ICE.

¡Chinga la Migra! Abolish ICE! Abolish borders!Φ

From a KGW special news article: Who is Occupy ICE PDX? Occupy ICE PDX is primarily made up of Portland-area activists. The group is demonstrating against Trump’s immigration policies and ICE, the federal immigration enforcement agency that carries out the policies. The Occupy ICE movement takes its name from the Occupy Wall Street protests that erupted in New York during the financial recession in 2011. The Occupy Wall Street movement quickly spread to cities nationwide, with protesters shortening their monikers to just “Occupy,” followed by the city name. Now, Occupy ICE PDX members hope their efforts will also inspire others around the country. Occupy ICE PDX was the first protest group to effectively shutter an ICE office last week. Organizers are calling for protesters elsewhere to follow their lead. The goal, they say, is to shut down ICE permanently.

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