Federal officers, clad in all-black riot gear, made good on their promise to “OccupyICE” early Thursday morning, storming an Occupy camp that had formed around the Immigration and Customs Enforcement headquarters in Portland, Oregon. Authorities say nine people were arrested.
Local news reports that the so-called “OccupyICE” protest was warned earlier in the week that setting up a longstanding, round-the-clock demonstration on ICE property was considered trespass to federal land, and that those protesters who did not move their belongings would be arrested. The protesters have been “occupying” ICE since June 20, around the time the organization’s child separation policy came to light.
They did not break up their protest once President Donald Trump reversed the policy. The official line appears to be that there is no need for immigration enforcement and ICE should be disbanded. ICE agents have been working from an alternative facility since Tuesday.
And today, federal officials finally lost patience.
“At approximately 5:30 a.m. today, federal law enforcement officers initiated a law enforcement action to reopen the federal facility at 4310 SW Macadam Avenue in Portland,” Federal Protective Service spokesman Robert Sperling told local news.
Police also reportedly hauled away tents, camp materials, posters, and a sofa.
The protesters remained undeterred.
DHS is currently clearing the front of the building, arresting the people who were chained up and threatening people with felony charges. We are here holding shit down and we’re not going anywhere. Arrest us today, we’ll grow stronger tomorrow! #OccupyICEPDX
— Abolish I.C.E PDX (@OccupyICEPDX) June 28, 2018
Lucky for protesters who have nothing better to do on a Thursday than loiter on the lawn of a local business as a vague statement against immigration law enforcement. Federal agents could only remove what was technically on federal property. Adjacent buildings, also hosting elements of the “OccupyICE” demonstration, have not yet objected.