PORTLAND, Ore. – Two demonstrators were arrested and two federal officers were hurt Monday during a brief confrontation outside the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) facility in Southwest Portland, a Dept. of Homeland Security (DHS) spokesperson tells KATU News.
A third protester was arrested earlier in the morning for “failure to comply,” DHS spokesperson Robert Sperling said.
The incident place just after 1 p.m. at the facility on Macadam Avenue, where a group has been staging a protest for three weeks with the goal of abolishing ICE.
Based on witness video, at least one officer used pepper spray and discharged pepper ball rounds at protesters. Another video shows officers tackle a protester to the ground before they put him into the back of a patrol car.
Sperling said two officers were injured, but didn’t elaborate on what took place or the extent of injuries.
According to Sperling, the two protesters arrested in the afternoon incident have not been processed yet.
The demonstrators first began their protest on Sunday, June 17 after learning the Trump Administration’s zero-tolerance policy was separating migrant parents from their children at the U.S.-Mexico border. The movement spread to other cities, where groups staged similar protests outside their local ICE offices.
The protests forced the offices to close for more than a week, until federal officers moved in and cleared tents and debris from the entrances. They put a black fence up around the building after the sweep.
The encampment remains in a section of land adjacent to the ICE facility.
On Monday, KATU confirmed that a Bureau of Development Services inspector wrote a correction notice to the ICE facility for the fence that was built without permission, saying it violates an 8-foot height restriction and encroaches into the sidewalk – a public right-of-way.
The inspector gave the notice to an officer, and a formal letter will be sent to the property owner. They have ten days to respond, officials said.
Below is a full statement on Monday’s incident from Occupy ICE PDX:
Today, 7/9/18, Federal agents from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) attempted to raid the Occupy ICE PDX camp while armed. Again, we specify that ICE Breakers at the camp are unarmed, and that camp itself is not on federal properties and comply with federal restrictions of not obstructing walkways, driveways, or entrances to the building. ICE, in fact, received a citation this morning from the Bureau of Development Services in violation of ADA for obstructing walkways with their fencing.
At approximately 1:05pm, 4 to 5 DHS officers (including at least one plainclothes officer) approached the camp from the backlot at the bottom of the driveway near the Tesla building, and proceeded to attempt advancing through the gates. ICE Breakers closed the gate to prevent them from entering. They proceeded to attempt breaking down the gate and force their way in, but could not. A DHS vehicle had driven in by the time they started to fall back to conduct a series of violent arrests. One person was thrown on the ground, and was seen bleeding visibly. Another person was witnessed by multiple people getting tackled to the ground, hitting their head on the ground hard, and was then stuffed into the squad vehicle. Another person was pepper-sprayed for holding a toy (a ball on a rope) that officers identified as a “weapon”. Officers in the vehicle shot pepperballs at the ground, hitting a reporter in the foot and affecting multiple others in the immediate area. Protestors gathered to document their movements and officers started retreating back up the driveway, onto the sidewalk towards the building. At least 3 people have been arrested at this point with at least 4 to 5 people pepper-sprayed. DHS officers have blocked off the NW corner of the sidewalk after retreating inside the building through the side door. A Portland Police Bureau supervisor showed up at around 1:37pm, and although they did not engage, their mere presence contributed to the tension of the situation.
The Federal forces are here to intimidate and inflict violence. They have been inflicting extreme violence on migrant peoples for many years, and would not hesitate to expound some form of that violence on those who resist in solidarity with frontline communities. Our focus is on community preparedness and strategic resistance, to ensure that everyone (especially frontline and most deeply impacted communities) are protected and safe.
While we are going to take care of our allies and comrades who had been hurt, distressed, and arrested today, we also want to remind everyone that tomorrow, Tuesday 7/10/18, is the deadline for children under 5 who had been separated from their families, to be reunited with their families. Thursday, July 26th, is the deadline for all families to be reunited. The violence that we face is unimaginable to the violence and psychological harm that these children and their families face every single day. Why are these Federal agencies wasting resources and time on attacking our camp when they are supposed to be reuniting children with their families?
We have not lost and the fight is not over.
Our demands still stand:
1. City Council must revoke the conditional use permit for ICE to use the 4310 SW Macadam building as a detention facility, and prohibit any further issuing of such permits to ICE 2. The Portland Police Bureau must withdraw from the Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF) 3. The City of Portland must end all cooperation, monetary and otherwise, with the Department of Homeland Security 4. Portland must fund an Office of Immigrant Rights, and provide universal immigration legal defense To the movement builders and comrades across the country, including San Francisco, California and Columbus, Ohio who were attacked just last night: We are in solidarity with you.
Elevate, center, and follow the voices of those most affected by ICE terror.
Remember what we are fighting for: the complete abolition of ICE, and ultimately, the abolition of imperial borders.
¡Chinga la Migra! Abolish ICE! Abolish borders!