Quantcast
Connect with us

Cops plead ‘allow ICE employees to go home to their families’ after protesters blockade prison in Portland

Published

on

In Portland, Oregon, the prison used by Immigration and Customs Enforcement is housed in a nondescript building tucked between a highway and the waterfront south of downtown. The tan three-story structure has darkened windows and no identifying marks. It’s surrounded by an 8-feet high metal fence, guarded by a security checkpoint, and cameras outside cover every angle.

Since Sunday night, dozens of protesters under the banner of #OccupyICEPDX have been maintaining a round-the-clock vigil outside the prison. They are demanding an abolition of ICE and an end to the Trump administration’s policy of forcibly separating children from parents fleeing across the U.S. border from violence-ravaged countries.

On Monday ICE personnel showed up as usual to implement Trump’s deportation policies. By the end of the workday, the number of protesters swelled to about 70 and they sprang into action.

Three cars with darkened windows exited a garage and attempted to drive out the entrance. Some twenty protesters formed a line and locked arms. Staring down the drivers, “They blocked them from leaving the facility,” said Jacob Bureros, an organizer with the Direct Action Alliance.

The vehicles went back inside the ICE garage. Two officers with the Department of Homeland Security showed up to negotiate with the protesters. Jenny Nickolaus, another organizer with DAA, said a couple of dozen people engaged with the police in bulletproof vests. The two cops asked for “reasonable accommodation from the protesters.”

ADVERTISEMENT

When asked what that meant, says Nickolaus, the DHS police pleaded with protesters “to allow nine ICE employees stuck inside to be able to ‘to go home to their families.’”

The protesters exploded with outrage “at the ridiculous irony in that statement,” says Nickolaus.

Bureros says, “People started yelling, ‘Oh, you need to go home to your families? What about the families you are holding.’” The ICE prison in Portland is designed for temporary detention. Immigrants are usually shipped off within days on buses operated by the GEO group, a private prison-industry contractor, to a long-term ICE prison in Tacoma, Washington.

ADVERTISEMENT

Sporadic negotiations ensued with DHS police. Protesters told police ICE employees were welcome to “leave on foot,” but they would block vehicles. Police responded, “If you blockade, there will be arrests,” said Nickolaus.

Close to midnight, another attempt by an ICE employee to drive out was stopped by more than a dozen protesters without arrests, says Bureros. A back entrance and a side entrance were left unguarded by protesters, however. Tuesday afternoon three civilian vehicles escorted by DHS police left the rear of the facility. One person blocking their way was arrested, witnesses said.

Tuesday evening, Portland police, who had been absent, showed up in force. Corbin, a local activist, says about 10 Portland cops, along with DHS police, formed a gauntlet at a side entrance and shepherded the last five ICE employees out of the building as protesters crowded around shouting, “You should be ashamed.” The ICE personnel were bundled into cars and whisked away.

ADVERTISEMENT

Corbin says the atmosphere became tense as the police in helmets and bulletproof vests assembled. “But the crowd was relieved once the cops left with the remaining ICE agents.”

But protesters have succeeded in shutting down the ICE prison. One woman with a Spanish accent who said she was trying to pay a fee was not allowed to enter the building. A guard inside said the building is closed and “It’s unknown when it will open.”

Outside, protesters vow to build on their anti-ICE movement. With the beginning of summer, a wide range of activists, including many youth wearing anti-fascist paraphernalia, are flocking to the cause of continuing the occupation to prevent the ICE facility from operating.

ADVERTISEMENT

Deliveries of pizza from supporters and groceries have been pouring in along with volunteers. Nickolaus estimates about two-hundred people have surrounded the building, and at least a dozen tents have been set up, along with a commissary and medical tent. A local ice-cream truck came by to dispense free sweets to protesters and used its vehicle to block the driveway into the ICE facility.

Nickolaus says, “People are excited to be here. There is a sense of camaraderie. This administration is ripping apart families, and ICE is carrying it out. This is our stand to stop it.”


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected]. Send news tips to: [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

‘Is Ireland one of those countries you want to invade’: Trump once ‘joked’ John Bolton wants ‘to nuke them all’

Published

on

Even President Donald Trump recognizes that John Bolton is a war-loving hawk, Axios reported Sunday.

In a conversation that included the Irish prime minister, Trump asked Bolton, "John, is Ireland one of those countries you want to invade?"

The scene was during the annual St. Patrick's Day visit. Typically it's a photo-op, a handshake, and men in green ties with a shamrock sprig in their jacket pocket. Trump managed to turn it into an awkward scene for everyone.

Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

Mueller probably won’t be giving new information — here’s why that can still sink Trump

Published

on

Former special counsel Robert Mueller will appear in Congress this week to testify for two hours about the report he authored on the case of Russian collusion.

The hearing is set for Wednesday, though Mueller has said that he won't have any additional information other than what is in his report. A Washington Post report used examples of past Mueller testimony to outline what can be anticipated. The reality, however, is that regardless of whether Mueller sticks to the report or not, he'll deliver enough to put the president in a difficult situation.

Continue Reading
 

Breaking Banner

‘Here is your 2 minutes of hate from a noun a verb and 9-11’: Rudy Giuliani ripped after lying about Rep. Omar

Published

on

Former lawyer to President Donald Trump went nuts spreading lies about Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) on Twitter Sunday, and what followed was a flood of people calling him out.

There is nothing racist about @realDonaldTrump. The criticism of#Squad is because of their hateful views of our federal agents, anti-semitism,referring to us as garbage etc.Have you ever heard them say,with its faults,the USA is the greatest country on earth. Maybe we can agree?

Continue Reading
 
 
 

Copyright © 2019 Raw Story Media, Inc. PO Box 21050, Washington, D.C. 20009 | Masthead | Privacy Policy | For corrections or concerns, please email [email protected]

Join Me. Try Raw Story Investigates for $1. Invest in Journalism. Escape Ads.
close-image