Federal officers in riot gear took federal action Thursday to liberate and reopen an embattled Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) facility in Portland, Oregon.
Authorities “initiated a law enforcement action to reopen the federal facility” on SW Macadam Avenue at approximately 5:30 a.m. Thursday, Federal Protective Service spokesman Robert Sperling told local outlet KGW8 in a prepared statement.
Authorities blocked off the road and began driving out the demonstrators and dismantling their camp, The Oregonian reports.
— Jim Ryan (@Jimryan015) June 28, 2018
Protesters tried to form a human chain to block off the building, but they backed down when law enforcement asked them to move.
Police detained at least eight protesters, including several individuals who refused to cooperate, according to another local outlet KATU News, citing a Department of Homeland Security official. Police are not removing all the protesters, merely those occupying federal property.
WATCH: Law enforcement arrests protester
Authorities hauled away truckloads of tents, boards, and even a couch. Most of the protester camp was torn down. While some protesters heckled officers, there were no reported clashes.
The activists, which are determined to abolish ICE, remain undeterred in their overall mission.
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
The movement began over a week ago when hundreds of protesters descended on the facility to protest the Trump administration’s decision to fully enforce U.S. immigration laws, eventually closing down local ICE operations at that facility. (RELATED: Over 200 Protesters Swarm ICE Office In Portland)
The administration’s “zero tolerance” approach has, in some cases, resulted in the separation of illegal immigrant families. Many critics, often ignoring that such actions also occurred during the previous administration, have condemned efforts to curb illegal immigration through tough border control policies as a human rights atrocity, calling them a clear excuse for aggressive and disruptive activism.
DHS passed out fliers Monday and again on Tuesday warning protesters that they were violating federal law. The demonstrators tore them up, telling authorities they were not going anywhere.
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