Authorities dismantle portion of Portland ICE protest camp
PORTLAND, ORE. » Federal authorities early Thursday dismantled and cleared a portion of the tent city where protesters have been blocking the Immigration and Customs Enforcement building, arresting at least eight people who have taken part in a lengthy effort to prevent federal workers from entering their offices.
A makeshift tent city emerged here amid the turmoil surrounding President Donald Trump’s border crackdown and family separation policies, and for the past 11 days it has effectively shut down ICE’s offices while demanding the agency be abolished. The camp has swelled to more than 90 tents earlier in the week.
Federal officials had warned protesters that parts of the camp blocking the entrance and exit to the building were in violation of the law, having issued notices in the days before the clearing effort.
Activist Lilith Sinclair, 24, said that federal officers inside the building had been playing “mental games for days” with protesters, including blaring loud music toward the campers. She said one of those songs was Metallica’s “Enter Sandman.”
By 5:30 a.m. Thursday, officers had cleared a set of tents that had been set up across the building’s driveway, an encampment that had been full of military veterans. Stu Tanquit, one of the veterans, said earlier in the week that “the only way they will get me out is to drag me out.”
Robert Sperling, a Federal Protective Services spokesman, said authorities issued several verbal warnings via a loudspeaker, urging people to leave the premises. “Some of them did,” Sperling said. “Many did not.”
Officers will not clear themain encampment because it is not on federal property, Sperling said, noting that his agency hopes to get ICE workers back at their desks by sometime next week.
“We’re going to maintain a presence there and ensure the safety and security of the facility,” he said.
The raid came hours after Trump tweeted his dissatisfaction with protesters at ICE offices in cities around the country.