Au­thor­i­ties dis­man­tle por­tion of Port­land ICE protest camp

The Mercury News Weekend - - NEWS -

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.

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