Abolish ICE fanatics left such a mess at their protest site in Portland, OR, that it was declared a biohazard by the local police department. Protesters had been camping out on city property near the local office of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement for the past five weeks in what they’ve termed “Occupy ICE PDX.” To others, the site is referred to as “disgusting.” And guess who’s going to foot the bill? You guessed it, the tax payers.
The mayor’s office said they would pick up some of the tab and TriMet, an agency that oversees the public transit system in the city’s metropolitan area and is also an owner of the property will be responsible for a portion as well. Just how much this demonstration will cost has yet to be determined.
On Monday, May 23, Mayor Ted Wheeler ordered the activists to leave the area, but they refused. Police then posted signs, warning that those who declined to vacate could be arrested. Still they refused to leave until the police escorted them out of the camp on Wednesday, July 25.
Occupy ICE PDX released a statement explaining their cause:
The U.S.’s deportation machine is a product of an increasingly fascist and militarized carceral state which aims to not only dominate but to also lay waste to and imprison those it has extracted and exploited in order to build the empire. With this understanding in mind, ICE Breakers at the site of #OccupyICEPDX have been taking space at the 4310 SW Macadam ICE facility center to call for for the complete and total abolition of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and affiliated agencies, and in extension, to challenge the very notion of the prison-industrial complex and imperial borders that uphold the constructs of capitalism and neocolonialism that daily inflict violence upon Black and Brown bodies.
Frank Savage has the misfortune of living across the street from the camp. “It was pretty disgusting that that’s how they were living back there,” he said of the filth, clutter, noise, and foul language. He said he was “Getting tired of waking up to the bullhorn and the sounds and the cussing.”
As Savage stood watching the events unfold early that morning, one of the protesters shouted at him: “What are you doing here?”
“I live here, idiot!” Savage retorted.
For the most part, the activists left peacefully, but not without throwing out nasty comments – as the left is so fond of doing. One obnoxiously loud female can be heard in a video yelling “You go home. Shame! Shame!” at the police officers:
Although the anti-ICE group had plenty of notice to leave the premises, they decided to stay and leave all of their filth behind for others to clean up. Private contractors will be brought in to dispose of the piles of food, clothing, trash, furniture, and wooden pallets.
Enter the Feds
The Occupy ICE PDX camp also spilled onto federal land by the Immigration building. This group took down the U.S. flag and hung a replacement that welcomed refugees. They, too, left a huge mess to be taken away at the tax payers’ expense.
This camp did not disperse as quietly as the city property location: they started chanting “No racist police.” Seven demonstrators were taken into custody but were later released. Another person was detained after approaching a police line in his car. He was spotted later driving an SUV with what was thought to be two rifles in the backseat. The person was later released after the rifles turned out to be three airsoft guns.
As federal officers replaced the U.S. flag and brought in a U-Haul to clean up the mess left behind by the protesters, the surrounding crowd stood by, determined to find a way to continuing fighting against President Trump and his “zero tolerance” immigration control policy.
“Prior to the sweep this morning, DHS agents had been trying to arouse and disorient and disrupt protestors over the past few nights” Occupy ICE PDX said in its statement. It called the Department of Homeland Security and ICE “white supremacist organizations.”
Anti-ICE groups can’t see beyond their blinded misguided mission to rid the nation of an organization that is here for our protection. Who is going to stop the human trafficking if ICE is somehow disbanded? Who will protect our borders from drug smuggling? Should all of the financial burden for our nation’s security fall on the shoulders of the border states? And how would they be able to afford hiring the massive number of officers needed to replace ICE agents, especially when they are having to pay for the destructive mess left behind by ICE protesters?
— Marja Martinez (@MarjaKPTV) July 26, 2018