The American flag is flying high again outside an ICE building in Portland on Thursday as Homeland Security police teared down tents set up by protesters who shut down the facility amid the national debate over President Trump’s immigration orders.
Dozens of members of the Federal Protective Service arrived at 4310 Southwest Macadam Avenue early this morning, twelve days after the protesters set up shop, to give the crowds there a final warning to clear out, according to KPTV.
Then they moved in.
“You go home. Shame! Shame!” a woman is heard bellowing as officers are seen in video footage carrying away a couch and other assorted debris into a U-Haul truck. The clip, taken by a reporter from The Oregonian, shows officers standing shoulder-to-shoulder, holding batons.
Other officers were met with shouting from protesters, including chants of “no racist police”, KTPV reported. One protester was filmed walking down a row of officers, pointing in each of their faces and calling them “Nazis.”
“This group here is ready to move forward and continue doing what we need to do to make sure we abolish ICE,” Danialle James of the Occupy ICE PDX movement, which is behind the demonstrations, told KATU.
Like in other protests, members of the public have taken issue with President Trump’s zero-tolerance policy toward immigration and the separation of migrant children from their parents. A judge in California on Wednesday ordered the Border Patrol to have all families reunited in 30 days.
The Portland occupation at its peak appeared to include a few hundred people, who shut down the ICE facility on June 20 and taped signs to its exterior with messages including “Refugees Welcome” and “abolish ICE”, KATU reported.
But as of Thursday morning, the facility appears to be heading back to its normal operations and the tape holding those signs was being peeled off.
An American flag that had been taken down from a flagpole there has been restored by Homeland Security police, while other officers were seen standing on the roof of the entrance of the building.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Oregon described the federal response as a “law enforcement action” intended to re-open the property, according to KATU.
The station, quoting a Homeland Security official, said several protesters were arrested Thursday. It added that officials are trying to clear the driveway and parking areas around the property and Federal Protective Service officers will protect the building once everything is disposed.
The attorney’s office said earlier this week it started warning the protesters, through notices delivered on-site, that “individuals who continue to obstruct the entrance of this federal facility will be subject to arrest and prosecution in federal court.”
“The U.S. Attorney’s Office is working with FPS and ICE to reopen the federal building on Southwest Macadam that serves many critical functions requiring public and employee access,” said Billy J. Williams, U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon. “We acknowledge the community’s concerns driving these demonstrations. While demonstrators have a lawful right to assemble and voice their concerns, blocking the building’s driveways or entrances is not permitted under federal law.”