#OccupyICE tent encampment in Oregon being dismantled by federal authorities

#OccupyICE tent encampment in Oregon being dismantled by federal authorities

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A tent encampment erected by protesters to block the entrance of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement headquarters in Portland, Oregon, was dismantled in a pre-dawn move by an army of federal law enforcement officers wearing riot gear and wielding batons.

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More than a hundred federal officers began rousting demonstrators calling themselves #OccupyICEPDX about 5:30 a.m., ripping apart the encampment set up on the front doorstep of the ICE facility earlier this month and prompted its closure for nine days.

PHOTO: Authorities take action to reopen Portlands Immigration and Customs Enforcement headquarters, June 28, 2018 in Portland, Ore., as demonstrations had forced it to closed for more than a week.Mark Graves/The Oregonian via AP
Authorities take action to reopen Portland’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement headquarters, June 28, 2018 in Portland, Ore., as demonstrations had forced it to closed for more than a week.

At least eight protesters who apparently refused to move from the entrance of the facility were arrested, officials said. One protester was taken into custody at gunpoint and two others were arrested after federal officers used a saw to cut a chain linking them together, according to ABC affiliate KATU-TV in Portland.

The officers began tossing tents, inflatable mattresses and couches on a pile as demonstrators, who were held back by a phalanx of officers wearing riot helmets and carrying batons, screamed obscenities at them.

PHOTO: Protesters face law enforcement outside the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement building, June 28, 2018 in Portland, Ore.Mark Graves/The Oregonian via AP
Protesters face law enforcement outside the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement building, June 28, 2018 in Portland, Ore.

The protest group #OccupyICEPDX set up the encampment on June 17 and federal officials were forced to close the office for business for nine straight days.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Oregon issued a statement early Thursday saying officers had started a “law enforcement action” to reopen the facility in southwest Portland.

PHOTO: Police stand in a line outside the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement office in Portland, Ore., June 28, 2018, where demonstrations have been held round-the-clock since June 17.KOIN
Police stand in a line outside the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement office in Portland, Ore., June 28, 2018, where demonstrations have been held round-the-clock since June 17.

On Monday, officials had posted fliers around the building warning, “It is unlawful under federal law to obstruct the entrances, foyers, lobbies, corridors, offices and/or parking lots of federal facilities.”

PHOTO: Police and protesters face off outside the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement office in Portland, Ore., June 28, 2018, where demonstrations have been held round-the-clock since June 17.KOIN
Police and protesters face off outside the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement office in Portland, Ore., June 28, 2018, where demonstrations have been held round-the-clock since June 17.

U.S. Department of Homeland Security officers cleared protesters from the front of the building and began taking apart tents and piling up belongings that included couches, chairs and inflatable mattresses that were loaded into a U-Haul truck and carried away.

A larger encampment occupying a public bike path alongside the building was being left in place. It was not immediately clear if federal officers would dismantle that encampment, too.

PHOTO: Law enforcement officers hand out notices to vacate to demonstrators at a protest camp on property outside the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement office in Portland, Ore., June 25, 2018.Don Ryan/AP
Law enforcement officers hand out notices to vacate to demonstrators at a protest camp on property outside the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement office in Portland, Ore., June 25, 2018.

The protesters started camping out at the building to protest the Trump administration’s zero-tolerance policy that separated migrant children from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border.

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