Federal officers clearing out Occupy ICE encampment in Portland
KOIN-TV(PORTLAND) — A tent encampment erected by protesters that prompted the closure of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement headquarters in Portland, Oregon, was being dismantled by federal law enforcement agents.
Federal officers wearing riot gear and wielding batons moved in about 5:30 a.m. Pacific Time on Thursday and began tearing apart tents and makeshift barricades that blocked the front entrance of the facility.
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, according to ABC affiliate KATU-TV in Portland.
The protest group #OccupyICEPDX set up the encampment on June 17, and federal officials were forced to close the office for nine straight days.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Oregon issued a statement early Thursday saying that officers had started a “law enforcement action” to reopen the facility in southwest Portland.
On Monday, officials had posted fliers around the building that warned, “It is unlawful under federal law to obstruct the entrances, foyers, lobbies, corridors, offices and/or parking lots of federal facilities.”
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, which 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 whether federal officers would dismantle that encampment.
The protesters started camping out at the building to protest the Trump administration’s zero-tolerance policy, which separated migrant children from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border.
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