We’ve received the following report from participants in the occupation around the Portland facilities of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). While our collective has no official position on issues internal to the occupation, we consider it important to promote constructive conversations about power dynamics within our movements and the ways that they can impose limits on what we can accomplish together. For more material on this subject, consult our earlier report, “The ICE Age Is Over: Reflections from the ICE Blockades.” Shortly, for the sake of amplifying multiple perspectives, we will add one more text from Portland.
These texts were written in response to our various experience during the first day and night of OccupyICE. While the encampment has changed a lot since, we feel that the power dynamics and social situation still warrant these critiques.
On July 2nd, a coalition of groups in Philadelphia occupied the local ICE office. In what follows I offer a few quick sketches of the occupation. I was there at the opening of the march at City Hall at 5PM until I had to leave at 9, and then again the next day (July 3rd) at 9:30, leaving just after noon. Today, July 4th, the occupation enters its third day. The account and ideas below are therefore cobbled together from my own experiences, from Unicorn Riot’s live feed, and from reports from comrades who were there when I couldn’t be.
Washington DC: On the 30th of June, the Abolitionist Contingent broke away from the huge #FamiliesBelongTogether march, and protested at the fancy condo home of Trump’s senior policy adviser Stephen Miller. It was Stephen Miller who both designed Trump’s Muslim Ban and encouraged Trump to start ripping children from their parent’s arms at the border. Now he has to answer to the public at the very gates of his home.
This week, we’re featuring two interviews. The first was an an interview from the IGDcast with someone affiliated with #OccupyIcePDX blocking the immigration detention center in Portland, OR. The second was a chat we had with a supporter of the J20 arrestees, from among the 230 people rounded up during the Inauguration protests of January 20th, 2017, in Washington, DC and still facing over 60 years in prison each.
Starting in mid-June, occupations sprang up around the United States in protest against ICE (US Immigration and Customs Enforcement). These occupations were a response to ICE policies which include separating families as they cross the border, incarcerating and drugging undocumented children, and deporting millions of undocumented people of all ages, often to places where they will be put in grave danger. In the following accounts from the ICE occupations in Portland, Tacoma, and Atlanta, participants reflect on some of the internal challenges facing movements against the border regime.
The Guillotine podcast ~ NEW EPISODE ~ Antwon Rose, ICE Child Abuse, Occupy ICE PDX, Misogyny & Law and Order.
A growing encampment has established itself at the Northwest Detention Center immigration prison in Tacoma. People have been camping out for several nights now, sharing food, making friends, and building capacity toward abolishing ICE and ending the violent horror of borders. There is free food, a badminton net, free literature, engaging conversation, and lots more. Every day at 9am and 9pm is a family-friendly noise demo for the prisoners inside, and there’s lots of room for other forms of solidarity and resistance as well.
Hundreds of activists, students and immigrants along with trade unionists closed down San Francisco ICE on February 28, 2018.
With Trump planning a major wave of ICE raids targeting Northern California in the coming weeks, especially targeting sanctuary cities, organized community responses are essential to beating back these attacks. The goal, as always with immigration enforcement, is to strike fear in immigrant communities, reinforce their precarious status as workers and feed Trump’s base that supports his white nationalist agenda.