Report from #OccupyICEPDX on the first month of the occupation and autonomous zone.
Last night marked the 1-month anniversary of the establishment of an Autonomous Zone outside the ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) facility at 4310 SW Macadam in Portland, OR. ICE Breakers celebrated with songs and chants at the nightly vigil, joined by the community. As the evening progressed there were demonstrations of de-escalation techniques, and someone rolled out the guillotine for a street theater demonstration.
Afterwards, the crowd danced in the street to a community-sourced playlist, a far cry from the tongue-in-cheek torture reference that DHS/ICE has been serenading the neighborhood with all week.
DHS responded to the crowd’s dance party with an excessive show of force, as usual, sending out several cars and dozens of armed troops to deftly stand in the street and stare sullenly at people having a good time. The dancers did appreciate the festive atmosphere provided by the lights on the DHS vehicles though. The red and blue flashers were much more party-appropriate than the sleep disrupting lights flooding the camp (and surrounding apartments) nightly.
Despite DHS and ICE’s best efforts, there were no arrests and festivities wound down early. Morning found a mostly empty street, with ICE Breakers ready to welcome families coming to the facility for ICE check-ins.
We decry the presence of armed military at our street parties and in our streets.We ask DHS to remember that these are neighborhoods and that people live here. That all people deserve safety in a way that they cannot hope to provide with guns and floodlights and fences. There is safety in our communities. When a person makes the choice to become an ICE agent, a Border Patrol agent, they are choosing to side with the state against communities, against families, against people.
We side with families. We side with prisoners. We side with the displaced and dispossessed, and with people on journeys. We side with freedom of human movement and healthy, resilient international communities. We aim to stop all deportations regardless of criminal record or status.
#AbolishICE #Chingalamigra #Openborders #UncleDHScantdance