August 6, 2018

USA: Occupy ICE Set Up A Fortress In Portland Oregon. They Had Borders Around Camp And LAWS You Must Follow. Mayor Asked Them To Vacate, Occupy Refused, Police Needed To Clear Them Out.

Portland Mercury News
written by Kelly Kenoyer
Monday July 23, 2018

The city has finally taken a stand on the protest camp that’s been occupying space next to an US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) building on SW Macadam. In an afternoon press conference, Mayor Ted Wheeler asked the Occupy ICE PDX camp, which is currently on TriMet property, to pack up and go home. It’s the first comment Wheeler’s made about the encampment since it appeared five weeks ago, when he swore the Portland Police Bureau (PPB) wouldn’t be getting involved. The city plans to post notices at the campsite today asking that the protesters leave, according to Wheeler.

His change of heart comes after alt-right group Patriot Prayer made a camp visit and after a splintering off of protest groups still at the camp.

Wheeler previously had a very hands-off approach to the protest, allegedly refusing to respond to calls for service in the area. That approach led to one business shutting down operation, after repeated calls to the police about harassment from protesters allegedly went unanswered.

"This demonstration is no longer on federal property," Wheeler said at the press conference. "It's time to move onto the second phase of this, to something more sustainable." The demonstration, however, was removed from federal property nearly a month ago. It’s unclear why Wheeler waited until today to take action.

Wheeler said the occupation is also limiting access to Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU)—one of many stated reasons that the city plans to shut the camp on TriMet property down. Neither OHSU or TriMet have released statements on the city’s decision.
Wheeler also suggested that Patriot Prayer's appearance at the Occupy protest last Friday led to the decision. The group’s visit was the first time PPB officers were sent to the Occupy ICE camp since it set up five weeks ago. “We’re concerned about that kind of activity bleeding over into other situations,” he said of Patriot Prayer's visit, implying concern that the protesters could become violent.

Wheeler's last explanation is a safety concern—the protesters have wooden structures that the mayor considers unsafe. "We have said the Occupy camp is not sustainable, especially with the wooden structures," he said, reading from a hand-written statement during the press conference.

It is still unclear how the police will respond if protesters refuse to vacate the encampment before deadline. The mayor's chief of staff Michael Cox warned reporters before the conference that there would be no answers on police response. “Everyone will have a million versions of the same question, 'what are the cops going to do,' and we’re not going to be able to answer that,” he said.

While PPB Chief Danielle Outlaw was present at the afternoon meeting, she did not speak once during the conference. Wheeler did not answer questions related to police response during the press conference, calling them "hypothetical questions."

In a statement sent the media earlier this afternoon, one faction of the protesters who call themselves #AbolishICEPDX announced it would, essentially, be leaving the camp and continuing its work to Abolish ICE using different tactics. The message indicated that the remaining protesters don’t truly represent the immigrant community.

At the press conference, Commissioner Chloe Eudaly said she supported the decision for #AbolishICEPDX to leave camp. “We're hoping the other faction follows suit," she said.

The remaining protesters, however, say they're not going anywhere. Here's how they responded to Wheeler's announcement:
Fox News
written by Lukas Mikelionis
Thursday July 26, 2018

City officials in Portland, Ore., say they'll be cleaning up the “disgusting” Occupy ICE camp after police cleared the area of protesters Wednesday.

The mayor’s office said it would pick up a portion of the tab for the clean-up, FOX 12 reported. Meanwhile, the Portland Police Bureau has cordoned off the site, calling it a biohazard.

Activists set up the camp near the local office of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement after an outcry over the agency's crackdown on illegal immigrants.

The protesters advocated abolishing the agency, an objective that is increasingly being embraced by top mainstream Democrats in Congress, including U.S. Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts.

“It was pretty disgusting that that’s how they were living back there,” Frank Savage, a Portland resident who lives near the camp, told the outlet.

He said that the area was littered by the protesters but is now relieved that things will go back to normal. “Getting tired of waking up to the bullhorn and the sounds and the cussing,” he added.

Debris being cleared Wednesday included wooden pallets, makeshift toilets, books, toys, plastic containers, liquor bottles, tents and furniture, photos published by the Oregonian showed.
Mayor Ted Wheeler publicly ordered the Occupy ICE protesters to leave the camp Monday, but they ignored the mayor’s request.

That prompted Portland police to step in and clear the protesters. No tickets or arrests were made in the process.

“For the most part everything was done with very little incident,” police Chief Danielle Outlaw said.

This was the second time authorities had to intervene to disperse the protesters in Portland who set up camps. Last month, Homeland Security police had to clear out activists who occupied an ICE building in the city in protest of President Trump’s zero-tolerance policy toward immigration and the separation of migrant children from their parents.

As officers were clearing up the building, protesters were heard chanting “No racist police!” and some activists were pointing in each of the officers’ faces and calling them “Nazis.”

The city is having contractors clean up the mess left by the activists. The efforts will also receive help from Multnomah County inmates, who will receive work-time credit and other financial incentives, the sheriff’s office reportedly said.

The camp was set up on land owned by the city and TriMet, a public agency in charge of the public transit system in Portland’s metropolitan area.

A TriMet official said they don’t know why the protesters who started the camp can’t be held accountable for the costs associated with cleaning the area.

“I can’t answer that. I just don’t think there is a mechanism to reimburse for the cost,” the official told FOX 12.

The city doesn’t yet have an estimate of the total cost of the cleanup.
Willamette Week
written by Katie Shepherd
Monday July 30, 2018

In cease and desist letter, federal agents say Portland mayor violated the the U.S. Constitution by barring police from responding to the feds' calls for help.

The union that represents U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers says on at least two occasions last month two federal ICE employees called Portland police while being harassed by protesters—but cops did not show up, because Portland's mayor had ordered them not to intervene.

Members of the union, called the National ICE Council, sent Mayor Ted Wheeler a cease and desist letter Monday demanding he require Portland police to assist federal agents if called upon.

The letter, filed this morning by the union on behalf of employees working in Portland's ICE office, says Wheeler's decision to order Portland police not to assist federal agents was a violation of the U.S. Constitution. Specifically, it cites the 14th Amendment, which says the government cannot deny any person equal protection under the law.

"Your current policy forbidding Portland law enforcement agencies from assisting employees of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency who request law enforcement assistance while at or away from work is a violation of the United States Constitution's Equal Protection Clause," the letter says.

ICE is a scorned agency in Portland, especially in the wake of a White House policy of separating immigrant families at the U.S. border. A protest camp blockaded and harried the Portland ICE office for more than a month. The camp was abandoned and swept by police July 25.

But the letter places a new legal demand on Wheeler. It says that if he does not allow Portland police to assist federal immigration agents from here on out, the ICE union will take him to court.

"We understand that you have a difference of opinion with the current President of the United States, and some of his policies, but we fail to see why targeting the employees of ICE and leaving them vulnerable to violence, harassment and even death furthers a legitimate government interest," their attorney, Sean Riddell, says in the letter. "Your policy has created a zone of terror and lawlessness."

The Portland Police Bureau deferred any comment on the dispute to the mayor's office. The mayor's spokeswoman Sophia June says legal counsel is reviewing the letter.

The people seeking relief in the letter are a local immigration agent and a representative from the federal agency's national office speaking on behalf of the union.

A local ICE officer, who spoke to WW only on the condition of anonymity, says two agency employees called Portland police June 19, when they were blocked from leaving the building in their vehicles. One of those employees told Portland police that protesters followed his truck as he went to pick up his daughter from summer camp and harassed him in the parking lot.

He also says protesters showed up at his Portland apartment building a few hours later. Again, he called police, but says no officer responded.

"This area became like a Wild West," the local immigration officer tells WW.

An email obtained by WW shows police defending their decision to federal officials.

Portland Police Deputy Chief Bob Day wrote the email June 19, replying to a formal request for assistance from the Federal Protective Service, a police division within the Department of Homeland Security. "At this time I am denying your request for additional resources from PPB," Day wrote. "I recognize this is a fluid situation that will need continuous monitoring. I am willing to revisit this inquiry after you have exhausted all alternative options besides arrests and maximized the use of FPS resources. We will respond to [calls] for assistance if your officers are assaulted and need us to facilitate a safe exit from the conflict."

Chris Crane, president of the national union, says the situation at the ICE building in Portland spiraled out of control because police would not assist federal agents.

"Every person in law enforcement knows there are few things as dangerous or as unpredictable as an angry mob," Crane says. "No one could have responded quickly enough to protect our employees who were trapped inside this building. All of this because the mayor of Portland has a beef with the president of the United States."

Wheeler opposes President Donald Trump's immigration policies, which he called "un-American" shortly after the Occupy ICE camp sprang up outside the federal building.

Trump administration officials have threatened in speeches and interviews to criminally prosecute mayors like Wheeler, who support local sanctuary laws and policies that sometimes shield undocumented immigrants from deportation.

Protesters surrounded the ICE building beginning June 17, after news reports about the federal family separation policy. The protesters briefly shut down the ICE building by blocking the entrances and exits, harassing employees as they arrived and attempted to leave. The occupation inspired similar protests nationwide.

Most of the camp remained peaceful. It broke down last week, after Wheeler sent a notice to protesters telling them he planned to sweep the camp because it was unsafe and he feared violence from far-right activists.

In their cease and desist letter, the ICE agents say Portland police put federal employees in danger.

"We ask that you end your policy of not responding to calls for police services from ICE employees immediately," the ICE union pleads in the letter to the mayor. "We would like to avoid federal litigation, but we are prepared to protect our membership and their families."

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