Portland police officers evict Occupy ICE camp

Portland police officers began clearing the Occupy ICE camp near the Southwest Portland ICE facility on July 25, 2018. Only a handful of protesters remained after the city issued eviction notices on July 23, 2018. KATU photo

PORTLAND, Ore. – Portland police officers cleared the Occupy ICE camp from Southwest Portland early Wednesday morning.

Officers arrived at the demonstrators’ camp near Southwest Macadam Avenue and Southwest Bancroft Street around 4:15 a.m. They began informing the protesters that the roads were closed and that they must leave the area.

While clearing the camp, police closed SW Bancroft Street, and Southwest Bond Avenue and Southwest Moody Avenue between Southwest Lowell Street and Southwest Bancroft Street.

Monday evening, the City of Portland posted eviction notices around the camp. The notices said that on or after Tuesday, all belongings and people camping near the Southwest Portland ICE facility must move elsewhere.

"Last week PPB determined conditions at the Occupy ICE camp posed livability and safety concerns for the community and people staying in the camp," said Police Chief Danielle Outlaw.

Since the notices were posted, most people left, but about 12 people were still at the camp when police arrived Wednesday morning.

Police did not issue any citations or arrest anyone during the eviction. There was one report of an officer using a baton while instructing demonstrators to move from the area. Portland Police Bureau plans to review the use of force.

TriMet and the City of Portland say they will pay to clean up the area the camp was on. TriMet, the City of Portland, Metro and the City of Lake Oswego all own the property. They are contracting three companies to remove the debris. Any items of value will be stored and available for pickup until Sept. 1. Anyone seeking to reclaim their property should contact Pacific Patrol Services at 503-595-3440.

Campers left a variety of items behind, including a garden where they were apparently growing vegetables, toilet seats, a piano, a toy car and a highchair. Police warned a KATU reporter there were hazards inside the camp, like needles, nails and feces.

Officers will continue maintaining a perimeter around the Occupy ICE camp to ensure the safety of the contracted cleanup crews.

The demonstration started June 17 when a group of activists called for an end to the Trump administration’s “zero-tolerance” border policy that separated children from their parents at the U.S./Mexico border.

The following day protesters held a 24-long vigil outside the building, which continued into Tuesday. Federal officers were escorting ICE employees out of the facility.

The facility was shut down Wednesday, June 20 after demonstrators established a camp and refused to leave. Protesters considered this a win and their efforts shifted towards a call for the U.S. to abolish the ICE program, something echoed by Oregon Rep. Earl Blumenauer.

They were evicted from the federal property on Thursday, June 28, but continued to camp on city streets and sidewalks near the ICE building.

close video ad
Unmutetoggle ad audio on off