Portland police post eviction notices at Occupy ICE protest, protesters say they'll stay

A woman photographs one of the green eviction notices posted by Portland officers Monday night, July 23, 2018 at the Southwest Portland ICE facility where protesters have been camped for weeks. (KATU Photo)

Portland police officers posted notices at a Southwest Portland Immigration and Customs Enforcement facility Monday night alerting protesters their campsite will be cleared out starting Tuesday.

During a Monday afternoon news conference, Mayor Ted Wheeler asked the protesters to leave. Protesters have been camped out for weeks at the facility to protest the Trump administration’s “zero-tolerance” policy toward people entering the United States illegally.

Wheeler said the protesters have a right to express themselves, but the camping, especially the wooden structures set up by the protesters, is an unsustainable situation.

“We’re concerned about life and safety issues,” he said, adding that he believes the protesters need to move on to their next phase of their protest.

"Access to business and access to OHSU has been sporadic," Wheeler said.

OHSU told KATU patients and employees haven't been impacted by the camp.

The protest began June 17. Federal officers broke up the camp June 27 and arrested eight protesters, but many protesters remained.

On Monday night, Jacob Bureros, a spokesman for the protesters, said only six people have left the protest but the majority remain, which he said were about 80 to 120 people.

Police came to the ICE facility shortly after 8:30 p.m. and nailed stakes into the ground with the green notices attached.

A KATU videographer went through the Occupy ICE protest camp shortly after police posted the eviction notices. Video captured a line of porta-potties, strollers, chairs, a dozen or more tents and other items.

According to the city’s notices, protesters who refuse to leave risk arrest or a citation.

In its notice, the city identified several areas it will clear of campers beginning Tuesday:

• 750 feet south of the intersection of SW Bancroft and SW Moody

• 750 feet south of the intersection of SW Bancroft and SW Macadam

• SW Bancroft between SW macadam and SW moody

• The property at 4330 SW Macadam

Protesters still at the camp Monday night said they don't plan on leaving and are willing to be arrested.

"Whatever tactics they have. We're going to stand steadfast and peaceful opposition," said Bureros. "We ask everyone to stand with us to bring your sleeping dragons, lockboxes; bind yourself together."

The six protesters who left identified themselves as a separate group called: #AbolishICEPDX.

In a post on its website, it said it respects the work the remaining protesters are doing but, "We must also recognize that due to the demographic makeup of Portland as a predominantly white city and the nature of confronting armed federal forces at an ICE facility, the community at camp is currently not representative of the Black and Brown immigrant communities."

It said it would rejoin the group when "a set of movement principles" are developed that moves toward "a unified vision of a world without ICE and without borders."

The group said it will work to keep the lines of communication open with the other group and hopes to work with it in future actions.

Southwest Bancroft has been shut down and neighbors have watched the camp grow.

"I think their expectation that this building is going to be closed is unrealistic," said Brenda Worthington.

The mayor was joined by Police Chief Danielle Outlaw and Fire Marshal Nate Takara for Monday's news conference.

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