Transcript of 6/29/18 9:00 am - 10:00 am - Radiozine hosted by Theresa Mitchell and Jenka Soderberg, featuring Danielle of OccupyICEPDX
Speaker - This is KBOO, Portland the time now is 9:00 and coming up next KBOO will present a live report from the Occupy ICE PDX protest in Southwest Portland.
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Speaker - And now we're going live to the KBOO remote at the ICE PDX protest.
Theresa - It’s interesting for me because walking in to this I immediately compare it to the Occupy camp back in 2011, but it is very different from that. The Occupy was really, basically, about confronting the maldistribution of wealth and power in the United States, and the whole theme of the Occupy was something along the lines of, “what if? What could we be? What could become?” And the tone here, and correct me if I’m wrong in this, is this is enough, we can go no further with this sort of fascism. Well for example on Democracy Now earlier this morning, Amy Goodman made reference to a report that children were being brought into a courtroom, little children from outside the United States separated from the parents, brought in, in a group, into a courtroom and a person who had been associated with the process had been saying that, “they’re so small that it included a three year old who climbed on a table completely oblivious, of course being three years old, to the process, and that’s how absurd that the process has become and how fascistic and I imagine that feeds into the determination that I observe that I feel that I see in your face right now actually.
Danielle - Absolutely. Everyday it makes me sick to my stomach to hear the stories, and even that is news to me now this morning hearing that. Where are the advocates for these kids? Who is beyond those lines taking care of them and making sure their needs are met and what's best for them is being taken care of? It's heartbreaking what these children are going through in. And I think that when it comes to the process of getting them back with their families or even housed I think they can do a whole lot better with that.
Theresa - Do you feel that this process of no, of zero tolerance, has not been checked that this occupation is therefore necessary to, to draw further attention to what is going on to this increasing wealth. Fascisization. I can't think of a better word of American society.
Danielle - Right. I think it's a hundred percent necessary. We're going to keep going. I think this is something that there's other occupations popping up across the country. And I think that when people see people standing up, it gives them the confidence and the will sometimes to want to do the same thing. And I think it's going to take a lot more than just Portland to get that point across to the masses that feel like what's happening in these processes are okay.
Theresa - I don't mean to be Jonesing this interview.
Jenka - No, no. I wanted to let people know if you're just tuning in, you're listening to KBOO, we are live from the Occupy ICE encampment and vigil outside of the ICE Headquarters at 2410 Southwest Macadam Avenue (Correction: 4310 Southwest Macadam). The camp has been going on since a week ago Sunday. So I guess 11 days or 12 days now that this has, this movement began here in Portland and as Danielle mentioned, has spread to other cities. Yesterday, there were protests in Seattle where Microsoft employees went to the headquarters of Microsoft demanding that the company dropped it's $19,000,000 contract with ICE in Brownsville, Texas, as we heard on Democracy Now this morning, protesters actually went into the courthouse to try to stop the, the kangaroo courts, these mass trials and deportations of people without even hearing individual cases. So, this is a growing movement, and despite what you may have heard about a crackdown yesterday and the way that the corporate media portrayed what happened yesterday, the camp remains strong and seems to be growing and is more powerful in my opinion than others than ever before. If I look around I know that there are issues with people getting their pictures taken here. But I can tell you what I see. There's an accessibility tent right across from us that's a tent where they have cots for people who have mobility issues that maybe need to lay on a cot. Also first aid, there is a medical tent, there is a library of literature that you can get books and there is a free kitchen where free food is distributed throughout the day and there is a kids tent with activities for the children that are here. So those are just a few of the things that I see, looking around the camp, and Danielle, maybe you could tell us a little bit more about the kind of community that's being built here at the camp.
Danielle - People have come together, we've got people bringing us food, any sort of donation that we need, medicine. We have an engineering tent as well and people are coming in and helping us build these walls and try to protect the camp people in here. You got people from all walks of life and I think the level of comradery and community here is really high. We've actually built what I like to call a little town, right in the middle of Portland and it's working, it's thriving, it's happening. And I think the more people that come down and show support and stay here with us the better. I think we need to raise even more awareness. Everyone here has been doing great despite what they've been doing to us and how, what we've been going through in the resistance against us from them.
Jenka - And just a correction, the address here is 4310 Southwest Macadam. And there's a call out for people to come here. I know yesterday people were saying, “well, supplies are great, but we need more people to come and show support,” whether it's for an hour or two hours or part of the day that you can make it down, or to be part of the night vigil, it’s a 24 hour presence here. And I know in the wee hours of the night there is a need for people to be here and to be a presence as well because that tends to be the time. If the agents come out of the building it tends to be at four, five in the morning for generally harassment, I mean, I think is the main purpose from what I've seen, not actually trying to prevent the camp from doing what it's doing, but to harass the campers. I mean, would that be your assessment as well Danielle as far as the needs right now?
Danielle - Yes, I definitely agree. As far as them coming out in the wee hours in the morning when they come out and they are looking at us and they're wearing these weird masks and dressing up these cardboard cutouts like that...
Jenka - Dressing up cardboard cutouts?
Danielle - Oh god. You haven't heard. So they had Hulk Hogan dressed in ICE uniform…
Jenka - Outside or in the window?
Danielle - In the window. There's also a guy, we now call him the infamous eagle head because he puts on this big eagle mask and he dances around and he waves at us. These are the sort of things that are happening to us.
Jenka - That’s bizarre.
Danielle - The night before they came in, they played a Metallica song, I forget the name of it, but the lyrics were something to the scent of sleeping with one eye open and clenching your pillows. That blared through the garage over here and these different things that are very odd and you just want to, “why are you doing this?” And if you guys are taking these steps to mess with us, I don't even want to imagine what these children are going through behind closed doors that the public is not allowed to see.
Theresa - These are recognizable military psyops techniques and this was all drawn up in manuals and actually you can see this sort of behavior lined out and it's part…
Jenka - Part of the COINTELPRO right? Counter Intelligence Program.
Theresa - Yes, well, it’s also just straight up military action and it's part of that whole, I was mentioning the area 15 earlier, or similar weapon, but it's part of this pretense that is done against the United States, it has been done so many times in Portland, we're so familiar with it, with the outrageously excessive armory and uniforms and the idea, and it is effective. The idea is to come out with this massive military like presence and it gives people the impression, it’s simply, it's just human nature to be afraid of what other people seem to be afraid of. It even works on dogs. If you want your dog to be afraid of something, act like you're afraid of it, and then you'll have a while unsticking your dog from that. But it works on people. And so this is, I've always found it to be quite dishonest, but it's very common, especially in the last 20 years, I've noticed that demonstration simply, I mean, these are demonstrations, these are demonstrations. I was talking about Occupy, but so many actions, there are simply free speech actions, efforts to go around the buzz of the corporate media. And that's why KBOO is here. And they are very threatening, I think to the powers that be. And so they have to get the majority of the population back on their side by pretending that well, that “y'all” are dangerous, which is absurd. And I've come into this camp, it's so quiet, so peaceful. There are tents lined up very neatly. People are walking respectfully. I see a lot of women here. I am transgender. My voice is baritone. So if you're listening on the radio it may sound like a guy who's talking to you, but a guy is not talking to you and I walk into this campus it very different from 2011 walking into the Occupy camp and people would call me up because there were just all kinds of people there and they'd say, are you a man or a woman? You know? And so I never felt safe with and frankly that's why I didn't hang out at all.
Theresa - When she saw a video of kids being herded, like animals, that seems to be the limit. And again, it seems to be part of the theme that I feel here, not a theme that anyone just sets openly and consciously, but just what people brought in their hearts that this is heartbreaking. This situation cannot stand. Can I ask you to follow up on that? I mean how do you feel in your heart about the situation?
Danielle - Knowing that ICE exists and what they do was one level of anger and disappointment and heartbreak. But once I saw the visuals and heard the audio of these screams and these cries and some of these agents making fun of these children and antagonizing them…
Danielle - ...there was heartache and fight and comradery sticking together. And you know, all we want is for these children to be treated like the children that they are. They didn't ask to be born, they didn't ask to be born here or anywhere else. They don't have that choice. I just feel like there should be, again, more advocacy for these children. And since there isn't, we're here and we're going to continue to raise awareness around this.
Theresa - Brings to mind the words of the poet Roque Dalton “un manantial inagotable de mi furia, an unstoppable fountain of my fury,” and that's why it's like a quiet fury that I feel around here and that I'm seeing having an effect across the United States. Understand that as of today, now, one of the pieces of news that I encountered was that a section of ICE agents who are more specifically detailed to actually catching human trafficking, for example, have broken away and have made a public statement, I wonder if you've heard about this, that they wish for ICE to be abolished, which I thought was astonishing and quite an accomplishment for this protest. And so I come here and it's so quiet and I see that it's just a simple action, basically, as I was saying a demonstration. We're here, more people need to be here. Jenka was saying if you are in agreement, if you're listening to me and you are in agreement with this sort of confrontation, then you need to be here for a couple of reasons. One is to increase the demonstration to show that people are still confronting the situation and also to dilute the police power because it is very easy for a very small group of people to be taken away, marginalized, locked up. And that's that. But the more people actually come here, I mean even for five minutes changes the logistics and makes it less possible to actually crush the camp. So if you're listening and if you're in agreement, you may want to consider that. And if you're not in agreement and you come down and confront the camp then unwittingly you're adding to the power of the camp. And I've seen people do that as well. Because I hear again and again that there is a limit that has been reached. And on the other hand, and I'd be interested in your comments on this, Danielle, it seems to me that there is an effective fascist tactic in this and is the same that has been seen before, for example, in Chile that people know when they support the separation of families. I know when they support the no tolerance policy that they were doing the wrong thing, but they were doing the wrong thing in a group which they want to protect. And here I am talking about whiteness and this is the thing that doesn't get talked about generally about the whole process here, the whole process with ISIS about whiteness. And well, I see a spider has come to join us and it's okay, you can hang out with me. So the thing is, I was just talking with a journalist about this yesterday, he referred to it as tribalism, but the tribe is whiteness and the actions and the efforts of Trump through the ICE no tolerance policy is to keep, basically, non white people from coming in and sharing them the status that white people enjoy in the United States. So I'd like to frame it in that and ask you how does it affect you? Frankly, the Trump administration through these ICE actions is becoming more and more blatant. They never, and it's important, one of the most important aspects of whiteness is never to name it, of course, but they've become closer and closer to actually saying, “yes, we want a white apartheid state.” Can you comment on that?
Danielle - Can you clarify that a little bit more for me? I’m sorry.
Theresa - Okay. So I'm talking about, and if you don't want to talk about that and you feel uncomfortable talking with a white person about that I certainly understand. But I'm trying to frame what is here, what ICE does and what Trump is doing in terms of the enforcement of white [inaudible], in the United States.
Danielle - I think it's disgusting and I feel like as the POTUS, that shouldn't be the position he's taking. It shouldn't be the position anyone is taking, let alone the leader of our nation. I feel targeted.
Danielle - Racism being, not having grown up in it, was a lot rougher to the blatant disrespect that just seems to be the norm now and it's just scary. It's really scary being a black woman in America right now.
Jenka - And just, was it two days ago that police shooting, an officer just out of the academy, not even a few hours out of the academy, shooting a person of color in the back as if he were a target, target practice. That's the extent to which we've come where that doesn't even raise the outrage. I mean, a year ago people would be out in the streets. We're becoming even desensitized to the level of police violence that's going on, it seems, so I mean can you talk about some of the connections between police violence against people of color here in the United States? And especially African Americans, black people in the United States, and this current struggle of people trying to come to the United States to flee violence in other countries.
Danielle - I mean, having grown up here all my life, I’ve experienced that level of racism, and I understand, you know, I'm not one to, I don't want to flee my country, but some people have it a lot worse than we do here when it comes to gang violence and corrupt government and things like that, I think it’s really disgusting. That for someone to want to come to a place and provide a better life for themselves or their families, I think it's terrible that that's a crime here, I think it's terrible. And that has to change. There has to be a way around criminalizing people for wanting to take better care of their children or have a longer life or their grandparents or their parents who are elderly and need better medical care. I think it's terrible that they have to go through what they're going through.
Theresa - Mike Pence was up before on International Forum today calling for a cessation of immigrations as if it were a terrible crisis in the United States. And that context that has driven people here is never brought up. And I would accuse big organizations like CNN for example, and MSNBC at absolutely failing to provide the most basic concept, the most basic context so that the American people can understand why people have been driven here. The reason, and if I may, the reason people are driven here is because of the American people. American people have turned a blind eye to the situation. For example, in Honduras, in Tegucigalpa, where the entire city is sat upon by a gigantic US military camp which calls all the shots and which supports a grotesquely violent utilitarian governments and which replaces popular governments, totalitarian governments, just for the sake of convenience. And again, for the sake of that whiteness [inaudible], which is even more obvious, more blatant once you get...
Theresa - ...is so repulsive. And I see this. It is frightening because it's a critical moment, it works for the Trump administration. It works, the horror of it is intentional and it works for their followers. So here are the, here's the opposition, quietly determined, quietly setting up tents and facing down federal police in their war rifles. And I'm choking a little bit because, frankly because I'm so impressed, because I'm blown away by the heart of the people who have come here. And I wonder, Danielle, if you could talk about what kind of people are here.
Danielle - Well we have people here from all walks of life, all nationalities, many different orientations. And what makes that work, and what connects us all, is the will to have these policies change, these processes change. And just the simple love for another human being. You know, we don't know these people but they're human and I think just wanting to be there for what we call our brothers and sisters is, I think what is the single most important thing on everybody's hearts here is being there for these people, showing them support, letting them know that we're here for them and showing them that we're here for them. And as long as we keep this going, I believe that we are supporting them and they'll have that and hopefully that, you know, I don't want people to get discouraged. It's going to take some time but we're here to fight and it's a battle we've all chosen.
Jenka - You know being here at the camp and seeing what's happening, I have noticed a number of things like, a lot of times it's the most marginalized folks that are right at the front lines. People who maybe have the most to lose. I talked to a young woman who is a DACA recipient and who was out right at the front of the vigil because she said she's not going to be afraid anymore of being undocumented and being threatened with deportation, that she's going to take a stand. I've noticed a number of people who are disabled who are right at the front lines. Like, Theresa, you were talking about being welcomed as a trans person. That's another thing is people always ask for pronouns and are very supportive and many of the people I've noticed here are either LGBT trans people who are talking about the, those issues as well as people of color are mainly a lot of the people who are stepping up to the front lines. So I think as white people, it's time to take a lead from the marginalized communities and say, “look at this!” People are, people are leading. It's time to follow and, or get out of the way right? Lead, follow, or get out of the way. Another thing I've noticed is the mutual aid that's going on, so many people are going around picking up trash, taking the recycling out, asking people if they need anything.
Theresa - Someone is paying for those Porta Johns too I noticed. And that's an important thing. Jenka - There's Porta Johns I noticed that at least one of them is being paid for by a union that is supporting the effort and people, like someone just walked by with a full plate of hot food that was prepared in the kitchen. So there's a, there's a breakfast and lunch and dinner that's prepared by volunteers here at the camp that go into the kitchen and prepare hot meals. So there's a mutual aid, economy and society here. And what are the barriers to entry for anyone who say wants to come down and join this camp? Are there any restrictions on who can be here who…?
Danielle - Well no, not necessarily. We welcome everyone. We just want people to be safe and not come bringing trouble. It's not what we need. This is a fairly peaceful camp. You know, everyone gets along for the most part. So I would say bring your heart open and be ready for a community. Cause that's what we have here.
Jenka - One question that's coming in from the chat is if there are immigrants that have meetings, appointments set up at this building, what's happening to them during, during this period? Is it, is it disrupting their process? When this building is shut down?
Danielle - So, no, while this building is shut down, they are going and doing business elsewhere. They're still doing their work somewhere else. These people are able to get access to that information when they come here because for some reason they are being told that the place is still open. Which, that in it of itself is a harm because if they need to be somewhere else and you're telling them that this place is open and everyone knows it's not, that's very deceptive and foul. So we've done our best to direct everyone in the right direction. And we've had people come back and let us know for other families that might come and need to check in as well.
Jenka - And I saw a sign that gave a number for people who need legal assistance who maybe are coming to this building for an appointment with ICE. Has there been support for families who are facing proceedings, deportation proceedings or other issues with ICE that the camp has provided?
Danielle - People come and make donations all the time, everyday. I believe there's also a gofundme set up for the aid of legal services, helping families with different things that come from travel from all over that might need help with traveling back home or getting a document they might need or childcare even. So yeah, there's resources available for them.
Theresa - Should we talk to this person or?
Jenka - Oh no, she, that's another cable. We've got our KBOO crew here. We've got a good crew of folks that are helping put this together.
Theresa - Sorry about that. Well this puts me in mind again, of the international situation. And, I saw, when I went to get my face done in Argentina because it's cheaper. I went to Buenos Aires and my partner Anny was with me, and while I was laying in a hotel bed dealing with blood loss, she went out and checked out the city and one of the people that she ran into in the central square next to the Casa Rosada was Madres de los Desaparecidos. And these are the mothers of people whose families were separated, whose grandchildren were taken away under the US supported, US logistically supported Operation Condor and the Dirty War in the seventies and early eighties in Argentina and Chile in South America. And all those years later, like decades later, these women are still looking for their children. Sometimes they would find a child who would now be in middle age who was separated as a baby. And what the, what the fascists did with US help was they would, they would take away, they would disappear leftists and often as not just killed them, throw them from the helicopters into the sea. And then they would take their children and they had an official policy in which they said, well, we're going to bring these up as proper, you know, right wing people and they put them with right wing families and bring up their children to be anti-leftist conservatives and you know, some of them are and some of them aren't. And some of them have discovered their status when they're in their thirties and forties and are, you know, having to deal with that. But I bring that up because that is, that's the sort of impact that this ugly sort of policy has. And of course we've seen it in the United States over and over in terms of how we treat the indigenous people. And of course the theft of people from Africa and the separation that those families. This is something that this camp wishes to put an end to, you know, I have to hail that is certainly a worthwhile project because this, the misery of that brutal act goes on and on for generations. I didn't leave a space for comments on that.
Jenka - I just want to point out we were not able to take calls here at the camp, but what you can do is call KBOO and we will get that question then from the person who is running the board at KBOO. So you can call in with any question that you might have at (503) 231-8187. Again, that number (503) 231-8187. And the person in the air room at KBOO can tell us your question and will hopefully address that here at the camp. You know, one of the things that you were just talking about, about the families that are coming for appointments and getting wrong information from ICE about where and when to come to their appointments. I just saw this week this press release from the Oregon State Bar that there's a Florida law firm that's been engaging in unethical immigration services offering services to immigrant families here in Beaverton and then requiring cash payments and then providing the legal assistance. So families are falling into this trap of looking for legal assistance from some shady companies that are around, this particular company is called Cular PA and it's based in Florida and yet they have an office open in Beaverton and it looks like to lure people in order to extort them. So when you have a vulnerable population people end up being susceptible to that type of situation where they can get more easily scammed or have people treat them unethically. So I think it's really important the legal aid that you're saying that, that some lawyers have been able to, to provide to people, and I heard also…
Theresa - Does PA stand for predatory A-holes in that case?
Jenka - I don't know, but the ACLU was able to get into Sheridan, Oregon this week, the facility where 120 immigrants are being held for the first time, and that's been over a month that people have been without any access to legal aid. And, so now the ACLU has been in there for the first time and I think, I mean it seems like this camp and these actions are putting pressure on, to expose these types of things that have been under the radar or, or not talked about. But now it's, it's big headlines everywhere. What do you think is the impact of the work that's being done here?
Danielle - I think it's, we're definitely leaving footprints as we move forward here. More and more people are coming and educating themselves. Again, sister occupations popping up across the nation. I think what we're doing here needed to happen and I'm glad that other people were able to put things together in their state or their town where they are so that it can continue to spread and continue to manifest itself into the minds of people who just closed their minds off to things, you know, you get people driving by here and they just yell things like, “go get a job!” or you know, “go home!” without even reading a sign or asking why we're here. And those are, some of those very same people actually come back and want to talk. And once we explained to them what this building is and what they are putting people through they're very apologetic and seem to break themselves down to what's going on. So many people are above it. It's easy to just drive by and not pay attention or turn your tv off and not pay attention. So it, little by little, it's getting to people and I think that's what needs to happen.
Theresa - Interesting.
Danielle - I would like to see these DHS agents out front here. Drop their badges and armor and cross the yellow line on to our side.
Theresa - That would be something.
Danielle - That would be beautiful.
Theresa - Well evidently some of them are nationally, are doing that. I want to describe the scene here again now, right now, the sunlight's coming gently onto the mixer board here. This is a quiet scene, a row of tents and where we are physically, let me explain. If you look at the Portland skyline and just south you'll see the cable car, the $55,000,000 funicular, the world's most expensive carnival ride. And this camp is just south of that.
Jenka - It’s actually the best way to get here, is by the street car, take the streetcar to the Southwest Moody turnaround that at the end of the line not the waterfront. And the camp is just ahead at the end of Moody.
Theresa - A lot of people are familiar with this. So it's a, it's actually at the corner of Bancroft and Macadam and a lot of people are familiar with that, with Bancroft as the street they turn to to get to the Spaghetti factory, which is down at the other end of the street.
Jenka - But you can’t go down Bancroft right now, the ICE officers or the Department of Homeland Security officers have that entrance closed. But you can come down Moody Avenue, Moody and Bancroft.
Danielle - Or Bond
Jenka - Yeah or Bond. And we have a question from Diana who wants to know if there's an opportunity for people with historical knowledge to use this protest as a teaching moment?
Danielle - Absolutely. Absolutely, you can't have too much knowledge out there. Like we want people to come educate themselves. It's great for someone to come down and bless us with some education. Knowledge is power and I feel, like, there's power, there’s strength in numbers. So the more we know, the further we can go.
Jenka - Yeah, one of the things I found really moving about the Brownsville Texas protest were the number of teachers that were out and Amy Goodman this morning was interviewing a number of teachers who were talking about how the public school system is, is kind of the last refuge where anyone can come regardless of your status. You can come to the public school and get an education and that, that is a wonderful thing and should be spread to other institutions. But yet people are afraid and so many students and young kids are living in terror that their family might be torn apart. And I know that you said that is something that moved you to take action, Danielle, maybe you could talk about what particularly made you decide to take a really committed action and, and stay here at the camp but not just come out for an hour or two but to say, “no, I'm devoting myself to this for awhile.”
Danielle - My bottom line is because I'm a mom and I couldn't imagine having my children taken away from me and put through the horrors and the trauma that these children are going through. And I sat at home and I watched some of that footage and I heard some of that audio and I just held my babies.
Theresa - I think it hits so many people on that level. I remember being forced away from my six year old by the courts. And that was the first thing that hit my mind when I heard that audio my child crying and I'm, I'm breaking up too. It's really hard to express.
Jenka - It's heartbreaking. You know, you think about the families. It's touched so many people. I think this is what has led to this breaking point. There've been so many stories of people being deported. Hundreds of people killed at the border, dying, crossing the border. But the one thing that, that then made it hit this breaking point was when these stories and this footage came out of these families being torn apart. Children being torn from their parents. I mean, it's just something that I think touches so many people at a level that we as a country, people are saying across the country, we can't take this anymore, that this is not okay and this is not our values. Maybe this is something that the United States has historically done to families, but this was not what we as individuals, as communities, believe in.
Danielle - We're not going to stand for it.
Jenka - And people have taken a stand and it is spreading across the US. There is a question of how many occupied camps are currently taking place across the US. I personally, I'm not sure. I don't know if Danielle, if you have gotten information from other camps. I know Tacoma, Washington [inaudible] has been an organizer up there for a long time and they're, and they have taken the protest to Seatac, the Seattle-Tacoma airport where they're detaining people and some of the parents have been taken from Texas and brought to Tacoma, Washington. So I know that, that this Portland camp is in solidarity with the Tacoma camp and also with Los Angeles, there's been a number of people in Los Angeles that have faced down federal police there. Do you know of other camps?
Danielle - I heard there was an occupation thing put together for New York and some things in Texas. I don't get much news from the outside.
Jenka - They're focused on what's happening here at the camp.
Danielle - Yes. But I'm hearing about them. I'm just not able to sit down, and keep track myself.
Jenka - So right now at the camp I just want to again describe for listeners what's happening. I saw probably a dozen officers and these are, I don't know if they are Department of Homeland Security officers or if they are private security that then were hired by Department of Homeland Security to wear those uniforms and be stationed outside. They're not you know, arm to arm protecting the entrance to the building. They're you know, probably about five feet apart from each other. And they're not in a tight line or anything looking like they're going to attack the protest or anything. They are basically at the edge of the property line of what the building that ICE is renting. And next to that is where the camp is located. The camp is on Trimet property and so far Trimet has said this is okay because we have lifted the camping ban here in Portland and across the city. People have supposedly been allowed to camp. I know a lot of houseless people would challenge that and say, wait, they've been harassed and they've had their camp dismantled and this kind of thing. But it is on a piece of land that isn't owned by the same owner as that property. So the ICE agents have, or the Department of Homeland Security agents, have been, kind of, kept into that area and not been crossing the line. So another thing is it's very peaceful in the camp. The sun is shining. It's a beautiful morning. People are serving breakfast and there's a very peaceful feel here at the camp itself. So just across the line that the, that the agents have set, they might seem somehow menacing or taking, you know, their stance, but on the other side of the line there's a whole different feel and I think people need to look at it themselves before, before judging. So just to talk about, a little bit more about what is happening here at the camp today. And what people could expect to see if they came.
Danielle - We're carrying on, it's business as usual. There are still agents outside of camp in front of the ICE building. They try to look scary and intimidating, but they're not. I actually spend quite a bit of time trying to talk to them, human to human. You know, they don't say anything. It's interesting to see how trained they are to act like they don't care. Some of them are so stone cold, they'll say, “I don't care.” I asked my daughter how she was doing yesterday. And she said, “I’d be fine if those kids were free.” You know, do you not care about the kids? Shakes his head no, you know.
Jenka - Taking a lead of first lady, Melania Trump or was it the daughter? One of the Trumps…
Theresa - It was Melania with her jacket that said, “I don't care.” That was bizarre.
Danielle - That attitude is what infects a lot of brains. And so I just want to penetrate that. I want, I want people to know that we're not out here to yell and cuss at DHS officers. The conversation, dialogue, an open mind with these people. I really do believe that these people are listening and I just hope that when they go home at night that they reflect on some of the conversations they've had with people here and some of the things that they've heard from people who speak here. And utilize that to have a change of heart and let that give them strength because even them, we would be here if it were their children too we would be here if it was them. You know, we're not against them. You guys are human beings just like us. And then you got to treat the people in your care like the human beings that they are.
Jenka - Interesting story. My own father was a capitol police officer in his early twenties in Washington DC and was asked to stop demonstrations and to stand at demonstrations in 1968 and a left...
Theresa - [Inaudible] It's a very peaceful place. I was saying earlier that if you do support the aims of the camp, then it's very very useful for you to actually come down here and be here physically. Just to dilute the enforcement and also to increase the power of the demonstration. And this is evidently, from what I can see, this is coming from, this is coming from love, this is coming from a desire to promote human rights and not from a love of confrontation or, or out of anger. There's a lot of anger here, but the anger is secondary and what I perceive and, and actually what you can hear or maybe what you can hear the silence around me as people are quietly determined to make this happen to make the American people see, confront and actually deal with what they were doing through the Trump administration in this zero tolerance policy. And there's so much more to say about it. But it seems to me like we're getting up towards the top.
Jenka - We're getting up to the top of the hour and we are going to be here for another hour. So we've got the show coming up is going to be Valley Views gonna be from 10 to 10:15 and then we will be here at Occupy Portland until 11:00 am. So, uh, if you want to come down again, it's 4310 Southwest Macadam Avenue I’m on the Moody Street side on the street car or just come on the waterfront side and for those who can't make it the website to support the camp is a gofundme.com/occupyicepdx. OccupyICEPDX is also a hashtag to follow on social media. KBOO is here live on Facebook and on Twitter when we're not live on the air, so you can check KBOO’s Facebook and Twitter for updates as well. And we're going to be wrapping this hour up and going to Valley Views with Dale and Corvallis. And then we're going to be back live from the Occupy ICE encampment. So again, this is the KBOO tent here at Occupy ICE and look for us if you're down at the encampment and if you're not down here then check it out. And if you can't, gofundme.com/occupyicepdx. So we're going to go back to the air room now. And we'll be back in about 15 minutes.
Theresa - Thank you Danielle.
Danielle - Thank you.
Speaker - And thank you Teresa and Jenka. You've been listening to KBOO’s live report from the OccupyICEPDX protest in Southwest Portland.
Speaker - The time now is 10 o’clock and coming up next is Valley Views.
from Occupy ICE PDX: Today, 6/28/18, at approximately 6am federal agents from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Portland Police Bureau (PPB) swept the driveway at the 4310 SW Macadam ICE detention facility in Portland. No protesters at the camp are armed. Officers came in full riot gear and tactical weapons.
Portland Police Bureau was involved, supporting DHS in blocking off roads and diverting traffic that allowed DHS officers to move in on the encampment.
The main camp is NOT located on federal premises. The barricades constructed around the building did not block walkways, driveways or entrances, in compliance with federal laws. Federal officers arrived dressed in full tactical gear and proceeded to brandish an assortment of weapons to intimidate activists before forming a line across Bancroft towards main camp. There were several protestors chained up in the front of the building, acting in passive resistance. At least two veterans who were also protesting in the front were arrested. DHS officers holding the line were armed with batons, and there is at least one report caught on KATU2 live-stream of officers arresting someone at gunpoint in the back entrance. There have been at least 9 arrests made today by DHS.
Prior to the sweep this morning, DHS agents had been trying to escalate and disorient and disrupt protesters over the past few nights. Threatening dad-rock with lyrics like “sleep with one eye open” was played at high volume, disrupting protester’s rest. Agents placed Hulk Hogan (yes, seriously) cut-outs in windows in the building wearing ICE jackets and a large costume eagle mask was placed in one window. Agents were seen making hand gestures of guns and pantomimed shooting at protesters. Agents stood on the roof of the building and mocked protesters. Agents were shining blinking flashlights from the windows of the building overnight, and drones were flown over camp in the early morning.
Folx on the grounds have been engaging in nonviolent protest, peacefully holding the space despite DHS and PPB presence. We know that the world is watching, and we are holding strong. We stand in solidarity with undocumented immigrants, who face violence from ICE and DHS every single day. We know that these white supremacist organizations would not hesitate to extend their violence. Our focus is community preparedness and de-escalation, to ensure that everyone (especially frontline and most deeply impacted communities) are protected and safe.
As for PPB’s involvement: This action after the Mayor’s call for PPB not to interfere with the camp and lawful first amendment protest is unacceptable and we condemn it in the strongest possible terms. We remind Mayor Wheeler of Oregon's status as a sanctuary state, and of Portland's supposed status as a sanctuary city. While the state and city sanctuary laws do not guarantee protection for the protest, the involvement of PPB in this Federal attempt at a raid raises serious questions surrounding Portland’s supposed dedication to immigrant rights, safety and security from state violence.
The city council voted to become a sanctuary city last year, which effectively ratified a long-standing Oregon law prevent the use of state and local resources in immigration enforcement. This vote was entirely symbolic. No additional long-term resources were allocated to the protection of the immigrant community. No concrete policy change or commitments were made. ICE facilities still exist in Portland.
Mayor Ted Wheeler - if Portland is a sanctuary, why aren't immigrants safe here? Why is the Portland Police Bureau cracking down on those who are holding the city accountable? To city council - this is a decisive moment in which you can make good on your symbolic gesture, or you can keep fluffing up empty promises. We're not here for empty promises, we're here for real change.
Our demands still stand: 1. The Portland Police Bureau must withdraw from the Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF) 2. The City of Portland must end all cooperation, monetary and otherwise, with the Department of Homeland Security 3. Portland must fund an Office of Immigrant Rights, and provide universal immigration legal defense
To the movement that is igniting across the country: be alert but be unafraid. We send our solidarity. Elevate, center, and follow the voices of those most affected by ICE terror. The security and safety of these folx are the top priority.
And, remember what we are fighting for: the complete and final abolition of ICE.
¡Chinga la Migra! Abolish ICE! Abolish borders!
(CNN)Federal law enforcement officers on Thursday morning began removing some protesters encamped outside a US Immigration and Customs Enforcement field office in Oregon's largest city, officials said, more than a week after the demonstrations forced the Portland facility to close temporarily.
Officers moved in on the encampment of Occupy ICE PDX demonstrators at about 5:30 a.m. PT, the US attorney's office in Oregon said. Officials hope to reopen the facility early next week for the first time since June 20, Federal Protective Service spokesman Robert Sperling said.
An unspecified number of protesters were taken into custody as federal law enforcement personnel cleared a path that includes the facility's driveway and front door, Sperling said.
Officers in riot gear stood shoulder-to-shoulder, protecting the path to the entrance. Protesters remained in the area, with some approaching the officers intermittently, talking with them or appearing to record them with cell phone cameras.
In a tweet Thursday, Occupy ICE PDX -- PDX is the code for Portland's main airport -- acknowledged officers were clearing people from in front of the building but said protesters "aren't going anywhere."
"Arrest us today, we'll grow stronger tomorrow!" the tweet reads.
Last week, ICE temporarily closed its Portland field offices after demonstrators had pitched tents in front of the facility to protest the Trump administration's policy to criminally prosecute anyone who crosses the border illegally. The policy led to hundreds of children being separated from their parents.