Protesters just successfully shut down an ICE detention center in Oregon

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The city of Portland, Oregon became something of a household name when Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein tapped it as the as the setting for their comedy series which they named after the hipster-haven, Portlandia. 

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In the time since, the already bustling hub of art, music, and small business has grown into a mecca of progressive politics, so it’s no wonder that protestors in the town shut down a facility used by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to jail immigrants on Tuesday.

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Raw Story reports that guards have told those trying to gain access to the prison on Wednesday that it “is closed and ‘it’s unknown when it will open,’” because of the protests.

The protests reportedly began on Sunday in response to the Trump administration’s sadistic policy which turns children into political pawns by separating them from their parents, only to toss them in cages with no plan in place to reunite them with their families ever again.

According to the report, after the initial protest began on Sunday night, the facility stayed open allowing employees to enter to go about their day. Protestors then regrouped, blocking a garage which prevented ICE vehicles and employees from leaving the building.

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Employees tried to move past the blockade, but thanks to the protestors, they were forced to use another exit.

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Police officers reportedly were called in on Tuesday to escort the remaining ICE employees out of the building. Not that police are always a welcome presence in times such as these, but given the turnout of nearly 1,000 protestors, it was probably for the best.

ICE spokeswoman Carissa Cutrell spoke with The Hill and claimed the agency “fully respects the rights of all people to voice their opinion without interference” which sounds so great and she should have just stopped her statement right there if she had any desire to maintain the facade that ICE is somehow, in any way, good.

Instead, she capped off her commentary by taking the position of the “good Germans” who stayed silent as the Holocaust shifted from detention camps to murder camps.

“ICE remains committed to immigration enforcement consistent with federal law and agency policy,” she told the publication, indicating ICE has every intent to continue this inhumane policy because “it’s the law”.

There were also reports of arrests at the protests, which Cutrell commented on at a reporters request. “The Federal Protective Service was called to the ICE office on Macadam Avenue due to security concerns resulting from the ongoing protests at this location,” she said.

Protective Service in Portland was not available for comment.

Tuesday’s protest was staged by the Portland chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America, a pro-labor, anti-capitalism gift from the heavens.

A similar protest by the D.C. chapter located Sec. Kirstjen Nielsen dining in a local Mexican restaurant after playing Sarah Huckabee Sanders for an afternoon and lying to the American public about the barbaric policy. After confronting the coward with statistics and a fact-check which Republicans can never stomach, Nielsen eventually fled the establishment.

Chapters of the DSA around the country have been mobilizing against the Trump administration since his inauguration but have significantly amped up their efforts in the wake of the humanitarian crisis along the southern border.

The Portland chapter, in particular, was live-tweeting their efforts yesterday, including sharing a GoFundMe campaign by a sister movement, Occupy ICE, which raised $4,272 since yesterday.

Wednesday will see the Los Angeles chapter of the DSA lodge a similar protest against ICE facilities in the city of angels.

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The Southern California progressive hot-spot is a much larger city with a much more aggressive group of activists, so the protest will undoubtedly yield incredible results. The sooner the better, as these kids truly have no time to spare.

Good luck to those protesters today, and to quote DSA Portland:

Follow Salvatore on Twitter and Instagram.


Salvatore Nicholas

Salvatore is a producer, political writer, comedian and LGBTQ activist (in no particular order). He resides in Los Angeles with his two cats and encyclopedic knowledge of Britney's discography.

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