Portland police force hoods and headphones onto anti-ICE protesters
Several dozen people taped their arms together to block a driveway at Portland’s ICE office Wednesday night in a protest against federal agents arresting undocumented immigrants in sanctuary cities. Police officers responded with tactics that look like something out of Guantanamo Bay, throwing hoods and headphones over the protesters while cutting them loose.
Before law enforcement officers made their moves, demonstrators chanted and sang anti-deportation messages while obstructing the path of a bus taking immigrants to a detention center in nearby Tacoma.
Portland was one of the cities targeted by ICE in “Operation Safe City,” a series of raids in September that targeted municipalities and counties that restrict federal immigration agents’ access to local jails. ICE initially stated that the operation resulted in 33 arrests in Portland, although an agency spokesperson later changed that number to four.
“If it’s one or a dozen, it’s too many,” Kari Koch, an organizer for the protest, told The Oregonian. “We want to end deportations.”
In law enforcement’s attempt to move the protesters, who were linked together with tubes made of duct tape, officers placed headphones and fabric hoods over their heads.
Police eventually cleared the driveway and the bus of immigrants left the ICE facility.
UPDATE, 10/12: Police police told the Associated Press that officers used the hoods and earmuffs for protesters’ protection because they initially believed spark-prone power tools were needed to cut the duct tape. Here’s video showing cops doing a perfectly good job with box cutters.
The police sergeant said one person was arrested, but it was not directly related to the protest.