Portland Officials Announce Plan to Clean up ‘Disgusting’ Occupy ICE Camp, Calling It a Biohazard
Officials in Portland have announced a plan to clean up the disgusting camp left behind by anti-ICE protesters.
The group against the Immigration and Customs Enforcement, known as Occupy ICE, were forced to leave the encampment on Wednesday, several weeks after setting it up.
The group was initially camping out on federal land adjacent to the actual ICE building but were cleared off that land about a week after settling in.
Occupy ICE then moved to city land, and set up an encampment on city streets and sidewalks. In total, they were camped out for five weeks.
The camp they left behind was so poorly maintained that Portland Police Bureau officers cordoned it off, referring to it as a biohazard, reported KPTV.
“It was pretty disgusting that that’s how they were living back there,” said Frank Savage, who lives across the street from the encampment. “Getting tired of waking up to the bullhorn and the sounds and the cussing.”
The scope of the clean-up efforts has led to intense planning by city officials, who said that private contractors will do some of the work while some Multnomah County inmates will help, receiving work credit and financial incentives.
The costs of the clean-up will be split between TriMet and the city, which are both part of a consortium that owns the land.
A TriMet official told KPTV that there isn’t a way to charge the protest group for the costs of the cleanup. “I just don’t think there is a mechanism to reimburse for the cost,” the official said.
— Marja Martinez (@MarjaKPTV) July 26, 2018
Video footage showed walls of pallets and other materials surrounding the encampment, which protesters erected in an effort to keep police officers and others out, as well as dirty clothing and lots of cardboard, which was used extensively as flooring.
Officers moved slowly through the camp around 4:30 a.m. on Wednesday, with about 45 officers in riot gear clearing the remaining protesters out, reported KGW.
City officials had notified the group they needed to vacate on Monday but some of the protesters ignored the notification.
Police spokesman Sgt. Chris Burley said officers moved “slowly and methodically” through the camp and noted that no one was arrested or injured.
“There’s fire hazards in there. There’s bio-medical hazards in there, and because of those sorts of complaints we knew we had to get ahead of it before it spiraled out of control,” said Portland Police chief Danielle Outlaw.
— Tim Gordon (@TimGordonPDX) July 25, 2018
It was also revealed this week that the protesters spewed racist insults at federal officers who were patrolling the ICE building, calling one black officer the N-word.
The office told an administrator that protesters yelled racial slurs at him, calling him a “blood traitor” and an Uncle Tom.
Another officer, a female of Hispanic and Native American descent, said that protesters told her that she is a weak female and a traitor. Protesters also used derogatory terms for Hispanic people.
“I was berated for so long I can’t even remember everything that was told to me,” the officer wrote in an email.