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Protesters and law enforcement clash at ICE building in South Portland

Federal agents bull-rushed and tear-gassed protesters after they tied balloons to the fence in front of the ICE building in South Portland.
Credit: KGW

PORTLAND, Ore. — Protesters gathered at the Immigrations and Customs Enforcement Center in South Portland on Saturday night.

According to reporters on scene, a crowd gathered and initially clashed with law enforcement at the ICE building and were bull rushed away before they returned.

No unlawful assembly had been called at the time. Pepperballs and CS gas were also used to disperse the crowd. According to eyewitness accounts from independent journalists, it was about an hour into a march and demonstration that ICE officials exited the building to clash with and disperse protesters after protesters tied balloons to the fence in front of the ICE building.

At around 10:30 p.m. protesters returned to the building to continue their demonstration. DHS and ICE officials had retreated back into the building.

Officials did emerge once again for crowd dispersal and used tear gas to disperse the crowd.

At around 11 p.m. Portland police began tweeting that they were assisting federal officers (Department of Homeland Security and ICE Agents) by making LRAD announcements warning protesters if they did not comply they might be subject to force. At that time, gas and pepperballs had already been deployed by federal agents.

Portland police also apologized to the South Portland neighborhood surrounding where the clash was occurring for both the noise and the CS gas deployed by federal agents.

It appears a smoke gun was also being used to try and disperse the crowd.

While shooting tear gas canisters, a fire ignited and was put out by protesters, according to eyewitness accounts.

Saturday night makes for the 126th night of protests in Portland since George Floyd, a Black man, was killed by a white Minneapolis police officer when he knelt on Floyd's neck for nearly eight minutes.

The ICE building and organization has not been a stranger to the protests, however, demonstrators have marched for various reasons over the last few months including the defunding/abolition of police and prisons, Black Lives Matter, and against police brutality against BIPOC people.

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