At dawn on Thursday, dozens of U.S. Department of Homeland Security officers in riot gear stormed the U.S Immigration and Customs Enforcement building on Macadam Avenue in Portland to clear protesters blocking the building's entrance.
Eight protesters were arrested, says Robert Sperling, a spokesman for the Federal Protective Services. Seven people were charged with a class C misdemeanor and one was released without being charged.
For days, DHS handed out notices to protesters telling them to clear the building's entrance but giving no deadline by which to do so. The demonstrators responded defiantly, building a more robust blockade and saying they would stay in the camp until ICE was abolished.
This morning, officers formed a police line at the edge of the protest camp and made announcements telling protesters that if they continued to block the building entrance they would be arrested.
Then the line advanced on the Occupy ICE camp that has been blocking access to the building since June 17. The Portland encampment inspired similar protests at ICE offices around the country.
As the line slowly moved toward the large camp of about 100 tents this morning, officers tore down signs, wooden structures and tarp canopies that formed a barricade to the building. They threw the debris into a U-Haul trailer and took protesters into custody.