PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A demonstration in solidarity with those who have died in ICE custody led to confrontations with law enforcement and the use of tear gas Saturday night in South Portland.
A direct action titled “Solidarity March Honoring Those Who Have Died in ICE Custody” was organized at Willamette Park earlier in the evening, starting around 6:30 p.m. The organizer for the event was listed as Safe PDX Protest. By 7 p.m. a few dozen people had gathered for the demonstration. The march took off a short time later.
Demonstrators began to arrive outside the Immigration and Customs Enforcement building, roughly a mile away from Willamette Park, around 9 p.m. One person was seen holding a sign that read, “get your knee off our necks.” Other demonstrators arrived carrying silver balloons.
There was a police presence shortly after 9 p.m. and federal officers issued warnings to people over a loudspeaker to stay off the property and out of the street.
Confrontations between federal officers and protesters escalated and crowd control munitions were used. Federal officers then deployed tear gas into the street. At this time, it is unclear what the inciting incident was that escalated the use of force or how many arrests were made.
An hour later, a few dozen people regrouped outside of the building after the crowd dispersal from law enforcement.
Around 11:15 p.m. Portland police began issuing warnings both over loudspeaker and via Twitter about demonstrators who remained outside the ICE building.
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Earlier Saturday, a PDX Women’s March was held at Terry Shrunk Plaza, coinciding with many other women marches held across the country.
On Friday, a group opposing gentrification gathered in North Portland and marched in solidarity of a home near N Mississippi Ave. and N Albina Ave to protest evictions. More than 50 people held a sit-in demonstration to support a family they say is facing imminent eviction.