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Tacoma Smash ICE Live Blog!!!

author: Tacoma Smash ICE
Apr 26, 2008 12:21

This is a point for point, blow for blow live blog about the Tacoma Smash ICE Rally going on RIGHT NOW!!!

Hello and welcome to the Tacoma Smash ICE live blog!!! Today I'll be bringing you all the details in an organized chronology of the Tacoma Smash ICE rally and event.

BUT FIRST! A little Background on the prison:

The Northwest Detention Center is a private immigration prison facility located on the tide flats of Tacoma, Washington. The detention center opened in 2004 under a contract with The US Department of Homeland Security, Though owners have changed over time, the facility is now owned by the GEO Group Which operates prison facilities in Australia, The UK, South Africa, the US and Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

A contract with Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, the largest and primary investigative branch of Homeland Security, expanded the facility's housing capacity 1,000 detainees, making it the largest detention center owned by GEO Group on the West Coast of the United States.

In 2003 the ICE launched Operation End Game, the largest police operation in US history, to remove all undocumented migrants from the US by the year 2012. The project's predecessor, Operation Wetback in 1954, removed 1.2 million Mexicans from the American Southwest.
ICE does not need warrants to make arrests or to conduct raids. Since July 2007, raids have increased the number of detained migrants from 18,000 to 26,000 nationwide. Homeland Security relocates 700 detainees a week in the United States.

Migrants in the facility are mostly from the Northwest regions of Oregon, Idaho, Alaska, Washington. Due to the increase in raids they've recently come from places like New York, Puerto Rico and Guam. ICE agents move the detainees to the facility under the cover of night.

Nationwide tens of thousands of children every year lose a parent to deportation. 85% percent of those detained don't have legal counsel, since they do not have a right to due process or protections against unlawful searches or seizures.

After raids in the Northwest rounded up hundreds of migrant workers at a time from places like Auburn, Washington and Portland, Oregon, a protest in solidarity with the No Borders Camp actions in Arizona took place at the same time in Tacoma.

The march was focused not at the facility itself, which is tucked away unnoticed amongst shipping terminals and superfund sites, but at the Wells Fargo Bank building, which invests in the GEO Group's operations worldwide. The march was labeled a homeland security threat, and policed heavily. Police with cameras and less than lethal weapons intimidated protesters, and suggested that local landlords evict the protest organizers from their homes. The march occupied an intersection for more than ten minutes, circling from crosswalk to crosswalk until police used force. One woman taking pictures was arrested for spitting on the ground, and then intimidated by police and bystanders. Another was arrested for disarming an officer, though that charge was later dropped. In front of the Wells Fargo Bank, another arrest occurred.

As raids at jobs sites increased over the last years, members in the community seemed to have noticed little. As purges in accordance with End Game increase, the Tacoma activist community is attempting to increase awareness about the facility's proximity and what it stands for.

Now on to the Live Blog:

12:20 The Rally begins forming in Peoples Park. The sun is shining, spirits are high, away we go!

add a comment on this article

Posted by: Tacoma Smash ICE at Apr 26, 2008 12:50

12:40: Tacoma PD has closed off both the bridge and main walkway leading down to the detention center, effectivly cutting off all foot routes.

12:45: There are 9 bicycle police, 4 motorcylce police and a few cars buzzing around the area. The cops have raised the 11th street bridge, cutting off access to downtown where the detention center is located.

Posted by: Tacoma Smash ICE at Apr 26, 2008 13:08

1:00: The police have barricaded the Wells Fargo building and a disaster response team is present at the detention center. They are terrified of our collective voice.

1:10: The March prepares to leave the park

Posted by: Tacoma Smash ICE at Apr 26, 2008 13:49

1:40: The March has reached 12th and Pacific in downtown Tacoma. The police have tried unsuccessfully to arrest members of the march but have been prevented from doing so. The march has moved to the sidewalk and is making it's way towards the detention center. It was forced to take side streets the whole way down.

Posted by: Tacoma Smash ICE at Apr 26, 2008 14:03

2:00: The march has reached downtown, but will not be traveling to the detention center. It is currently on it's way back to Peoples Park. Riot police have assembled outside the Wells Fargo building. One marcher has been struck with a bike by a police officer. They are using force to corall the march onto the sidewalk.

Posted by: Tacoma Smash ICE at Apr 26, 2008 14:06

2:04: The march is headed towards the 11th st Bridge, which has been raised.

Posted by: Tacoma Smash ICE at Apr 26, 2008 14:50

2:46: The March approaches Peoples Park. A skirmish has been reported as people were moving to the sidewalk. There has been 1 confirmed arrest. The cops began striking the marchers with their bike tires. This is what cause the scuffle. The marchers are beginning to arrive in the park. The situation seems to have calmed down.

Posted by: Tacoma Smash ICE at Apr 26, 2008 14:59

2:56: A second arrest has been confirmed. The cause and identity are unknown but the arrestee is reported to be a high school student. The police are using "body slam" arrest techniques. One woman has apparently been slammed to the ground and drug by the hair apparently for playing a drum. The police are singling out individuals for arrest seemingly without cause. The arrests are reportedly unprovoked.

Posted by: Tacoma Smash ICE at Apr 26, 2008 15:03

3:01: Both arrestees have been identified by first names. They are Carson and Ruby. Ruby is confirmed as a High School student. It was she who was tackled and drug by her hair.

Posted by: Tacoma Smash ICE at Apr 26, 2008 15:06

3:05: The march has ended.

file complaint on police misconduct
Posted by: tacoma smash ice at Apr 26, 2008 16:28

if the cops harassed or attacked you or your friends, or if you have other complaint, you can do it online at the City of Tacoma Conduct Complaint website:

more info on complaints:

Posted by: reader at Apr 28, 2008 23:23

Thanks for this!!