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(en) US, Report Back From Smash Tacoma ICE Protest by The Odonians...

Date Mon, 12 Nov 2007 21:27:08 +0200

details from Smash Tacoma ICE Protest, November 9&10 ---- Woke up early (for us), friends started showing up around 10am. Friends from all over bringing instruments and banners. We could hear the helicopter circling, there was an undercover cop in a big blue ford truck (extended cab, F-150, dark blue w/ tinted windows) driving around and around the house. We got our shit together and headed downtown. We met in the "green zone". There were tons of media and tons of people taking video and pictures. There were also TONS of cops, shamelessly following people around, taking pictures and video. We started marching around noon, heading down Pacific Avenue toward the giant edifice that is the Wells Fargo building. Wells Fargo is one of the largest shareholders in GEO GROUP, the corporation that runs the Homeland Security Detention Center in the tide flats of Tacoma. Cops followed on bikes and in vehicles, effectively shutting down the traffic for us. We stopped in front of the main entrance to the building and announced our reason for being there. Cops stood in a line in front of the building, doing their jobs (protect and serve Wells Fargo). After a while we were told that we must leave or be arrested for trespassing...so we continued our march through Tacoma, passing out information about ICE and the Detention Center and the protest in general. Many people joined us as we marched down Pac. Ave. Many students on their lunch breaks helped to hold banners and information. After going up several blocks to Commerce. We marched from corner to corner at the 11th and Commerce intersection, careful to use crosswalks and sidewalks at all times. It was at this point, we REALLY pissed the cops off. They wanted us to stop crossing the street in a perfectly legal fashion and started to push us back with their bikes reared up.

Two folks were arrested, one for expectorating in public (spitting). Our two friends were put in a van after being violently tackled and handcuffed. We continued to march, deciding to go back to Wells Fargo for another round. At that point RIOT COPS were standing in a line in front of the sidewalk. RIOT COPS were in a line, fully decked out, TO PROTECT WELLS FUCKING FARGO. We stood on the sidewalk and explained once again that we were in front of Wells Fargo because it is one of the largest shareholders in GEO GROUP, the corporation that runs the DETENTION CENTER IN THE TACOMA TIDE FLATS. Another friend was pulled by the cops across their imaginary sidewalk line and arrested. After the scuffle we ended the march at the "green zone". No one else was arrested Friday.

Saturday morning. Woke up early and everyone was in Oly but a few friends doing jail support. One person was let out, we like to think it was because we kept hounding them. Another was bailed out Friday night- her expectorating bail was pretty low. A few people went down to find the march that had already started while we were doing jail support. Another person had been arrested while trying to start the march off. He was arrested for violating a noise ordinance (he was using a bullhorn to talk through, you know, like lots of people do at protests). There were maybe 10 people marching at this point and over 150 (at LEAST) cops. They followed us, not just a few bike cops but bike cops, cops in cars, cops in unmarked cars, vans full of fully decked out riot cops. Following a protest march that had dwindled to nearly nothing. Some of us decided to go back up to the jail to find out what was happening there. The cops followed us. ALL OF THEM. One person was arrested for littering (he threw the end of his rolly on the ground). Every person arrested Friday and Saturday are out. The jail support experience is a whole other story...coming soon.

All told, we are a very happy bunch of Anarchists tonight. All our friends are safe and sound. We did what we set out to do, admittedly with the help of the insane amount of cops. We got the word out about ICE and the detention center in our town. We shut down the traffic, the streets, the lightrail and the buses for hours at a time. We chose this tactic NOT to fuck over businesses but to raise awareness and hit the powers that be where it hurts them the most. We cost them LOTS AND LOTS OF MONEY. City's don't like to lose money and maybe, just maybe they will start to think about getting rid of that fucking detention center. Maybe all of that information we gave out will move Tacomans to demand the end of ICE and the detention center. We hope that Wells Fargo takes the hint and pulls out of GEO Group. We intend to continue to remind Tacoma and Wells Fargo that the death camp has got to go. Perhaps people in other towns with these detention centers will follow suit.

Tonight, all is quiet. Tomorrow will be too. The detention center is still in the tide flats...for now. Lets get rid of ICE. Lets get rid of the Detention Center. Our friends and loved ones are home safe tonight, but we are aware that our brothers and sisters in the Detention Center are still in hell. Just as we would not give up on our friends in Pierce County Jail this weekend we will not give up on our friends in the Detention Center a few miles away.

We leave you now with a passage that is meant to hearten those in need.

"Living in a world that is valued only as gain, an ever-expanding world-as-frontier that has no worth of its own, no fullness of its own, you live in danger of losing your own worth to yourself. That's when you begin to listen to the voices from the other side, and to ask questions of failure and the dark."

Do not listen to those cold voices, do not heed the urge to address failure, or the dark.
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