Three arrested as new Occupy ICE Philly encampment cleared
Occupy ICE Philly's new encampment was cleared from Broad and Arch streets on Monday, leading to at least three arrests.
Occupy ICE Philly relocated their tent city a few blocks north after winning a major immigration-related concession from the city, but this time police came to remove them from the site within days.
Organizers with the group say they received the eviction notice on Monday night and agreed to leave the site – but as police came to clear out the encampment, tensions flared into clashes with police and some three arrests of about 1 p.m. Tuesday.
"We voluntarily removed ourselves from the encampment and cleaned up the encampment," said Gwen Snyder, an Occupy ICE Philly activist. "All of those arrests could have been dealt with differently and de-escalated in a way that wouldn't have led to arrests."
The Occupy ICE Philly protesters were camped out on the eastern side of City Hall for three weeks and agreed to leave over the weekend after Mayor Jim Kenney met their main demand of ending the city's information-sharing contract with ICE.
But the encampment of activists and homeless people moved just a block to Broad and Arch streets, saying they wanted to see out the city's ending of the contract allowing ICE to access real-time arrest data through the city's Preliminary Arraignment Reporting System (PARS) and work toward other social justice goals.
As police arrived on the scene to enforce the clearing of the tent city, tensions flared, Snyder said.
Camp is being torn down. The first thing they removed was our "15,000+ homeless in philly" banner. The city spends 2.8 million a year on bullets for cops, 2.3million for tazers. Can we put that money towards something actually HELPFUL? Thanks. @MayorKenney pic.twitter.com/KSK5CZzPPD
— ABOLISH ICE - PHILLY (@no_ice_PHL) July 31, 2018
Minutes ago the police violently brutalized our comrade, a member of our Abolish ICE camp. Police forcefully attacked, kicked, and hurt this brave non violent protestor. We love you. Thank you for standing up for what is right! pic.twitter.com/VqbreDuGbr— ABOLISH ICE - PHILLY (@no_ice_PHL) July 31, 2018
We are still here standing strong against the police brutality experienced today. Come join us and bring water! pic.twitter.com/qtxCm9YboY— ABOLISH ICE - PHILLY (@no_ice_PHL) July 31, 2018
She said the three arrested included two homeless people and one activist trying to defuse tensions.
"I'm extremely disappointed in the Kenney administration," she said. "He ran on a platform of a more community-friendly policing strategy and what I've witnessed is completely the opposite."
Kenney's office did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Despite surrendering the camp, Occupy ICE Philly protesters were still at Arch Street staging an unplanned protest over the nature of the eviction as of approximately 1 p.m. Tuesday.
This is a breaking news story. Check back for updates.