Occupy ICE protesters move camp to Philadelphia City Hall

Occupy ICE Philadelphia set up camp outside City Hall overnight Thursday. Photo: Twitter/Liberation Project

Occupy ICE protesters set up a new camp at Philadelphia City Hall overnight Thursday in protest of the Trump administration’s stance on immigration and use of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, ICE.  

The two dozen Occupy ICE protesters are demonstrating against the ICE detention center in Berks County, Penn, and hope their occupation leads to a meeting with Mayor Jim Kenney and City Council to end of the Preliminary Reporting System (PARS) information sharing contract with ICE . Their move to Philadelphia City Hall Thursday came after local police raided their previous Occupy ICE camp outisde the Cherry Street ICE office. 

The Berks County ICE detention center, also known as the Berks Faimly Residential Center, is where ICE keeps undocumented immigrant adults and children while federal authorities decide whether to let them remain in the United States or deport them to their countries of origin. The facility has about 100 beds.

Organizers described the occupation as peaceful, and said there is “no reason for the cops to enact violence upon us.”

“A coalition has taken #OccupyICEPHL directly to City Hall,” wrote organizing group @Liberation_PHL on Twitter early Friday. “This is a peaceful occupation; we will give no reason for the cops to enact violence upon us. We simply will occupy this space, ready to meet with the mayor & city council, until Mayor Kenney agrees to #endPARS. Join us!”

The group said most of their supplies had been destroyed in Thursday’s police raid, and asked supporters to donate items like vegan food, water, tents, tarps, art supplies and yoga mats.