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    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    Occupy Ice activists attract rival counter-protesters armed with guns

    Occupy Ice activists attract rival counter-protesters armed with guns

    Protesters say they have been subject to intimidation by American Action Force 3%, an anti-immigration group

    Adam Gabbatt
    @adamgabbatt
    Sat 21 Jul 2018 06.00 EDT
    Last modified on Sat 21 Jul 2018 06.53 EDT


    As Occupy Ice camps continue to spread across the US, some activists have warned that they have been subjected to intimidation by armed, Trump-supporting counter-protesters.


    Less than a fifth of children reunited with migrant parents as deadline looms



    Occupy Ice Louisville, in Kentucky, has been the subject of protests by a group called American Action Force 3% over the weekends of 7-8 July and 14-15 July, demonstrators said.

    American Action Force 3%, an anti-immigration group, told the Guardian it planned to subject Occupy Ice protests to the same treatment this coming weekend.


    At least 11 Occupy Ice encampments have sprung up around the country over the past month, in response to the Trump administration’s policy of separating families seeking to enter the US. Most of the camps are outside Immigration and Customs Enforcement buildings.


    But some camp occupants have told the Guardian that an organized counter-protest movement is growing.


    American Action Force 3% members arrived at the Occupy Ice Louisville camp, outside the city’s Ice building, early on 14 July. Many in the group were carrying guns.


    “Just seeing those weapons that they have, it was intimidating,” said Jesus Ibanez, one of the activists who has been stationed at the camp for over two weeks. More than a hundred people turned out in support of Occupy Ice Louisville on the first day the pro-Trump group launched its counter-protest.


    The 3% in American Action Force’s title is a reference to the “three percenters” movement, whose adherents aim to provide resistance against what they see as interference in constitutional rights. About 50 people were part of the counter-protest against Occupy Ice on 14 July. The Courier Journal reported that some were armed “with firearms and Trump paraphernalia”.


    Bryan Svoboda, who is part of the group and was at the counter-protests against Occupy Ice, said the group was planning to be at the camp every weekend.



    “We believe in the constitution and Bill of Rights and stand behind it. We believe in equal rights for all legal Americans,” Svoboda told the Guardian.

    American Action Force’s efforts come as different camps have begun to plan coordinated events across the country designed to draw national attention to their effort to abolish Ice. On 13 July the camps took part in a “national vigil”, and more coordinated efforts are planned.


    “There’s definitely more communication amongst the camps across the country,” said Whitney Handrich, from the Portland camp – which was the first Occupy Ice camp to set up, on 17 June.


    “It helps especially for smaller camps for them to know we’ve got their back.”


    The Occupy Ice camp in Portland succeeded in shutting down the Ice building for more than a week in June. Since the building re-opened, Handrich said people inside had taken to playing loud music in the direction of the camp – specifically the song Easy Street from the musical Annie – in what she believes is an effort to prevent campers from sleeping.


    On Thursday morning, police cleared out tents from the Occupy Ice Louisville camp, setting up barriers which make it impossible for Ibanez and others to repitch their tents.


    The activists are planning their next move, but in the time being Ibanez said they will be holding a rally at the Ice building on Saturday, irrespective of the armed counter-protesters.


    “We’re not feeling down or out or anything like that,” Ibanez said. “We’re going to keep going forward.”

    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/...ter-protesters

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    “We believe in the constitution and Bill of Rights and stand behind it. We believe in equal rights for all legal Americans,” Svoboda told the Guardian.
    All Americans should support these positions regardless of which groups or activists repeat them.
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