Hundreds of left-wing protesters rallying to abolish the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency marched to Seventh Street in downtown Louisville Saturday morning, calling to overthrow President Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
A video from the protest shows the group of protesters not only calling for abolishing the federal agency in charge of immigration enforcement, but also threatening to throw Trump and Sessions out of office because of their policies cracking down on illegal immigration.
“Trump, Sessions, hear our shout. The people rise to throw you out!” the demonstrators chanted.
The left-wing activists gathered on one side of the street near Louisville’s ICE building as several stone-faced officers with the Louisville Metro Police Department stood on the other side of the fence. The police officers stood in the middle to separate the Occupy ICE protesters from a right-wing counter-protest group known as the “Three Percenters of Kentucky“:
Three Percenters: “Go get a job!”
Anti-Ice Protesters: “Free the children!”
Three Percenters: “Pay some rent!”
— John P. Wise (@wisejohnp) July 7, 2018
The group, Three Percenters of Kentucky, wrote in a Facebook post on Friday that they are “constitutionalist patriots” who stand with anyone who comes into the United States legally. Approximately 50 members of the group held American flags and one “Don’t Tread On Me” flag on the other side of the barricades:
— Darcy Costello (@dctello) July 7, 2018
“Move the tent. Pay some rent!” the small group chanted while waving American flags.
Gary Foreman, a spokesman for the Kentucky chapter of the Three Percenters, told the Courier-Journal Friday that members from state chapters in Indiana and Tennessee were also traveling to Louisville for the Saturday demonstration to “ensure everyone expresses their thoughts in a peaceful environment.”
The group said their name comes from the claim that three percent of American colonists fought against the British in the Revolutionary War.
WLKY reported that Department of Homeland Security (DHS) police officers set up the barricades on Friday to block protesters from going onto the federal property housing the Louisville ICE building:
DHS Police Officer says the barricades will provide a “clearer boundary of federal property.” pic.twitter.com/A8obNnHv0s
— Emily Maher (@KCRAEmily) July 6, 2018
The left-wing activists with the Louisville Occupy ICE demonstration spent days before Saturday’s protest camping out in front of Louisville’s ICE building, dubbing their encampment “Camp Compasión”:
The encampment, which has been in place since Monday, had many signs posted, saying, “Abolish ICE” and “Chinga La Migra,” a Spanish phrase used as a rallying cry against law enforcement officers who protect the U.S. border from people who cross illegally.
Occupy ICE Louisville said in a statement that Camp Compasión is meant to be a “brave space” for people to combat “white supremacy.”
“Camp Compasión is not a safe space, as no space in our world is safe for Black and Brown people,” the statement said in part. “It is a brave space. It is a space where we come to learn how to better serve. It is a space where people are putting themselves in harm’s way to actively combat the hate and oppression of white supremacy at work in our government”:
— Keli Videtto (@kelividetto) July 4, 2018
This morning, protesters w/ the #AbolishICE movement set up a barricade and pitched tents in front of Louisville's ICE Headquarters. They proceeded to disrespect & remove the American flag from its flag pole on gov't property. We support the 1st amendment (1/3) pic.twitter.com/kUpYQxABye
— LouisvilleGOP (@LouisvilleGOP) July 2, 2018
DHS officers tore down some of the tents Monday because they were located on federal property and ran over the toys the activists scattered in the driveway to symbolize the immigrant children separated from their parents:
— Tom Novelly (@TomNovelly) July 2, 2018
Despite efforts by DHS police to tear down the encampments, the activists set up camp on the sidewalks around the offices and have remained there since Monday.
But the protesters continued to promote their left-wing activism throughout the week through Saturday.
Some of the activists in Louisville allegedly vandalized a billboard with the phrases “#ABOLISHICE,” “RESIST 45,” and “CHINGA LA MIGRA”:
— Courier Journal (@courierjournal) July 4, 2018
The Courier-Journal reported that people first observed the vandalism on the billboard on Wednesday, two days after the Occupy ICE protesters began demonstrating in Louisville.
An Outfront Media spokeswoman told the Courier-Journal the company is working with the police to catch the suspect responsible for the damage and will remove the graffiti as soon as possible.