Philadelphia police shut down the Occupy ICE and Homeless Against Stop and Frisk camp Tuesday. Occupiers were protesting the U.S. federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE) and hostile policies that target working-class communities of color.
The local action comes as the Abolish ICE movement stages a national day of protest in cities across the United States, including Portland, New York and Sacramento, calling for the termination of ICE.
According to Occupy ICE leaders, the destruction of the camp violates their constitutional right to protest. They also announced they would hold a second demonstration at 5:30 p.m. local time on the east side of City Hall.
Occupy leader Xelba Gutierrez said: "We're going to continue organizing… The protesting is not going to stop."
Protesters had camped outside city hall for three weeks demanding the end to an agreement between the city and ICE to share information through an arrest database known as Preliminary Arraignment Reporting System, or PARS, which expires on August 31.
On Friday, Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney announced the city will terminate the data-sharing agreement.
ICE officials criticized the city's action, arguing it "needlessly compromis(ed) public safety," while U.S. Department of Homeland Security spokeswoman Katie Waldman warned it would result "in the city harboring criminal aliens."
On Saturday, a day after the city agreed to terminate PARS, the group removed its tents. However, on Sunday, they established a new camp near City Hall, demanding the closure of a family detention center in Berks County, and an end to stop-and-frisk policies by the police.
Occupy ICE organizers said: "We have observed over the past 22 days of occupation and outreach at City Hall that many people in Philadelphia make an intuitive connection between the PARS program and the city's official policy of 'Stop and frisk,' which Mayor Jim Kenney promised to halt three years ago while he was on the campaign trail."
The new camp would have also been used to monitor the situation with PARS.
At least two protesters were arrested by Philadelphia police, local news reported. This summer around 36 people were arrested in other anti-ICE protests within the state.
At about 2:00 p.m. local time, 'Abolish ICE' activists held protests at media conglomerate Comcast demanding they end a contract with ICE.