On Jan. 18, 30 anti-racist activists attacked an Immigration and Customs Enforcement office in San Francisco. They cited their solidarity with “those locked within the modern plantation system.” This band of militant anti-racists painted the walls, smashed windows and breached the inside of the building.
They explained in their statement that they plan to carry out a series of attacks in response to the ongoing brutality of the prison–industrial complex. “We carried out this attack to show everyone where abolitionists and anarchists stand. On the eve of the inauguration and the so-called transfer of power, street-level white supremacists and the state fight one another for control over all our lives.
“We act fiercely for ourselves and our loved ones. In the unfolding chaos, there is real opportunity. The fragility of the State is on full display. We’ll continue to attack both the liberal and fascist wings of the State proactively and relentlessly, as they are mutual participants in the maintenance of exploitation and repression. In the final analysis, they are functionally the same.” (Indybay.org, Jan. 19)
Given the ongoing brutality inherent in detention centers, jails and prisons (which has only been compounded by COVID-19), it should come as no surprise that oppressed peoples are moving in mutual solidarity across the apparatus meant to isolate members of our class from one another. The brutality inherent within these institutions over the past several hundred years since their introduction on the continent was bound to precipitate some sort of proactive rather than reactive response.
On Jan. 20, 200 protesters moved against the ICE office in Portland, Ore., calling for the abolition of the government agency. These protesters were met with tear gas, and six were arrested on federal charges. (KGW8 News, Jan. 20)
Who needs ICE?
Despite President Joe Biden immediately signing executive orders that extend protections to DACA recipients and implement a 100-day moratorium on deportations for some noncitizens, the newly inaugurated executive branch has a vested interest in continuing in the same direction as President Obama. This means mass imprisonment and deportations in the name of “border security,” securing borders in the pursuit of profits with a murderous disregard for migrants the empire itself has caused to leave their homelands.
ICE was only created in March 2003. Humans have existed without it for most of history, and ICE has only caused real harm since its inception — in service of empire. We have before and can again live in a world where ICE does not exist — if we work toward it en masse.
Abolitionists raise the call to free them all! Solidarity with migrants! Tear down the walls!