BY LISA HAGEN, WABE
One protester was arrested for disorderly conduct outside the Atlanta City Detention Center on Sunday night. A group of demonstrators have been camping out in front of the facility since Saturday, when thousands gathered there to protested U.S. immigration policy.
Preston Walker was one of dozens of protesters outside the facility overnight.
“We had put up our tarps so that if rain happens we don’t get rained on, and they came in wanting to take that,” Walker said.
An Atlanta Police Department spokesperson confirmed officers tried to take the protesters’ property when they began erecting tents on city property.
The APD says demonstrators fought them, including with bottles of frozen water, a detail protesters deny. Activists say officers were physically aggressive with them.
“They were grabbing tarps, grabbing people. It was very scary,” Walker said.
The Atlanta demonstration is one of several “Occupy” style protests taking place outside ICE facilities across the country.
Last week, Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms temporarily stopped the facility accepting new ICE detainees.
Bridgette Simpson, with Women on the Rise, wants the detention center shut down altogether.
“This place being open is separating not only immigrant families, but they’re also separating families in the community,” Simpson said.
Atlanta police dismantled the camp Monday afternoon.