As of 9:30 today (Jan 10), about 2 dozen people have shown up outside the INS bldg at 500 NW Broadway (and Glisan). Members of the Oregon Peace Institute and numerous self-organized people were there right when the office opened to bear witness. Some "visitors"(US residents from Afghanistan, Algeria, Bahrain, Eritrea, Lebanon, Morocco, North Korea, Oman, Qatar, Somalia, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, or Yemen) have been seen going in and out to register. There have been no problems so far with those people, insofar as we know ... but the problem is we really *don't* know, and we're not supposed to. Secrecy is, at this stage, an integral component of this increasingly repressive regime.
cops have been circling around: portland police and federal police. one of them is keeping a close eye on the protestors and talking into a cellphone. haven't seen any photographers and videotapers for the cops yet... though there are surely surveillance devices all around the INS building.
One protestor went inside to use the bathroom. She had her sign with her, and federal police on the scene arrested her for reasons as yet unstated. They wouldn't tell anyone where they were taking her in their unmarked SUV's. They haven't been observed taking her from the INS building yet, but they could have slipped her out another entrance. A detention of another kind. Information gathering and harrassment of citizens wishing to stand in solidarity with those they see suffering injustice. It's not just the visitors, it's the citizens of conscience that are at risk.
And, please, before you comment that this is not exactly a grave injustice on par with death squads, etc., know I am not saying that. I'm saying that profiling and detainment of residents and citizens, based on their country of origin (read: the color of their skin) or based on the fact that they stand up in dissent, is not an expression of the real ideals of the United States. Most of the time we don't live up to those ideals, but doing so should be the goal. Look around and realize we're moving further and fuhrer away from that. Government transparency and the right to dissent are two things completely necessary to true participation in government by the people. If you're really watching, you'll notice those ideas in a deathhold by the powers-that-be. Democrat. Republican. It doesn't matter. They're on one side, and it's not ours. If we don't fight soon, our time to feel comfortably superior to those "3rd world nations that just can't get along" will be over. The power exercises tested in those lands by our own government may soon be on our doorstep. Being white can't save us forever.
If you're not fighting now, at least try to understand why others are attempting to.