What Would It Take to Stop the Raids?: Responding Effectively to the ICE Attacks

  • Posted on: 18 February 2017
  • By: Anonymous (not verified)

From CrimethInc.

Over the past week, nearly 700 people have been rounded up in a wave of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) sweeps across the US. In response, people have blockaded roads and ICE vans and organized massive demonstrations. But what would it take to stop the raids altogether?

The Assault

In some parts of the US, the ICE assault involved brutal militarized raids in which officers smashed windows and set off flashbang grenades inside residential homes. In other places, everything happened so quietly as to go virtually unnoticed: here a bureaucratic change in the status of a prisoner, there the transfer into indefinite detention of an arrestee who was about to be released.

The raids come on the heels of a set of executive orders from the Trump administration threatening millions of people across the United States. These orders aim to deputize police as immigration officials, to build up massive prison infrastructure, and to target entire communities for harassment, detention, and deportation. The idea is clearly to give police and government officials sweeping powers to terrorize an entire community.

Debate has centered on whether these raids represent Trump’s new program or the continuation of ICE policy under Obama. Obama’s administration deported 2.7 million people, more than the US deported throughout the entire 20th century. David Ward, the Director of the National Association of Former Border Patrol Agents, has stated that the current wave of raids were “probably planned at least three or four months ago, under the Obama administration, and finally launched under the Trump administration.”

Yet the Trump administration intends to open a new chapter in the criminalization of immigrants. Trump has appointed a white nationalist from the anti-immigrant group FAIR to head US Customs and Border Protection. The white nationalist wing of the regime, represented by Steve Bannon, intends to follow through on Trump’s campaign promises to build a billion-dollar wall along the Mexican border and carry out mass deportations.

The Obama administration took a neoliberal approach to mass deportations, using them to disrupt immigrant labor organizing while leaving enough undocumented people in the country to provide a cheap labor force to boost corporate profits. The Trump administration is taking a nationalist approach, gambling that it is more important for white people and US citizens to preserve their comparative status relative to people of color and non-citizens than it is to preserve the functioning of the economy. An administration that is prepared to risk economic collapse to carry out its scapegoating is prepared to put up with a little outcry and protest as well.

The Response

Ever since the election, people have been organizing emergency hotlines, rapid response networks, and know-your-rights trainings. As soon as the raids took place, tens of thousands of people took to the streets in Baltimore and Milwaukee, while confrontational protesters blocked a freeway onramp in Los Angeles. In Austin and Phoenix, people shut down streets and blocked ICE vans. On Thursday, February 16, thousands of people participated in massive school walkouts, marches, and demonstrations against the raids under the banner #DayWithoutImmigrants.

All of these actions are important. Together, they create an atmosphere of opposition to Trump’s agenda and a space in which his opponents can find each other. Yet a largely symbolic reprise of the demonstrations of May Day 2006 will not suffice to halt the raids and deportations. The Trump administration is not concerned about expressions of disapproval; protests only make him more popular with his support base. It is necessary to move from protest to resistance.

Likewise, reactive and piecemeal efforts such as blocking ICE vans might interrupt a deportation or two, but they are not going to stop the regime. Certainly, these efforts are disruptive and set a precedent for responding immediately; they demonstrate considerable courage, and they inspire courage as well. But in most cases, they will not be quick enough or forceful enough to save the people who are being wrested from their families.

Applying the logic that made the protests against the Muslim Ban so effective, we see that what is lacking is a widely accessible point of intervention that provides direct leverage on the infrastructure with which these raids are being carried out. People need a pressure point, a place that they can converge to go on the offensive.

But what might that pressure point be? There are several possibilities. ICE maintains offices all around the United States. It is similarly easy to find the detention facilities they utilize. If word got out that protesters were massing around these and interfering with their operations, a great number of people around the country would likely follow suit. If this spread far enough, it could create a political crisis within the state.

Mind you, this is not an endorsement of any particular strategy. Many people surely consider it perfectly legitimate to sit on their hands while millions are rounded up and deported or imprisoned. That likely includes many good liberals who did not object to this under Obama but will be pleased with themselves for having registered their dissent under Trump. “First they came for the immigrants…”

The point is simply that—to paraphrase Utah Phillips—our neighbors and coworkers are not vanishing, they are being disappeared, and the institutions responsible for this have names and addresses.

“And how we burned in the camps later, thinking: What would things have been like if every Security operative, when he went out at night to make an arrest, had been uncertain whether he would return alive and had to say good-bye to his family? Or if, during periods of mass arrests, as for example in Leningrad, when they arrested a quarter of the entire city, people had not simply sat there in their lairs, paling with terror at every bang of the downstairs door and at every step on the staircase, but had understood they had nothing left to lose and had boldly set up in the downstairs hall an ambush of half a dozen people with axes, hammers, pokers, or whatever else was at hand?… The Organs would quickly have suffered a shortage of officers and transport and, notwithstanding all of Stalin’s thirst, the cursed machine would have ground to a halt! If… if… We didn’t love freedom enough. And even more—we had no awareness of the real situation… We purely and simply deserved everything that happened afterward.”

–Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago



Meanwhile, thousands upon thousands of people have had their green-card applications rejected by the state over the past few years. Where is the crimethinc. article addressing this? Is there a specific form of immigration that anarchists are supposed to fetishize?

Good try, trollbot. Just because this one article isn't about gender, that means crimethinc is sexist, too!

Why pretend-befriend broad-brush constructions such as oppressed, of-color, worker, class subdivision or immigrant? How can immigrants even exists within your state-as-construct worldview?

You already have answers to your questions.

Just because I have brown skin & flippers does not mean I am a sea lion. I eat crustaceans like you for breakfast. No really, I do. I'd say more but typing is a bit difficult for me as you might imagine. I ever see you not-sea trolls on my beach expect to get flip slapped.

You're a fine girl! What good wife you would be! Your eyes could steal a sailor from the sea.

Green cards are a kind of labor exploitation of border controls. Did you read the part "Ex-Workers Collective", dumbo?

"In some parts of the US, the ICE assault involved brutal militarized raids in which officers smashed windows and set off flashbang grenades inside residential homes."

Replace "ICE" with "anarchists," brutal with brave, militarized with militant, raids with direct action, officers with comrades, flahbang grenades with molotov cocktails, and residential homes with businesses, and you get a mimethinc call to action.

Yeah, it's basically the exact same thing. You're a genius, I hope you post more cause you're so smart.

wow, turns out if you replace all the words you get a different message! thanks for pointing it out!

Direct Defense:

Trump's war on migrants will force the already-armed Latino gangs to fight if it really gets to his proposed roundup of 8-11 million people. Even if gang members themselves are ruthless capitalists, they will have to fight simply to stay out of ICE's camps themselves. They already have the weapons to do it. If enough of the ICE raids run into fortified homes with multiple armed defenders, the raids will stop same as the way the events of 1993 at Waco, TX stopped ATF gun raids for years. The government knows damned well what happens when things get to that level.

Of course, even the threat of a guerilla war to resist the roundups would have a very good chance of forcing the "deep state" or those organs of government that continue between adminstrations to stop the pogroms. Courts could find plenty of reasons to issue injunctions. State governors could find reasons why they simply can't mobilize their national guard units, with budgetary reasons probably the easiest to make stick. ICE itself simply does not have the numbers and expansion would require accepting a lot of overt white supremacists. Letting ICE agents wear swastika tattoos etc would really ratchet up the danger of armed conflict, thus creating a deterrent to this mode of expansion.

Thus we see that a plausable threat that force will be met with force can in fact keep the peace, just as it does on the street when gaybashers or Nazi skinheads encountered intended victims who turn out to be armed. Been there, done that, seen them run like the cowards they are.


While a sustained siege by unarmed protesters can force ICE to take detainees elsewhere, to liberate those already held in ICE's concentration camps would presumably require a raid by an armed guerilla force. Don't laugh: during the war in El Salvador there was at least one incident where the FMLN succeeded in storming a prison, freeing, and arming every inmate there. Arming may have been the hardest part, as rifles for 1,000 people will weigh 6-10,000 pounds without ammunition or accessories. Presumably a truck or trucks carried the cargo. Given that the current crop of drug cartels in Mexico have improvised armored vehicles and could ally themselves with US gangs in a civil war, again the nucleus of an armed force capable of the job already exists. Hell, some of those cartels even have US training from the School of the Americas, notably the Zetas. The Zetas are let by US trained deserters from Mexico's elite military forces.

Looking back in history, in 1986 (Reagan years), the US Gay community was menaced by politicians advocating quarantine camps for anyone testing positive for HIV. Lyndon LaRouche's Proposition 64 was barely stopped in California. In Jan 1987, the Gay porn magazine Stallion ran a front cover story entitle "Gay Resistance" about a
stoutly armed Gay and Lesbian militia in New Mexico. They had ties to the Sanctuary movement and Central American resistance fighters, and claimed to have arms up to rockets and maybe light artillery. They swore that if quarantine camps were set up they would storm them and liberate every last inmate, arming all who volunteered to grow their fighting force. Within two mounts, Florida and Georgia zero-budgeted AIDS quarantine programs whose underlying legislation had already been passed. The issue fell off the political radar in 1987, never to return. Those guerillas never fired a shot except in training, but had they not existed those quarantine camps would have probably been a reality. I knew a lot of Gay men in 1986 who were buying guns, a hell of a lot.

Was there, like.. a Panzer Division that was still staffed with gay men having it their way into tanks?

There was the Pansy Division, staffed by some pretty loose cannons would who would stand at attention for various persuasions. Quite gregarious. In Oakland there were the Black Panzers, but they tended to driven by homophobic red-backed guerillas. While known to muster for the Pansy Division from time to time, they usually kept their support on the down low.

America has 1000 billionaires, when you kill them, you will kill racism and Nazism, as long as they are alive, they will finance politicians to produce racism i.e. profit for rich people.
discriminated people are exploited as slaves. therefore, there is racism, deportations, etc.
political crisis within the state is not solution, simply, as it is written, obama deported almost 3 million people, so, even if Trump resigns or get sick and die, racism will be still there, in the form of clinton, etc.

Racism and what little Nazism there is comes from the
base moreso then it comes from billionaires. Billionaire and class is a symptom not a cause.

It's cool rebel, I get those marxian flashbacks, too.

Every night mice get into my pantry and eat my food. I've lost tons of food this way and don't have money for more. If this carries on my family may starve. I have traps, and I was going to set them out but then I thought to myself "this won't kill all the mice everywhere or safeguard all food on earth so what's even the point?"

Add new comment

Filtered HTML

  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
To prevent automated spam submissions leave this field empty.
Enter the code without spaces.