Protesters march through downtown Tacoma

By Todd Matthews, Editor
Approximately 50 protesters arrived in downtown Tacoma this morning for a two-day event that aims to raise awareness of the operation of a Homeland Security detention center located on the Tacoma tide flats.
At 11:00 a.m. this morning, a small group of protesters gathered at a so-called ‘Green Zone’ near the corner of S. 17th St. and Pacific Ave., near Tollefson Plaza and the Tacoma Art Museum. They were watched closely by Tacoma police officers — some on bicycles, others in riot gear, and others in marked and unmarked police cars and vans. Shortly after 12:00 p.m., protesters began to march through the streets of downtown Tacoma, calling for closure of the facility Immigration and Customs Enforcement facility. Pedestrians along Pacific Avenue, Commerce Street, and Tacoma Avenue, near downtown, stopped to watch the activity.
Last week, organizers posted a notice about the event on the Infoshop News Web site ( ), which described a protest and march that would aim to ‘shut down Tacoma.’ “Downtown Will NOT have business as usual!” read the announcement. “We plan on shutting down the downtown area of Tacoma to send a very clear message that will be heard by all that we do not want this detention facility anywhere near us and our communities.”
Last week, Tacoma police officers briefed Downtown Merchants Group members on the event, asking merchants to remove any portable items from their storefronts, and encouraging them to report any suspicious activity during the protest.
The protest is expected to last through Saturday.