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Homeless Liberation Front Upadate: Dignity Village Seeks Allies for Potential Stand-Off

Let's Get Ready to Ruuuumble!
Dear Comrades in Struggle,
Dignity Village has entered a pivotal phase in its development. The lease on the desolate land we currently occupy will be over on October 1st. We do not yet know what the outcome will be when that date comes around. The original dream of the H.L.F. has always been to acquire a permanent piece of land that we can finally call our own. Obtaining a permanent site, will most certainly change the entire dynamic of the homeless liberation movement throughout the United States and the world. We would be allowed to finally to govern ourselves entirely, and serve as a base for liberation movements throughout the world.
Of course, the Mayor of Portland does not wish to have the hub of the homeless liberation movement in her backyard. The city seems to have every intention of placing as many obstacles in our path as they can. Our will is good and we have every intention of seeing our goals through to the very end, despite any hindrance from the city or middle class "neighborhood associations". We have had to face down reactionary elements before and we have always emerged victorious, we are confident that it will be no different this time.
Despite our resolve and strength, we have always needed allies in times of intense struggle, now is no different. The H.L.F. has waited for this moment for years and we need every ally we can muster. The city must know that our dream will NOT be crushed, they must see that we have numbers and we shall not falter. It is hard to explain the importance of a permanent site to someone who has never been homeless, we speak of it as Christains speak of the kingdom of heaven.
If the city insists upon fighting us, then we will be forced to fortify and defend our gains. They will attempt to use all kinds of lures to dissolve the potency of our movement, including destructive offers of temporary housing and state assistance. We do not want the state's help we have built this movement ourselves, and will see it through the same way. The city thinks our resolve is weak, they will soon discover their mistake.
Now more then ever we need the activist community to back us, every ally is one more weapon in our arsenal. If we should fail, the implications will send shock waves throughout the world, setting our movement back years. We call upon anyone who believes that the homeless have a right to self-determination to rally round the H.L.F. and Dignity Village. The homeless population of the entire world is watching, the next couple months will determine the future of this struggle. We are confident of victory, but we need your help, now is your chance to participate in a movement that has threatened the capitalist system in a visible way. Go to any major city, and you can see the effect we have had, new tent cities are popping up though out the world with Dignity Village as their model.
We know that the activist community in Portland is very busy building the revolutionary movement in their own unique ways, but we need you now more then ever. We will stand alone, if we must, but every friend we have makes it that much easier. If the city refuses to yield we will be forced to stand and fight, we need comrades at our back if it comes to that. Please take the time to be a part of a movement that has tangible effects on the world around us. Even the smallest act of support will go a long way in this crucial time.
Please contact us at:  homelessliberationfront2003@yahoo.com
Or check out our web-site at www.outofthedoorways.org
A delicate question 12.Aug.2003 21:38

and some encouragement

Solidarity! I want to support dignity village very much, because I believe in the cause. I just need to ask one delicate question. Is it true that children are not allowed out there, and that the reason is because some of the people who live there are pedophiles? This is a rumor I heard. If it's not true, forgive me for even asking.

If it is true, though, I must say it will stand in the way of my supporting this. Every day I see the consequences of homelessness for children and women who have no place to go in this city. Children, and women with children, make up a large number of the homeless population. And they are often the most in need of support and community. If dignity village has chosen to support pedophiles over women and children, then I cannot support what you do. Please. Say it ain't so.

We Refuse to Judge on the Basis of Past Record 13.Aug.2003 16:46


This is indeed a delicate question, one that is often a subject of debate within the village. The rter of our village states that we CANNOT discriminate against a person on the basis of past record. We have no intetetion of prying into someones police record and judging them on that basis. We really have no idea if anyone here has commited pedophila in the past or even murder for that case. Dignity Village is a place for people to make a clean break from the filth of their past. Of course this raises the issue of children, we are cautious about admiting children into the village because there may be pedophiles or murderes or bank robbers or jay walkers here. We think we have made the right decsion in choosing to overlook the past records of our residents, but of course it is very diffucult to say for sure what is best. We do not disallow children but we are cautious there have been children here in the past and there will be in the future. What it all boils down to I think is that it is much harder for someone with a past record to get on their feet, then it is for a mother with children,who have acsess to many goverment programs. Perhaps or position is wrong but we agreed on it long ago, we would not turn away a women with children if they had no where else to go but we would require them to apply for goverment programs that would help them get into a more suitable living situation as soon as possible. I hope you understand, if not please send further questions.

Thanks H.L.F. 14.Aug.2003 08:49

for answering my question

I can see that this must have been a difficult decision. I continue to believe that oppression against women and children in this country, and the rampant feminization of poverty, should have weighed more heavily in the process, but I do respect your position as well. Is there a way to address both positions?

I'm heartened to hear that women with children aren't just tossed out immediately, but it's difficult to imagine anyone feeling like a welcome part of a community that actively discourages their presence. It's very difficult for families like these to meet their own needs, and there are many places that make them feel unwelcome. It would be great if there were some place where this was not the case. I wonder if there could be a way to avoid having to choose between supporting people with a "criminal" past and supporting children.

This is all coming from the outside, of course. I know you are in a much better position to understand the day to day realities faced within dignity village. I'll have to think about how much I can support a community that doesn't support women and children, but your thoughtful reply to my question has gone a long way toward helping me understand your position. I really want to continue to believe in Dignity Village, so thanks for taking the time to write that comment.

doing both 17.Aug.2003 16:02

John Hubbird hubbird@spiritone.com

as you say, addressing 'both positions' is of ultimate importance, as the plight of women and children on the street is a horrendous problem. State law allows for up to two 'transitional homeless encampments' in each municipality. Dignity has talked about creating a second encampment for women, children and families; once the beachhead is secured for initial site, and building is underway. hope this clarifies that women and children are a priority for Dignity Village.

Homeless youth 17.Aug.2003 17:02

HLF Comerade Moses prawfyt@yahoo.com

I have long been opposed to the agism which is associated with Dignity villiage, However the villiage and the HLF do not support Agism it is an imposition by the city as I understand and as has been explained by brother Jack Tafari to myself. I will be returning to the city to aid in the upcoming struggle and one of the movements i plan to implemen is a small associate of dignity villiage indepent of all things which cause agism in the villiage I plan to erect a tent city which welcomes youth and is primarily for the youth but also caters to the older population who cannot recieve a lot in the villiage as they are uaually maxed out there. On the pedophile question I believ that the villiage is in the right not to delve into backgrounds and to support their population even if it means the exclusion of youth for their own protection
in essence I am returning to the front lines and rest assured that the youth will have a home. please do not let a select few peoples pasts deter your aid from dignity Villiage The HLF or the ongoing struggle for the Homeless in general
Victory or Death
Moses  prawfyt@yahoo.com