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Stand in Solidarity with Homeless People against the Hollywood Booster Club This Saturday

Your action is urgently needed this Saturday at 9:45am. Meet at the Hollywood Transit Center and bear witness to the depths to which the "good citizens" of our city have sunk. Stand in solidarity with people targeted by the Hollywood Booster Club's degradation ceremony.
Last Saturday, the Hollywood Booster Club invited would-be do-gooders to attend the thoughtlessly titled "Bum, Beggar and Transient Tour." The goal, according to their flyers, seemed to be to display, stigmatize and ridicule people without houses in the Hollywood district. This Saturday, they have organized a "cleanup" of camps that were toured last weekend -- in other words, they want to displace the already displaced. (No doubt they will bring along the armed support of the complicit Portland police bureau.) The club is attributing this action to their "Liveability and Safety Task Force." How quaint. And how frightening.

While such righteous and self-congratulatory insensitivity would cause my stomach to turn anyway, I am especially disturbed to see this happening at this time. There has been an all-out war going on against the homeless people of this city since the gentrification projects began downtown. People are being harassed, arrested, and disappeared by the Portland police. The Portland city council has played cat-and-mouse with the American Constitution to enact several draconian ordinances which effectively criminalize poverty. The Portland Business Alliance has made the eradication of downtown refuges for poor people their top priority. The notorious (and Yikes! Balding!) Officer Meyers has embarked upon a weirdly dangerous pilot project to drive homeless people...somewhere else. And now, the good citizens of the Hollywood district want to further demonize those who cannot afford a nice green lawn and a dodge ram? Something stinks.

I have been attempting to contact the Hollywood booster club all week in an effort to learn why any well-meaning person would imagine that this blatant aggression against fellow human beings is appropriate. I have been unable to reach anyone except the robotic voice of their answering machine. If you would like to try to talk reason to the robot -- or just record a piece of your mind -- their contact number is 503-288-3892. Go ahead, give em a call.

But don't stop there. They're calling this classist degradation "direct action." Let's show them what those words really mean. I plan to be there to meet them at the Hollywood transit center on Saturday morning, to accompany the "cleanup." I want to bear witness to their acts, and to make it clear that they do NOT represent this community. Don't leave me hangin out there alone! Please join me. I would love to see a respectable turnout of people who are not down with demonizing people without houses. Maybe we can have our own tour -- of the damage being done to our community by the bizarre, unhealthy and unsustainable manner in which members of the Hollywood Booster club live. Perhaps a "ChemLawn, SUV and Corporate Chain Store" tour?

In any event, I know it's early and all that, but please come out in solidarity with the people being targeted by this nonsense. They need to know that we have their backs, just as they will have ours if the do-gooders show up at our doorstep someday.
please provide a followup on saturday 17.Nov.2004 12:01

Kevin

Unfortunately I won't be able to attend and stand up against this atrocity, but please keep us posted as to what happens. I had no idea this sort of thing was going on so close to home.

Just thought people should know 17.Nov.2004 15:02

Israel Bayer

Just wanted people to know that last weekend street roots, along with at least four other homless organization attended the "Bums, Beggers and Transient" Direct Action.

While most people did not identify themselves as being homeless, or from homeless organizations, we did engage the booster club on the languege used and the goal of the tour.

The tour, while definately targeting some homeless camps, was more about trash in the Hollywood neighborhood than anything. After more than an hour it was realized by the group, incuding the Booster Club that the trash problem came from more than the homeless population. While some of the trash was visable in or around homeless camps, the majority of the trash was in uncleaned parking lots, owned by several area businesses, including Providence Health Care. Other target areas where trash was talked about was in and around Grant High School. Which we all agreed was generated by the kids, not people experiencing homelessness.

By the end of the tour the Booster Club agreed to change the language of the tour and to work with JOIN, a homeless outreach organization to collectively clean up the neighborhood in partnership with people experiencing homelessness.

I encourage people to attend next week's gathering in Hollywood. While the Booster Club did think trash was an issue, they did not communicate the idea of advocating for sweeping these camps. According to them it wasn't the people they had a problem with, it was the trash - which we all agreed was an issue produced by all members of the communtiy. A confrontation could lead to sweeps - I would suggest doing outreach with this group, because they are willing to listen.

If people are frustrated about the way people experiencing homelessness are being treated, I encourage some direct action of our own, because people are being pushed around all the time, every day.

Peace, Israel

ps. I am just one person and I'm not speaking for the roots, nor people experiencing homelessness, so, at the end of the day, do what you have to do. Thanks.

JESUS! 18.Nov.2004 00:19

enough is enough

Just in case anybody missed it:

The TRASH the fuckin' Boosters were worried about is in fact generated by LOCAL MERCHANTS (the supposed heroes of urban capitalism) and the Boosters' own fuckin' KIDS. Motherfuckers.

LEAVE HOMELESS PEOPLE ALONE! WE'VE GOT ENOUGH PROBLEMS!