Why Are We Protesting At City Hall?
Our civil rights are being violated in that we are asked to be on the move continuously, never able to stop and rest. This is cruel and unusual punishment for a crime not committed. Being houseless is not a crime, and Portland is our home. We are human and we are your neighbors. We are trying to live our diverse lives with dignity and respect. We have nowhere to go; some of us have been living under bridges and have been swept out, and that is why you see us here in front of City Hall; it is the only safe place to sleep in Portland. We are not allowed to camp within city limits and shelters are not an answer to our houselessness, only a band-aid. We are tired and weary; we are not looking for a handout; we are looking for creative solutions that involve our entire community, and we must challenge our leaders to consider outside-of-the-box-perspectives. This is not a homeless issue; this is a community issue.
What Do We Want?
Short-termó-the immediate repeal of the sit/lie & camping ordinances and the decriminalization of homelessness
REAL dialogue where we can share and listen to each others' creative ideas and solutions
Long-termó-affordable and safe housing in Downtown Portland.
Want To Support Us?
1. Housed and houseless UNITE! Many have already come to sleep with us on the sidewalks; but we need more allies to spend a few hours, a day, or a night or three in our shoes, hear our stories, and then spread the word far and wide.
2. Tell the Mayor's office, 503-823-3597 as well as your neighbors, co-workers, and friends that you want JUSTICE FOR ALL, and open participatory communication and action, not just forums for talking at one another!
3. Make Wednesday morning's city council meeting standing room only. On 14 May 2008 at 9:15 am fill the council chambers and STAND IN SOLIDARITY, as we collectively demand that OUR representatives uphold our rights of life, justice, and liberty.
4. Many have already contributed food, sleeping bags, tarps, blankets, and time. For such kindness and generosity we are thankful, although our needs continue to grow. If you are able to share any of these items with us, we would be very appreciative!