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City Hall Homeless Portest: Sweeps ARE coming.

Potter lays BS, groundwork.
From the Portland Mercury;
( http://blogtown.portlandmercury.com/2008/05/mayor_tom_potter_makes_another.php)



This morning, Mayor Potter dropped a new statement on the ongoing homeless protest outside of city hall.

He re-iterates what the city has been doing in response: "102 shelter beds have been opened (as of 8:30 p.m. on May 9); representatives of the protest group were invited to the Mayor's Office to state their concerns and to participate on the 10-Year Plan to End Homelessness Advisory Board; service providers offered outreach services to those with special needs and discussions on how police enforce the camping ordinance are occurring."

Then he gets into the nitty gritty—the fact that the protest has morphed from a dozen people at the beginning into a large camp stretching halfway around the block city hall sits on isn't lost on anyone, including Potter. And it sounds like Potter's ready to crack down a little harder, saying "the City has the right to make reasonable time, place and manner rules for the conduct of protests in public spaces, and can also act to protect the public from unnecessary obstructions as well as health, sanitation and safety problems."

"The amount of clutter has greatly affected the ability of the public to use the sidewalk. I also have an increasing concern about the safety of both the protestors and the general public. There have been incidents of illegal activity, numerous calls for police and medical assistance, and sanitation concerns inside and outside the building."

So what happens next? Read on.

Due to these increasing congestion, obstruction and public safety concerns - and with the opening of an additional 102 shelter beds through May and June by the Salvation Army - starting today, the protestors will be asked to respect the City law that forbids the erection of structures on sidewalks. This is a law that is regularly enforced in all other protest situations.

In addition, the City will post a warning that enforcement of the City law against camping in public spaces could occur after the end of day on Tuesday, May 13. In conjunction with the warning, the City will connect protestors and homeless individuals with service providers who can help them find shelter or other places to go.

That last part sounds to me like a warning that the city is going to impose much stricter limits on the protest, starting Tuesday night. Maybe people can protest, but not camp—so perhaps that means they can't lie down and sleep? I asked the Mayor's public safety policy adviser Marie Rubio for clarification, and whether this is hinting at an impending "sweep."

She responds:

This is an effort to reduce the amount of items that are accumulating as people camp outside city hall and the attending health and public safety issues that have been developing as the crowd grows. We trust that protestors will comply with the city's request to keep things orderly and safe for everyone.

We hope that people will take advantage of the 102 available shelter beds.

We'll keep you posted.

Update:: Homeless Protest Sat night around midnight 11.May.2008 01:07

Joe Anybody iam@joe-anybody.com

Update (Sat midnight) and and comments

that clutter the city / police are referring to is "their belongings"
everything they have is "on the line"
(can you imagine trying to keep track of everything you own.... stay safe ...get some food....hopefully sleep at the end of the day and do all this while 'protesting' and struggling and fighting <non violently/figuratively speaking> for their own survival and day to day living

all 7 that were arrested today ....have been released as of 11:30pm
there must be 74 - 100 people out there..
this is being written from my warm home at 12:30 sat night
i came home to report here and i am uploading an hour long tape
it should be online by Sunday afternoon
it contains of footage from the "meeting at 9pm" it is really worth seeing !!

as i said "everything is on the line"
there is serious passion in this movement
there is the typical "legal nitty gritty - get a lawyer to explain it accompanying bullshit being levied by the authorities" and then to see how people with "not much" are organizing to respect and defend them selves against this fascism and "dis-respect" from the city leaders

this notice posted by the Mercury was news to a few i talked to
there was a flier being passed around that was a "press release" from the mayor...but it was news to them...one was an organizer

on an interesting note .... most who were arrested are being charged with "interfering with a police officer" ...most of those I talked to didn't know "what charges they were arrested for" until they were released.

someone told me that there is a note on the "property room door" telling the property release has been "moved" ???? confusion and more uncertainty
one man I heard from had his insulin returned but they took his needles ????

when asked for a hands up to show ..for "who is willing to get arrested?"
i was amazed that many are stepping forward and "will" go to jail peacefully
i was very impressed by the morals and the "unity for human rights" in this group ....

it is sad to be "so close" to see a civilized society..that sleeps in warm beds and houses ....wake up and "turn on these people"

i say one thing about that .... "SHAME"
these people all are "citizens" ...these people all want to have dialog with the mayor....


the video from the "meeting" will be coming first (I am heading back down there)
also ...9 o'clock each evening was established for their daily meeting time

let me end this by summarizing a poignant point
my mind was "expanded by spending 4 hours there tonight"
it was 'mind boggling the hoops and insane worry is that these people are having to deal with'

(one example)
the fact that everyone is now been pushed to the curb side ..rather than the safer place "against the wall around city hall" ...they now have to worry about the curb and cars and get this...... they gave a heads up about the the "street cleaner" metal brushes hurt someone who may be sleeping.
Now can you imagine that this has to be a worry to a person while they sleep.... they have to worry the street cleaner brushes will hurt them????

Folks that turned my stomach to even have to contemplate
This is really "fucked up"

............ gotta go ......

SOLIDARITY

I called city hall

5-10-08 Homeless Protest
5-10-08 Homeless Protest