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actions & protests | homelessness

Update: Portland City Hall Homeless Protest

Yesterday 7 people were arrested when the Portland Police came to post 72 hour "Illegal Campsite" notices and alert us that our homeless encampment at City Hall was not within lawful compliance. We have been camping on the sidewalks for 15 days to protest the unconstitutionality of the sit/lie ordinance and to demand the repeal of the anti-camping law that makes being without a home a crime. Long term solutions to the affordable housing/greed crisis in downtown Portland however is the primary goal that has brought everyone who is down at City Hall together. So far, many creative ideas have been offered and discussed over the past weeks, and over the course of time the number of protesters has grown from 15 at the beginning into the upwards of 100. Although yesterdays police presence seemed to disperse protesters, the peak head count last night was 84.
"We aren't leaving until they give us what we want" is our general consensus, although the diversity of our growing crowd has brought many new angles as to how we would accomplish such. Mayor Potter has basically refused dialog, and continues to be narrowly focused on the federal mandated "Ten Year Plan to End Homelessness," as well as on opening temporary shelter beds which do nothing over the long-term.

Last night our entire camp met to discuss issues and decide what's next. It was determined that we wanted to extend an invitation to the Mayor for an open community conversation, in essence to lead by example and not shut him down as he seems to have already given up on us. We also reminded ourselves about the importance of keeping the sidewalks clean of trash and being respectful of our neighbors and fellow protesters. There was talk of meeting to discuss tactics for civil disobedience since certain members of the community will choose to act in solidarity and resist police orders that have been given by the Mayor to remove us from City Hall on Tuesday the 13th. Many are determined to stay the course even though they face multiple arrests and jail time by returning to City Hall no matter what happens. Others are making plans for local actions.

Regardless of your part, we are calling out the masses this moment, this afternoon, this night! NOW is the time to lead the nation and bring others hope in communities that experience economic injustice at the hands of our deaf leaders! Come and eat, converse, fly a sign, and/or sleep with us. Put your bodies on the line for justice and never stop hoping and being the change.

NEEDS:

Bodies in mass, Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday, and keep coming back!

EVERYONE to show up and sleep/offer your body Monday night, since midnight Tuesday morn is likely when the raid will happen

EVERYONE to show up at the Wednesday morning City Council meeting, 9:15 am; we have four 3 min. slots

CALL the Mayor's office, 503-823-3597, and demand he listen to ALL members of the community; don't forget tell him why you care

Cameras

Camcorders

Blankets

Healthy Food

Medication

Tarps

Solidarity



P.S. We'll be posting the open letter to Tom Potter later today, so keep an eye out for that.

SEE YOU IN THE STREETS!

I was a witness 11.May.2008 16:15

CoyoteMother

I was a witness to what happened on Saturday. I do not support what the Portland Police did. It seems that they were targeting a certain group of people. This was either a scare tactic or the individuals that they seemed to have targeted may have had warrants or they were after these particular persons. I also saw one of the cops counting some small objects that he had taken from one of the indivials they arrested. Again I support this protest and do not believe what the cops did was right. If there were or are warrants for anyone participating in this protest the cops should handle it away from the area and thus a less threating manner. But then again the Portland Police Department is not long a Police group or peace officers they are instead a militia.

<video> from meeting of homeless protesters on 5-10 12.May.2008 12:54

Joe Anybody

On th eevening of the arrests of 7 members of the protest there was a meeting held at 7:30 to discuss what to do and what was going on .... I filmed it ....and I just uploaded the 45 minute Google video from that "meeting" ...it is well worth watching to understand what are the issues and how the group is handling this serious topic of livability for those with out a place to go

 http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-2805370982432599549

This was a meeting of the folks that are outside of City Hall Protesting for "better" Housing Solutions and to repel the anti camping law .... being homeless should not be criminal!

Are you having regular group meetings? 12.May.2008 13:35

Dan N.

What day and time are your group meetings?

Do you have a decision making process?

What is your organizational structure?

Have you selected a specific Goal?

Do you have a negotiation strategy?

Having answer to these questions can be the difference between a flash in a pan and a movement.

daily ? 12.May.2008 18:51

coldnhungry

the night the meeting happened the idea was to have 9pm meetings on the steps