Cameron Whitten has accomplished something that few people could undertake willingly. He has been on a hunger strike for 50 days for housing justice, camping outside City Hall. So far, his sacrifice and endeavors have not succeeded in getting city officials to drop fines on Right 2 Dream Too houseless camp in Old Town and to find real solutions to help the houseless. But Whitten remains steadfast, and vowed to continue his hunger strike.
About 200 people, many of them houseless advocates, showed up for an "Epic Rally for Housing Justice" today at Terry Schrunk Plaza to support Whitten's call for housing justice. Whitten and many speakers, with the exception of two politicians, Charlie Hales and Jefferson Smith, spoke movingly about their personal experiences and the increasing problem of homelessness as more and more people lose their houses and/or jobs. Instead of helping the houseless, city officials have ordered the police to "evict" them from their shelters under the bridges, according to Ibrahim Mubarak, a longtime activist, who was formerly houseless himself. Mubarak, a member of Right2Survive and Right 2 Dream Too, has led many "Under the Bridge" walks twice a month. On a recent walk, Mubarak was shocked and heartbroken to find all the houseless gone, who had been sleeping under bridges. "It was like a ghost town," he said.