Re: COVID Cleanups/Sweeps

Tim McCormick

Sarah Iannarone wrote about this on Twitter this evening, see thread, copied below with my comments on thread also: 

sarah iannarone (she/her) @sarahforpdx - 7:20 PM · Jul 26, 2020

non-#portlandprotest call to action thread

On top of COVID-19 and a triple-digit heatwave, incumbent Mayor Ted Wheeler has decided this is the week to evict an encampment of unhoused Portlanders in St. Johns, dismantling and displacing a community of 75 or so residents.

"For several years, Portland City Hall policy would be to uproot this camp as soon as it grew beyond a few people and scatter its residents to other places. But the city suspended such sweeps the first week of March, because of the COVID-19 pandemic."

Today, we're in a similar position as 4 mos ago when Gov Brown issued the first stay-at-home order, but
@rachelamonahan reports City Hall's resuming sweeps saying they're "necessary for public health."

Gah! It's housing that's necessary for public health.

The community is asking for help. They filmed this message to and . Not only should they NOT be swept this week, they need immediate help. #SleepNotSweeps #NoDisplacementWithoutReplacement

Their specific ask: MONDAY 7/27/2020, Noon-2PM
Cup with straw
Deliver COVID supplies (masks, sanitizer), heat-stable food, and WATER WATER WATER.
Volunteer to help bag up refuse, and generally tidy up in support of this community.
Squared sos
Help wherever you can.

Please boost in St. Johns especially, post on FB or your other networks:
@ambrown @Reed_PDX @_RitaMoore @PaulRippey@mrlloydeo @ToolsyFielder @josambo @hrippey @TrevorSamRob @MimiGPDX @llake13 @Gus_Kroll @ThornCoyle @pdxlawgrrrl @StreetRoots @colemerkel @mkaiasand @JulesBoykoff

Replying to @sarahforpdx
it's clear the city/county does not, as for years, see a credible threat or alternative to sweeps & just moving people along. What might be?
a) is it plausible to human-wall off posted camp in time to block sweepers, so they delay it or have to force/arrest people?

Protest wall, or just completely solid wall of people merely enjoying the park/trailway?
Could targeted unhoused settlements be defended as extension sites of #PortlandProtest? What tracking / advance notice of sweepers might be achieved?  2/n

At sweep, how large a media spectacle could be created? could every affected person be followed up with to see what shelter is offered, taken? & how any on-site shelter, belongings, get handled? Also, can it be named to help it be defended, eg #PeninsulaVillage #PCTvillage? 3/n

Legal: how might " public safety" rationale be challenged, eg by ensuring good practices at camps? 2nd, recent  #BlakevGrantsPass ruling may help build case vs PDX structures ban, the other key sweeps basis. Design/find a test case? 4/n

That's threat side; at same time, how are plausible alternatives built, eg citywide, scale-of-need, rights-assured, self-determining villages? Many are working on this, at  @pdxshelterforum we're trying to make it & Qs above an open, collaborative effort+coalition; u r invited 5/5

Tim McCormick
Editor at HousingWiki, Organizer at Village Collaborative
Portland, Oregon 

On Sun, Jul 26, 2020 at 9:22 PM Sean Green <green@...> wrote:
I think it is important to hear from folks with lived experience. The response to impending COVID cleanups/sweeps from this member of our community is powerful. This person echos many of the sentiments I have heard from other folks who are just looking for a place to live where they won’t be forced to leave.

Join to automatically receive all group messages.