N Interstate and N Greeley
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Friday, October 9, 2015 at midnight through Saturday, October 10, 2015 at midnight
midnight through Saturday, October 10 at midnight
@N Interstate and N Greeley
UPDATE: 10/6, 4:45pm - This morning campers were alarmed to find new ODOT sweep warnings posted at the Greeley Camp. The posting says the ODOT land will be swept between 10/15 and 10/24. ODOT spokesperson Don Hamilton told me he did not think it would happen on the 15th or 16th but toward the end of the posted date range. He also said he expected that the city would cooperate with ODOT and sweep the whole camp together. I went to City Hall today with Sara Long to press the city on this. Mayor's office says that they are not going to sweep city land (they specified PBOT land and Transpo Commish Novick's office confirmed they're following mayor's lead on this, but no answer from Fritz's office about Parks & Rec's land there). The mayor's office, via Chad Stover, also said they wanted the camp "to work." When I pressed on what that means I was told the city wants to allow for a group of generally law-abiding and orderly campers to stay there at Greeley, to manage their own affairs, and to be responsible for the sanitation and toilet facilities the city is working to make available to them. That's a win for Greeley, so long as the city keeps it's word on any of this (please call them to make sure they do!). ODOT still needs to be pressed to back down and Sara went to visit the offices of Ted Miller at ODOT to get some answers. Stover also said something else interesting: "people have a Constitutional right to sleep in the parks." When I underlined this and asked if that meant the city would stop sweeps of parks he said no, that there were still circumstances in which the city would do sweeps in parks, but that generally they believe sweeps just move the problem around but are not a solution. This was good to hear and we need to press them on this - Ibrahim Mubarak and others at R2DToo told me today that sweeps have been picking up significantly lately, and that they hardly see anybody on the under the bridges walks lately because they've all been swept, so the rhetoric isn't matched by practice. Point to the rhetoric and demand an end to sweeps! (And Jessie Sponberg and Kaylene Beaujolais recorded a podcast interview with me and Billy, a camp resident, yesterday: https://soundcloud.com/elemental-radio/on-the-block-with-kaylene-and-jessie-live-from-greeley-tent-camp). ***** UPDATE: 10/5, 8:30AM - All entities that had threatened sweeps in the previous or coming week have, as of Friday, backed down. There are currently no impending sweeps at Greeley, so that's a big win. Mayor's office tells me this morning that PBOT and facilities people will be walking the site today to see where to put dumpster and portable toilet. One of the amazing humans who camp at Greeley is working with me to connect the several vets out there to services with the VA and/or TPI. The campers have had two organizing meetings over the weekend to formulate goals for moving forward, vision and rules and such for the camp, and to begin to create working groups around governance, outreach, and security at the camp. One major goal here that we've yet to meet is getting the city and the campers talking to each other - welcome any pressure you can put on the city (Hales,' Fritz's, or Saltzman's offices) to please begin working with these people to find a sustainable solution for those sheltering in that space. Mayor Hales: 503-823-4120 Amanda Fritz, Parks Commish: (503) 823-3008 Dan Saltzman, Housing Commish: (503) 823-4151 ***** UPDATE: 9/29, 9:30PM - Police and a Park Ranger showed up and made various threats to the residents today and this evening (see below my posted letter to the mayor). I'm going to go to the camp early to pick up some residents for the city council meeting, but if anybody is able to mobilize to film the police or provide support to residents if the police return in the morning, please do so. ***** UPDATE: 9:28 5:50PM: Foremost need right now is help with moving some of the camp residents in the area to be "swept" to an alternate site about a mile away. We need cars/trucks, folks willing to help with the move. You can coordinate with Raven on site - 503.415.9957. You can coordinate with Sara Long for information on the alternate site. Thank you! ***** UPDATE: 9/27 6:30pm : I've spoken with several of the residents today and here's the deal - they do *not* want us to resist this sweep, but rather to help the campers at Hazelnut Flats - the spot where I filmed - to safely get their belongings together and moved to a site nearby that a fellow activist has made available for them to set up their tents and be safe. The Hazelnut Grove folks have a meeting with Amanda Fritz later this month to work with the city to try to get the land (the ODOT land at Hazelnut Flats and a parcel of private land higher up at Hazelnut Heights) donated to the Hazelnut Grove non-profit which would then make the land available to folks in need of sheltering space along similar lines as R2DToo or Dignity Village. Part of this land is already under their control and is being gardened, but Hazelnut Grove wants to get all of it and make this a permanent safe space. I still have no word from ODOT on exact timing but there are rumors that it's gonna be early tomorrow morning, so I'm asking all who can mobilize to do so in the morning. I'll be there. We can then help the campers at the flats move to the other site (about 1 and 1/2 miles away). We can also speak up to any media that shows up that sweeps need to end, that the city should work with Hazelnut Grove to make this space available to the houseless community, and that we are willing to put our bodies in the way if necessary. Then join us on Wednesday at City Hall to again demand an end to the sweeps. ***** UPDATE: 9/25 2pm: I just spoke with Don Hamilton, regional public info officer for ODOT, and he said that there will not be a sweep this weekend. He also did not think that it would happen Monday but sometime next week (they have until the 3rd). I pressed him to get more details and he said that they are trying to coordinate with the city and so there is not a firm date yet, but that he would know more Monday. THAT SAID, we still need to be prepared to mobilize Monday morning. If you can establish a contact with a camp resident for purposes of putting out an alert, please do so and let me know. I have Marvin's number but unable to reach him today. Anybody on here with osalt.org? Message me if so. ***** ODOT has asked Portland Police to enforce an order to vacate on the peaceful and long-standing tent encampment on ODOT property in the strip of land between N Interstate and N Greeley. They've said the residents have until Sunday or Monday to vacate. We need to show up and support these folks. With enough turnout we can stop the eviction; if the police use force we can document it and help folks maintain possession of their belongings. I will update on the likely timing of the sweep as I learn more. Solidarity please. This event page is private, please invite your friends. http://www.facebook.com/events/451925321661499/