Today, November 16 2016, 12:30pm over a hundred homeless people marched across the street and set back up their make shift “homes” of shopping carts, tarps, and the like back up on the blocks of Lawrence, Broadway, and Park Ave. Right now over a hundred people have won back these streets for all those in need to survive together.
The City’s intent was to sweep everyone and their belongings off this block. Yesterday morning police told the first people that they could not come back and sit down with anything other than their cloths – meaning they would be enforcing the camping ban in this area so no one could survive there. But after the people of the block rallied together chanting, with signs, locking arms, and staying put in this area… after everyone who was forced to leave the two blocks along Broadway and Park Ave came right back within hours of police leaving… after we made it clear if we were swept from this block we would be setting up camp in front of the Mayor’s office… after all this and all the work to defend our rights in the political systems… — today the City was forced to step back as homeless people would not be moved.
Homeless people have been living on these blocks right near the Mission, which has been sheltering people in this location since 1970, looking out for each other in order to survive for years. In the past couple years more people have been living on these blocks as more and more people find themselves homeless and as the camping ban was passed to push people out of sight in central downtown areas. As the ball park area has been rapidly gentrifying – building high end apartments and pushing poor people and people of color out of the area – the City has increased its use of force to attempt to sweep away visible homelessness from the area.
After the major sweep in this area on March 8th 2016 police enforcement of the camping ban was so heavy that very few people were able to stay in this area. It was not until summer that people were able to slowly tickle to move back to stay.
The sweeps today were again supposed to kick everyone off the blocks. Now after over a year of heavy sweeps, police presence, and continued city efforts to move people from these blocks homeless people are tired of being pushed around and are not moving along to nowhere anymore.
Onward toward the Right to Rest for all…