Yesterday, July 23rd 2020, Governor Polis called on Denver to kick homeless people living in tents on state property, including Lincoln Park and around the Governor’s Mansion, out through police force. Polis said he “encourages any law enforcement to remove them.” Later that day, Michael Robinson, Executive Director of Safety for Denver, issued a “delegation of authority” to enable Colorado State Troopers to enforce a variety of Denver laws on State property (and the adjacent city owned public right of way strips).
Two large encampments are currently on the specific state property named: the largest Denver encampment of houseless people lives in Lincoln Park with 154 tents and roughy 200 people; the Black Lives Matter protest encampment which has 25 tents for both housed organizers fighting for a better world and unhoused residents also part of this fight. These encampments are now under threat of attack from the State Troopers under the direction of the Governor and with the go ahead of Denver officials.
On top of this, late yesterday there was a shooting in Lincoln Park which left one person dead and two hospitalized. There are no details on this situation yet and how it may or may not be related to the Governor’s call to “get the tents out” of Lincoln Park.
The Black Lives Matter protest camp moved late last night for safety from the State Troopers.
Both of these encampments need your support. Please stay tuned for specific calls for support for these encampments.
The Governor does not even act as if he is aware of the CDC guidance to not sweep encampments during this pandemic!! He does not even act as if he is aware that the local judge ruled the Camping Ban unconstitutional and its legality is waiting in the appeals process!
Governor Polis needs to hear our outrage!@# We will not stand for State Troopers being sent in to sweep “away” and terrorize people without housing surviving in tents in our city. We will not stand for this hate driven call for police force against black and homeless people. We will not stand for his demeaning, dehumanizing words in his press conference where he never once named the crisis of homelessness, the struggle of those without housing, or the importance of political movements calling for justice.
Is it really that hard to figure out? If the city can just come up with a few dumpsters and porta potties, wouldn’t that help with a lot of the issues that come from homeless encampments? No need to let it pile up and then “sweep” it away.