Minneapolis, Minnesota – On June 1, 2022, authorities unsuccessfully cleared an encampment of tents on an unused strip of land off Interstate 35. Eviction defenders thwarted the sweep by asking for documents, helping residents pack and move, and using their bodies and placing objects in the way of authorities. Despite aggression from the contractors hired for the eviction cleanup, no tents were taken. Yet, all residents have since moved. Arriving around 9 a.m., State Patrol officers and Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) workers arrived to the encampment next to the northbound 28th St. exit from I-35W, with plans to clear the tents. Residents of the camp started living there because the previous encampments they lived in were also swept by the city.
Keene, New Hampshire - Community organizers in Keene, New Hampshire, pitched tents in Central Square Park outside of Keene City Hall for an overnight protest on the evening of May 21 to draw attention to an impending eviction of a homeless encampment behind the local Aldi and Kohls. Earlier in May the encampment was served an eviction for May 23. The eviction notice was delivered by city police, accompanied by new “no trespassing” signs tacked to trees in the camps. The residents are being evicted by property owner Wilder Co. only two months after an eviction behind the local Hannaford supermarket forced many to relocate to the woods behind Aldi and Kohls. Campers described eviction after eviction to outreach volunteers from Keene Mutual Aid, one saying “We have nowhere else to go.”
At a fundraiser on Friday, Adams told The New York Times that city agencies would identify the encampments, offer residents homeless outreach services, and then “dismantle” their makeshift shelters — all within a two-week period. On Saturday, a spokesperson for the mayor said the initial sweep has already begun, led by the New York Police Department, as well as the sanitation, social services and parks departments. The task force aims to clear 150 or more makeshift shelters on its first pass, which began on March 18th. “We are breaking down siloes and working together across government to keep New Yorkers safe and our streets clean,” Adams told Gothamist in a written statement.
In Canada’s homeless encampments, two faces of state brutality are on display. One is the “organized abandonment” that has relegated hundreds of thousands across Canada to homelessness (at twice the rate as in the United States). The other is the “organized violence” that evicts homeless people from encampments erected in the shadow of the state’s malign neglect. In Toronto, Canada’s largest and most unequal city, frontline workers estimate there are currently 1,000 to 2,000 people sleeping in dozens of encampments outdoors — several times more than the 400 acknowledged by city officials. Against the advice of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the former UN Special Rapporteur on Housing...
Santa Cruz, CA - Local advocacy groups turned to the federal court system this week in the latest effort to prevent dispersal of a homeless encampment that swelled to an estimated 150 people this month. In response, U.S. District Court of Northern California Judge Susan van Keulen granted an emergency temporary restraining order against the City of Santa Cruz, through Jan. 6, preventing it from shuttering San Lorenzo Park. “The Court finds that Plaintiffs have shown that immediate and irreparable injury, loss, and/or damage will result to the movant before the adverse party can be heard in opposition,” van Keulen wrote in her order. The Santa Cruz Homeless Union and Santa Cruz Food Not Bombs groups earlier filed a request with the San Jose court in response to the city’s Dec. 17 emergency order by the city manager.
The federal eviction moratorium is set to expire in December leaving an estimated 30 million people at risk of eviction. Members of Congress are still unable to reach an agreement on a relief bill that will extend the moratorium, as well as other important programs that were included in the CARES Act early in the year. I speak with two people about what is being done in their communities. They provide examples for others in similar situations. Joey Lankowski is with Food Not Bombs Las Vegas. They are building tiny home communities to keep people sheltered and physically separated when they have nowhere else to go. Then I speak with William X Nietsche whose family was victimized by predatory lending practices about what they are doing to keep their home. Many people in the community have rallied around them, building an eviction defense camp around their house.
An encampment of over 100 houseless people sits on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway here, steps away from the iconic art museum of “Rocky” movie fame and under the noses of the Philadelphia bourgeoisie. JTD camp is a self-declared autonomous and cop-free zone providing a safe environment at a time when the COVID pandemic is ravaging the city. A large “Black Lives Matter” banner hangs at the entrance. The James Talib Dean camp, named to honor an organizer who died shortly after it was established in June, is the latest in a series of camps set up by local activist groups.