Activists camp outside Minneapolis City Hall to protest deportation from prison
MINNEAPOLIS – Activists were sleeping outside Minneapolis City Hall on Sunday night in protest last week’s homeless evictions.
“We stand in solidarity with our brothers and sisters,” said Simeon Aitken, an activist.
Young Eagle, a member of the Ho Chunk Nation who until recently remained homeless, was at one of the plantations when the police cleared the area.
“People are given me five minutes to get their stuff and go,” Young Eagle said. “People have left behind the possessions they desperately need: papers, medicines, cell phones.”
The protesters want the city to have a ban on the destruction of plantations.
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“It is disgusting to treat homeless people as if they were criminals,” said Samantha Pree-Stinson, chair of the Minneapolis Tax and Estimates Commission.
The city says one of the clearings west of downtown is causing health and safety issues.
Many people living nearby told WCCO they were glad the area was gone. One man said he would see a lot of people using drugs here and he felt much more comfortable.
Activists do not see evictions as a solution. They believe that funding for permanent housing should be at the top of the list.
“There are public buildings that are not being used that can be turned into public housing,” Young Eagle said. “There are vacant lots that could be built on. There could be sanctioned plantations and harm reduction services.”
The city says most residents at the detention centers have refused help from resources or shelter.
There were two shelter beds in Hennepin County on Sunday night.
There will be a supply truck starting Monday morning outside City Hall to help those who have been evicted from their homes.
Activists say they need beds, sleeping bags, warm clothes and tents.