Campers Evicted Outside City Hall
Signs have been posted
Belongings piled up on the sidewalk
By Jeremy Scott
Pressure washing begins
Police rousted the remaining campers outside Portland City Hall who were on the sidewalks past Tuesday morning's 7:00 deadline. Mayor Charlie Hales issued eviction notices and a warning to leave or face arrest.
It was a mostly peaceful eviction with all but a handful of people leaving on their own. One
man refused to and was escorted
across the street, but not arrested. A few others fought the order before eventually walking away and avoiding a confrontation. City crews then pressure washed the sidewalks clean.
"People who work in this building have been harassed. Our
offices are getting complaints from citizens that they're not willing to
come to City Hall anymore because they're intimidated," said Mayor Hales.
The homeless have been occupying the spot for two years and the city says it's become a public safety issue, not to mention an eyesore. In just the past three months, there were more than 100 calls of fights, harassment and illegal drug use.
"Zero individuals on this block have been contacted by any social workers about work or housing. Now it's time to question the mayor directly on this," says homeless camper Sawyer.
The mayor originally wanted to kick out the homeless for good, but a review of city code
found that they're allowed to camp there after 9:00 at night, but not during the day. The homeless claim their First Amendment rights should allow them to stay.