By John Vibes
Ten activists were arrested this weekend for attempting to help the homeless in the city of Denver by building tiny houses in a park. The houses were also immediately destroyed just after the arrests were made.
The activists belong to a group called Denver Homeless Out Loud, released a statement after the arrests which read:
Last night, Saturday, Oct 24th, about 70 Denver Police Department and Denver Sheriff’s Department officers, including swat units, under orders from Mayor Michael Hancock, descended on Sustainability Park and arrested 10 community members who, along with many others, were in the process of setting up a tiny home village to be occupied and managed by houseless people. The arrests, on charges of trespassing, were followed by the destruction and removal of several tiny homes which the group had constructed for houseless community members to live in. The group, led by Denver Homeless Out Loud and composed of houseless people and supporters, had been constructing tiny homes and trying to find a location for the village for over a year. But due to zoning and code constraints they have not been able to find a legal place to put the houses.
In the afternoon, while constructing tiny homes on-site, the group was visited by a representative of Denver Housing Authority, as well as by the developer. By 9pm, with a police helicopter circling overhead, the officers made the arrests and Denver Public Works destroyed, threw into dump trucks, and carted away the homes that had been so badly needed by houseless people and so lovingly constructed by those who would have lived there and their supporters.
According to the group, they originally had control of the land through an Urban Farming Cooperative, but the city decided to sell the land to a private developer.
The group was later released from prison, and they promised to continue their work despite pressure from police.
“We will not give up! We will keep fighting to defend people’s right to housing,” the group said.
If you would like to get involved with Denver Homeless Out Loud, please contact the following numbers:
Phone: (720) 940-5291
Editor’s Note: Below is a time-lapse of the project from inception to destruction.
John Vibes writes for True Activist and is an author, researcher and investigative journalist who takes a special interest in the counter culture and the drug war.
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