Well, Wednesday is the rally and overnight encampment at City Hall, and the Mayor's office is pushing their own media offensive to go along with it. We have the Raging Grannies opening the thing and the Seattle Labor Chorus closing. I've been to rallies where that would be half the crowd, but it doesn't feel like this is going to be like that. We had 25 people last night at Real Change's civil disobedience training.
The whole CD thing turns out to be a card we don't need to play right now. We've gone respectable, and the whole thing is permitted. Even the overnight encampment. Rally speakers include Council President Nick Licata, City Councilmember Peter Steinbrueck, Seattle King County Coalition on Homelessness Director Alison Eisinger, Real Change Organizing Project participant Revel Smith, Interfaith Task Force on Homelessness co-Chair David Bloom, and Real Change vendor Deb White.
So we turned last night's meeting into a peace keeper's training. We're ready if the folks that the Mayor's office sends out show up to machete our tents and steal our IDs.
Wednesday morning, the City has invited the media to a lower Queen Anne greenbelt on a city guided tour of "the health and safety hazards at these sites."
Since they've been "cleaning" them so regularly, I wouldn't think there'd be much of a problem. I look forward to seeing the photos.
Couldn't be much worse than the goose shit at Green Lake.
Oddly, Real Change didn't get the press release. We apparently aren't on the Human Services Department PR list. That's what they told us anyway.
The first protest I went to when I arrived in Seattle in the Spring of 1994 was about greenbelt clearances near the Kingdome. This isn't new stuff. These things would occur from time to time when neighborhood complaints started to mount. There would be a few of them a year, at most.
What's changed is that now the Mayor's office mobilizes the media and the neighborhoods. It's their proactive approach. Meanwhile, they continue to hold the line against new shelter options, and to tell lies about there being room for more people.
One of the things that happens in the media is that issues turn into cartoons. It's the besieged neighborhoods — over-run by Asian heroin cartels living in concrete bunkers, discarded syringes, and a rising tide of human waste — against the clueless bleeding hearts who are fighting for the right to shit in the woods.
For the record, people shouldn't have to sleep in the woods in the winter unless they have the appropriate REI gear. And shelters shouldn't be an overcrowded poor excuse for a mental health system for the poor. And poor people should be able to afford housing AND food. And the minimum wage should be a livable wage. And there should be universal health care in America. And anyone who wants to get into drug treatment should be able to without jumping through twenty hoops designed to weed out all but the most determined.
And the Mayor shouldn't be able to say he's ending homelessness when he's only hiding the evidence.
But that's not the world we live in, is it? So, maybe we'll see you Wednesday. Click here for info.