Archive for the ‘Nickelsville’ Category
This morning, Scott Morrow sent this e-mail to supporters of Nickelsville, the homeless encampment that has been living around the Seattle area since last September. Nickelsville has been staying at the Port of Seattle’s Terminal 107 Park in West Seattle since July 23, and celebrated its first anniversary on September 26. The e-mail announced that, according to Port officials, the camp would be “swept” today around 1 PM. Nickelsville residents (“Nickelodeons”) have been expecting and preparing for the eviction for some time, while trying to negotiate with the Port to extend their stay.
A press conference was underway at Nickelsville around 1 PM, but it was largely inaudible except to those located directly next to those speaking. Some supporters held signs with slogans such as “It’s time for a pragmatic and compassionate response” and “Our Lord said, whatever you did for the least of our brothers (and sisters) you did for me – Matthew 25:40.” Some residents were packing up bags and leaving camp during the press conference.
Following the press conference, Port police made several loudspeaker announcements, spaced about 10 minutes apart, informing those remaining in the camp that they would be arrested and charged with second degree criminal trespass. After the second announcement, most Nickelsville residents and supporters left the camp in a group. Many gathered behind the police line with media and other supporters to watch the arrests; others went to the nearby city Herring’s House Park. The fourth loudspeaker announcement was made at about 2 PM; shortly thereafter, 30-40 officers moved into the camp. They conducted a full search of the camp before beginning arrests.
Police tagged each tent with a number; media were told afterward that this was to facilitate the later collection of belongings by Nickelodeons. Port spokeswoman Charla Skaggs said it was unclear whether belongings would be held for pickup on Port property or at the central Seattle police warehouse.
Arrestees were led in ones and twos out of the camp accompanied by two or three police officers. Kevin Dockery, a Nickelsville resident, was sitting on a milk crate in a central location of camp, visible to all spectators. Several officers encircled him. An officer took his cane and laid it down next to him. Dockery and the officers talked for several minutes. Eventually he stood and was led out of camp by a few officers, unhandcuffed, using his cane. A couple of other arrested Nickelodeons were also allowed to leave camp without being cuffed.
Another arrestee was supporter Dorli Rainey, who is 82 years old.
The assembled supporters and media, as well as the police, were very quiet during the camp search and observing the arrests, except to cheer each arrested person as they left camp.
After the last of the 12 arrestees were led away, Skaggs asked all of the assembled media to move to the park’s parking lot, per police order. There, police officer Tuttle said that no one arrested at Nickelsville would be taken to jail unless they had an existing warrant. Skaggs said arrestees would be taken somewhere else for processing (location unspecified) and released – with local transportation being provided. Tuttle also told media that police had not been sure how many people they would arrest – a rumor had been that activists might have come up from Portland.
At 2:40 PM, the entrance to the park was cordoned off by police tape. Anyone wishing to observe the takedown of the camp would have a difficult time getting an adequate view from outside the park. The park has been closed “indefinitely for maintenance” since before Nickelsville settled there.
A commentary on the Nickelsville arrests will be added on this site in the next couple of days.
September 29, 2009 at 1:24 pm
(Photo by Kevin McClintic, taken during the “Nickelsville” open house on Saturday)
ORIGINAL 1:24 PM REPORT: We have a call out to a Port of Seattle spokesperson to try to confirm the reported park closure as well as the estimated time of police arrival, but in the meantime, we’ve just received this news release from a spokesperson for the encampment:
PARK CLOSES TODAY – NICKELSVILLE DETERMINED TO STAY – POLICE ARRIVE TOMORROW, 9/30/09, AT 12 NOON
* T-107 Port Park closes today at noon
* Nickelsville will stand through arrival of Port of Seattle and Valley Police tomorrow, Wednesday, at noon
* Candidates for Seattle City Council, David Bloom and Sally Bagshaw, will stand with Nickelsville tomorrow
* Nickelodeons who plan to stay and peacefully stand-up to removal by police will ultimately risk arrest
Chief of Police Colleen Wilson says “We’re going to take back our port.” However, Nickelsville plans to stay as they at the current portion of the park where they reside, as they have no other place to go. Residents, friends, citywide Nickelsville supporters and more will stand with Nickelsville when Port and Valley police (i.e. Renton) arrive to remove the encampment. City Council candidates David Bloom and Sally Bagshaw will be present to stand with Nickelsville.
The only City of Seattle Police used tomorrow will be animal control officers to collect unaccompanied pets.
T-107 Park, located at 4700 W Marginal Way SW (map), closes today at Noon. Cars will be impounded 24 hrs later. Nickelsville will stand as a community until it is forceably removed by police.
1:35 PM UPDATE: Just spoke with Charla Skaggs from the port, who tells us that the park is indeed closed – to everyone – they had to do this to give 24 hours’ notice that vehicles would be towed and that anyone in the park would be trespassing. She also says that the park is likely to stay closed a while AFTER the encampment is gone because “we will have to do some repair and maintenance.” She says that Port officials including the police chief met with encampment reps last night to tell them about the closure and reiterate the deadline as well as explaining what would happen to their property and their pets if the camp was swept, and to stress again that they hoped that “they will leave voluntarily.” Says Skaggs, “We don’t want this to become an arrest situation but they’ve been given a deadline – they will have been on our property for 69 days.” She says the port believes there are area churches who are willing to host the encampment but its organizers “have to reach out to them.” She would not confirm that noon is the expected arrival for police but did mention the noon closure today was something of a 24-hour warning.
National Membership Approved 12-16-09
Background Music-”Little Pink Houses”-John Mellencamp
Background Music Remastered at Seattle Center. By Doc.
Created with (T) Sony-Digital Audio.
Photos by Mary Witt, KIRO TV, KOMO TV, King 5, Seattle Times, Seattle Post Intelligencer and Seattle Weekly’s Aimee Curl.
Created By Homeless Against Nickels and “Blame Me” Productions-Burien, Washington
(c) Copyright 2009-2010 National Homeless Underground-Seattle, Washington.
Port tells Nickelsville to be out by Sept. 30
By Rebekah Schilperoort
August 26, 2009
Previous coverage: Port ask Nickelsville to leave, camp will ‘stand’Port of Seattle officials announced on Aug. 25 that the Nickelsville encampment must leave port property in West Seattle by Sept. 30, despite the homeless camp requests to stay.
According to a press release from the Port, a second notice of trespass will be posted at Terminal 107, 4700 West Marginal Way, this week.
“While port commissioners considered requests for up to an additional 90 days, the Port has no authority to provide temporary housing, the shoreline park is an inappropriate location for the encampment, and the camp violates Seattle city code,” according to the release. “Port officials reiterated their hope that encampment members and advocates will continue efforts to find an appropriate site for the group, and that they will leave port property voluntarily.”
On Aug. 21, an encampment spokesperson said Speaker of the House Frank Chopp, Port Commissioners Gael Tarleton and Kurt Beckett, Michael Ramos, Director of the Church Council of Greater Seattle, Paul Benz of the Lutheran Public Policy Office, Cecile Hansen, Chairperson of the Duwamish tribe and four members for the camp met together last week at the Duwamish Longhouse to discuss options for Nickelsville.
Spokesperson Revel Smith said, “If allowed, the proposed agreement would allow Nickelsville to remain at the T-107 Park for an initial two months with a third month safety net. This would give parties who were at the table time to work together to find a permanent site for Nickelsville. The Port of Seattle and Nickelsville would seek a Temporary Use Permit from the City of Seattle for the three month stay at T-107 Park. Signals from the City are that a permit would likely be granted, and city police would comply.”
But the port continues to maintain that the encampment, which moved onto Terminal 107 on July 23, is on port property illegally. Prior to its relocation to Terminal 107, the encampment was set up on state-owned property in South Park. It was forced to leave by the State Department of Transportation.
“The port has tried to provide a compassionate response to this situation while also balancing other obligations to the citizens of King County,” said Port Chief Executive Officer Tay Yoshitani in the release Tuesday. “We continue to believe that the port can best assist with the difficult problem of homelessness in our community by focusing on our mission to create jobs and economic growth for King County.”
The port lacks the authority to donate land, money, or services for housing purposes. The Port maintains the encampment’s presence also violates city land use and shoreline codes.
“Our community must use this time to maximize collective efforts to identify a better location for Nickelsville,” said Commissioner Gael Tarleton. “I will continue to assist legislators and community advocates in meeting this goal so that the public park can be returned to its intended use.”
Leela Yellesetty reports on the battle of a Seattle homeless community to keep from being evicted once again.
July 30, 2009
FACING EVICTION from the empty state land it was occupying, the Seattle homeless community of Nickelsville moved on July 23 to what residents hope will be their permanent home at Terminal 107 Park last Thursday.
But the very next day, the Port of Seattle issued a notice for the homeless to vacate the property.
This is unfortunately nothing new for Nickelodeans (as residents refer to themselves), who have moved seven times since setting up last September. The camp was originally set up on city land to draw attention to Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels’ policy of sweeping the homeless–and providing no assistance at all.
As Revel Smith, communications director for the homeless newspaper Real Change, says:
When he was originally doing the sweeps, the phone number people were given for social services was a dead line. It’s a very, very cruel and difficult system.
People need a stable place to stay. A lot of people at Nickelsville are able to retain jobs, get back on their feet. Otherwise, they’re left with the downtown shelter system, which is inadequate to handle the 2,500 or so people that don’t fit on a regular basis. Nickelsville’s intent is to keep a stable, self-organized, self-sufficient community where people have their basic needs met and can find work, come home, sleep, have their possessions in one place and have a roof over their heads. They can’t get that anywhere else.
- – - – - – - – - – - – - – - -
DONNA BEAVERS and her husband have been at Nickelsville since the beginning. Donna became homeless a year ago due to domestic violence. Before coming to Nickelsville, she was sleeping on sidewalks and in doorways, due to lack of available shelters.
Taking a break with her dog while residents and supporters hustle to pack up tents and supplies, Donna says:
Nickelsville is a good encampment. We’re all like a family. The mayor doesn’t like us, though. We even tried to go meet the mayor one time, and he heard we were coming, so he shut the elevators down so we couldn’t go up to see him, and then he sent the security down to tell us to leave the property.
I think the mayor should be trying to help homeless people, instead of trying to sweep them out. Nickelsville is trying to solve a problem by giving people a place to live who can’t afford housing because it’s so expensive. To all your readers, please tell them to help support us. Write the governor, write the mayor, tell them to give us permanent land. We’re citizens, too.
Randy Pellam, who’s been at Nickelsville for the past six weeks, had the same message:
We’re basically trying to get the government to take responsibility and allow them to live without criminalizing homelessness.
Really, it’s killing people. Seattle’s proud of the fact, though they would never admit it, that the average age of death for a homeless person here is 47 years old. They lose 30 years or more of their life because the living is so hard. People think they’re lazy or bums or whatever. I’ve had hard jobs. Being homeless is ten times harder than most jobs. And it kills you.
In addition to the difficulty of sheer survival, the homeless are particularly vulnerable to violence. Pellam describes a time when he was sleeping on a park bench, and a group of young people came up and hit him on the head with beer bottle, looking for a fight. Luckily, one of the group said to leave him alone. As Pellam remembers:
They didn’t want to go against their friend, so they left, but otherwise, who knows what could have happened. A lot of the attacks are never reported. A lot of people have friends they knew who were murdered because they were homeless. We’ve had some horrific ones in this state, like a man in a wheelchair who was set on fire in an alley–just horrible.
Unfortunately, because the government portrays us as criminals, people who don’t know any better think it’s okay for them to victimize us, too.
Tearing into the idea that homeless people are criminals or drug addicts or have something else wrong with them, Randy cites numerous studies showing no such correlation.
“The biggest reason people become homeless in this country is economic,” he said. “It’s because of the lack of affordable housing. Years ago, there was more affordable and subsidized housing, but it’s been cut back. It’s getting wiped out by developers, especially in this area, where even people with fulltime jobs can’t afford the rent.”
He brings up another study that found it costs far more to keep people homeless than in housing–the estimate is it costs 10 times more to the taxpayer, due mainly to increased police and emergency services. Randy continues:
So they go on portraying the homeless as being deserving of this type of punishment and then charging the taxpayer for it, it’s ridiculous.
You know I talked about subsidized housing. The truth is they haven’t actually done away with it. Now they subsidize the rich instead of the poor. They just shift it. The whole emphasis is on shifting the cost onto the little guy and fattening the bank accounts of the few guys at the top.
That’s what the lawmakers, the politicians, the companies have been doing for decades, and they’re doing it to even a greater extent and getting better at it, and it’s putting the whole world in jeopardy, frankly.
- – - – - – - – - – - – - – - -
DESPITE THE tough conditions, Nickelsville in some ways feels like a welcome alternative to the ruthless inhumanity of capitalist society. The camp is run completely on volunteer labor, and all decisions and elected positions are voted on by residents. What meager resources Nickelodians have are often shared freely. In fact, the encampment is so well self-managed and peaceful that crime rates tend to fall in neighborhoods where it’s located.
In a letter in to the Port Commissioner, Nickelodeans emphasized that their camp stands in a long tradition:
Our Nickelsville community has resolved to take a stand on a historic piece of land. The Duwamish People have called it many things. One name was Yil-eq’-qud–where the horse clams are. People have lived where we are now for over 1,400 years. Within 30 years of the first settlers of European ancestry settling on this land, in the 1930s, squatters and shanty towns were here. That is how those people survived that depression.
Right now, Nickelsville is working frantically to build public and legal pressure against being forced to move yet again. The local Veterans for Peace Chapter 92 has been instrumental in Nickelsville’s legal campaign since the start. As VFP organizer Gerry Condon explained:
The number one reason we’re involved with Nickelsville is that 25 percent of the homeless nationwide are veterans. That percentage is roughly true for the people here at Nickelsville. People are sent off to fight very dubious imperialist wars, and with all this ra-ra, and politicians yelling support the troops, but then when they come back with PTSD and other serious problems, they’re basically thrown out, used and abused.
We also see billions of dollars being poured like there’s no tomorrow into the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and these illegal occupations. That money could be used here for affordable housing; for health care, including mental health care for the veterans; education; jobs. But when we start talking about social issues, like single-payer health care and stuff like that, suddenly there’s no money.
Something is way skewed. What we’re looking at really is a perpetual war of the rich against the poor, and Nickelsville is one front of that.
Not only do they need and deserve our support, but especially those who are organizing themselves, like the people at Nickelsville, can ultimately become the cutting edge of the struggle. They can really start to expose the gross inequality and racism and militarism of the U.S. government. So just being with them, letting them know they have support makes a big, big difference.
I was impressed and glad to see the number of different progressive organizations out here, so they obviously get it. I’m proud to be part of an organization that sees that, too.
What you can do
Please call or e-mail the Port of Seattle Director Tay Yoshitani and Port of Seattle Commissioners, and tell them to let the Nickelodeons stay and negotiate with them: CEO Tay Yoshitani, 206-728-3000; Commissioner Bill Bryant, 206-728-3034; Commissioner John Creighton, 206-728-3034; Commissioner Patricia Davis, 206-728-3034; Commissioner Lloyd Hara, 206-728-3034; Commissioner Gael Tarleton, 206-728-3034; Mayor Greg Nickels, 206-684-4000.
Donations are welcome. Supplies are needed, including nails, plywood, 2-by-4s, food and water. Nickelsville also has a need for used bicycles in good working condition to ride to and from bus stops.
Please drop bicycles and other supplies at the camp at Terminal Park T-107, 4700 West Marginal Way SW. To get there: take the #21 bus from 1st and Pine and get off at the Harbor Island Terminal. Walk one mile south on West Marginal Way.
You can make a tax-deductible monetary donation to help pay for cell phones and other expenses at the Veterans for Peace Chapter 92 Web site.
By order of the HU board of Directors-The Executive Director and the Deputy Director are hereby removed from their positions and the game plan have been changed.
Membership Alerts have been sent to 255 key communications points in the United States. They will in turn, contact the 9 million members.
At midnight the command will be temporarily relocated to Crystal Mountain, Wa.
Zero-housing-Zero-shelter and Zero-Governor
This morning’s ruling is just a start of new trouble. Eight homeless now file a new suit against the state for lack of help. Another group has armed themselves-just this morning. With no other place to turn, homeless are now headed to jail or simply die fighting. A recent deaths in the jungle, a greenbelt in Seattle, now has both advocates and homeless concerned.
By TIM KLASS
ASSOCIATED PRESS WRITER SEATTLE –
A federal judge on Thursday refused to block the eviction of Nickelsville, a homeless encampment named for Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels. U.S. District Judge Ricardo S. Martinez issued his decision on a court computer system. He adds that he’ll give his reasoning in a written order. About 70 residents have been ordered to leave an undeveloped lot owned by the state Transportation Department by 7 p.m. Thursday. Their lawyer, Robert S. Siegel, wrote that without an order blocking the eviction, their constitutional rights would be violated. Siegel and Assistant Attorney General Bryce E. Brown Jr. did not immediately return calls for comment. Nickelsville was established in September. It has moved to a number of sites since then.
Recently, the Governor of Washington-Christine Gregoire referred to “Nickelsville” residents as “mentally ill”. The “Butt Cricket” always talks out her ass. It is believed that she stopped key legislation that would make tent cities legal in Washington State if hosted by not-for-profit agencies or churches, yet she-herself has no solution or answers for housing or shelters! “Chirp-Chirp”
Recently, the organizers of Nickelsville filed suit against the state of Washington because the state wouldn’t make appropriate accommodations for them. Numerous attempts over the last year have ended in near tragedy.
Today, the homeless are not any closer to getting housing in Seattle, than they were ten years ago. In 2007, I was arrested for simply trying to sleep on WADOT property by Paula Hammonds.
In 2003, a plan was announced that fed the homeless with false hope-the ten year plan. In 2006, the plan was signed by the coalition, but today, there is no housing. Six years later, the Ten-Year Plan-now referred to as the ten-year debate, will live on in infamy as the Ten-Year Lie. Who should we blame?
Nearly two years ago, the person who promised that plan, Greg Nickels, pushed the homeless out of the city-in fact planned to criminalize those who sleep outside. To perpetuate this, he would first build a new jail.
After careful consideration, I am taking steps see that this doesn’t not happen to me again, or anyone else for that matter.
In one week, I will lead the homeless with several legal injunctions targeting the criminalization and restoration of civil liberties. The purpose of this is to re-establish a much larger Ten Year plan with a much shorter time frame.
July 22, 2009 at 3:48 pm
Another update just in from a spokesperson for the encampment that calls itself “Nickelsville,” currently set up on state-owned land along the eastern edge of West Seattle (2nd SW/Highland Park Way), and under orders to clear out by Thursday night:
Yesterday Attorneys Robert Siegel and Peggy Herman filed a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) in Federal District Court. Judge Richard Martinez said he will issue an order either today or tomorrow. He has decided not to hold a public hearing before issuing his decision.
If Judge Martinez grants the TRO request, Nickelsville will have up to 2 weeks before a second hearing. At a second hearing a permanent order might be granted. If Judge Martinez does not issue a Temporary Restraining Order, at 5:00 PM Thursday Nickelsville and arriving supporters will load-up vehicles and trucks, in which case Nickelsville has asked the State to allow up to 12 PM Friday for people who have chosen to leave to leave, and for people to be given the opportunity to move both their own and Nickelsville community property.
Nickelsville’s residents who commit to stay through the arrival of Police, should this happen, will not be verbally abusive or disrespectful to either those issuing the orders, or those carrying them out.
“It is our opinion that it is both wrong and illegal to remove this community from this permanent site without having another permanent site available. Contrary to some claims, no church or other property owner has offered Nickelsville a site to go to. It is true that a temporary site is not suitable for our community. Our goal is to survive and solve homelessness with this stable, functional alternative, and not suffer continual disruption.”
Seattle homeless camp asks court to block eviction Associated Press – July 22, 2009 12:25 PM ET
SEATTLE (AP) – A homeless encampment in Seattle has gone to court to try to block an eviction notice by the state.
The request for a temporary restraining order against the state Transportation Department was filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court by Veterans for Peace Greater Seattle, Chapter 22. That group and a number of individual plaintiffs represent about 70 residents of Nickelsville, a tent city named for Mayor Greg Nickels.
A lawyer for the state agency did not immediately return a telephone call for comment.
The encampment was established in September and has moved to various sites since then. It’s now at an undeveloped lot managed by the state agency in the city’s south end (at Second Avenue Southwest and West Marginal Way).
On Monday residents were offered social services and given three days to leave. Authorities say the tent city violates municipal health and safety codes.
Today’s the deadline that the homeless encampment calling itself “Nickelsville” — on the eastern edge of West Seattle — had been given to vacate. They had said they didn’t plan to do so without a permanent site to which they could move. Now the state has just issued a news release suggesting they’ll be evicted if they don’t leave:
The Washington State Department of Transportation today posted
a 72-hour notice to residents of a south Seattle homeless encampment
that they need to vacate a nearly 4-acre state-owned property at 2nd
Avenue Northwest and West Marginal Way in Seattle.
The encampment moved onto the WSDOT-owned property June 6. For the past
six weeks, the state has worked closely with King County, the City of
Seattle and both the Church Council of Greater Seattle and the Lutheran
Public Policy office of Washington State to develop a long-term solution
for the members of the encampment.
Paula Hammond, Washington Transportation Secretary, negotiated a
two-week extension with the Church Council of Greater Seattle for the
camp to leave the site by July 20, which organizers failed to abide by.
The City of Seattle notified WSDOT Monday, July
20, that the state, by allowing the encampment to continue at the site,
is in violation of city health and safety codes. As a result of the
violation, the encampment can no longer stay on WSDOT property.
“The state negotiated an ample timeframe for a more permanent solution
for the residents of the encampment, and we even extended the deadline
to give church council leaders more time,” said Paula Hammond. “While we
are sensitive to the issues relative to homelessness in our state, WSDOT
is not equipped to manage homeless encampments. We are governed by state
law on the use of our property, as well as city zoning requirements.”
While an agreement on a more permanent encampment is being negotiated, a
local church has offered its property as a temporary place to stay while
a long-term solution is developed.
During the last six weeks, staff at DSHS has coordinated outreach
efforts, and has visited the encampment on several occasions to assist
food banks, and offer help with employment placement and health care.
The site has been posted for a 72-hour notice to vacate
letter>. Social services are on site to help members move. Washington
State Patrol will become involved after Thursday evening if people
insist on remaining on the site.
ADDED 10 PM: Here’s the Nickelsville spokesperson’s version of the latest development:
Per the State of Washington, Nickelsville has 3 days (72 hours) until they must vacate their current location.
Governor Gregoire’s Senior Adviser, Ron Judd, visited the Nickelsville encampment at approximately 7 pm tonight. At that time he provided written and posted notice from State Secretary of Transportation, Paula Hammond, which permits Nickelsville 72 hours until they must vacate the site.
2 hours prior, at approximately 5pm, the City of Seattle visited the site and posted a notice directed to The State of Washington. That notice said the site must be cleared by 5pm on Tuesday 7/21, but appears to be nullified per the recent visit by Judd.
Public calls and emails continue into Gregoire’s office asking for an extension while Nickelsville and its supporters actively search for a permanent site. Nickelsville’s residents express gratitude for the 3 days notice, but are committed to staying at the current location unless an adequate permanent site becomes available. They call on friends, supporters and the public to stand-by-them at this time.
At 0500 this morning, the Strategic planning committee requested an alert for the Seattle area for the 33 former 1/45-82nd granted by the Board of Directors for hostilities targeting Nickelsville. VFBA went on alert at 00:01 am this morning. Former Deltas were placed on alert last week for the purposes of monitoring communications between the city of Seattle and the State.
Police arrive at the ‘Nickelsville’ homeless camp in South Seattle.
Story Updated: May 22, 2009 at 1:01 PM PDT
By KOMO Staff
SEATTLE — 23 people arrested for trespassing during a Sept. 2008 police raid on a homeless encampment in West Seattle known as “Nickelsville” will have their cases dismissed.
Seattle City Attorney Tom Carr says it would take too many resources for the city to prosecute each person.
Twenty two of the tent city’s residents and the organizer were taken into custody on Sept. 28 after they defied orders to leave their encampment, which was then on city property owned by the Seattle Department of Transportation. The 23 were released after processing.
Carr says it was the SDOT that requested the cases be dropped.
“Nickelsville” is a homeless encampment that is known for its pink tents and was given the name as jab at Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels, who the residents said didn’t do enough about the plight of the homeless.
The camp has since moved to several locations around Seattle and is currently set up in a church parking lot in the Bryn Mawr area of South Seattle.
Welcome to Infoshop News
Sunday, December 28 2008 @ 08:04 PM CST
Opening of Seattle’s first public squat
Sunday, December 28 2008 @ 04:45 AM CST
Contributed by: Anonymous
Housing On January 1st, 2009, a new squat will be opening up in Seattle. A rally of homeless residents from the U-District’s Tent City, which the community simply calls “Nickelsville” after Seattle’s Mayor Greg Nickels, will have live music and speakers giving talks on the need for free housing for the homeless and impoverished.
At 12:30 in the afternoon, residents and supporters of Nickelsville will gather to discuss their situation, and at 2:30 all will march to the house we intend on expropriating. As a group we will clean up the house, stuff it full of food and goodies, and secure it for our own use.
The rally is being held on the corner of 15th and 45th at the Tent City at 12:30 in the afternoon on Jan. 1st. Please bring signs pertaining to housing rights, squatting, anti-capitalism, and direct action. Bring noise makers and bring friends!
For contact info in the Seattle area please call:
(206) 850 9626
by ■ Carol Forsloff
What is the ultimate human love? Giving to others during times of personal travail is likely a topper. A good example is what Brenden Foster did when he knew he was dying.
The ability to love without qualification that takes most of us a lifetime to learn, is sometimes expressed in the wishes of dying children. Children whose last wish is to do something for others are remarkable souls who can teach us all the true meaning of Christmas.
Brenden Foster died in November 2008. He had been a happy and healthy child who loved to play sports and be with his friends. But he developed leukemia and was unable to do the things he loved to do. One day, following a trip to his doctor, Brenden saw a camp for the homeless called Nickelsville. He worried about the people there and whether or not they had enough to eat. So Brenden decided to launch a program for feeding the homeless people at the camp. The idea spread throughout the town of Lynnwood, Washington, where Brenden lived. The 11-year-old Brenden, in the meantime, became too weak from his illness to follow through with his plan, so the townspeople did it in his honor. Brenden’s last wish before he died was to be an angel to continue to look out for other people. The Daily Good wrote Brenden’s story, a story that touches the heart at the holidays, and especially on the night of Jesus’ birth when we think of the sacrifice one man made for others hundreds of years ago.
There are other stories of children who have made unselfish wishes. A child in Alexandria, Louisiana is reported to be dying and contacted “Make a Wish” to ask the foundation to build a park for children to play. A young girl asks that help be given children in an orphanage.
grants the wish of a dying youngster every 41 minutes. A visit to the website will bring your heart to full attention if you read the wishes of those listed there.
While you prepare to open gifts at Christmas and wonder if your Christmas wishes have come true, please join me in thinking of the children whose hearts are open and who are those whom the Christ asked us to be like most, the children who think of others or wish only for the simple things as we continue to enjoy life that they are losing young.
A group of homeless people and their advocates are spending the night at City Hall while asking the city to reform the way it treats people with nowhere to live.
Dozens of people are participating in the “Night of Mercy” which also features giveaways of clothing, sleeping bags and other items to the homeless.
This is at least the fourth time activists have put on such events. The last time was in June.
Since then, the city has seen several controversies related to homelessness including the establishment of Nickelsville, a tent city that the city has repeatedly tried to shut down.
Advocates complain there aren’t enough warm and safe places for homeless people to go in Seattle. The city disputes that.
“The reason we’re down here is we need to be treated more like human beings,” said Robert Hansen, 58, who’s been homeless for five years.
The tent city known as Nickelsville will likely move to a new church in Seattle’s University District as early as next week. But the camp will continue to run without authorization from the city. KUOW’s Sara Lerner reports.
UNIVERSITY CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH LEADERS APPLIED FOR PERMITS TUESDAY TO TEMPORARILY HOST THE HOMELESS CAMP. IT’S KNOWN AS NICKELSVILLE BECAUSE CAMP ORGANIZERS NAMED IT SUCH AS A CRITICISM TO THE MAYOR’S POLICIES ON HOMELESSNESS. REVEREND JIM WHITE IS ALSO CRITICAL OF THE CITY. HE DOESN’T KNOW IF THE PERMITS WILL BE GRANTED, BUT HE SAYS THEY OUGHT TO BE.
WHITE: “I would think that the city would just love it to help us meet the needs of the people. Goodness gracious we save the taxpayers thousands and thousands of dollars because we protect the people and the rules that are in place in the encampement. I just think it’s a win win for the city if they wanna help us make that win possible.”
ALCOHOL, DRUGS, AND FIGHTING ARE PROHIBITED FOR CAMP RESIDENTS. WHITE SAYS THOSE RESTRICTIONS KEEP THIS HOMELESS POPULATION OFF THE STREETS, AND THEY PROTECT THE SURROUNDING COMMUNITY. BRYAN STEVENS IS WITH SEATTLE’S DEPARTMENT OF PLANNING AND DEVELOPMENT. HE SAYS HE GETS ALL THAT. BUT THERE’S MORE TO THE STORY.
STEVENS: “I understand that providing shelter for homeless is a great thing but the reality is we’ve got folks and other businesses in the area that you’ve got to think about. And camping in the city is illegal. So if we’re going to allow it, we have to maek sure the impacts of that are mitigated properly.”
BY THAT, HE MEANS KEEPING THE CAMP CLEAN AND QUIET. STEVENS DOESN’T SAY THE CITY WOULD DENY THE PERMITS. BUT THIS TYPE OF TEMPORARY PERMIT HAS NEVER BEEN GRANTED IN SEATTLE. AND STEVENS SAYS THE CHURCH WHERE THE HOMELESS CAMP IS NOW, UNIVERSITY CHRISTIAN, MAY FACE STEEP FINES FOR HOSTING THE CAMP ILLEGALLY. THOSE FINES CAN GO AS HIGH AS FIVE HUNDRED DOLLARS PER DAY – AND THE CAMP’S ALREADY BEEN THERE FOR TWO MONTHS.
EVEN IF THE CITY WERE TO GRANT THE PERMITS, IT WOULD TAKE WEEKS. AND THE HOMELESS CAMP IS SLATED TO MOVE AS EARLY AS NEXT WEEK. DESPITE THEIR DIFFERENCES, CONGREGATION CHURCH LEADERS SAY THE CITY WAS HELPFUL AND PROVIDED ASSISTANCE AS THEY PREPARED THE PERMIT APPLICATIONS.
FOR KUOW NEWS, I’M SARA LERNER.
Eight hundred new faces and more on the way thanks to the Homeless Underground. We also note that homelessness increased another 11% naturally, now the problem just got bigger. Crime is expected to increase. Ask the Mayor why?
Mayor Greg Nickels
Buses left Chicago, Nashville, New York yesterday at 12 pm central time. 22 buses with 44 passengers each to HU staging areas in 5 states as the major portion of Operation Inundation began in support for Nickelsville. There are twenty-nine staging areas in six states and volunteers driving Vans, SUV’s and large cars will transport those to Seattle.
This Response is posted on TWUSEA Website:
For Immediate Release
Issued: 17 OCTOBER, 2008.
Released: 18 OCTOBER, 2008.
SUBJECT: NICKELSVILLE AND APPLICATION OF THE CONSENT DECREE; NULLABLITY OF THE CONSENT DECREE FOR THE LACK OF GOOD FAITH BY THE CITY.
FACTS OBTAINED BY THE HOMELESS UNDERGROUND; THIS WAY UP, SEATTLE AND THE VETERANS FOR A BETTER AMERICA.
WE RECOGNIZE THE FOLLOWING FACTS OF RECORD:
1. THE CITY ENTERED IN AN AGREEMENT BY AND BETWEEN SHARE AND WHEEL TO ALLOW THE DEVELOPMENT OF TENT CITY 3 IN A LAWSUIT FILED BY PROPONENTS SUPPORTING THE FORMATION OF TENT CITIES FOR THE HOMELESS BY ATTORNEYS FOR EL CENTRO DE LA RAZA V. CITY OF SEATTLE FOR SHARE WHEEL.
2. THAT SINCE THE ORDAINMENT OF THAT UNION, THE UNION HAS BECOME TAINTED BY THE CITY OF SEATTLE WHOM FREQUENTLY, CONSISTENTLY AND VEHEMENTLY VIOLATED THE GOOD FAITH CLAUSES BY PROMULGATING ATTACKS ON THE HOMELESS AT LARGE, THROUGH THE APPLICATION OF LAWS THAT SPECIFICALLY TARGET HOMELESS FOR ARREST; THEIR FAILING TO RECOGNIZE THE GUARANTEES OF CIVIL LIBERTIES OF VETERANS AND AMERICANS UNDER THEIR CHARGE; AND, FAILING TO PROTECT AMERICA’S MOST VULNERABLE THROUGH CONTINUED SUPPORT OF SHARE WHEEL IN THEIR CONTINUING EFFORTS BY REDUCING AND DIMINISHING FUNDS FOR THAT AGENCY AND WHILE PROMOTING OTHER AGENCIES.
3. THE ADMINISTRATION OF AN ATTRITION CAMPAIGN THAT SOLELY TARGETED SHARE WHEEL, IT’S HOMELESS PARTICIPANTS AS A FORM OF MEANNESS BY THE CHIEF CITY ADMINISTRATOR, MAYOR OF SEATTLE, GREG NICKELS WHOM HAS DEMONSTRATED CONTEMPT FOR THE HOMELESS AT LARGE FOR THE LAST EIGHT YEARS.
4. THE FAILURE OF CITY TO DEVELOP SHELTERS, ADEQUATE OUTREACH, EDUCATION FOR THOSE WHO HAVE FAILED TO RECOGNIZE THE NECESSITY FOR THOSE SERVICES.
5. INCONSISTENCY AS TO RECOGNIZE THE VALIDITY AND NECESSITY OF THE DEVELOPMENT OF TENT CITIES PRIMA-FACIE THE DEVELOPMENT OF SHELTERS WHICH SAVES THE CITY OF SEATTLE MILLIONS OF DOLLARS ANNUALLY.
6. THE MAYOR OF SEATTLE ABUSED HIS POWERS OF OFFICE AS THE VICE PRESIDENT OF THE U.S. MAYORS COUNCIL IN ACCELERATING, CONSPIRING TO, URGING OTHER CITIES TO ENGAGE IN THE DIMINUTION OF SHELTER DEVELOPMENT, TENT ENCAMPMENT SWEEPS FOR THE PURPOSE OF PROMOTING THE NEEDS OF OTHER IN THE CITY(S) IN KING COUNTY, WASHINGTON STATE AND THE UNITED STATES.
WE DEMAND THE RESIGNATION OF THE MAYOR OF THE CITY OF SEATTLE, DEPUTY MAYOR OF SEATTLE, HUMAN SERVICES DIRECTOR AND THE DEPUTY HUMAN SERVICES DIRECTOR IMMEDIATELY.
TWUSEA BOARD OF DIRECTORS
BOARD OF DIRECTORS FOR THE NATIONAL HOMELESS UNDERGROUND
AEGIAN BOARD FOR VETERANS FOR A BETTER AMERICA
Seattle tent sites ordered to merge
The city has issued an ultimatum to the organizers of the homeless encampment known as “Nickelsville”: consolidate it with another tent city in Seattle or face legal consequences.
In the letter served on homeless advocates Thursday, authorities accused them of using Nickelsville, now at the University Christian Church, to violate the long-standing court agreement about homeless encampments within the city limits.
Under the agreement signed about six years ago, an organization called SHARE/WHEEL said it would sponsor only one tent city within city limits. That tent city is now at Haller Lake Methodist Church in North Seattle.
But the city said in the letter that SHARE/WHEEL is behind Nickelsville and added that the advocates need to choose one site by the end of the day Saturday.
If they don’t, then the city could ask a judge to declare the court agreement void and both encampments illegal.
Homeless advocates say Nickelsville was founded by a different organization and is necessary because there isn’t enough space in shelters or the authorized tent city.
Nickelsville also shouldn’t be considered a tent city because advocates are actually looking for space to build permanent housing for up to 1,000 homeless people, spokesman Aaron Colyer said.
In a separate notice posted at Nickelsville, the city said the church was violating city rules by hosting the encampment. The notice said the church needed to have Nickelsville removed or obtain a permit by the end of the month, or risk being fined hundreds of dollars per day.
A spokesman with the city Department of Planning and Development said that authorities would be open to the possibility of Nickelsville moving inside the church.
“We respect the church’s need to perform its ministry. The city has been a strong advocate of finding a way to end homelessness,” spokesman Alan Justad said.
“If they want to meet with us about being inside the church, we’re ready to meet.”
A worker at University Christian Church, whose parking lot Nickelsville currently calls home, said the church’s pastor was unavailable.
The pastor did not return an e-mail seeking comment.
Nickelsville, which now has about 90 residents, began last month in West Seattle as a protest against Mayor Greg Nickels’ policies toward the homeless, which advocates say are oppressive and unfair.
Since then it has been forced to move three times. It moved first to nearby state property, then to Discovery Park and finally to the University District.
Dozens of pink tents filled the encampment Friday where residents were busy picking up trash and cooking food.
A few said they would move if the church asked them to, but they railed against city officials.
“Homelessness does not discriminate,” said Robert Brenot, who has lived in Nickelsville since its inception.
“You could be here, too, one day. We want to be treated like human beings.”
P-I reporter Moises Mendoza can be reached at 206-448-8247 or email@example.com.
SEATTLE — The city is again taking aim at the homeless encampment that calls itself Nickelsville.
The camp, which has moved several times over the last few weeks, is currently located at the University Christian Church after being kicked out of Discover Park.
On Thursday night, the city posted a notice telling the camp to move within two days and that the church could face hefty fines if the camp remains.
“The city more or less leaves us alone, but they’re gonna have somebody else, especially the church, do their dirty work for them,” said Andrew Kunda, who lives in the camp.
The notice from the city said the church was violating a land use code by allowing the homeless to set up camp on its property.