Shortly before Christmas, on the shortest day of the year, as winter storms racked the nation, the City of Minneapolis announced an eviction date for the last major encampment not already forced off city-owned, unused public land. It is tomorrow, Wednesday, December 28th.
People living at the Quarry encampment have called for defense, and the wider community has responded. (The Twin Cities Workers Defense Alliance is posting this event listing to provide publicly-available information about the defense, but is not coordinating it in any fashion.)
When we have more good people than cops show up, the city backs off from their enforcement of the structural violence of capitalism.
If you cannot make it, one way to support is by calling officials so they know people on the ground are not isolated.
The National Lawyers Guild hotline will be active during this attack: 612-444-2654
People are routinely arrested even when not standing in defense (but only trying to help) so everyone should have this number written down and with them.
During events where people will be known to be at risk, NLG coordinates with Minnesota Freedom Fund when there are arrests.
The MFF has its own number, 612-217-4442, if people need bail funds the MFF number should be called directly.
But when there are arrests during NLG-monitored events the hotline (612-444-2654) can be used first.
Mayor Jacob Frey, the very personification of neoliberalism's need to slather an obfuscating ooze over cruelties that few can look at directly, has told media that there are ten "warm" shelter beds for the "ten remaining residents".
Perhaps the beds are warm because ten people were just pushed out of them to make the numbers for this PR stunt.
The city's census is off; there are more than ten people there.
But whether there are enough temporary shelter beds or not is entirely beside the point.
If sub-zero temperatures and 50mph winds do not drive people to use the resources allegedly provided, the next step is not military destruction of outside survival shelters people have built for themselves.
The next step (in a society with any respect for freedom, any sense of justice, or any common sense) would be to provide acceptable housing— or to grant people legal rights to the land, so they can build (what is evidently superior to government offerings) in peace and safety.
A note on 'shelters'
The temporary shelters prominently promoted as resources when encampments are destroyed are a sham. In the context of destroying homeless encampments, mentioning them serves only to confuse liberals into giving petty cruel reactionary tyrants the benefit of the doubt.
1) There are not enough beds, for every shelter bed there are around 12 unhoused people, so calling is kind of useless.
2) If you call, and they have no beds, they just hang up, there are no other options. City officials often cite the number of beds that end up unused on a given night, but during the time that people are allowed to call and ask for space, none is available. Only a fool would give up their tent or self-built structure to go through that every night.
3) Shelters have rampant theft, violence, and assault due to underfunding and understaffing, and the organizations and workers participating in this system not caring.
4) If you are not sober, you are excluded from most shelters.
5) You cannot bring possessions in with you, so going to a shelter to sleep means you could return to your outdoor spot tomorrow and everything is gone.
6) Regular shelters don't allow pets, children, or to keep family together, so you would have to split up, which most people are rightly unwilling to do.
(Unlike most homeless shelters, disaster emergency shelters now allow pets in many cases. People aren't willing to give up their pets, which is all they may have left after they've lost everything in a natural disaster. The same is true for people who are still holding onto loved ones, or even only personal property, after suffering the disaster of capitalism.)