This is a press release put out by Near North camp residents and supporters.
For Immediate Release
Contact: Near North Signal Boost
Phone: (904) 844 0976
Camp resident available for media contact: Ceepo
ENCAMPMENT IN NORTH MINNEAPOLIS THREATENED WITH DESTRUCTION BY THE CITY ON FEBRUARY 26th
Minneapolis, MN, 2020 February 10 – One week ago, a director within the Office of Community Planning and Economic Development, Erik Hansen, placed notices of demolition on the tents of structures of houseless residents living on formerly vacant land, ordering this community to leave their homes with nowhere suitable to go during dangerously cold temperatures. The current standing is the threat of eviction has moved to February 26th due to concern for police personnel to be participating during subzero degree weather.
Near North is an unhoused community of mostly Black and Indigenous people. They came together over the historic summer of 2020, and lived in Powderhorn before the Minneapolis Parks and Recreation Board ordered that encampment closed, and then at the permitted BF Nelson encampment until the parks board arbitrarily forced that to close in late October. The board had callously instructed its police to destroy multiple encampments, and the demolitions were done with violence and cruelty, so the residents chose to move on. They found city-owned, vacant, non-Park land in Near North, in the Harrison neighborhood. Shortly after moving there, the city of Minneapolis began putting up notices warning of as “contaminants in the soil”, although the city had never labeled nor fenced off the area before, so kids and pets were known to play there. As of January all of the Near North residents were able to move to a city owned plot away from the contaminated ground.
The notices put up by director Hansen on shelters and other structures threatened the entire camp removal this coming Friday, February 12th. The reasons for clearing, “safety concerns” and “deteriorating conditions,” contradict the reality of a community that has stayed warm, fed, and safe, thanks to the diligent mutual aid efforts of residents and supporters of the encampment in North Minneapolis.
The demands of the Near North camp are that the city of Minneapolis permanently end threats of removal and destruction. The Near North residents further demand that the city sell the currently occupied plot of land to the unhoused people residing there. The goal of owning the plot is to start building a space that can be used as housing for all the residents, and as a base of operations for continued mutual aid, job training, and community building.
If tangible action is not taken by public servants to protect their constituents against the violence of being displaced, and to support their demands, then our communities have every right to be concerned about the intentions and future decisions made by our government.
Contact your government officials:
Names and contact information for city officials who have the ability to end the threats against the camp, and meet the demands of the Near North encampment:
- Erik Hansen, Director of Economic Policy & Development, CPED, who put the threats up: Office phone 612 673-5159 / email firstname.lastname@example.org
- Andrea Brennan, Interim Director, Community Planning and Economic Development (Mr. Hansen's superior) 612 673-5128
- Beth Grosen, City of Minneapolis Department of Community Planning and Economic Development, (612) 673-5079 or email@example.com — first known CPED employee to visit the lot, she made arbitrary verbal declarations about what boundaries it had to be within, with which the camp complied.
- Community Planning and Economic Development general office number: 612 673 5095
- Community Planning and Economic Development fax number: 612 673 5100
- Jacob Frey, Mayor: 612 673 2100
Support the Near North encampment residents as they continue to take care of themselves and others:
Direct support to some residents:
Support through the Minneapolis Northside Mutual Aid fund:
(support here is tax deductible courtesy the Open Collective Foundation)
Or on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/nearnorth
Building fund: JoJo Miller’s Homeless out there fighting for the homeless
Public interested in ways to supporting this defense and the effort to gain stable housing can contact the camp at (904) 844-0976 or firstname.lastname@example.org