Today, some residents of Dignity Village decided to go to the site offered by the city of Portland, at 33rd NE and Sunderland. Others are staying with supporters, and yet others have plans of their own. As of this evening the site at 17th and Savvier has been vacated and cleaned.
Although the Sunderland site was deemed grossly inadequate by many, the city made it clear that any other move, or remaining at their current site, would be met by a police sweep.
Sgt. Power [of the Portland Police Dept.] said today that he would provide trucks and buses to move people rather than arrest them. About 20 villagers took him up on it, and two City-provided U-hauls, along with many supporters' vehicles, were used to haul the villager's belongings to Sunderland throughout the day. More villagers are expected to join the initial 20.
street roots, Dignity's parent organization, stated that those villagers who went to Sunderland would be, by legal necessity, officially considered Dignity Village. However, villagers have expressed solidarity with one another regardless where they have gone for the time being.
We would like to take this chance to give huge thanks all the supporters who came out to help, and those who placed calls to the mayor and governor! We are also very thankful for the people from the City Bureau of Maintenance for being so helpful and flexible with the move (they even got us pizza!), and thankful to the Portland Police for handling the situation calmly and helpfully.
We still have a lot of work to do at the Sunderland site. There will be a work party at the new site, this Sunday starting at 10:00 a.m., Sept. 9th, to make the Sunderland site livable for the next 60 days. We would like to thank City Repair for spearheading the work party. All supporters are invited to show up for the work party, and we will be having a pot luck later that day at 1 PM. People are welcome to come to either or both events! A street map showing the new locations can be found at our web site: www.outofthedoorways.org, and we will post clearer directions soon.
Some of the things needed for the site include pallets and plywood, which we will use to set tents up on in response to water drainage issue on the site. City Repair also has a plan to place collected doors and windows along the fence, propped up by 2 by 4's, as a wind break. Anyone who has access to any of the materials mentioned, or others you think might be useful, should contact John Hubris at 503 296-7747 or email@example.com.
Some of the supplies the villagers have requested at this point include: lots of strong nylon rope to tie the tents down (they cannot be staked in the asphalt); propane for cooking; bus tickets or car rides to get them to and from downtown; books, games and cards to keep campers entertained in the middle of nowhere; non-perishable food items including coffee and sugar; towels for bathing; cellphone donations; solar showers; bicycles to go to the grocery store several miles away; camping lanterns. The villagers always appreciate visits too, for moral support!