Last night, just before Tuesday’s City Council meeting, homeless advocates delivered a stinker of a message to City Hall: a porta potty.
Just before 5 p.m., a giant truck pulled onto downtown’s City Hall grounds and dumped a disabled-user size portable toilet on the western edge of the plaza.
And so it began: Local homeless advocates occupation of City Hall grounds.
James Clark, who goes by the name “Faygo,” explained to SN&R that the occupation was in protest of city policies toward homeless people. Specifically including what he called the city’s “anti-camping ordinance,” which disallows people to camp, rest, or be in possession of camping paraphernalia in public places—or even in someone’s private yard.
In 2014, police issued 1,030 citations for illegal camping.
The protesters also cited the lack of public restrooms for homeless people, and the lack of public drinking-water sources, as issues.
After what he called a well-attended Community Dinner Project meal—homeless advocates serve free meals on Tuesday nights before council at City Hall—Clark said 14 protesters slept on the grounds last night, on a muddy lawn near Ninth Street. They’d planned to sleep in the actual plaza, but were told at 11 p.m. that they’d be charged with trespassing if they remained in the actual plaza that faces City Hall, which is called Sa Cumne Plaza.
Activists say they intend to occupy the grounds until the city repeals its anti-camping ordinance.
If they do stay, they’ll have to find another place to relieve themselves: Police removed the occupiers porta-potty on Wednesday morning just before noon. Protesters never got a permit for it. Here’s a video: