SEATTLE – The Seattle Peoples Party, along with Seattle DSA, Socialist Alternative Seattle, and community members, condemn the sweep of the Ravenna Woods encampment, scheduled for morning of April 17, 2018. The Peoples Party stands with residents of the camp in resisting the third sweep of their encampment in five months, which is taking place on public land.
According to the 2017 Point-in-Time count, there are 11,643 people without housing in King County. We are well into the third year of the county and city’s state of emergency on the homeless crisis, with no end in sight and no solutions on the table. Both city and county leaders have failed to provide adequate funding to address the emergency, and yet are able to find the money to conduct sweeps of human beings with nowhere else to go.
Sweeps hurt the most vulnerable in Seattle, disproportionately affecting people of color and especially Black and disabled people, who make up an outsized portion of the houseless and unsheltered population in Seattle. Moreover, fifty percent of houseless individuals self-identify as having a disability, yet both shelters and the coordinated entry system are completely inaccessible to the needs of disabled people. There are inadequate options for families, youth, and LGBTQ people who are often denied access at shelters. This crisis is a direct result of political decision made by establishment politicians, which have led to accelerating gentrification and the displacement of black and brown families and poor people. Mayor Durkan’s response to this crisis has been cutting funding for shelters and services such as feminine hygiene.
This is the fourth sweep of the Ravenna Woods encampment, and there is nowhere for the residents to go. Please stand with us in defending our neighbor’s human rights and dignity.