In a dramatic show in Portland Oregon this past Tuesday, a group of activists descended on Portland City Hall carrying pitchforks and torches protesting the city’s mistreatment of its homeless population.
Organizer Jessie Sponberg says the protests are designed to “shame the mayor into action.”
According to Al Jazeera America:
[box type=”shadow”]The city government has come under fire in recent months for enforcing an ordinance that prohibits camping on public property, which critics say unfairly targets the homeless.
A 2013 city count found nearly 1,900 individuals in the Portland metropolitan area to be homeless and unsheltered, a 10 percent increase from 2011.[/box]
Tactics for moving the homeless off the streets, such as “sweeping” encampments, often make the situation for people much worse. Their few possessions, which include warm blankets and clothing, often get discarded by the police.
Activists have continually spoken out against the extreme measures. But the advocacy group “Film the Police Portland” took their protest to the next level, showing up at City Hall waving pitchforks and torches – even turning the surrounding gardens into a cemetery scene symbolizing the number of homeless people who have frozen to death.