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Aug 22, 22

Medford, OR: Protest Against Ongoing Police Harassment of the Unhoused

Report from Medford, Oregon about a recent protest against police harassment of the unhoused.

On Thursday August 18th, activists dropped a banner at the Medford Farmers Market in effort to stop ongoing sweeps of the unhoused. In so-called Medford, Oregon, there has been an ongoing fight for over two years against the cruel and inhumane displacements and criminalization of folks on the streets. The city of Medford waged war on the unhoused with an ordinance that banned the use of a tent on public property and carries a penalty of a Class C misdemeanor, punishable by up to 30 days in jail and a $500 fine.

This ordinance has pushed people off the greenway, the place where most of the unhoused population resided, and into downtown areas. This action was to raise awareness of the way the market’s presence is directly linked to increased harassment and displacement of the unhoused. Early Thursday mornings, police show up to Hawthorne park and order people to move. Sometimes taking their belongings. They run names and arrest folks for crimes of poverty, for things like “failure to appear in court” for illegal camping tickets.

We know this from regular monitoring, watching the intersections up close and listening to unhoused folks. We know that sweeps are violence, we’ve seen the impacts of it for years. People’s health and well being is destroyed by the impact of cops taking their belongings, forcing them to constantly move and carry everything they own with them all the time; even in extreme weather. Not being allowed to use a tent or tarp to protect themselves from the elements, makes surviving impossible for many. When we are buying kale, we don’t need pigs to monitor us or our friends on the streets.

So we have one message…Stop the sweeps! From Hawthorne Park, to Echo Park, to the Atlanta forest…Cops need to stay the fuck out of public parks!

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