On Nov. 1 there was a Seattle City Council budget hearing at City Hall. There was also an overnight protest to stop the sweeps. Midnight that night marked the two-year anniversary of the State of Emergency of Homelessness.
There was overflow at City Hall on this day for public comment. There were about 150 or more testifying on one thing: Stop the sweeps. It was amazing to see how many people who have been swept or not and people who work and live in the city of Seattle who agree that sweeping people is not the solution to getting more housing.
During the overnight, people set up tents in the courtyard. They also had it set up for people to get on stage to speak and perform and there were amazing artists as well. There were 55 tents outside, set up by people who are homeless and also people who are in housing, which is amazing to see.
In City Hall in the last few minutes of testimonies, there was a band roaming from outside in City Hall’s courtyard playing their way up to City Hall’s lobby. That has never happened before in my experience.
They were amazing people, dancing and chanting, “Stop the sweeps!”
After that, it was winding-down time. There were workshops for people who were staying. The cops came around midnight then City
Councilmember Kshama Sawant talked to the cops and let us stay over. The people that wanted to stay over knew there were risks of getting arrested, which didn’t happen.
I am grateful for the people who slept over at City Hall. It means a lot from a person that has returned to homelessness. Thanks to all the people that helped with the Night Out, especially the Housing for All Coalition and your wonderful volunteers.
Lisa Sawyer | Real Change
Vendor and Volunteer
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