Why has America’s response to ‘Tent Cities’ been to send in the police who slash up the tents?

by on March 17, 2009 · 1 comment

in Homelessness

Before the raid - Sacramento Tent City along California River on Union Pacific land.

Sacramento “Tent City” Closed Down by Police; St. Petersberg Police Slash Tents

Why is it that our society’s response to the tent cities that have sprung up of late been to send in the police who roust the inhabitants and slash up the tents?

Just recently, the Tent City that had been set up in Sacramento was raided by police without warning and  hundreds of occupants were immediately forced out under threat of arrest. (See video here.)

After 3 months, the “Bush-ville” that had arisen next to the California River on Union Pacific Railroad property, was reported to hold up to 1200 jobless and homeless residents.

The raid was so sudden that some families left their goods, including shelves of food. Businesses and local residents had complained to the city.  Apparently, Sacramento’s response was to send in the police to remove the occupants.

One local lawyer complained that by having the police remove people who were campers, meant that they were removed with taxpayers’ money, used to enforce Union Pacific’s interests.

Ontario, California police raided a city-sanctioned tent city and forced everyone to wear colored-coded wristbands depending on their status. Many were forced to leave.  Those allowed to stay were fenced-in.

There’s other horror stories.  In St. Petersberg, Florida, police were sent in to remove occupants of a small tent site,  and to cut and slice up the tents.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

lane tobias March 18, 2009 at 8:20 am

as if its not hard enough for these people already.


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