Hands off Fallout Camp! Stop the Sweep!

Hands off Fallout Camp! Stop the Sweep!

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Fallout Camp started this petition to Portland Parks & Recreation Department

For most of the last year members of the PDX Houseless Radicals Collective have been camping in the woods on Kelly Butte in SE Portland. We wanted an alternative to camping on city streets where home and business  owners consider it a nuisance and cause the city to sweep us. Living in fear of sweeps all of the time is bad for a person's mental health. Often the conditions in the camps on city streets can cause serious health problems. We had heard city officials and citizens alike state that people camping in our of the way places and maintaining their campsight by removing garbage and human waste could be a solution to the issues around urban camping. 


With support from the community we have our trash picked up twice a week. We have camping toilets which use chemicals that we take to a proper black water dump station every week as needed. We have done regular clean ups in the park itself several times picking up litter and bringing it to the dump. We also do mutual aid in the community, passing out things to our houseless neighbors, exchanging needles and serving food regularly. We are able to do all this through donations we receive from the community and other mutual aid groups around the city, who also help support our camp with its needs- keeping us from having to panhandle or hold signs on the off-ramp. People help us, enabling us to do what we do and help other people.


Last year shortly after setting up our camp the Parks Department asked us to leave. We tried to reason with them explaining why it was better for everyone that we remain. For whatever reason they then left us alone for six months. However, we were eventually forced to leave by Park Rangers and PPB over fire concerns during the dry season, even though the fire department had inspected the camp and told us that the measures we had taken (such as placement of fire extinguishers) were enough to keep us and the park safe from fires. We spent several months camped on the I205 bike path, still doing mutual aid in the community. We were again subjected to sweeps and one collective member grew very ill with infections and had to be hospitalized. They nearly died. Just over a month ago we decided to move back to our camp on Kelly Butte.


Since moving back, Park Rangers and police have shown up and given us until this Tuesday, February 22nd, for us and all of our stuff to be gone, or face arrest and have our things taken to the dump. We believe anyone would see the situation as extremely backwards and hypocritical. We are far away from any roads- the latest concern used as an excuse to further criminalize houseless people. We’re sustainable, low-impact, and helping others with mutual aid and harm reduction. Citizens and city leaders have expressed that what we are doing is a good solution- at least until the apparently long and expensive process of finding a permanent solution is over. 


We call upon the community to support us in our time of need! Tell the Parks & Recreation department: Hands off Fallout Camp! Stop the Sweep!


Questions/Media Inquiries: falloutcamp@protonmail.com

Website: www.pdxhrc.org

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