Denver police have destroyed a “homeless village”, which was constructed by activists over the weekend in the city’s Sustainability Park. Ten people were arrested.
Activists with Denver Homeless Out Loud had constructed “tiny homes” for the village it had hoped would be occupied and managed by homeless people.
On Saturday, the group had posted photos online of activists building the homes with captions that read, “Today hundreds of people came out to Sustainability Park in the Curtis Park neighborhood of Denver to build a tiny home village where three urban farms are being displaced to build an apartment development.”
The group also released a statement which read in part, “In explaining why they had chosen this site on which to establish the village, the group recounted how the Denver Housing Authority, which owns the property, has torn down hundreds of low-income housing units, and after allowing the Urban Farming Cooperative to use the land for a few years, has agreed this year to sell the land to a private developer, who will build multifamily housing that will support gentrification in Curtis Park but be far beyond the reach of those for whom the Denver Housing Authority is supposed to exist.”
On Sunday the Denver Housing Authority filed a complaint with police, after activists did not respond to a request to leave the park.
The police moved in, destroying the buildings and arresting activists. Police spokesman Tyrone Campbell says police gave the group several orders to disperse before making the arrests. Those arrested were charged with illegal trespassing.
In response to the arrests, activists issued a media statement saying, “We will not give up! We will keep fighting to defend people’s right to housing. Denver Public Works destroyed, threw into dump trucks, and carted away the homes that had been so badly needed by houseless people and so lovingly constructed by those who would have lived there and their supporters.”