City of Boulder continues homeless sweeps

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Occupy Boulder President Amos Washington Jr.
Emma Athena

On the morning of Friday, Aug. 28, the City of Boulder cleared the encampment in the Sister City Plaza in front of the Municipal Building, what some called Occupy Boulder.

Residents of the encampment told Boulder Weekly they were awoken before dawn by lights shining into their tents and yells of “Boulder PD.” Several folks said they are epileptic and the flashing lights almost caused seizures.

According to Homeless Outreach Team (HOT) police officer Ross Maynard, officials began clearing the encampment at 4:40 a.m. in an effort to preempt Occupy Boulder supporters and advocates’ “security forces,” who were expected to show up later that morning. The City had previously issued an eviction notice announcing a clean-up on Aug. 18, but that effort was met with a protest and march in support of the encampment (see “An incomplete picture,” News, Aug. 27). “There’s a lot of political will right now behind clearing encampments,” Maynard told BW.

About 20 people were moved from Sister City Plaza according to a City press release. Six people were connected to Coordinated Entry to receive services, while others were transported to the Boulder Shelter for the Homeless. “All personal property that people wanted to keep but could not move is being stored for their safekeeping and eventual return,” the release stated.

The removals were part of a larger effort to clear urban campsites that have popped up around the City since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic. The City says it will continue its efforts, as many moved to Central Park and elsewhere along the creek to continue camping. Occupy Boulder President Amos Washington Jr. told BW, “Occupy Boulder is still alive, we just moved, that’s all.”