Dust my broom

The City of Portland says it's going to sweep the tent campers out of Laurelhurst Park later this week. The entire City Council is on board with this, apparently.

I hope they're ready to arrest a bunch of people. Because in addition to the more stubborn squatters, you can bet a bunch of self-appointed "activists" will try to block the removal of the campers. In the past, these folks have been threatening enough that the city contractor that scours out the filth has refused to do the job.

To conduct a sweep like this, I'd think you'd need quite a few police, and expect to make at least a half dozen arrests. Plus, the cops are going to have to wear protective gear and push some people around. This will generate lots of video for the lefties and the homeless industrial complex to post on social media. "Homelessness is not a crime," "We're at war with our own people," etc.

I for one hope that it goes smoothly, and that no one is hurt. The campers need some tough love. Maybe this is the start of that.

But then again, they'll just go somewhere else nearby. And in a month or two, they'll be back in the park. By next spring, it will be as bad as it is today, if not worse. The city just cleaned this place up last fall, as it had in previous years, but they just let the same people return and start it up again.

To de-normalize street camping in Portland, you'd have to conduct a sweep like this, somewhere in town, every working day for a couple of years. And you'd have to break up new and revived camps before they took root. You'd need shelter beds, mental health beds, addiction treatment beds, motel roms for families, managed camps, and jail beds, all with a lot of police and staff watching over everything, and hassling the most intransigent tent dwellers. You might be able to make a dent in it with a budget of $210 million a year, which is what we now have. But it would take smart, focused management, which let's face it, Portland will never have.

Whatever the long-term future holds, get ready for quite a show if the city actually shows up in Laurelhurst Thursday or Friday.


  1. You called it, Jack.


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