Minneapolis Community Resists Encampment Eviction

Minneapolis, MN – After swelling to serve several dozen residents swept from other encampments, the lot on 29th Street and 14th Avenue continues to be controlled by unhoused residents despite the ongoing threat of eviction. On July 8, dozens of community members rallied at the encampment in the early morning hours and staved off what many thought was an eviction attempt by the city.

Unicorn Riot heard from East Phillips resident and encampment supporter, Angela Richards, along with encampment resident, King, about the roles they were taking during the morning of July 8 and their thoughts on encampment evictions.

Update: On July 20, 2022, Minneapolis Police evicted the encampment. Unicorn Riot was live speaking with some of the residents displaced from the eviction.

Before the sun rose on Friday July 8, dozens of encampment defenders and community supporters showed up to and around the encampment at 29th and 14th in hopes of preventing the residents living in tents from being evicted. Eleven days earlier, the City of Minneapolis posted vacate signs on the premises of the encampment and by July 7, credible sources were fearful of an eviction taking place on Friday morning. Although some residents packed up and left due to the threat, the eviction never took place.

Southside Minneapolis Encampment Faces Eviction Threat

The defenders and residents were prepared hours before the expected 5 a.m. eviction time, the camp was covered in darkness with bike headlights and flashlights illuminating the area. Defenders watching the area spotted a couple clean-up company vehicles and at least one police car drove by the area. While walking down adjacent streets, Richards told Unicorn Riot that she’d heard the police will stay away “as long as there’s defenders present.”

“I got word that as long as there’s defenders present, it’s what staves off 12 [police]. So that’s where we’re at today.”

Angela, East Phillips Resident, encampment supporter

Encampment organizer and resident, King, said that he was up all night getting ready to be “bulldozed.” Fearing losing his personal belongings during the eviction, as he had in the past, King said he was prepared this time.

“So we prepped all night, packing up our belongings and getting ready for the move, not knowing where we will be going. So few of us are already in vacated the premises. As of right now, the city has not come to evict us yet.”

King, encampment resident

In early June, Unicorn Riot interviewed King as the encampment was about two weeks old. He spoke about the cycle of the city continuing to evict encampments and the need for a space.

“People deserve to live the way they want to live,” said Richards, who thinks harm reduction housing or “a land base where people cannot be fucked with” are potential answers to the crisis of the unhoused.

“People say, go to treatment, go get into housing, go to a shelter. They don’t understand that those things are not available, accessible, nor do they work. We need more harm reduction housing and if that’s not the thing, then we need a land base where people cannot be fucked with.”

Angela, East Phillips Resident, encampment supporter

For more from Angela, see some of her interview with independent journalist Aaron Johnson, below.

As for King, he said he’s looking for another lot when this encampment is evicted, “I’m going to be going around looking for another lot to lay on until the city starts sweating us again. It’s all a cycle that we live, you know.”

Unicorn Riot's 2020-24 Unhoused Crisis in Minneapolis:

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