[Hpn] Dignity Village Update - TENT CITY Homeless in Portland OR USA

Remona Cowles remona@portland.quik.com
Tue, 9 Jan 2001 02:05:18 -0800

Dignity Village
Good morning, all troops and supporters on this list, good morning Tim
Harris of the Real Change, the Big Issue in Wales and LA, good morning
DC, LA, Seattle, Calgary, London, good morning America, Canada, and the
Dignity Village, this country's first fully mobile tent city here in
Portland, Oregon, USA enters into the third week of its existence on its
third site. We are presently located on a grassy triangle of ODOT
(Oregon Department of Transport) land next to the Morrison Bridge.
Shopping cart parades are our stock in trade, our "Burnside Cadillacs,"
as shopping carts are locally known, were seen by millions of viewers
across the US and Canada the day after Christmas in a parade led and
marshalled by our number one soldier John Reese, a double-amputee
Vietnam-era vet in his wheelchair, when we were cruelly driven from our
second site by ODOT and the Portland Police. Dignity Village now has
several cell phones. Our phone number is (503) 347 9831. We have a
Port-O-Let, light, heat and we are presently building a cookshack. We
now have a camp truck. We have a legal team, support teams, an outreach
team, a site-selection team and a press release machine. We have come a
long way from the doorways, parking lots, from under the bridges and on
the mission floors where many of us formerly lived and we are not going
back. As far as we are concerned, we have solved the problem of
affordable living space which continually climbs beyond the reach of
poor people in this country. It is called nylon and it comes in the form
of tents. We say, "Two, three, many tent cities!"
Last night Dignity Village held its first tumultous village
organizational meeting. Thank you Paul and Shira of Portland Copwatch
for the use of your loud hailer. Some of us are hard of hearing, some of
us soft-spoken, there is a lot of background noise at our present site
and it is essential that the voice of each and every one of us be heard.
It was decided that these meetings will take place at least twice and
possibly three times a week to allow us to hammer out the form of good
rule and governance that the village will eventually live by. Much was
accomplished and much remains to be done. We are growing at an
exponential rate which clearly demonstrates the need that our tent city
satisfies. We have many problems of logistics and mobility that must be
quickly dealt with for our very survival as an entity. We have many good
and committed soldiers and supporters, our support steadily grows in the
community as a whole.
 Much love and respect to all soldiers and crew. There is only one
direction in which we can go and that is ever forward.

Jack Tafari

street roots,
For those who can't afford free speech

Dignity Village