On a Monday a federal judge in Denver approved a settlement between the city and plaintiffs in a lawsuit that was originally brought 3 years ago in an effort to stop the sweeps of homeless encampments. Yesterday’s ruling means that the homeless must be notified when city officials plan to clean up where they are staying. Members of the homeless community and homeless rights activists rallied at the courthouse ahead of the hearing.
Jason Flores Williams, the attorney representing the plaintiffs in the 3 year old case, told the crowd that the settlement represents a victory for those who have been deemed powerless in society.
“In America right now, you know what the most controlling thing we face is? You know what the big message of everything is? You’re powerless…you can’t do nothing…and maybe you’ll see something but you can’t stand up against it. There’s nothing that an individual or a bunch of poor people do, or a bunch of desperate people do, who have ideals and believe in this complex nature of this life and the human spirit. There ain’t nothing you can do in contrast to what Donald Trump represents. Well you know what this is? This is the assertion that there is something we can do, that when people come together and say “I got you, I got your back, let’s try this.” No matter what the forces are and no matter how many people are standing around saying “hey don’t waste your time, it can’t be done.” Well it can be done and today is the realization of it.”
The settlement calls for at least 48 hours advance notice for cleanups and a week for large scale actions. Personal items belonging to the homeless will be stored for up to 60 days and medicine will be stored until it expires. The urban camping ban however continues.