Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Housing activists set up camp
in Liberty City

A group of activists pitched camp in the heart of Liberty City on Monday to protest what they called the failure of the city and Miami-Dade County to build affordable housing.

Carrying tents, tarps and banners that read, "Take back the Land!," the group said it was building a shantytown on a vacant, city-owned lot to house hundreds of the neighborhood's homeless. The group, including members of Hope for the Homeless and Hopeless and the Fort Lauderdale chapter of Food Not Bombs, intends to provide shelter and food indefinitely.

The protesters are protected by a landmark legal case, Pottinger v. City of Miami, a class-action suit filed by the ACLU and settled in 1998. The settlement prohibited Miami police from arresting homeless people engaged in "life-sustaining conduct" -- such as sleeping or eating -- on public property when there is no shelter space available.

Read the Miami Herald story here.


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