Group in Atlanta arrested during protest fighting against homelessness
"No more bandaid solutions. We need homes," Atlanta Homeless Union stated in their efforts to combat homelessness
A group of protesters were arrested in Atlanta on its City Hall property Monday while standing up to fight homelessness.
“Who do you protect? Who do you serve?” the protesters chanted as people got arrested.
Leaders with Atlanta Homeless Union, Atlanta Justice Alliance and other local groups led the charge, where community members, activists and students gathered to raise their voices calling on the city to take more steps to support those facing homelessness.
“If the City is serious about addressing homelessness, this is what it’ll take,” Atlanta Homeless Union shared in a statement. ”If the City is not serious about ending homelessness, the powers that be will continue doing what they’re doing: money to hotels, warming centers, handouts. Someone benefits from those incremental proposals. And it’s not us.”
According to authorities, at around 7:30 a.m. Monday, “Atlanta Police were called to the area of Mitchell Ave and Central Ave SW on a report of protestors at Atlanta City Hall. On scene officers found that a group of protestors were setting up tents as part of a protest to bring attention to homelessness in Atlanta. Homeless advocates and the APD Hope team responded and spoke to the group who voiced their concerns. Several of the group were directed to available services. Several hours later, most of the group had vacated the property at City Hall. A small number of the group did not leave and were warned that if they remained, they would be arrested for trespassing.”
Six people were arrested for criminal trespass, according to the Atlanta Police Department. Atlanta Solidarity Fund is reportedly working with the Southern Center for Human Rights to support the protesters who were arrested.
“This right here is some foolishness,” said activist Alfred “Shivy” Brooks, an Atlanta City Council candidate who shared the protest on Instagram Live. “These people are literally here fighting for our unsheltered neighbors to have a decent place to sleep at night, to have some food; that’s it.”
Atlanta Homeless Union shared a full statement outlining their demands.
“We are not satisfied with the limited shelters that treat us less-than human, a warming station in the winter, and some blankets,” they stated. “We are also not satisfied with the lack of healthcare treatment we receive at Grady. No more bandaid solutions. We need homes. We need water. We are targeting the City until we get what we are owed.”
“We demand homes,” Atlanta Homeless Union officials said in their statement. “With the millions of dollars we spend on shelters and services, we can house every unhoused person in the City. The City should convert vacant and City-owned properties into permanent homes for those who are unhoused. We demand that the City invest pandemic relief funds in long-term housing solutions.”
The organization also called for universal health care services and access to water.
“Preventive care saves lives and taxpayer money,” they wrote. “All unhoused people should have access to regular preventive medical care.”
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