The helicopters have returned to Capitol Hill the past few days. I think it's safe to assume that their hovering presence is related to a sweep of Cal Anderson Park.
A sweep. Terms stick. Shortened, abbreviated. We risk losing sight of what sweep really means - the Seattle Police Department will roll in and uproot the people living in tents in Cal Anderson in the middle of a global pandemic.
I heard a helicopter hovering this morning (16 December 2020), so I wandered over to Cal Anderson. It's been fortified. Wooden palette palisades, chain link fences, overturned dumpsters, black bloc patrols, and community aid stations.
I talked to an employee at a local business who told me they'd heard that the police indicated there wouldn't be a sweep today. I haven't checked the news this evening, so I'm not sure how accurate that is.
People shouldn't be living in tents in Cal Anderson Park. People shouldn't have to live in tents period. In one of the wealthiest cities in the world, the response shouldn't be to roll in and overturn their survival existence, as if the people living there are just camping or choosing not to live in a safer home. Where are they going to go?
I haven't got any answers, but sweeps aren't a solution, they're a collective failure.