BY JAKE DINGLER (MASS ACTION FOR BLACK LIBERATION)

For over a month now,  the city of Cincinnati has been mercilessly trying to force out its most vulnerable residents with absolutely no regard for their safety and well being. The residents of The Colony, the tent city that first appeared along 3rd street, have been chased from 3rd street to Central Parkway, from Central Parkway to Gilbert Avenue, and from Gilbert Avenue to the pocket park at the corner of 13th and Republic. The efforts of The Colony and coalition forces standing with them have been met with lies, scorn, and disdain from city officials, none more so than Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley, and his henchman, Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters.

The imperialist forces at City Hall have been focused on criminalizing homelessness in all of Hamilton County. On August 9, 2018, Deters in issued a nuisance ordinance claiming that the tent city is a hub of felonious drug activity and used it to evict the camp from outside the Jack’s Casino. This claim was completely unsubstantiated, and anyone that has spent even the smallest amount of time at the camps knows this. Unfortunately, Joe Deters does not care about facts. He is too busy protecting the interests of wealthy corporate benefactors at the expense of those most harmed by said corporations.

On the morning of August 20, 2018, the same nuisance order was used to evict the camp from private property at 13th and Republic. It is now illegal to camp anywhere is Hamilton County that is not a campground. Over The Rhine Community Housing (OTRCH) owns the pocket park currently hosting The Colony, and has been greatly supportive in the fight for affordable housing for these residents, as well as the fight against the criminalization of homelessness. OTRCH has not insisted The Colony leave, but Joe Deters has decided he is entitled to evict residents of private property. Thus, The Colony will once again be packing up in search of a new place to put up their tents.

Cranley, Deters, and their ilk could face the city’s affordable housing crisis head on, but instead they are eagerly using resources to threaten those experiencing homelessness with arrest in order to drive them out of the city and out of view of their donors. “Profit over people” is a bipartisan rallying cry in Cincinnati, and it’s our job to down out that cry with our own.  HOUSE KEYS, NOT HANDCUFFS! HOUSE KEYS, NOT HANDCUFFS!