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Salt Lake City activists fighting for community control of police, end to attacks on homeless encampments

By staff

Salt Lake City, UT – As the struggle for community control of the police rages on, Salt Lake City Police have been displacing homeless residents in order to gentrify the downtown and west Salt Lake areas.

Last Tuesday, May 4, the police were called to an encampment and immediately went after Carl Moore, a local activist, who is also indigenous. Moore was choked and slammed into a car by Clinton Fox, the same officer who murdered Patrick Harmon in the summer of 2017.

When Fox was asked by activists how he slept after killing Harmon, a homeless Black man, he boasted “Like a baby.” In that same month, Salt Lake City PD rolled out Operation Rio Grande, a $67 million plan to purge downtown Salt Lake City of its homeless residents. Over 1000 people were arrested.

In January of 2020, the people of SLC fought back with Operation Take Shelter, in which dozens of people occupied Washington Square Park near the City and County Building, and ten were charged with rioting. The occupation was organized by the Take Shelter Coalition, which included members of Utah Against Police Brutality and Freedom Road Socialist Organization.

The attacks on the poor have resulted in mass displacement. As many are being forced out of from place to place, the monthly rent for a one-bedroom in the city is spiking into the $1000s. As the United States descends into socioeconomic crisis, the national Center for Disease Control Eviction Moratorium was struck down in federal court a month before it was to end.

In the past few weeks, SLC residents have continued to rally demanding an end to the ‘abatements’ and pushing for shelter for all and sanitation services homeless people.

#SaltLakeCityUT #HousingStruggles #homelessness