Not to sprain my arm patting myself on the back, but I thought yesterday’s satire on the “gated community” on the Parkway came off pretty well. It made a serious point, using humor.
Just hours later though, I was topped by an Inquirer story. My satire seemed tame when measured against info in the story, which dealt with reaction to the second — that we know of — knife attack in what I am calling Camp JTD at 22nd and the Parkway.
The Inquirer refers to it as a “homeless encampment,” which is true, but incomplete. It is an illegal homeless encampment, but the “I-word” doesn’t get used here as it does not get used when the paper writes about illegal immigrants.
Police reported no arrests, the paper said, and no weapon was recovered. The “why” came in the next paragraph.
“Both residents and encampment organizers confirmed Wednesday that occupants had blocked police from entering the site to get to the stabbing victim Tuesday night.”
You get that? The illegal occupiers of public land prevented police from offering aid to a victim, and prevented them from investigating a felony. They call the area they have seized a “no cop zone.”
And our hapless mayor and ineffective police commissioner take this crap?
What are we — Seattle East? Is this our version of CHAZ — a “do not go” zone created by criminals and grifters? Are our “leaders” waiting for a murder?
I’m not the only one upset.
“That was over-the-top appalling,” said Ed Dougherty, vice president of the Logan Square Neighborhood Association, the neighborhood “adopted” by the homeless.
He seems less sanguine than association president Dennis J. Boyle, who was quoted yesterday as being very solicitous about the unwanted guests and did not want the city to use physical force to remove Camp JTD.
Which is what the homeless are counting on — civic squeamishness to enforce the law.
“When will the city take action and remove this encampment?,” asked John LaCorte in an email to Mayor Jim Kenney. He is president of the Fairmount Sports Association which used to have programs on the Von Colln field that has been seized by the homeless. “We are seeing more and more violence, crime and destruction with each passing day.”
LaCorte said a woman from Camp JTD forced open the door to his home on Pennock Street and walked in.
“Did you offer her dinner, a shower, and a massage?,” Kenney did not say. Nor did he respond to my request for his response to LaCoste.
The city told the newspaper the encampments “create a public safety threat for those who live near the camps,” but that “a forceful resolution is an absolute last resort.” Other homeless locations are the Rodin Museum, the Art Museum Azalea Garden, and outside the PHA headquarters.
Talks with homeless representatives continue as they play rope-a-dope with Kenney, who lacks the self awareness to realize he is being gamed by people flashing their poverty privilege to flout the law. They act as if their sad status is an entitlement.
How long do you — the law-abiding, taxpaying citizen — think you would get away with not paying property taxes on your home? How about ignoring a court order?
You know the answer.
The Inquirer then cited a bunch of experts who said the homeless are no more violent than you, which is questionable, and irrelevant. The point is the lawless behavior, not even mentioned by the Inquirer. And without that mention, it almost looks like the city is bullying a bunch of people who are doing no harm.
But they are doing harm — to health, sanitation, safety, and to the notion that this is a city that respects the law. Surrender to lawlessness only encourages more lawlessness.