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Portland 'Tent-Out' Continues For Third Night, Protesters Release Demands

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Willis Ryder Arnold
/
Maine Public file

For the third night, a group of protesters in Portland will set up tents, blankets and other camping supplies in front of city hall as part of a ‘tent-out’ protest aimed at changing city housing policies. Many of the protesters are unhomed and street-dependent individuals.

Some of the demands protesters listed include decriminalizing camping out and extending the eviction freeze. Protesters are also calling for steps to defund the police and reallocate those funds, a demand that has been a large part of recent Black Lives Matter protests.

Dozens of people have been camping out at Deering Oaks Park, saying that there is a shortage of shelter beds due to the COVID-19 pandemic and social distancing measures. Advocates for the homeless say that this sheds light on larger, unaffordable housing and resource problems in the city.

After Portland officials say that they received complaints, they ordered Preble Street, a nonprofit, to stop distributing meals at the park. The tent-out began soon after.

Protest organizers will hold a press conference at 8 p.m. Friday, July 24.

Caitlin Troutman is the Digital News and Content Producer for Maine Public. Caitlin worked as a writer and editor for various publications before discovering her love for public media at KCUR in Kansas City. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Literature and Critical Theory from the Oxbridge Honors Program at William Jewell College and the University of Oxford. She joined Maine Public in 2018.