Homeless march from CCNV, swarm Wilson Building against service and homeless cuts
On Wednesday, May 18, well over 100 people marched from CCNV to the Wilson builidng, joining another hundred people or so from Empower DC for the “Safety Net Reality Tour” protesting $20 million in budget cuts that would close homeless shelters except during hypothermia season and severely cut most other aid to the needy, thus increasing homelessness.
Unlike an infamous Franklin Shelter incident where protesters were denied entry in 2008, security at the Wilson Building made no attempt to deny marchers access to the building. All security checkpoints had long lines as both marchers and other participants in the Safety Net Reality Tour created a huge backlog.
Once inside, hallways were jammed and rooms overheated. Councilmembers Graham and Wells,spoke at the greeting event on the ground floor in support of the Mayor’s proposal to tax the wealthy to save social services and homeless shelters
At the opposite end of the tour, Council Chair Kwame Brown repeated that he is opposed to raising taxes on ANYONE. He added that he would try to deliver the services, but nobody believed him as he refused to say how he would finance the $20 million without taxing the wealthy. This after his staffers shut and locked their doors in the faces of an estimated 200 constitutents.
Both veiled and explicit threats were heard form time to time that evicting 1,500 single people and about 150 families from homeless shelters. plus cutting services that prevent homelessness, would lead to high crime and riots. One speaker went so far as to invoke the bloody riots that followed the murder of Martin Luther King in 1968. That’s letting not the cat but the scorpion out of the bag!