Occupy Wall Street Tucson Meets The Winter: No Room at the Inn Say the Cops

By on December 24, 2011

Doug Mitchell has been our eyes and ears in Tucson, as the Occupy Wall Street Movement has set up camp.  He and his wife, Leona, have cooked for the occupiers, and served them, and borne witness to this brave new venture.  Here is his report from Occupy at Christmas.

When he talks about the homeless in Tucson, and saying that many of them don’t understand,  it is important to remember that when we closed the mental hospitals in this country, we cast out the least able to care for themselves.  Many of the homeless cannot feed and clothe themselves.  They are at the mercy of the weather, the society, and the cops.  As Doug reports,  God Help us all this Christmas.  This is what we have done.

The Park where the Occupy Wall Street Folks were Cast out in Tucson at Christmas


By Doug Mitchell

 Three nights ago, on the first night of Winter, at approximately 8 PM, the Tucson Police Department descended in force upon the Occupy Tucson encampment at Viente de Agosto Park, and gave the occupiers two and one-half hours to vacate or face certain arrest.   Some of the occupiers protested; most just gave in to the inevitability of the night, and began breaking down the small Hoover/Obama-ville that had served as their home for over two months.   Belongings were packed in black garbage bags; tents were disassembled and stowed away; and buddies were hugged and kissed.  Occupy Tucson had ended.  At least for the moment. 


Tucson Police Roust the Occupy Wall street folks at Christmas.

Some left, going home to their warm houses and comfortable beds.  Others, those without homes simply stared into the frigid night with tired eyes and wondered what was next.  Sleeping bags and blankets were laid on the cold cement sidewalk that surrounds the park.  A collection was taken and pizza ordered while the displaced and homeless occupiers set up another encampment within inches of the vacated park.  One of the great ironies of our time is that the law permits citizens to sit or sleep on the streets, but not to enter our “public” parks without a permit.  Isn’t that where the country puts its trash; on the sidewalk?  Wasn’t it appropriate for the guardians of our public safety to keep the park clean by depositing the refuse on the cold, hard concrete on the first day of Winter, on the second night of Hanukkah and four days before the day we celebrate the birth of Christ.  After all, wasn’t Jesus homeless, too?  Didn’t his parents have to beg for a warm place to stay on that first Christmas night?  What makes these Tucson transients better than him?  He was the Only Begotten Son of God.  These people are just God‘s forgotten children. 

Homeless Tucson Occupiers Find There's No Room at the Inn for Them

Many don’t understand.  They aren’t just people who have a gripe with the corporations or the government.  There are tens of thousands of homeless living on our streets.   Some because they choose to live there; but many, (I would venture most) because, in these economic times, they have no choice.  Cold ground doesn’t know the difference, and treats them all as equals.   Neither is hunger discriminating.  It doesn’t see the fancy suit or the ragged shirt; it attacks all with an equal vengeance.   We all need food.  We all need warmth.  We all need shelter.  Yet here sits a piece of public property with soft grass, sheltering trees and warm earth just inches away from these Children of God while they shiver against the cold on the hard concrete sidewalk.  What has happened here?  What has happened? 


God help us, everyone.

About Doug Mitchell

One Comment

  1. Peg Bowden

    December 26, 2011 at 3:18 pm

    Hi Doug,
    Well—-it ain’t over ’til the fat lady sings. And “Occupy” is not going away. I applaud your humanitarian efforts to help feed and support the brave souls in the Tucson park. I will light a candle for those folks who only have a cold sidewalk to sleep on tonight. The Occupy movement includes everyone—-the financially challenged, the college kids, the retirees, the homeless. The 99% will surface somewhere else in Tucson, just you wait.