MINNEAPOLIS (FOX 9) - An "autonomous" group that touts itself as defenders of homeless encampments in Minneapolis says the city has posted clearing notices for two other tent encampments.
In a statement issued on Friday, following a clearing at the encampment off Bloomington Avenue at East 28th Street, the group says trespassing notices have been issued at encampments off Girard Avenue North in Near North and at the Quarry encampment.
In a separate statement, a user who goes by Reed Eliot posted on Twitter, on behalf of another "anonymous" group helping encampment residents, trespassing notices were issued earlier in the week for the Bloomington encampment before Friday's early morning sweep.
"Dozens of encampment residents were forced to find somewhere else to live, many for the second or third time in several months; the city did not so much as provide food or water for these residents," the statement reads. "They lost survival gear, medication, identification documents, and irreplaceable personal items in this inhumane eviction."
Copies of the trespassing notices posted online do however point residents towards city shelter resources. In a statement, the city also said it had sent its Homeless Response Team out to the encampment 27 times before the clearing.
Both activist statements criticized aggressive police presence at the clearings. At the same time, posts on the Twin Cities Encampment Responders page warn of retaliation if the city were to take action against the Quarry or Near North encampments.
"If the city of MPLS sweeps Near North or Quarry - two out-of-the-way camps where people with no other option find refuge - ahead of coming freezing temps, then Public Works, Reg Services, CPED, Frey and the lot of them should absolutely have hell to pay," the tweet reads. "Get ready."
The number of people living in encampments has grown since the 2008 housing crisis and worsened during the COVID-19 pandemic. Supporters of the clearing say the encampments can become hotspots for crime and drug use.
Encampments have popped up across the Twin Cities in recent years, leading to regular standoffs between city officials trying to clear out the encampments and advocates for the homeless.
In a statement to FOX 9, Minneapolis officials said clearing the encampments is never the first course of action, but "encampment closure will occur when conditions become dangerous or encampment residents refuse to engage in the services that will change their circumstances."