Sniagrab camping should not be compared to homelessness, says Mayor Michael Hancock

Isn't Urban Camping Illegal sign.jpg
Big photos below.
Denver allows camping for shoppers but not for homeless people with nowhere to go. At least that was last week's message from Occupy Denver during protests about allowing Sports Authority shoppers to camp out for bargains months after the city began enforcing its urban camping ban, which prohibits the homeless from sleeping outside.

The response from Mayor Michael Hancock? His spokeswoman says this specific permit shouldn't be compared to the city's overall homelessness-related policies.

For a handful of Occupy Denver members, last week's annual Sniagrab event, which find Sports Authority offering Labor Day bargains to shoppers who Sline up and camp out days in advance -- was the first time since the camping ban went into effect that they were able to legally sleep outside. Some Occupy members even encouraged some of the city's homeless residents to sleep outside the Broadway and 10th Avenue store.

Occupy Denver banner image 2.JPG
Sam Levin
Occupy Denver at Sniagrab last week.
At the protest, Occupy Denver representatives said the decision to permit Sniagrab campers clearly exemplified their ongoing battle to fight the city's hypocritical support of corporations over people -- and, in this case, shoppers over the homeless.

After we wrote about their protests, we reached out to the mayor's office, asking if Mayor Hancock had a response to Occupy's criticisms. Here's the full statement sent to us by Amber Miller, press secretary for Hancock:

Sports Authority applied for and received a street occupancy permit for a special event in a designated area for a specified amount of time. The permit imposes legally binding conditions on the applicant that require them to insure the event and work to protect the health and safety of the participants. Sports Authority has agreed to monitor noise, sanitation, safety and access in the permitted area; they have provided dumpsters, port-o-lets and on-site, round-the-clock security.

Permitted events like this one were accounted for within the ordinance and are in no way comparable to allowing our most vulnerable to sleep out in the elements exposed to unsafe and unsanitary conditions.

Public Works reviews all street occupancy applications thoroughly, focusing on safety and accessibility. Every application is reviewed based on its own unique circumstances.

The camping ban, according to Hancock, is an important public health measure that he argues will ultimately reduce homelessness, in part by encouraging those without a home to take advantage of the city's resources and seek help off of the street. Critics of the ban argue that the city doesn't actually have enough resources to support its homeless population. In their view, the ordinance does nothing more than criminalize those most in need and force them to hide out in unsafe places.

Continue reading for one Occupy Denver member's response to the mayor's statement.


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28 comments
Luke Henderson
Luke Henderson

100% against the camping ban, but the issue is unrelated. They got a permit. Find a different way to protest.

Jonny D Foxtrot
Jonny D Foxtrot

There is NO correlation between the two, no matter how strained your attempt at comparison becomes...there is NO similarity. Occupy et al are a festering sore on the ass of this City, a group committed to pissing and moaning (and shitting and tagging) about anything and everything they don't like. They picket businesses that don't agree with them, they march around shouting slogans that they read off of some stupid website and they contribute NOTHING to real, substantial, lasting and positive change. As for 'inviting' the drugged out, indigent crackheads, prostitutes, drug dealers and panhandling dirtbags into anyone's neighborhood, yard or home - NO ONE wants them...obviously YOU don't. At least we are being honest in saying that not only do we not want them in our neighborhoods...we don't want them infesting our City and turning it into a slum. YOU'RE the ones continually being apologists for these individuals - and their illegal and disgusting activity. Your 'friends', these individuals, quite literally shit and piss all over this city - in doorways, on patios, in alleyways, beside dumpsters, in flower beds and gardens in public parks...EVERYWHERE. They lie passed out shitfaced on the street near the missions and along the wall in front of the Irish painting place. They approach random passersby to get cigarettes, money, alcohol...anything...and when they are refused, they are verbally abusive and sometimes physically threatening. FUCK Occupy and FUCK these individuals who make this city a public sewer. FUCK those who think that their lame attempt to correlate the SNIAGRAB 'campers' with these dirtbags are clever and cogent arguments against SNIAGRAB. Finally, FUCK those who contribute nothing to this society except incessant whining about how life's not fair (no shit, Sherlock) and how they deserve special treatment or how we should give special dispensation to people for fucking up this City because they're too drugged out or careless to care about acting like a semi-civilized human being instead of a walking pile of shit.

Jonny D Foxtrot
Jonny D Foxtrot

@Josh Moore - the company applied for a specific permit, for a specific time period, for specific purposes and for a specific area...they paid $490 for that permit for the weekend in question and the days bracketing it. They provided portable toilets. They provided additional staff to assist in the cleanup and also have the right and the ability to remove anyone from the line who is not following the guidelines to "camp" Occupy, the indigent crackheads on the streets of this city, the drunken panhandlers (like Crackhead Sherry, Gordon, Chuy, etc) and the like follow no law, piss all over the street, aggressively approach people and generally shit all over the law and this City. The Occupy folks not only occupied Civic Center Park and surrounds illegally (no permits, contravening the established park curfew, urinating/defecating in the park and surrounds, etc.), they tagged the landmark with graffiti and dumped trash all over the streets.

Mannick D Pres-Saint
Mannick D Pres-Saint

Josh Moore, it is YOU that is missing the point. The law is the law (a common refrain from the Establishment apologists). Urban camping BANNED -- no exceptions for cheesy sales promotions. Stop making excuses. "Since you are so against this, how about you invite 10 or 15 different homeless people every week to come camp in your yard. " Actually, since you're the one who takes offense at the mere presense of the homeless on the street corners, why don't YOU invite them into your home or find them more permanent accomodations? Nah, as usual with the pro-Establishment apologists, you'd much rather just sweep the problem under the rug or let someone else deal with it (spillover of the homeless into the burbs).

Beavis
Beavis

In Colorado, commerce > justice.

Benjamin Bradburn
Benjamin Bradburn

It's not about the homeless, or occupy, directly. It's about equal treatment under the law. If I can't camp, then you can't camp. Period. Otherwise what's the point of the law.

Benjamin Bradburn
Benjamin Bradburn

It's not about the homeless, or occupy, directly. It's about equal treatment under the law. If I can't camp, then you can't camp. Period. Otherwise what's the point of the law.

BillBlack
BillBlack

Hypocrisy is the art of acting like a kewl kid when you're actually a worthless cunt, and it is a vital component of the collective human psyche. This is only natural, considering that we are created in the image of a petty and vindictive God.

Josh Moore
Josh Moore

@Josh You're right. It doesn't differentiate. If the Sniagrab people decided to just stay and live in their tents indefinitely then they should be tossed as well. You miss the point because you choose to miss the point. IT IS COMPLETELY DIFFERENT. I feel bad for homeless people too, but other people don't need to be bothered by them 24/7. They should not be allowed to just camp anywhere they please. That just leaves it open for any dirtbag traveling hippy to sleep and beg for money and food anywhere and any time they want. I'll tell you what.... Since you are so against this, how about you invite 10 or 15 different homeless people every week to come camp in your yard. You can toss them change and feed them every day out of your pocket. They will do what they can to survive which means collecting stuff you throw out, building makeshift tents in your front yard, urinating and defecating all over your yard. Pretty soon the word travels and they are now in your neighbors yard and across the street and down the block and around the corner. Begging you and your neighbors and their friends and family for food and money, digging through everyones trash....... If you were truly an advocate for the homeless you would be working at a shelter or donating money and food every month or adopting someone into your home to help them get on their feet. Instead you just let your bleeding heart ideology cloud rational thought. Giving a dude on the corner of Santa Fe and Mississippi a dollar doesn't count. All this corporate greed crap is such a load. You are using a platform to spew nonsense that is owned by one of the richest people on earth. Facebook is a CORPORATION. Your Dell or Mac or HP you are using is a corporation. The internet you are using is a corporation, the gas you buy, the car you drive, the store you shop in, the clothes you wear, the stereo you listen to, the trucks that brought it all to you..... Corporations full of very wealthy people who had the dream and the drive and the FREEDOM to start a company that makes YOUR life better.

RobertChase
RobertChase topcommenter

It is instructive to read the City Council's pathetic attempt at justifying the camping ban in the introduction to CB12-0241:  "WHEREAS, the act of unauthorized camping on public or private property tends to endanger the health and safety of those engaged in such camping as well as the public at large; and WHEREAS, the unauthorized use of public or private property for camping where the property  in question is neither intended nor designed as a camp site, campground, or site for temporary human habitation tends to impair, obstruct, and otherwise detract from the use of the property for its  intended purpose.".  The City is careful to qualify  supposedly dangerous camping as unauthorized, but the mere fact of authorizing it does nothing to abate the imagined dangers to campers or prevent the impairment of the property for its intended use.  Hancock is a champion hypocrite.

Guest
Guest

Westword...  the so-called Liberal rag continuing to beat to death another non-newsworthy Occupy newflash 

 

Jonny D Foxtrot
Jonny D Foxtrot

The SNIAGRAB people aren't shitting in people's doorways, shooting up heroin or smoking meth on the sidewalk, giving blowjobs beside dumpsters over by the Denver Rescue Mission or spraying graffiti on a National Landmark property in Civic Center Park. SNIAGRAB folks are also not dumping their refuse in every gutter and on every sidewalk in existence. They're not hitting up every person that walks by for money, cigarettes or booze. They're not hurling insults at passers-by, police officers, city officials and others. SNIAGRAB folks aren't passed out drunk on the sidewalks. They're not sitting around getting stoned every 15 minutes of every day. I would bet that they all actually have jobs and aren't sucking the benefit tit dry at every opportunity. Finally, SNIAGRAB folks are actually undertaking an activity that will add positive revenue to the City that PAYS FOR ALL OF THE SERVICES USED BY THE HOMELESS, THOSE ON PUBLIC ASSISTANCE AND THOSE WHO CAN'T BE BOTHERED TO SEEK AND HOLD A JOB. So FUCK Occupy...they're a bunch of childish, worthless, whiny self-centered twits who think that the world owes them something because they're more special, more righteous and more cool than anyone else. What a bunch of douchebags.

Jeremy Hull
Jeremy Hull

One is for corporate gain, one is for survival. I agree.

Josh Bradley
Josh Bradley

Josh...the law doesn't differentiate between income levels, whether you have a home or not, or whether you clean up. Are you trying to say laws are only applicable to certain people some of the time? Last I checked everyone is subject to the same laws in this country (unless you're rich of course). Shoppers, homeless, or protesters should all be subject to the same law. Hickenlooper nor Hancock want to admit this particular law had a narrow, specific use. Pricks.

Josh Moore
Josh Moore

sniagrab campers clean up, they have homes, leave after it's over, dont bother other people or beg for money..... why is this even questioned?

Kenny Nordell
Kenny Nordell

The Mayor needs to respect the rules as well.

Kenny Nordell
Kenny Nordell

Actually. Ya, y'all are right. This is bullshit. Fucking kick that dumb snowboarders ass to the curb. Rules are rules, and while the homeless campers didn't bother me - I respect the due process in legislature. And I think the police force should do the same.

Chris Nigro
Chris Nigro

There's no profit in it for the city when it comes to the homeless or protesters.

Aaron Betcher
Aaron Betcher

between him and gov. hickenlooper we have a very understanding and caring corporate democrates in office. great.

Mannick D Pres-Saint
Mannick D Pres-Saint

The former merely feeds the insatiable capitalist beast; the latter happens to be a glaring reminder of capitalism's abject failure. It's obvious where Mayor Hancock's concerns lie.

Ellen Feighny
Ellen Feighny

The Mayor is clarifying that the camping ban is a law enforced on only one class of people. Must have left a copy of his constitution in the limo...

Lisa Ross
Lisa Ross

Why has our society gotten to the point where you are "normal" only if you have a box to lock yourself up at night? Camping is camping.

madchenvapid
madchenvapid

Sniagrab... Stuff White People (and Michael Hancock) Like...

TheSpleen
TheSpleen

It's too bad that Mayor Whoremonger doesn't seem to understand the definition of hypocrisy.

contributer
contributer

@Jonny D Foxtrot"CK those who contribute nothing to this society 

except incessant whining about how life's not fair"

how do you contribute to society? how would you 

increase opportunities for the homeless to contribute 

to society? or do you wish to maintain some sort of 

monopoly on your ability to contribute.

how do you plan to cover the increased cost to society for 

the medical problems caused by "holding it" or did you think of that?

how does your hate filled exaggerated depiction of the problem contribute 

to the well being of your community. how and where would you go to the bathroom 

in your city if you were striped of the right to sleep / use the restroom?

what fallacy based hateful argument do you plan to use next? 

are you just another troll or do you have something meaning full to contribute?


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