ATLANTA (CBS46) – Atlanta police arrested several people who gathered Monday to fight for the rights of homeless people. The group was protesting to bring attention to homelessness in the city and demanding that the city invest pandemic relief funds in long-term housing solutions.
Police said they were called around 7:30 a.m. to Mitchell and Central Avenues on a report of protesters at Atlanta City Hall. When they arrived, officers found a group of protesters setting up tents. Homeless advocates and the APD Hope team responded and spoke to the group as they voiced their concerns. Police said several hours later, most of the group had left the property. A small number of the group did not leave, police said, and were warned that if they remained they would be arrested for trespassing.
Video shows police pulling the protesters from the tents and restraining them with zip ties as they chanted, ‘Who do you protect? Who do you serve?’ We’re told 6 people were arrested and cited for trespassing. One person suffered a small cut on the finger and complained of neck pain. They were taken to Grady for treatment.
It comes after Atlanta City Council candidate, Alfred “Shivy” Brooks, held a rally earlier on Monday demanding the city provide living essentials for the homeless, such as sanitation and access to water and healthcare — and to push his C.A.R.E.S. platform which addresses a strategy to provide affordable housing for Atlantans and to eliminate homelessness throughout the city.
The Atlanta Continuum of Care, a coalition of 100-plus organizations whose purpose is to address homelessness, reports there are roughly 3,200 homeless people within the City of Atlanta’s 130 square-mile footprint. Nearly 1,000 of those individuals are living in unsheltered conditions outside or in cars, the coalition said.