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Signs of the times: The calm before the sweep

On the night of Tuesday, Dec. 15 and morning of Wednesday Dec. 16, occupants of the houseless community at Cal Anderson Park, as well as coalition groups, volunteers and advocates for the homeless, prepared for an anticipated full-scale sweep by the Seattle Police Department after weeks of escalating complaints and property destruction.  Those involved in the effort contributed pallets, pieces of furniture and chain link fencing to serve as a barricade to thwart the police-led raid.  

Jordan Somers A chain-link fence serves as a barricade to the houseless community on 11th Avenue
Jordan Somers  Mattresses, pallets, various pieces of furniture and signs are all used to reinforce the barricade
Jordan Somers The West side of Cal Anderson park serves as the primary hub of supplies and support for the houseless community
Jordan Somers A wall lined with a makeshift barricade to encase the Cal Anderson park residents
Jordan Somers | The Seattle Collegian A stall formed by a local art group formed at CHOP serves food and supplies to everyone involved in the effort to protect the houseless community
Jordan Somers Volunteers serve food and coffee out of a truck in front of the West-side entrance of the housing community
Jordan Somers A makeshift sign reads “Sweeps Are Murder,” a statement to the lack of effort placed into supporting those who are without food and shelter
Jordan Somers Police cruisers periodically circle the park indiscreetly with lights flashing, however made no attempts to sweep the park on the declared Dec. 16 morning
Jordan Somers A barricade of caution tape and recycle bins on Howell Street and 11th Avenue
Jordan Somers A “SPDaddy Teargas Me if You’re Horny” sign sits against a pole of a supply station
Jordan Somers Graffiti that reads “Stop the Sweeps – Give Us Housing Now” on a makeshift barricade
Jordan Somers A sign reads, “If Only the People Had That 400 Mil”
Jordan Somers

Jordan Somers is currently in his second year of Visual Media at Seattle Central College. He specializes in photojournalism and documentary work, with a particular emphasis on social movements happening throughout the city. His 2020 documentary, Hope is Not Cancelled, was an official selection at the Local Sightings Film Festival, and won an award for best editing at the Oregon Documentary Film Festival. Jordan is an avid traveler when granted the opportunity, and has a keen interest in psychology and existential philosophy.

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