|squatting/street scene in Portland|
As far as the street kid scene here in Portland, our "community" is made up of several loose "families," the Nihilistic Gutter Punx (of which I am the head) being one of them. There are a wide variety of kids on the streets here- gutter/squatter punx, self-proclaimed "yuppies," wanna-be gangsters, straight up junkies, etc. While we usually stick to our own select groups, we all tend to back up our fellow street kids when the situation arises.
In Portland there are a wide variety of mainstream services offered to the homeless youth. Two shelters for kids under 21, one shelter for people of all ages, and numerous daytime drop-in centers for kids under 21. In my opinion though, most of the kids who actually rely on those places are just a bunch of pussies who should go back home, and it seems like they all theive off of each other, so I try to avoid the shelters and drop-in's if at all possible.
So all that is left for people like me is simple squatting. There tends to be a decent number of abandoned houses usually available for us squatters, but unfortunately, about once a month or so the cops do a half-assed sweep and temporarily close down a lot of them. On the bright side, a couple of months ago the city replealed the "no camping" law, so now it is legal to camp within city limits again. Of course, the wording is really vague, so more or less it is like as long as you are able to carry all of your belongings on your back at one time, you are allowed to set up camp in town, so long as there aren't any "no trespassing" signs and it isn't private property. There is currently a decent tent city going on, about 45 people or so. The cops let us hit a place up for a week or two and then make us move. It is a bit of a pain in the ass, but it is definitely a step in the right direction.....
The beauty of Portland, despite the nice weather and constant abundance of food, is the fact that what with all of the huge parks and wooded hillsides, there are always plenty of places to pitch a tent or construct a makeshift squat. As just one example, me and my friends have had this one tent squat up in the West Hills of Southwest Portland for over 13 months without it getting raided. And it was already there when we found it. So as you can see, if you know what you're doing and aren't a complete asshole, squatting in Portland is not all that bad. Rather nice I must say personally.
Up The Punx!
nihilistic gutter punk
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