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Protesters in Chicago march from a homeless camp to City Hall

Activists gathered Thursday morning at a homeless encampment in the Fulton Market area to protest the removal of winter tents that had been flagged by city residents, warning that the tents must be cleared for a street sweep scheduled for today.

late wednesday representatives of the Department of Family Affairs and Support told “Tribune”. that the tents will not need to be cleaned for routine cleaning, but only moved for “deep cleaning”.

Protesters, however, still gathered Thursday in a plaza under the Metra Bridge on Milwaukee Avenue, then marched to City Hall with plans to deliver a letter to Mayor Laura Lightfoot asking for a meeting to discuss the city’s homelessness crisis. The crowd, which swelled to nearly 40 people, held placards demanding “no evictions” and “permanent homes + mental health services” and chanted “Housing is a human right” and “Leave the tents alone or give the people a house!”

The security of the city hall let the protestors go.

The 10 bright orange heated tents, which include a foundation, heating and lighting, arrived two weeks ago thanks to the efforts of Andy Robledo, founder of the nonprofit organization Feeding People Through Plants. Just a few days after the tents were assembled, the city posted red notices on them, warning people that they should remove the shelters from the premises before cleaning.

Robledo previously told the Tribune that the tents cost between $350 and $500 to assemble and supply and are not easy to take down.

“I don’t really want people living here in tents like they do,” Robledo said at the time. “I want them to be housed, and that’s what we need to focus our energy on, not fighting homelessness, but fighting homelessness together.”


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