On the ground in D.C., Maryland and Virginia

Tent City in Shaw dismantled and cleared by D.C. government

October 7, 2010 - 11:26 AM
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Parcel 42 in Shaw
Months after a tent city was erected, Parcel 42 is now clean as a whistle. (Photo: TBD Staff)

And just like that, the tent city that's existed for months at the corner of 7th Street and Rhode Island Ave. NW is gone.

D.C. Department of Public Works crews were on the scene early this morning removing garbage and debris from the site. The whole clean-up took approximately two hours.

A brand new lock and several "no trespassing" signs have since been installed on the gates to the city-owned vacant lot known as Parcel 42. The Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development holds the keys to the fenced-in plot of land, and will be responsible for keeping it secure from now on, according to District spokesperson Sean Madigan.

Wednesday marked the end of a 15-day warning period issued by the city to the handful of activists and homeless individuals who have been living in tents and makeshift structures at Parcel 42 off and on since July. The tent city originated as a protest against a proposal to dramatically scale back a planned affordable housing development on the site.

No occupants could be found at home at the tent city Wednesday evening, leaving open the possibility that they opted to move on voluntarily prior to their eviction. There were no individuals present when representatives from DPW, the D.C. Department of Human Services, and D.C. police first responded to the scene early Thursday morning, and no arrests were made. A cell phone number that I've previously used to contact one tent city occupant has been out of service for a couple of days.

D.C.'s Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency collected nearly a truck load of belongings that could be considered of value, and will store them at the former D.C. Village shelter in Ward 8 for up to 45 days. Anyone wishing to claim their property may contact DHS at (202) 671-4200 to arrange for pick-up

Parcel 42 locks
New locks are now in place at Parcel 42 (Photo: Sommer Mathis)
Parcel 42
No trespassing signs adorn the fences. (Photo: Sommer Mathis)
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  1. SamT SamT

    Sam Talbott

    Oct 27, 2010 - 02:11:54 PM

    What did this occupation accomplish? Let off some steam, used anti Fenty placards having obscenities (I saw them), engaged people a wee bit, got a little publicity, made a big mess of a place that became a free-for-all zone that was dangerous at times with crashers and anarchists and homeless. One DC abandoned the site and the cause soon after the initial occupation and achieved zip: no change in City policies or programs or funding or commitments. This builds a neighborhood? This is organizing?

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