Demonstrators Rally to Protest Evictions from Boise Tent City 

click to enlarge Demonstrators protesting how the city is clearing Cooper Court

Harrison Berry

Demonstrators protesting how the city is clearing Cooper Court

Demonstrators were already gathered at 7:30 a.m. Friday, holding signs on American Boulevard that read "Don't Criminalize Homelessness." Their cause: Beginning this morning, Boise police, paramedics and other care providers will clear out Cooper Court, the tent city that grew up over the summer behind Corpus Christi day shelter.

"They think homeless people are a nuisance," said demonstrator Leah Pederson.

The process began the afternoon of Dec. 3, when police cordoned off River Street between Americana and 15th Street and a Tate's Rents crew began building a large white tent and installing two large Dumpsters. 

City leaders were mum for hours, but later that evening, Step Up Learning Center Director Lisa Veaudry announced in Cooper Court the city's plans, reassuring people the city has "a plan for your property."

"They're not going to bulldoze the place. They're not going to beat people up. We had no warning about this. I'm terrified for you," Veaudry said at the time.

This morning's demonstrations, organized by members of ACLU-Idaho, Occupy Boise and other groups, lined both sides of American near Corpus Christi to show their displeasure with the city's methods. Varlan Linnean, who turned out to protest the action, said the city has "made it illegal to be homeless."

"We're not looking at alternatives" to Cooper Court, he said. 
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