Demolition of Camp Nenookaasi site underway
A day after residents started clearing out of a Minneapolis encampment, city crews have kicked the demolition process into high gear.
City officials started slowly removing fencing around the encampment, located at the corner of 13th Avenue South and 23rd Street East, and some items from the site on Thursday.
Dozens of workers were back at around 7:30 a.m. Friday with shovels and heavy machinery to clear the site.
Meanwhile, many of the residents evicted from Camp Nenookaasi on Thursday were seen setting up a new encampment just a couple of blocks away. Camp organizers say almost all of those people are in the process of getting help with a more permanent place to stay but that could still take a while.
People who live near the new encampment expressed concerns about crime and their safety to 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS, with some saying moving is on the table.
The land where the old encampment resides is the site where the Indigenous Peoples Task Force (IPTF) planned to build its Mikwanedun Audisookon Art and Wellness Center. That purchase agreement has been pushed to February amid the delays in clearing the encampment but IPTF will do predevelopment work to make sure it can break ground right after the sale is complete, the city says.
Camp organizers sent the following statement to 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS on Friday:
“Camp organizers met with city leadership this morning, and we look forward to continued collaboration and partnership with the city of Minneapolis to ensure life affirming practices and meaningful outcomes for our community.
“We are cooperating with public safety because we share the desire to ensure safe community spaces.”