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Austinites rally for those abandoned to Winter Storm Uri

By staff |
February 24, 2021
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Austin rally demands aid for those abandoned to Winter Storm Uri.
Austin rally demands aid for those abandoned to Winter Storm Uri. (Fight Back! News/Staff)

Austin, TX - On February 21, a crowd of around 50 people gathered in front of the Homeless Memorial Tree, a local landmark that bears dog tags with the names of 256 homeless people who died in Austin in 2020 alone. In the wake of Winter Storm Uri, community members gathered to participate in the Street Memorial ATX Arctic Week of Crisis, an event organized by Stop the Sweeps Austin, Human Kindness/House the Poor, and The Challenger Street Newspaper. They gathered to mourn the lives lost after unprecedented freezing temperatures wrecked the state, and to express outrage over the city’s inaction in providing any meaningful aid.

Speakers decried the city's elected officials' lack of action in providing any significant assistance to those who needed it most. Several speeches highlighted how the responsibility instead fell upon individuals and community organizations who went out in dangerous conditions to help get people food and shelter.

After these speeches from various community organizations and individuals, protesters took to the streets. They marched across the First Street Bridge, stopping in front of the mayor's apartment. Chants included "Stop the sweeps, stop the evictions!" and "Mourn the dead, fight for the living!" The march then stopped at City Hall, where more speeches were given, before heading back to the Homeless Memorial Tree.