Los Angeles State Transportation Workers dismantle homeless camp as Super Bowl nears

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As the date of Super Bowl LVI nears, a homeless camp was demolished in Los Angeles County.

Advocates for the unhoused have expressed outrage over this week’s dismantling of tents and other shelters occupied by an estimated 60 people along a main route from Los Angeles International Airport to SoFi Stadium, where the NFL extravaganza is scheduled for global broadcast on Feb. 13.

“We know there’s no available housing in Los Angeles right now. We also know that Los Angeles is seeing record numbers for COVID outbreaks,” People’s City Council Los Angeles, an advocacy group, tweeted Monday. “Yet, the Super Bowl is coming here in a few weeks and we are sweeping and displacing unhoused folks with no place to go. Shameful.”

The Los Angeles Community Action Network posted a Tuesday tweet on its Twitter page. “Question marks are not necessary, masking, hiding, and banishment is what’s happening.”This city hosted the 1984 Summer Olympics and will be home to the 2028 Summer Olympics. “We’ve seen this before and it’s a dress rehearsal for the massive Olympic banishment headed to LA,”The post.

This week, Caltrans workers in hazmat suits cleared a section of Century Boulevard beneath the overpass of Interstate 405 that leads directly to SoFi Stadium, a 70,000-seat venue capable of expanding to 100,000 seats, where the NFL’s Los Angeles Rams and Chargers play their home games. 

In a statement, a Caltrans spokesman said the camp was removed because of fire safety concerns and that people there had been forewarned.

“Caltrans posted a notice at the site 72-hours in advance of the cleanup, on January 20, to allow those at the encampment time to gather their belongings and take advantage of services,” the transportation department said.

Los Angeles’ mandatory cleanup of homeless camps across the city was resumed in September. It had been suspended for much of the COVID-19 epidemic. Advocates for the unhoused have condemned the policy, saying it was an attempt to drive out the homeless.

Officials from the city say that this effort is necessary in order to maintain streets and neighborhoods clean. The belongings of the displaced are then bagged and stored for their owner.