Small businesses in Longview, Washington, and neighboring communities are going to war with the city over what they describe as a “terrorist homeless encampment” located on Alabama St.
Dead bodies, Molotov cocktails, gang rapes, illegal firearms, prostitution, and minors using drugs are only a small list of criminal activities happening in the Alabama encampment on a near daily basis.
Residents of Highland Park, a low-income neighborhood near the encampment, told me that they have been forced to create a neighborhood watch that patrols the streets to try to prevent the homeless vagrants from stealing their property, breaking into their homes, and much worse.
Since Governor Inslee enacted police-reform legislation in 2021 that significantly tied the hands of law enforcement, and with city officials refusing to clear the encampment, Highland Park residents warned that it’s possible they will be forced to take up vigilantism in order to keep their community safe.
While it’s normal to see criminal lawlessness at the hands of sprawling homeless encampments in Democratic cities such as Seattle and San Francisco, it’s unusual for this to be happening in the small conservative town of Longview, Washington.
Concerns have fallen on deaf ears, and when the owner of Matt’s Custom Meats expressed frustrations during a city council meeting, a left-wing activist attempted to launch a boycott against his business.
But perhaps it’s Matheson’s Gas that faces the worst of the encampment, as the encampment sits on their property.
Despite the community showing up in force to city council meetings, the mayor and majority of council members don’t seem to care. In fact, they do what they do best and play politics. Right before the latest meeting, they sent out an agenda that listed areas where they were proposing to build tiny homes to house the vagrants.
This included the downtown area of Longview, as well as Alabama St. After residents and business owners publicly testified against the tiny homes being placed in the downtown corridor, council members voted to terminate the location.
But Alabama Street wasn’t so lucky and despite council members putting a motion forward to terminate the encampment on Alabama, the majority of council members struck it down. Those in attendance said the proposed list of encampment sites was politically motivated so politicians could cross off the downtown locations after listening to their constituents' concerns to make it look like they care, while at the same time keeping the encampment on Alabama St.