Camp Berkowitz grows downtown


The protesters are still squatting at Delaney Park Strip on Tuesday evening, where they have been for nearly a week.

According to city ordinance, city parks open at 6 am and close at 11 pm. But rules are different for opponents of the state’s budget in Alaska’s largest city. Especially when the mayor gives his nod.

Mayor Ethan Berkowitz has verbalized his approval for this encampment, which is starting to fill with homeless people as well as protesters. The organizers say it’s a drug-free and crime-free community.

While there were 14 tents last week, and 24 on Sunday, the number of park squatters keeps growing, with 30 tents counted on Tuesday. Although the squatters have been given notice to vacate Tuesday night by 11 pm, they say they’re not going anywhere until Gov. Michael Dunleavy restores cuts to the budget.

Justina Beagnyam, who identifies as spokesperson with the Alaska Poor People’s Campaign, is one of the leaders of the occupation.

Beagnyam also took part in the disruption of a meeting of legislators in Wasilla last week, where protesters took over the desks of the legislators and shrieked through the prayer, pledge of allegiance, and legislative announcements.

The group had a handshake agreement with the city to clear out on Sunday night, but has reneged on the agreement and is now settling in for the long haul. Protesters say they won’t leave until more funding for homelessness is included in the State budget.


  1. Every city that has “funded” homelessness has seen an explosion in such barbaric environments. Democrats love their tent ghettos it seems. Soon Anchorage downtown will be experiencing disease outbreaks and panhandlers on every corner if the Scofflaw Berkowitz gets his way. Why do we even bother with laws and ordinances when Democrats routinely ignore them like the lawbreaking lawmakers in Juneau? Just declare a state of anarchy and let the survival of the fittest settle it. smh

    • For today’s democrat the government dependent mean votes and power. They love those tent cities – pack’em in and then get them registered to vote! It is a pretty sad place we are now in. The entitlement culture is well cultivated and a strong political tool.

  2. This is great! Let’s see how long the general public supports the tent camp as more and more homeless move in. Catering to the homeless has worked out well In Hawaii and Portland.

    • Well “oldschool”…
      I have checked both the U.S. and State Constitutions and NO WHERE does it state owning a home is a requirement to remain a citizen in this country…
      There is also NO mention of the requirement for maintaining steady employment…
      The reality is that as the income gaps widen in this environment of “micro fascism” in America we will see more and more citizens taking to the streets (and parks) to gain solidarity with other disenfranchised citizens…
      Yes, you are right this has happened more in the lower 48 in the past, but as the Dunleavy Administration (Arduin) tightens Austerity measures in Alaska we will soon see the breaking down of our society as well.

      • No mention of the requirement to encourage and allow bums and so-called “protesters” to co-opt and pollute public spaces…

      • I don’t disagree with you, Steve, about the income gaps. I do think that fed Congress, state legislature, and even local Assembly members are part of the problem. Add in the mega-rich company lobbyists that donate to politicians, they’ve helped squash competition. Without competition, super rich companies don’t have to pay employees more.
        Couple with that, regulations and zoning restrictions in many cities are why housing is so expensive. Politicians and NIMBYS have done a great job of increasing the homeless population. Look at San Francisco. A new, and much needed, housing development was turned down because it would cast a shadow. This is April 2019.

        • S.Evans,
          Good points on how “politicians and NIMBYS have done a great job of increasing the homeless population”.
          I am currently reading a paper by Holcombe at the Cato Institute in which he details this exact problem with a system he calls “Political Capitalism”…
          Holcombe believes this system of economy and government that is in place today is distinctly different from traditional “free market” Capitalism or Socialism.
          “If a cartel can create a barrier to entry, it can create a continuing stream of profits for its members. By restricting rents to the elite, there is a net benefit to the rent recipients (at the expense of others), and the welfare costs of rent seeking do not equal the entire amount of rents. By creating a barrier to entry, the political and economic elite can benefit each other. The economic elite gain the rents they are seeking at a cost lower than the rents and transfer some of the rents they gain to the political elite, allowing both the political and economic elite to gain from the rents sought and granted.”

      • Let’s try to stay on subject Steve. Apparently you no longer need a permit to camp on the park strip. This appears to be the case if you’re attempting to promote a position the mayor agrees with. Talk about Micro fascism.

        • Rudy,
          You can blame the Mayor for the lack of permits for camping, but the factors which are leading to a rising homeless population are more a result of our economic system and widening income gaps and lack of adequate low income housing.
          This idea that our economic system is leading to a more “authoritative” system of policies is not just coming from those on the left…many free market advocates on the right are also unhappy with current business and development restrictions in place.
          Libertarians at the Cato Institute are studying this “crony capitalism” and have called it Political Capitalism…
          This leads to zoning and regulations which favor both the political and economical elite…basically the 1 percent and not the 99%.
          Randell Holcombe writes:
          “Political capitalism is closer to fascism than to either capitalism or socialism.”

      • Steve Stine —
        Austerity measures? Reining in crazy, irresponsible run away spending? If all of the people using government funded social services that did not in reality need them stopped using them, there would be ample service available for those that do in reality need them. We have a culture of entitlement using the system and they are a growing movement. When a government hands out no strings attached support with no end date, no expectation, no ‘skin in the game’ this is what happens. I call it thievery.

  3. Full stop: The mayor of Anchorage is an advocate for lawlessness.

    Good luck paying for these social services when the property owners complete their exodus out of the state!

  4. “You never want a serious crisis to go to waste. And what I mean by that is an opportunity to do things that you think you could not do before.” Rahm Emanuel
    The “serious crisis”, of course, is homelessness reported to be at pandemic proportions and public opinion manipulated to febrility.
    The “opportunity to do things that you think you could not do before.” means getting voter approval for bonds to solve the homeless problem once and for all by creating taxpayer-subsidized housing developments for the homeless, who will then have physical addresses and can then be helped with voter registrations and, of course, voting.
    Anchorage’s vote-by-mail system makes that possible.
    Remember, the Assembly forced Anchorage’s vote-by-mail system on voters, despite the system’s vulnerability to unauthorized ballot “corrections”, ballot harvesting, and no credible assurance that voter rolls are accurate.
    What that means is, the extra voter “help” from the formerly homeless, might be just what it takes to make all sorts of Charter changes possible, do away with term limits and tax caps and, best of all, enable perpetual Democrat rule.
    And the so-called opposition can’t (won’t) do a thing to stop it.
    Now that’s “opportunity”!

  5. This should be funded by nonprofits as well as churches. Not government nanny state snowflakes. Go take a trip to Seattle, Portland and other types of these cities.

  6. Anchorage elected a Democrat as Mayor and the liberal left is slowly destroying the city face it you voted for it .

  7. Brilliant Berkie might wanna go check in with the health departments of San Fran, LA and San Diego to see what types of diseases he should be expepecting to be manifesting in Anchorage via the homeless quagmire … Just sayin.

  8. Who cares, really? I would only go downtown to answer a summons or subpoena. The lefties and crazies down there seem to like what they have, so they can live with it; I’m not going to the Park Strip and try to dodge the poop mines.

  9. I called the Mayor’s office on Monday and they said the protestors do not have a permit and they have turned it over to APD. As they are camping, they are violating Anchorage Municipal code which prohibits camping in muni run parks. Why aren’t they AND Mayor Berkowitz going to jail? Are we really turning into downtown Seattle?

    • Carol – they had a handshake agreement with the Berkowitz Administration that they’d clear out by this last Sunday. So much for that…. – sd

  10. Can Berkowitz’s office staff please issue “poop updates.” Anchorage residents need to know of high volume poop days, so trips to downtown can be avoided.

    • Mayor Berkopoopz needs additional funding for poop removal in downtown. Doesn’t our governor have a little spare change? P L E E Z E!!!!!

  11. I am sure that a bunch of heroin addicts are deeply concerned over the cuts that the University of Alaska system is facing and are now squatting in protest in this very visible park because they are fretting that they will not be able to get a B.A. in underwater basket weaving in the coming semesters. That’s why they are there.
    More importantly, the is a case of anther liberal mayor of a major city that absolutely HATES the people who have families, have a few kids, go to work everyday, pay their taxes, vote, make sure their kids go to school, pay through the nose to give them a decent life, and just generally live a conventional, responsible life. Berkowitz hates these types of people and want to destroy them. He wants to see their daughters raped by heroin addicts. He wants to see their homes invaded by murderers. Berkowitz hates responsible American families and want to see them destroyed.
    He loves heroin addicts. He says he does this out of “compassion”. You know, heroin addicts generally don’t vote. Why don’t you have compassion for the people who are responsible and vote before heroin addicts. Why do you love heroin addicts and HATE responsible American families that can no longer afford to live in Anchorage?

  12. Leave those tents up and let the homeless live there, at least we know where they will be and chances of them burning Anchorage to the ground goes down. And the mayor needs to be held accountable for breaking the law by allowing those idiots to stay there over night. This kind of crap only happens when a Democrat in in control, god I can’t wait for EaglExit to happen.

  13. Well he DID say….EVERYONE is welcome here and I mean EVERYONE. when lawyers are in charge the injustice is LARGE. It will take years to figure out what he did with all that lost money.

  14. So, which mayor was worse? Begich, who spent far more than would ever be available, and then pooped on everyone? Or, Berkowitz, who wants to spend more than Begich, and who is also looking for more poop to spread?

  15. SOLUTION: All cannibis cultivators can come downtown and shovel free fertilizer to take home for their grow operations.
    Poopoo makes plant grow! Municipality will give tax break to local growers based on cubic feet of poop removal.

  16. Abbreviated version of telling quote

    “The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public’s money.”, – Alexis de Tocqueville

    This works at the state level as well.

    • I sat in on a few discussions down there this week. Funny thing. I left after one such discussion and walked down 10th Avenue. There are a couple of mini-libraries along that street, one by the Stewart house and one by First Presbyterian. I found a biography of Frederic Bastiat in one of them and have been leafing through it a little bit. Not only was Tocqueville mentioned several times, the book describes a France during Bastiat’s lifetime which really isn’t too dissimilar from the state of the United States 200 years later. The main exception is that the revolution isn’t quite as violent (and, contrary to Gil Scott-Heron, appears to be televised, though it’s still not brought to you by Xerox in four parts without commercial interruption).


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