The battle of the porta-potties continues.
At the crack of dawn this morning, the City of Anaheim made good on its promise to impound three porta-potties which zealous homeless activist Mohammed Aly had illegally installed on city-property on Sunday, intended for use by inhabitants of an adjacent Santa Ana River homeless encampment:
Aly had originally placed them directly on the Santa Ana River trail on Saturday, May 13; after the county told him that was illegal, he and some of the homeless rassled them over to a concrete slab next to the OC Fire Authority’s training center – on City of Anaheim property.
City code enforcement visited Aly’s outdoor commodes on Tuesday, May 16 to notify him they were illegally installed and would be impounded if he did not remove them within 24 hours:
Aly made it clear he had no intention of removing the portable latrines. This is the same gentleman who had to be forcibly removed from the OC Board of Supervisors hearing room when he insisted on speaking for 30 minutes about the homeless living along the Santa Ana River – despite the fact that each member of the public is allotted just 3 minutes (or whatever sliver of time is now allowed by the Board).
In the meantime, on Thursday, May 18, the County installed a second post in to the concrete entry to the river trail. This prevents Aly from avoiding the city’s seizure of his porta-potties by dragging them back to the river trail:
Early this morning, the city made good on its promise to remove the portable bathrooms:
Aly is crying foul. According to sources, he applied for permission from OC Public Works to move them back to the river trail, but was denied.
For many others, however, it is encouraging to see the city adhering to its first duty: enforcing the law. Aly and his fellow activists maintain that since the homeless denizens of the river camps are going to the bathroom anyway, better in the porta-potties than in the river. There’s truth to that, but it ignores the alternative solution – not allowing people to camp on the river trail. But that would entail the County of Orange enforcing the law, something for which it has thus far shown little appetite. That makes it extra encouraging to see the city step up and make good on its promise to enforce the law, even in this limited circumstance.