Judge blocks McKee order to evict homeless Rhode Islanders camping at State House


PROVIDENCE — On Friday, a Superior Court judge temporarily blocked the McKee administration’s order that homeless people camping in tents at the State House must leave.

Judge David Cruise issued a temporary restraining order, which prevents the state from clearing the tent encampment until Wednesday.

Governor Dan McKee’s office had no immediate comment.

People camping outside the State House were notified Wednesday by members of McKee’s staff that they would have to leave within 48 hours, or face fines or arrest.

On Thursday in a letter to McKee administration, the American Civil Liberties Union of Rhode Island demanded McKee rescind the eviction order. Executive Director Steven Brown said the ACLU would “consider possible legal action on behalf of people who end up being adversely affected.”

By the Friday morning deadline, the state had not yet responded to the ACLU’s letter. People and their tents remained outside the State House. And protesters began to gather inside the State House, holding signs and singing “We Shall Overcome.”

This is a developing news story and will be updated.

Alexa Gagosz can be reached at alexa.gagosz@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @alexagagosz and on Instagram @AlexaGagosz.


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