FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Squiggy Rubio 707-3621486
POWER FROM THE STREETS! Culmination of PEOPLE PROJECT Human Rights Action
Arcata, California – PEOPLE PROJECT announces the culmination of their protest encampment beginning Wednesday morning with the completion of the encampment, a rally (listen to rally) and march that Wednesday afternoon, and a press conference on Thursday.
Wednesday’s rally and march, beginning at 1pm at 14th and Union Street, will be an opportunity for the entire community to come together to celebrate, support and discuss the homeless encampment action and the relevant issues that it has raised.
PEOPLE PROJECT wants to be clear the encampment is not asking for money, services or help from government. “We have found that to be useless” said longtime PEOPLE PROJECT participant. For many years, the City of Arcata has claimed it would do more to address the issue of homelessness. Many view the Homeless Task Force as one costly but fruitless effort by the City that created numerous road blocks for every clearly articulated solution presented. With the encampment action, People Project instead seeks to connect with caring community members and strengthen the houseless community’s vision of a campground.
PEOPLE PROJECT began a demonstration Saturday afternoon April 21 and later that evening created the protest encampment. On April 25th Arcata Police Department, University Police, Eureka Police Department, California Highway Patrol, Humboldt County Distract Attorney and Fortuna Police Department mobilized to tear down the encampment and remove the primarily houseless demonstrators. Many consider this the largest police action in Humboldt County in the last 15 years.
Visits to the PEOPLE PROJECT encampment involved discussions about the illegality of the City’s policies that target houseless people. In mid 2006, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in ‘Jones v City of Los Angeles’ that it is unconstitutional for a city to ticket or arrest individuals who sleep on city property if no other option exists. “For a community that considers itself progressive, it seems unthinkable that there would be such an increasing number of poor and houseless people falling victim to constant harassment and violations of their rights” stated Squiggy Rubio.
After the police raid, demonstrators spent three days and two nights on the front lawn of City Hall demanding the return of police-seized property. “After violent police repression, we found it appropriate to temporarily move to the often hostile downtown business area where money is prioritized over human rights” said PEOPLE PRJOECT participant, Willie.
On Saturday night April 28, PEOPLE PROJECT human rights demonstration moved to the base of Redwood Park on 14th and Union Street declaring “we will not disappear.”
The PEOPLE PROJECT encampment that is claiming public space will be completed on Wednesday May 2nd. It is the first phase in a longer process to expose the cruelty, dehumanization and criminalization of houseless people, to open up dialogue with other community members and to generate support for a free, people-run, ecologically sustainable campground.
On Thursday May 3 on the corner of 11th and D street at noon, a press conference will be held to further discuss the situation facing homeless people here locally and around the nation. Upcoming events to be organized by the PEOPLE PROJECT will be announced during the press conference.