Archive for September, 2009

It’s about time again…open and active weekly PEOPLE PROJECT meetings!

PEOPLE PROJECT met consistently for about 3 yrs in Arcata, but will start back up at this time in Eureka. It would be great to hear from you about what times and days you like for such gatherings/meetings.

For now, meetings will be Tuesdays at 1:30 pm at Peoples’ Action for Rights and Community [PARC].

PEOPLE PROJECT focuses on houseless and poor peoples’ rights & building dignified community. Direct Action, sharing, and open dialogue are central to this grass-roots ‘project’.

PEOPLE PROJECT gatherings are SAFE SPACES to discuss issues facing ‘houseless’ people in our community. One long-term goal of PEOPLE PROJECT is to have a people-run, eco-sustainable campground in an effort to create a dignified, safe, community space for houseless and traveling people, a human rights sanctuary! In addition, PEOPLE PROJECT works to safeguard against police and other harassment, always fighting for human rights. PEOPLE PROJECT is a grassroots effort, concept and group emphasizing the POWER OF THE PEOPLE, Power From The Streets! Food is shared and welcomed at PEOPLE PROJECT spaces.

For the past year and a half, PEOPLE PROJECT has kept a community breakfast going in Eureka- every Tuesday and Friday- “Good Morning Neighbors!” Breakfast!!

PEOPLE PROJECT will be working with People for a Human Rights Sanctuary to get a campground (human rights sanctuary) going in Eureka. Also, we will likely become an affiliate or member organization with the Poor People’s Economic Human Rights Campaign who has been, for years, organizing across color lines for economic rights- using encampments, housing takeovers, cultural and political education, marches, etc.

New energy is encouraged and welcomed at PEOPLE PROJECT spaces. We emphasize the importance of listening, encountering each other in a dignified way, and organizing from a place of power!

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September 12th
Poor People’s March For Human Rights!
Marching for safe shelter, healthcare, healthy food, and Dignity FOR ALL.

Starts 10am, Eureka- 14th and Summer, next to Food For People: March together through neighborhoods and to Highland Park for a noon picnic, an open speak out, listening and gathering to share and to confront all aspects of poverty.

People For a Human Rights Sanctuary?

We’re a group of very concerned, active, and local residents who have united to address consistently ignored issues of poverty, of certain chronic suffering, and oppression of homeless people- that requires greater focus by everyone. Each day harassed, and with another pending nightfall… the necessity to rest, to sleep… and with no sanctuary.

International Treaties, the U.S. Constitution, courts at every level in this country have established the obvious- that sleep is a human necessity. Also, they’ve established that depriving someone of sleep is cruelty. However, local police, judges, and the public continue to treat homeless people who must live and sleep in public as if they’re committing crimes. In the rare instance that a homeless person has support to challenge, in the local courts, “criminal charges” of sleeping, he or she wins or the case is dismissed.

The public’s belief that homeless people are living outside of the law hardens personal prejudice and adds more conflict to a people already facing painful and critical situations. Homelessness growing, no relief in sight, all of us facing deeper economic woes, lost jobs, state budget cuts, etc.

The illegality of local police and government practices against homeless people is never mentioned in the media nor talked about by officials. It is imperative that all of us who know the truth help bring it to others now, so that these practices of harassment, threatening arrest, physical abuse, and confiscating peoples’ personal property ceases. Such practices cause great stress and injury and allow prejudice to grow. Criminalizing of homeless people must stop.

We have plans to create a well organized and well maintained camp, a human rights sanctuary, with and for homeless people- a prototype for other sanctuaries that may follow. This will take skills and effort from people from all walks of life. We are also being advised by competent legal support. Communities in other cities are busy following this same course.

Tell everyone you know about the March on September 12th . We are open to and encouraged by more folks who would like to share ideas or get involved in any way.

444-3155 442-7465

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Words from People For a Human Rights Sanctuary

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Comments follow http://www.sacbee.com/ourregion/story/2160824.html

Update: Sacramento police arrest 17 at ‘safe ground’ homeless camp

By Li Lou and Cynthia Hubert
Published: Friday, Sep. 4, 2009 – 9:05 am
Last Modified: Friday, Sep. 4, 2009 – 1:34 pm

Sacramento police arrested 17 homeless residents at their “safe ground” campsite this morning, including one advocate for the homeless.

Rev. David Moss, a Methodist Minister, was taken into custody along with other campers, charged with illegal camping, Sacramento police Sgt. Norm Leong said.
A press release by Loaves & Fishes early morning claimed Sister Libby Fernandez, executive director of the Loaves & Fishes homeless services group, was arrested together with other campers. But later Sacramento police clarified that she was only detained for a short period when police arrived to search the camp.

Only those who had been previously cited for illegal camping and who police have evidence to show for having camped there for more than 24 hours were taken into custody, police said.

Sacramento police said they were responding to complaints from neighbors, including an elderly man whose house is adjacent to the site. The man, Pedro Hernandez, 71, has told The Bee that campers have insulted him, left trash in the area and generally disrupted his life.

Fernandez said she has slept at the site periodically but never in the presence of officers. She said that she and others plan to continue to occupy the property until the city stops issuing ordinances and establishes a legal camping site with basic services such as running water and garbage pickup.

“They want to stand tall and bring this to court for a solution,” said Fernandez.
“We know that making an arrest is not a solution for the homeless issue,” Leong said. “But we have to enforce the city ordinance, to protect the rights of the neighboring residents and businesses.”

Leong said those who were arrested were taken to the Sacramento County Jail and will be booked and probably released later in the day.

Joan Burke, advocacy director for Loaves and Fishes, was present during the arrests and characterized the scene as “very sad.”

“They are arresting a nun and a minister who are here to help poor people,” Burke said. “They are arresting people whose crime’ is being poor.”

Officers arrived at the campsite about 7:30 a.m.

The action followed a police search early Wednesday, when officers cut a lock, walked onto the C Street property and issued citations for illegal camping. They also seized 32 tents, sleeping bags, cots and other items as evidence. The property is owned by Attorney Mark Merin, who had given permission for campers to live at the site.
Civil rights and religious leaders, business people and others who support the campers were planning their strategy following Wednesday’s citations. One plan is to challenge in court a city ordinance that prevents people from camping in non-designated areas for more than 24 hours at a time.

However, Hernandez, who lives next to the homeless camp, earlier told The Bee that the campers have caused him problems.

“I have had vertigo in the last few days,” said Hernandez in an earlier interview. He suffers from diabetes and heart problems. “My mind is filled with anger and resentment.”
Tuesday morning, he was jarred by the sound of his new neighbors hurling curse words, Hernandez told The Bee. “They yelled vile words,” Hernandez said. “When they saw me, they quieted down.”

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Gather everyone you know!

Gather everyone you know!

Poor Peoples’ March for Human Rights
Saturday, September 12, 2009

    March For Safe Shelter, Healthy Food, HealthCare, and Dignity FOR ALL!!

March begins at 14th and Summer (near Food for People)
and ends at Highland Park (Fairfield/Glen and Highland Avenue)

March starts at 10:00am
Speak-Out Celebration with food and music at NOON! at Highland Park

For more info contact:
People for a Human Rights Sanctuary
(707) 444-3155; 442-7465

    Download the above flier HERE. It copies real well! Put it everywhere or call People For a Human Rights Sanctuary for copies!

Download the below flier HERE. See you on September 12th!

Support Each Other!

Support Each Other!

If you would like to help get things together for the March and Celebration or meet with People for a Human Rights Sanctuary, please call (707) 444-3155 or 442-7465; or email peopleforahumanrightssanctuary@gmail.com.

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