Statement of events of Sunday 8/22/2010 involving John Cassali
[brackets indicate notes from PEOPLE PROJECT]
Prologue: three weeks ago, on 8/3/2010 John Cassali phoned my bookshop at 2:40PM and threatened that if I didn’t stop “demonizing” him he would throw all garbage he collects in the front of my bookshop. I told him I had no idea what he was talking about; he referenced letters in the local papers (not written by me, nor with my preknowledge) and hung up. I was shaken by this call, because John seemed capable of violence.
Yesterday my partner Paul Encimer and I were approached by some of the street population who informed us that homeless encampments had been raided, tents slashed, and things taken. We were asked for help in getting the survival gear—sleeping bags, tents, clothing, blankets, crutches, shoes, food, and other items to safety before these items were taken to the landfill. Guided by community members, Paul went and filled our truck with these needful things. We put word out to the community that we would keep these things safe.
Today at around noon John Cassali pulled up in his white truck and dumped 10 bags of garbage [17 bags in all, 7 of them containing survival gear] in front of our shop. We went out to ask him what he was doing; he was very angry and swore and said that Paul had scattered garbage (not true) and therefore all the garbage was ours to keep. Paul and he exchanged words, Cassali drove away.
Paul called the sheriff’s department, and after a time Officers Zeck and Ireland appeared. Ireland is usually in Eureka; Zeck says he is here at the SoHum substation during the week. They had been contacted by Cassali before receiving our call. We explained our situation and I informed the officers of the previous threat. Zeck phoned Cassali and tried very hard to frame everything in the “everyone desires the best for the community” mode. I spoke to the officers about why they were not taking property to the substation instead of to the landfill. We showed the officers the retrieved survival gear.
Cassali was asked by the officers to come back and remove the bags of garbage. At 12:51pm he returned and filled his truck, staying to chat with a friend at our steps for a few moments before driving away.
I declare this to be a true statement of these events; I have typed this myself.
Kathy Epling (signed)
[Other documentation about John Cassali’s acts against houseless people:
October 2008: John Cassali, some time ago, started petitions against people who live outside, and he harasses them. John Cassali has been bagging people’s stuff. He has been stealing survival gear. John broke the law by taking people’s stuff after the sheriffs did their sweeps- by coming behind the sheriffs and taking people’s possessions to the landfill.The people’s DUE PROCESS has been violated.
February 22, 2010: John Cassali steals and dumps peoples’ camps with the Sheriff’s complicity, assistance, blessing.
July 17, 2010: These raids of sleeping people violate a bunch of human and Constitutional rights, including the right to privacy, to be free from unreasonable search and seizure, etc. When cops (or John Shelter in Eureka or John Cassali in SoHum) steal and/or destroy peoples’ property, it doesn’t matter what they want to call it- “cleaning up”, “helping out”, “warning” -it is illegal. It is stealing. It’s cruel. It ain’t right.]