Archive for the ‘People for a Human Rights Sanctuary’ Category

November’s “Radical Rap” Addresses Inhumane Treatment of Houseless People in Southern Humboldt

Radical Rap is a radio show on KMUD radio that runs the 2nd Wednesday of the month (most months).  You can listen live at:  http://kmud.org/programs-mainmenu-11/listen-live-kmud

Here is a link to download and hear Radical Rap from Nov. 14, 2012:  https://www.box.com/s/m6qi2q41bt3xf9g3fh75


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Kathy Anderson of People For A Human Rights Sanctuary

a tent is affordable housing

Eureka City Council Mtg.
Sept. 21, 2010

Dear Council members:

Article 1: Universal Declaration of Human Rights declares that all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.  They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.

As a council that has publicly stated that you, therefore Eureka, supports The Universal Declaration of Human Rights I need to ask you how the conscience of the city can continue using decades old attempts to “handle” the homeless problem that have failed.  You have sunk millions of dollars into sheltering, policing and jailing people yet homelessness is on the rise.

20+ years ago and most every year since, you’ve had homeless activists/advocates talk to you about a campground and you always refuse.  Then John Shelter comes to you with his New Directions Program that you funded.  According to the program description, once John OK’s people to camp, they need not worry about becoming a criminal with a camping violation.

Last week a couple who lives in the marsh with an agreement between them and John was violated by a police officer who threatened to arrest this couple for trespassing and “maintaining a public nuisance”. 
Can you imagine having an officer come to where you live telling you that you must leave by tomorrow or you’ll go to jail?  Does that sound dignified?  The officer (M.Harpham) also added insult to the threat and cut the ropes to their tarp and destroyed the door that keeps out the rain.  I’ve taken many complaints from people in my neighborhood who have had the cops slash and otherwise destroy their belongings. 

Where do homeless people go to when their agreements with the New Directions Program have been violated?  Are you still employing New Directions, if not, when are you going to tell the public?

For more than 20 years you’ve been told of the necessity for a campground set up to provide basic sheltering and sanitation for those in housing poverty.  We’ve told you that housing for every income need must be supplied to our communities or suffer with homelessness indefinitely.  Today we have a saturated rental market because those who used to own are renting and those who rented are homeless because the owners were foreclosed upon and no low income housing is slated to be built this year.  So where are people living?  In the forests and the bushes along the bay and you have hired the police to take care of our housing shortage by criminalizing people in poverty and despair!

The welfare department recognizes that people need tents and sleeping bags and will refer people to Saint Vinnie’s for free ones if they have some donations.  There are hundreds of others who have voiced their approval of a campground and who would volunteer to set up and support when they are needed.

I ask that the city work out a way to secure “common space” for people without housing to set up camp as transitional housing until the housing needs of the area become stabilized.  Please don’t look to professionals to quantify needs, homeless people and activists are far more logical and realistic than are those who have financial interest in these things.

K. Anderson

Today, September 22, 2010, I was called by Maria within the hour after I helped them relocate to a new camp spot telling me that the cops were “raiding” again and she was afraid. After calling Verbena to report the raid I went to the marsh and walked with James, Maria and dogs, down to where the patrol cars (2) were. We spoke with Murl Harpham and an unknown officer. I asked Harpham why he threatened to arrest this couple when they had an agreement with John Shelter. He said because it is illegal to camp here. I asked why did the city give $20,000 to New Directions, and he said it was so that John Shelter could teach people how to camp respectfully and clean up the marsh. I asked why the city would pay John $20,000 to teach campers how to camp if camping is illegal. Officer Harpham then told me that he would have to tell John to stop doing that. My understanding of what he was saying is that EPD has jurisdiction and therefore what New Directions was hired to do is ineffectual to the “campers” and a waste of money to the city.

We need and must provide a Human Rights Sanctuary to give relief to people like Maria who worry everyday about her belongings and staying out of the rain.

We need quiet retreats where the mind can heal from too much noise and too many people.

We need a few acres in the woods where a garden can flourish from the care of hands that once were in handcuffs.

We need jobs available to people who can sculpt and build fascinating driftwood benches and art made of recycled materials found in the marsh along the path that will be built from a million dollar grant that was just awarded to the city of Eureka. I’ll bet we could get more grant money to employ people who would live and work in the marsh while building the trail. It could be fashioned into a project like what The Conservation Corps did during the Great Depression.

We need the cops to leave people alone.

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February 14, 2010 Gene Taylor died of asphyxiation after the tent he lived in the woods at Del Norte pier caught fire. Gene went through his first earthquake here and used to frequent our Good Morning Neighbors Breakfast each Tuesday and Friday morning, as a matter of fact that is where I met him. During the week before Christmas Gene was beaten up and sustained broken ribs. Knowing his situation and what broken ribs feels
like I invited him to stay at my house with my son Josh and Steve who sleeps in his truck in my driveway. The four of us had a Christmas together that I will always be grateful for.
Friday, February 19, 2010 at Noon we will gather at the Del Norte Pier for a memorial for Gene. More info will come later. –Kathy Anderson, People for a Human Rights Sanctuary


This is a link to the article that the North Coast Journal’s Heidi Walters wrote after she attended the memorial. Below the link are two online comments to the article.http://www.northcoastjournal.com/issues/2010/02/25/gentleman-wanderer/

1. kathy anderson:
Feb 25, 2010

Heidi did a good job of reporting this story. She is excellent at playing what she called “the devils advocate”. In answer to the question of whether I used my friends death as a ploy to get attention to the homeless situation I must state what is obvious to others who advocate for homeless people and there right to be treated equally within our society; I speak and do what I can to bring justice to those who are unjustly treated in this society. That is all, it’s very simple. There are no hidden agendas of financial gain or prestige, as a matter of fact my fellow advocates and I are in poverty ourselves and understand what the average citizen wonders about and know that we must tell the true stories of what is REALLY going on in and about homelessness. We get spit at and harassed by police, government, property owners and business persons just like our homeless neighbors do. The personal stories need to be told because society forgets about the human condition that is made more dangerous as each day passes when ignorance and cruelty are running rampant. Why do we not have campgrounds as affordable housing? God have mercy on our souls for being negligent and mean-spirited!

2. belle:
Feb 25, 2010

It makes a big difference when people like this are “humanized” and made real people. Thank you for this article. As much as I would hate to read obituaries, I would love more human contacts with those who are alive and well, living an “alternative” life style that we need to try to understand. Kind of goes with your Indian Island story.
We are all here together. Let us look at ourselves first to make change and life a better thing.

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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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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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