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Posts Tagged ‘class war’

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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Reno to Order Homeless Squatters Off Streets

The Reno City Council is moving to expand its ordinance keeping the homeless from sitting or sleeping on city streets.

Posted: 9:44 PM Nov 17, 2010
Reporter: Ed Pearce

Their address for the moment is could be any street corner near the downtown. Their home for the night is likely some doorway, some stretch of sidewalk somewhere and wherever that is, it’s likely to create a problem for someone else. [And “someone else” matters more, of course…]

The problem of the homeless camping out on the sidewalks of Reno is especially evident along East Fourth Street and the closer to the Record Street Homeless Center, the more evident.

Businesses along here say it’s a growing problem. Those close by say they often have to clean up after someone who’s relieved themselves in their doorway.

A few blocks east of Record Street at Anchor Auctions Connie Pilliod says she is sympathetic to the homeless and never finds them sleeping outside her door, but she worries about their impact on the whole neighborhood.

“It’s scary and I’m concerned people will be afraid to come down here,” she says.

Daniel Davis lives just a couple of blocks from Connie’s business on the sidewalk just outside the homeless shelter.

He says he understands the concerns, but has little choice. “We’re not all bad. We aren’t drunks or on drugs,” he says. “We’ve just had bad luck.”

[GENTRIFICATION] The sidewalk Daniel and others now call home was once blocks away from the downtown core, but the city has been expanding it’s redevelopment efforts and features like the new City Center Bus Station and the Freight House District are just a short block away from dozens of homeless camped on the streets.

So, today the city council took the first step to expand those boundaries.

Some residents spoke in opposition suggesting restrictions were cruel.

The council’s answer: this is not an effort to criminalize homelessness. There are services available, but some choose not to accept the help and that’s put them at odds with a city determined to clear its sidewalks.

The ordinance will come up for a second reading and vote in the coming weeks.

When it does, sleeping or sitting on a sidewalk in a huge area surrounding the downtown will become a misdemeanor.

Deputy Police Chief Dave Evans says offenders will get a warning and all the help they need. Those choosing to stay will be arrested.

The area that would be covered by the ordinance is bounded on the north by I-80, the south by California Avenue, the west by Keystone and the east Wells Avenue.

http://www.kolotv.com/home/headlines/Reno_to_Order_Homeless_Squatters_Off_Streets_108828299.html

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DO WE REALLY HAVE A CHOICE?

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For Immediate Release: contact Paul 707.923.4488
Oct 27, 2010.

Emerald Region Poor People’s Campaign

STAND UP GET UP

Once again, the rain is a sign for police action against the poor. Wed, Oct 27, camps have been raided here in SoHum. Shamefully, deputies and chp have set up checkpoints in Redway and street sweeps in Garberville as well. Those without I.D.s showing local addresses are warned to leave the area or face arrest.

Numbers of people were arrested and others issued tickets. Reportedly the police are promising 20 or more officers for Thursday, Oct. 28.

Opposed to a police state for the poor who don’t have the proper papers? Fed up with a County where the police and some hardline merchants and some hippy gentry make policy and NOT elected officials and their administrators?

This a Civil Rights issue. Poor people are the objects of an organized campaign where “homeless” is a shorthand to hate speech. As we are told repeatedly, most Americans are two paychecks (or one mortgage or rental agreement) away from, this locally criminalized “homelessness”. This an unabashed war on the poor, starting at the bottom.

The choice is obvious – to identify clearly with the Civil Rights of poor people and stand in support.

For that purpose, there will be a Poor People Solidarity Rally in downtown Garberville at noon on this Thursday, Oct 28 and again at noon on Friday.

Bring a sign, a song, a statement – in the spirit of Martin Luther King and Bob Marley. Stand up, get up, stand up for our rights.

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Charlotte rejects anti-camping law

Measure was not a solution to issue of homelessness, critics say

By CHRIS GERBASI, Correspondent
Published: Wednesday, July 14, 2010 at 1:00 a.m.
http://www.heraldtribune.com/article/20100714/ARTICLE/7141031/2055/NEWS

CHARLOTTE COUNTY – Following emotional pleas from the public to help Charlotte County’s homeless population, county commissioners narrowly rejected a proposed no-camping ordinance that critics said targeted the group.

The commission on Tuesday voted 3-2 against a ban on living or sleeping outdoors in a temporary shelter on public or private property without permission from the landowner. Commissioners Robert Skidmore, Richard Loftus and Adam Cummings voted against the ordinance; Commissioners Bob Starr and Tricia Duffy were in favor.

The proposal stemmed from complaints from residents and business owners about “vagrants” living in parks or near stores. Laws against street drinking and aggressive panhandling were previously passed this year.

About 15 people, some quoting from the Bible, the Constitution and the Statue of Liberty creed, addressed commissioners. Punta Gorda lawyer Michael Haymans and others questioned the proposed ordinance’s constitutionality. Some speakers said they were formerly homeless or work with the homeless. They said they fear the trend in the county to criminalize everyday activities of homeless people: sleeping, eating, sitting, begging.

“I’d like to see the trend in thinking change to something more positive,” said Angela Hogan, executive director of the county Homeless Coalition.

Several residents asked commissioners to find compassionate alternatives to help those most likely to be affected by the ordinance, the estimated 1,000 to 1,500 people living outdoors in the county. Suggestions included creating a tent city or new shelter on county property.

“I don’t understand why this commission is spending so much time looking at short-term punitive measures instead of short-term curative measures,” resident Michael Hirsh said.

Starr insisted that this is not a “homeless issue,” but rather about property rights and trespassing, and he had support from Duffy and just three residents who spoke.

Starr has said he wants to clear out all the unlawful campsites in the county as public health hazards. If he can get support from the board, he hopes to initiate a cleanup plan with the Public Works Department. He said there are an estimated 109 campsites, and the county has contacted most of the property owners, many of whom live out of state. He said about 70 percent of the respondents have granted permission to clean up the properties.

Skidmore said he favored such a cleanup, but argued that trespassing laws already exist to deal with illegal camping. He and Loftus questioned the costs involved with the ordinance for enforcement, prosecution and incarceration.

Cummings, who also voted against the drinking and panhandling ordinances, again said he was uncomfortable with treading on personal freedom.

“I oppose this ordinance because the intent behind it is unconstitutional,” he said.

County attorney Janette Knowlton said the language was based on a Sarasota city ordinance.

One provision would have given violators the chance to be taken to a shelter rather than be charged with the second-degree misdemeanor.

She said that if no bed space was available, the offender would be given a warning and not be arrested. But with typically few beds available at the coalition’s 53-bed shelter, Hogan said the ordinance would be “unenforceable.

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So today (July 14th) the Mateel meal was held at the Vet’s park across the street from the bookstore in Garberville(because the Mateel kitchen staff is down at the reggae site). Police (Humboldt County Sheriff’s Dept) arrived and told people that the Veteran’s have said they don’t want anyone sitting in the park, that they want it cleared out. People asked where they could go and there were no places. Police said they will arrest people who are sitting in town anywhere.

One of the people who cooks the Mateel meal reported that when she asked Deputy Ken Swithenbank where people could EAT, he responded, “They can go a day without food.”

A call was made by a caring resident (and business owner) in the area about the cops’ Vet’s Hall claim. The call went to Brian Ormond, who is supposedly the vet in charge, but he is out of town till Monday.

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REPORTS from only three days!

May 6, 2010

This morning I was wakened from sleep at around 7 in the morning by four men in uniform, led by Sgt. Swithenbank.

I was sleeping under the Bear Gulch bridge.

They told me they were having complaints about “you people”.

I said I wasn’t “you people” but they said yes I was.

They gave me a white paper notice of trespass warning with the County of Humboldt and Swithenbank’s name on it.

They said I would be arrested if they found me sleeping anywhere.

They photographed me with a board with my name, first and last, and something else written on it. I objected briefly before being photographed but one officer pulled out his handcuffs and said “I’ve been waiting to use these”.

I then let them take my photograph.

I wear glasses, I was not able to see the officer’s names. I know Swithenbank by sight; the others I think are new to our area.

I think referring to anyone as “you people” is stereotyping or profiling.

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At about May 6, 2010 at about 7:30AM I was sleeping in my tent on the ridge north of Redway and I heard “you in the tent, come out”. I asked if I could put on my pants; he said no, come on out. I had long johns on so I stepped out.

I was surrounded by 8 officers, including a female.

The female was blonde and tall. The guy making demands was dark haired with a mustache and a chiseled, hawk like face. I did not get the names of the officers.

They asked what brought me to Humboldt County. I said “camping”. They said you’ve been camping for a while and I said I’d been ripped off by 3 companies and decided to live different.

They said I was trespassing on private property and asked me to produce my ID. I did. I had glass beer bottles containing water in my tent; I use glass bottles because they are safer and chemicals don’t leach into my water. They said “you’ve got your 40” and I told them it was water. Are you sure you aren’t making moonshine he asked. I was reaching in to get one of my water bottles and he yelled “hey, get out of there, you might have a gun”

I said “no, no, nothing like that”.

He said “Stand up, we’re gonna take your picture” They put a board with my name in front of me. One of the officers made a joke about my morning hair looking like a rooster and another officer said it was the best photo of the morning.

They gave me a white piece of paper and told me “If you’re here again it will be a fine. You have an hour to get out of here”. I told them it might take a little while longer.

They tazed someone the other day. I didn’t want to provoke them, there were 8 of them, and one of me and I was alone in the woods.

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From an Iraq veteran.

On May 6, 2010, yesterday, about 0700 me and my girl were already awake after staying up all night watching shooting stars on the hill a little north of Garberville. Swithenbank and his officers came out and gave us papers and teased us about being a couple. We had no garbage there, nothing, the camp was clean. There were 4 or 6 officers and animal control, they seem to want to just take the things homeless people have, and their dogs, and everything.

They ran our names to see if we had warrants. I don’t understand why they took my picture.

I’ve been cleaning up this town for years; they need to stop harassing us. I have a fiancé, I’m trying to keep things together.

They said we can’t camp down by the river either. They didn’t tell us where we could go.

I grew up around here and Redding, I was part of a homeschooled family. My grandpa died and I was left homeless.

I’m trying to start my life again.

Two years ago I got laid off 9 times; I was doing jobs I never did before, like welding.

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from Vietnam era vet:

On May 6, 2010 at about 10AM I was sitting in my chair drinking a cup of coffee, enjoying the quiet morning. My cat alerted me that intruders were coming. Four deputies walked up into my camp. I saw them first, I said “good morning, how’s it going”. They asked if I had any ID. We don’t know if you are America’s top ten wanted, please have a seat (on the poison oak). They ran my name and told me I was camping illegally on private property and told me I was being issued a trespassing/littering notice. And that I should leave as soon as possible.

I told Swithenbank it would take me at least 24 hours to get things together (which I did, but I have to go back to get my cat).

They took my picture with a board in front of me with my name, as if I were a criminal.

They said they would come back and would be checking. If I were still here they would “have to take appropriate action”

One cop asked if I was on drugs like heroin or meth. I said no.
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9 Contacts from the raids on the homeless in SoHum
May 6, 2010 from 7AM till around 1PM

-Man at Bear Creek Gulch (just north of Garberville) contacted by cops with Sgt Swithenbank. Cops took picture, issued warning. Land owner Humboldt County (aka public property)

-Man at Redwood Drive by Bear Creek Bridge contacted by cops w/Swithenbank. Took picture, issued warning. Land owner Humboldt County(aka public property).

-Man Contacted by cops under Bear Creek Bridge, took picture. He’s from out of state: Swithenbank told him “to leave Humboldt county and if they come back he would go to jail”

-Young man contacted by cops at Bear Gulch. Cops took picture. Gave warning.

-Young man contacted by cops. Took picture, gave written warning.

-Man contacted by cops. Cops took picture, given warning.

-Woman contacted by cops at 10:45 AM. Cops took picture, gave warning. Contact was behind Blue Star Gas
(north of Garberville, near the freeway). Cited for no rabies tag on dog. Officer C. Nikolaus #99704. Cops were very rude.

-Young man contacted by cops behind Blue Star Gas. Cops took picture, issued warning.

-Man contacted by cops at Raven’s Cliff (Redway, above the river). Cops took picture, issued warning.
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Woman who was born in this area. Her boyfriend used to work for John Casali.

On Friday May 7, 2010 early in the morning around 6:30 we were in our tent about a quarter mile out of town (Redway). Police approached us and told us to get out of the tent. We did. They asked for our ID’s and our names. They said “We’re taking your pictures” and they wrote our names and dates of birth on paper on a clipboard and held it in front of us and took pictures. They did not ask our permission to take photographs of us.

They gave us a paper saying we were trespassing and that we should move immediately. They cited me for having a dog without a rabies tag even though I had mailed in my papers to get the tag.

We moved down to the other side of the road, to the bridge near Dean Creek.

Hamilton came by on Saturday, gave us till 9 AM Sunday to move and told us he was arresting us, but releasing us at the scene. Tresspassing and littering is what it says on the ticket, although we were not at the same location as we had been and were not littering.

Hamilton came on Sunday and gave us till 1 PM to move.

I get my food stamps here, and counseling, I was in a house
in Myers Flat for 4 years but now I am in a tent. I have no place else to go. I was born in Humboldt County. I feel I am being pushed from my home. I have Cherokee in me.

We keep our camps clean.
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Ticket issued today, May 8, 2010 by Sheriff Deputy Hamilton for trespassing and littering. However, the circumstances were that the guy returned to the river bank with a few friends to have lunch there. There is a firepit; they were heating their lunch. They informed Hamilton they were just there for lunch, not to stay, but he said they’d been warned.

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more from May 8, 2010:

1) Man contacted by cops. Picture taken, warning given. He was on Public Land

2) Woman contacted by cops on public land. Picture taken.
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