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Occupy Fresno, the Fulton Mall and the Homeless in Downtown Fresno
by Mike Rhodes ( mikerhodes [at] comcast.net )
Thursday Dec 19th, 2013 9:36 PM
Occupy Fresno ends its Courthouse Park occupation, action on the Fulton Mall, and the homeless in downtown Fresno. Photo below: The Fresno Police - protecting the ice skaters & harassing the homeless

I went to downtown Fresno this evening to check on rumors that Occupy Fresno has shut down. Unfortunately, the rumors are true. Occupy Fresno, perhaps the longest continuous Occupy group in the country, has moved on. The somewhat surprising thing was that, not only was Occupy Fresno gone, there were no other homeless people sleeping at Courthouse Park. The whole park was oddly vacant, with only a few people waiting for buses (the park is a major transit hub for public transportation).

I walked down Mariposa to the Fulton Mall where an ice rink has been installed. The ice rink is set up in the Free Speech area and surrounds the IWW Free Speech plaque. A Reggae band was playing and kids were skating. A police car sat on the mall to provide protection, following a shooting that took place nearby a week or two ago.

The rest of the mall was shut down, with only 2 or 3 business open north of Mariposa and nothing open on the south end of the mall. Following the demolition, by the City of Fresno, of homeless encampments, I was not surprised to find homeless people sleeping on many of the benches and in the doorways of businesses. Homeless people have to sleep somewhere!

There were several homeless people camping on the Mariposa Mall, next to the State of California buildings. I talked to one person there who told me that the police had kicked everyone out of Courthouse Park. He said they are not bothering him, sleeping across the street from City Hall. He added, “but, I have to be out of here by 6 a.m. or the police will come by and tell me to leave.”
§This man was sleeping about 50 feet from the ice skating rink
by Mike Rhodes Thursday Dec 19th, 2013 9:36 PM

§It looks like this man could use a blanket and new socks
by Mike Rhodes Thursday Dec 19th, 2013 9:36 PM

§Many of the doorways to businesses were being used by the homeless
by Mike Rhodes Thursday Dec 19th, 2013 9:36 PM

§Most of the Fulton Mall was locked up tight (a week before Christmas)
by Mike Rhodes Thursday Dec 19th, 2013 9:36 PM


Comments  (Hide Comments)

by Dan Waterhouse, Newslink Fresno
Friday Dec 20th, 2013 7:34 AM
...hear about the new ordinance controlling what happens in Courthouse Park that was passed earlier this month by the Board of Supervisors at Henry Perea's behest. No camping, no sleeping, and no shopping carts allowed in Courthouse Park. The new ordinance redefined the park's boundaries, and Sheriff Mims made it very clear publicly she was going to clear the Occupiers out.

Early this morning I saw what looked like a tent set up again in the parking area near the Hall of Records after a two-week-plus absence. Someone is apparently trying to get Occupy Fresno reestablished.
by Mike Rhodes
( mikerhodes [at] comcast.net ) Friday Dec 20th, 2013 4:39 PM

We ran an article about the County of Fresno's effort to destroy Occupy Fresno in the November Community Alliance newspaper. See: http://fresnoalliance.com/wordpress/?p=8532. Also, I took a photo of the notice (the one posted by the County) and will upload the photo with this comment.
by Dan
Friday Dec 20th, 2013 6:04 PM
Your article seemed to express surprise there weren't homeless in Courthouse Park. The ordinance gives the Sheriff and county security officers the ability to clear them out of the park every night (there's a new curfew time). Add to that the ban on personal property in the park and at other county facilities. Henry Perea was pretty blunt about wanting homeless out of the park, citing homeland security concerns.