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Sun Nov 19 2017 (Updated 11/28/17)
Police Action in East Palo Alto Displaces RV Dwellers
Seventy-five protesters blocked a street in East Palo Alto to protect families at a police action at 8 a.m. on November 15. A tow truck pulled up to haul away a dozen RV's occupied mostly by working people, some with children. The RV residents received less than 24 hours notice of an emergency eviction ordinance put in place by the city. That same evening many of the protesters and about 200 residents showed up to a Public Works and Transportation Commission meeting to face off with city staff and commissioners. On the agenda: a potential long term or permanent ordinance on RV parking on Weeks Street and a ban on all oversized vehicles on city streets.
Proponents of the recently passed No Camping ordinance in Fresno claim that homeless people who are sleeping on public and private property are doing so by choice. They say that if they wanted to get off the streets, there are plenty of places for them to go. They suggest homeless people should go to the Fresno Rescue Mission or the Poverello House. Homeless advocates say there are too few shelter beds and that the ordinance essentially criminalizes poverty. This matters because a lack of shelter space would make it impossible for all of the homeless people in Fresno to comply with the law and avoid arrest, even if they wanted to do so.
On November 1, SubRosa turned nine years old. SubRosa is an anarchist community space run by a collective of committed volunteers from the Santa Cruz area, freely giving of their energy and time. Located on the south end of Pacific Avenue, it is one of few places in Santa Cruz that is not focused on commerce. SubRosa has books and zines you can't find anywhere else, as well as the Anarchist Lending Library. Meetings, film screenings, music shows, art exhibitions, privacy workshops, and the increasingly popular Really Really Free Market all take place at SubRosa.
After being booted from downtown Santa Cruz and directed across the river to San Lorenzo Park, homeless people are being told to move again. The Hooverville-type camp on the benchlands in San Lorenzo Park now faces eviction. A posted notice announces that park will be closed for "maintenance" on Thursday, November 9. Homeless people began occupying the benchlands after the Santa Cruz police vowed to "clean-up the downtown area". Now City of Santa Cruz Parks and Recreation says it is time for folks to move along. The notice states, "All of San Lorenzo Park will be closed for maintenance on: Thursday 11/9/2017. Please vacate these grounds by the end of the day Wednesday 11/8/2017."
Fri Nov 3 2017 (Updated 11/04/17)
Day of the Dead Action Demands Ban on Chlorpyrifos
Spicing up their press conference with a Day of the Dead theme, health advocates from Fresno, Tulare, and Kern Counties rallied outside the central regional office of the Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) on November 1 in Clovis. Their action was part of a continuing campaign to get DPR to urge the state to suspend agricultural use of brain-harming chlorpyrifos. Last May, the deadly pesticide was implicated in a drift incident that sickened dozens of farmworkers near Bakersfield; health advocates say that more than twenty years of research links the pesticide to neurological disorders in children.
JP Massar writes: For nine months a stable, peaceful, law-abiding community of homeless people has resided at the HERE/THERE space on the west side of the BART tracks just north of the Oakland/Berkeley border, across the street from Sweet Adeline. They have had the support of the neighborhood and have recently obtained, through community support, the ability to access a porta-potty and a handwashing station. On Saturday afternoon [October 21], BART police put up notices demanding that they remove themselves from HERE/THERE area within 72 hours and threatening to confiscate their possessions. An Eviction Resistance Party has been called for Tuesday, October 24 at 4:30pm.
About 200 people went to Fresno City Hall on September 29 to demand an end to the criminalization of the homeless, following the passing of a No Camping ordinance. The demand for house keys, not handcuffs, was met by a large contingent of police who surrounded the protesters and threatened them with arrest. A statement about the event stated that Fresno needs “a safe and legal place where homeless people can go 24 hours a day 7 days a week. Homeless people need a place to go and the same basic public services that everyone else in this city has — drinking water, a place to go to the bathroom and trash bins. In short, the homeless need to be treated with dignity and respect, because they are our brothers and sisters and in some cases our mothers, fathers or children.”