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Indybay Feature
Wed Jan 16 2013 (Updated 01/17/13)
Convicted of "Unlawful Lodging," Homeless Advocate Linda Lemaster Hopes to Abolish 647(e)
Activist Says Homeland Security Agenda of Peacecamp Enforcement Strategy was Anti-Homeless
On December 6, 2012, a jury found Linda Lemaster guilty of "unlawful lodging" during Peacecamp 2010 in Santa Cruz, and she was sentenced to community service and probation by Judge Rebecca Connolly. Lemaster believes now, even more than when she left the trial, that her being cited for lodging was about breaking up a political protest that relied on a law enforcement strategy that is anti-homeless and has a homeland security agenda. "I don't think that trial had much if anything to do with justice," Lemaster said.

"One of my goals is to get rid of this law," she said, referring to California Penal Code 647(e), or unlawful lodging. "The law seems to be used entirely against homeless people and demonstrators right now in California. We haven't been able to find another recent example of its use."

Now that her trial is over, Lemaster plans to continue raising awareness about the laws that outlaw sleep in Santa Cruz. In addition to filing an appeal in her case, she wants to make a presentation before the Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors that outlines "missteps" on the county's part in relation to how sheriff's dealt with Peacecamp 2010. She also plans to begin a campaign that she hopes will achieve statewide participation of "homeless friendly" groups and supporters to, "take the lodging law 647(e) off the books."

imc_photo.gifRead More and View Photos | On Dreams of Sleep and Linda Lemaster: A Short Essay | Appeals Judge Upholds Anti-Homeless "Lodging" Law Against "Lighthouse" Linda Lemaster | Linda's Hearth | See Also:imc_video.gif Linda Lemaster, City Hall
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