Numerous laws in the last year have intensified police pressure on both housed and homeless people in public spaces. See "2013: A Nasty Year Heavy With New Anti-Homeless Laws" at https://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2014/03/10/18752404.php
These laws have come most dramatically to public attention through police harassment of Frank Lima ("The Great Morgani"), removing him from the public sidewalk. See "The Great Morgani Has Left the Avenue" at https://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2014/02/18/18751213.php
His is only the most high-profile case. Old-time musicians like C.J. Stock have been driven off the Avenue. More tragic is the case of Cosmic Chris, not only harassed out of sight, but literally driven to his death--his vehicle seized as Sleepcrime and other anti-homeless tickets mounted.
Craftswoman Kate Wenzell faces over $600 in fines for offering her hand-weaved scarves for sale during the day and resting by night in her vehicle--the only housing many can afford. She goes to court for arraignment 3-25 8:30 AM in Dept. 1--the case is likely to be continued.
The event is a continuation of our concern that the downtown be restored to being friendly & welcoming.
The past three Wednesday demos have focused on the denial of services to homeless people at the Coffee Roasting Company, Peet's, Starbucks, & Lulu Carpenters.
These and other cafes selectively use a "no backpacks" policy to turn away paying but unhoused customers, whose only choice is to carry their possessions with them. [See "Sidewalk Coffee Speakout" at https://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2014/03/11/18752446.php
We will be circulating a petition urging abolition of the Forbidden Zone and Move-Along Ordinances. These "tools" give police, Hosts, private security guards, and homelessophobic folks a blank check to enforce a hostile environment for street culture downtown.