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Presidential Dreams

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Presidential Dream

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POLICE STILL STEALING THE BELONGINGS OF HOMELESS PEOPLE

by: Ian Smith

It should be as simple as asking “Is this yours? Can you please separate what you want to keep from things you don’t?” Then leave the separated obviously OWNED possessions we want to keep the hell alone! In no other part of our American society, besides debt collection, can people come into your life with “a job to do”, tell you what to do with your time, your possessions and your home, and trash almost anything they lay their hands on (some acting as if they feel for us, others genuinely do within both Caltrans and DPW work crews). As of October 9th’s (posted) raid they came fast, hard, wielding threats of pressing charges with police implying our eminent arrest if we resisted in any way, shape or form their systematic tossing of our possessions, even, unbelievably including a few crates of stored up food for the entire encampment, an act I witnessed myself and tried to capture on film. Perfectly good food, boxes of it, thrown to a ever-backward moving garbage truck. What could we do? Continue reading


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OCCUPY CELEBRATES ITS FIRST BIRTHDAY

PEACEFUL MOVEMENT, VIOLENT  GOVERNMENT

Across the country this autumn, people have taken to the streets to celebrate and reinvigorate the Occupy movement by hosting parties and communal meals to call attention to the increasing economic class disparities and the overwhelming number of Americans in poverty. In San Francisco, our last entrenched protesters were arrested and their properly seized. Located at a small campsite in front of the Federal Reserve at 101 Market Street, the campsite had existed for nearly a year since the first Occupy San Francisco actions happened. The police dismantled the camp and arrested 45 protesters, charging them with “illegal lodging,” according to the SF Examiner. Many of those taken to jail were homeless and using the campsite as both a place for expression and a safe place to stay. Continue reading


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SIX POLICE COMMISSION FORUMS ON ‘LESS THAN LETHAL WEAPONS’ & ‘USE OF FORCE’

THE VOTE ON TASERS WILL BE IN NOVEMBER.

Wednesday, Oct. 17, 6 p.m., South of Market Recreation Center Auditorium, 270 Sixth St.: Special Session on Tasers.

NOTE: this Police Commission meeting will not be held at Room 400, City Hall; it is a neighborhood meeting in the Southern District. Public comment will be heard, and Southern Station Acting Capt. Steven Balma will make a presentation concerning Southern District public protection issues. Tasers may be subsumed under “public protections.”

Monday, Oct. 22, 6 p.m., Hamilton Recreation Center, 1900 Geary Blvd at Steiner: A Community Meeting on Less Than Lethal Weapons and Updated Taser Information. A subcommittee of the Commission, composed of Commissioners Angela Chan, Julius Turman and Judith Loftus, will meet with Chief Suhr and the public.

Tuesday, Oct. 23, 6 p.m., Scottish Rite Cultural Center, 2850 19th Ave. near Stern Grove: Use of Force Discussion

Wed, Oct. 24 Room 400, City Hall: Use of Force Discussion

Tuesday, Oct. 30, 6 p.m., Downtown High School, 693 Vermont St., Potrero Hill: Use of Force Discussion

Wed. Nov. 7, 6 p.m., Room 400, City Hall: Use of Force Discussion – This may be the date the Commission will vote on tasers


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COCKROACH WITH GIMMICK

Worst time in history to be an artist!” James, an impeccably-dressed gentleman, said this to a circle of friends one evening a couple weeks ago. Inside, the Art Auction benefit was happening; outside, the artists themselves were drinking spiked punch, smoking, thinking big thoughts, passing judgment on the state of the world.

Artists, I responded, are like cockroaches: you can’t get rid of them. Not many appreciated what I meant by this statement; surely, said another, I could have chosen some better creature to represent the artist. But no, hear me out. Continue reading


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9TH CIRCUT RULING PROTECTS THE PROPERTY OF HOMELESS PEOPLE

9TH CIRCUT COURT OF APPEALS SAYS “NO” TO LAPD TAKING PROPERTY ON LA’S SKID ROW

By General Dogon and Eric Ares –  COMMUNITY CONNECTION – Los Angeles Community Action Network

In early September, a ruling by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco upheld an injunction that bars the City of Los Angeles and the Los Angeles Police Department from seizing the property of Skid Row residents:

 “This appeal does not concern the power of the federal courts to constrain municipal governments from addressingthe deep and pressing problem of mass homelessness or to otherwise fulfill their obligations to maintain public health and safety. In fact, this court would urge Los Angeles to do more to resolve that problem and to fulfill that obligation. Nordoes this appeal concern any purported right to use public sidewalks as personal storage facilities. The City has insteadasked us to declare that the unattended property of homelesspersons is uniquely beyond the reach of the Constitution, so that the government may seize and destroy with impunity theworldly possessions of a vulnerable group in our society. Because even the most basic reading of our Constitution prohibitssuch a result, the City’s appeal is DENIED.” Continue reading


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SMILE LIKE YOU MEAN IT


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THE COMEBACK


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ELECTION TIME IN SAN FRANCISCO

HOMELESS PEOPLE MAKE EASY TARGETS FOR HEARTLESS POLITICIANS SEEKING RE-ELECTION OR POLITICAL APPOINTMENTS 

If a person or family is living in an R.V., it’s usually because they have no other choice. If those R.V.’s are parked on the Great Highway, or alongside Golden Gate Park, or in the Bayview, it’s because those are the last areas in town where parking a large vehicle is practical. In six months, thanks to a ruling by the Board of Supervisors on September 25th, these San Franciscans, most of whom are victims of the ongoing recession, will become criminals.

The ordinance will amend the current San Francisco Transportation Code to “prohibit the on-street parking of any vehicle over 22 feet in length or seven feet in height, camp trailers, fifth-wheel travel trailers, house cars,” – what exactly are house cars? – “trailer coaches, mobilehomes, recreational vehicles, or semi-trailers” – (finally, a term that doesn’t directly reference vehicles used by poor people –) “…between the hours of 12 a.m. And 6 a.m. when Municipal Transportation Agency signs are posted giving notice….”

This latest hate legislation has been a pet project of outgoing District 4 Supervisor, Carmen Chu, ever since her election to the Board of Supervisors. In the past, there hasn’t been adequate support and the measure has died. This time, however, it seems that leaving office and hoping to insure her appointment by Mayor Lee as Assessor and Recorder for the City and County of San Francisco in the near certain event that Phil Ting is elected to the Assembly, had created a sense of urgency to make points with the powers that be. Leaving office with a big “win” will go a long way toward furthering her political aspirations at the expense of poor people. At election time in San Francisco, victimizing poor and homeless people is a small price to pay for a coveted job. Continue reading


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JUDGES CUT COSTS BY TARGETING POOR FOLKS

The courts, like other government divisions and agencies, are faced with the challenge of stretching ever thinner budgets. In San Francisco, our courts are attempting to do so at the expense of the cities poorest residents and those most in need of genuine help.

TRAFFIC COURT

In traffic court, the targets are poor and homeless people charged with Quality of Life infractions. In San Francisco, it’s illegal at almost any time of the day or night in almost any part of town, for a homeless person to sit down, rest, or go to the bathroom. As a result many are ticketed for these infractions. Continue reading