I appreciate your coverage of civil rights issues affecting the homeless in the public space–specifically Chico City Plaza. I have no doubt that a battle is underway and that many in our city government and commercial sector seek to “take” the public space from “vagrants.” (This is exactly the kind of direction recent visitor and nationally known homeless demonizer Robert Marbut would advise.)
At the July 5th Chico City Council meeting, I asked the council to immediately resign and rather than “stand down” from completing my public comment, I opted for removal by the Deputy Chief.
I advised the council to resign, as they are in breach of their oath of office, requiring adherence to the U.S Constitution. Our council supports laws criminalizing the possession of necessities by the homeless (violating the 4th Amendment), laws criminalizing sleeping (violating the 8th Amendment) and–inflicting more “cruel and unusual punishment”–the council is now failing to provide restroom service, during eight hours of every day. This, while public urination and defecation remain misdemeanors and the homeless are subjected to ongoing arrest and jail time.
If you would like to help organize resistance to these policies, please contact: [email protected]