Thursday, April 18, 2013

Santa Cruz Sanctuary Camp is a snitch trap

Defend those without homes! campaign page [link]
Santa Cruz is attacking houseless people [link]

2013-04-18 "Statement from The Revolutionary Tendency Regarding Sanctuary Camp and Ending Homelessness"
by Steven Argue []:
Legalize the Right of the Poor to Sleep!
For Human and Environmental Needs, Not Profit!
Here is an interesting video on homelessness in Santa Cruz which includes a proposal for a a safe camp for the homeless to sleep at night. Currently, it is illegal for the homeless in Santa Cruz to sleep at night. The video claims to be the beginning of the discussion. Actually, the discussion has been going on for a long time now. The video also calls for the "ideal" being a sanctuary camp in Santa Cruz with good relations with "law enforcement". Unfortunately, the reality is that the police, and their bosses on the City Council, see the homeless as the enemy and treat them as criminals. It is an illusion to think that suddenly those in power will stop treating the poor as enemies. It is extremely likely that a new camp will face similar repression and a repeat of the hateful propaganda in the corporate media that all other homeless camps have faced in the past.
 The Revolutionary Tendency supports the right of the homeless to sleep at night without the violence and harassment of the police, vigilantes, and courts. This will include the defense of this new attempt at an organized camp for the homeless, whatever the reaction of the corporate media and repressive government.
 Yet, to truly solve questions of homelessness will take the overthrow of the capitalist system and the smashing of the repressive capitalist state. The nationalization of the banks alone will free up enough unused housing to put everyone in a home. The socialist abolition of rent will make keeping a roof over our heads much easier and end the near feudal relations many of us have with our landlords who collect an extremely high percentage of our wages. Our socialized planned economy will completely eliminate unemployment by maintaining and expanding all work that is socially useful, regardless of profit. Socialized healthcare will end the debt and homelessness suffered by some people for simply becoming ill. Socialized healthcare will also include free non-religious based drug and alcohol treatment for all who want it. In addition, all who are too disabled to work will easily be provided for in a society that puts human needs over the extreme and obscene profits of a few greedy capitalists.
 Legalize the Right of the Poor to Sleep!
 For Human and Environmental Needs, Not Profit!
 Join the Revolutionary Tendency
-Steven Argue, for the Revolutionary Tendency

2013-04-16 "Santa Cruz Sanctuary Camp to the RESCUE"
comment from "Santa Cruz Sanctuary Camp" []:
Santa Cruz Sanctuary Camp Video
It is important to distinguish a Sanctuary Camp from a Protest Camp.
 A Protest Camp: seeks to call attention to the illegality of a situation ( in this case the sleeping ban ) and puts campers in direct contact with law enforcement. A Protest Camp is usually inflicted AT a community and space is "taken" or "occupied."
 A Sanctuary Camp: exists with the tacit support of the community. It benefits everyone inside and outside the camp by providing a safe place to be, sleep and keep personal items. Often land and/or other elements of the camp are made possible by creating relationship with citizen groups or the city government.
 Santa Cruz Sanctuary Camp is excited to begin this conversation with our community. All over the country Sanctuary Camps are proving that neighborhoods are safer and homeless begin to heal their situations with these models. Join in the conversation.
 Everyone agrees that the problems facing our community around homelessness are unacceptable.
 We've seen our natural areas fouled and our communities are inundated with homeless folks with no place to sleep at night. Firstly, it is important to establish that it is illegal to sleep outside after 11pm in Santa Cruz. On April 6th, what little shelter there is will be closing and we'll be seeing an increase to some of the problems we're already seeing. To make matters worse, the 30 bed shelter at the Homeless Services Center has been closed indefinitely to the general homeless population.
 We hear that Santa Cruz County spends $2,000,000 dealing with the various aspects of homelessness each year and yet more than 90% of those folks are forced to sleep outside in our community each night. Santa Cruz Sanctuary Camp is an evidence based smart solution to this growing problem.
We're seeing that Sanctuary Camps across the country are proving successful. For pennies on the dollar, they provide a safe place to sleep and keep personal belongings during the daytime. This year we've seen our natural areas fouled by garbage, syringes and excrement. There have been fire hazards in the woods. People often sleep in doorways and under bushes of our residential, business and tourist areas.
 Homeless people often fall prey to folks who steal from and abuse them.
 Homeless people have lost their property (bedding, medications, personal effects) during the homeless sweeps that took place in our county's wooded areas. The SCPD took officers from other patrols for more than 3 months last summer ticketing more than 300 people with no measurable effect other than to make life infinitely harder on folks already struggling to survive.
 The daily struggle to clean oneself, keep clothes, bedding and personal belongings clean and safe, show up in time for food service or to acquire food and basic necessities and to find a safe place to sleep can be an all day task. Add to this the problems of mental illness, addiction, trauma etc. and we begin to see that the patterns of homelessness are quite difficult to escape. The basic illegality of homelessness and the scorn of the community makes this situation impossible.
 We're excited to share a new solution with our community. We've seen examples all over the country that communities are safer and cleaner and homeless people are better able to move up and out of homelessness with the Sanctuary Camp model.
Please invite us to make a presentation to you, your group or organization about how we can improve life for everyone by simply providing a safe place for people to be. There are many possibilities within this one concept and we'd like to share them with you. []

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