Flamingo Liberation Organisation, Dec 19th courtdate FWD

Tom Boland (wgcp@earthlink.net)
Tue, 16 Dec 1997 22:04:04 -0800 (PST)


FWD from Michael Reinsborough <mr69@iww.org> via <fnb-l@tao.ca> 12-16-97
__________

(please forward this message to those who would desire to know)

**** Three homeless human rights activists face up to a year in Jail
    and $$thousands in fines$$   Santa Monica, California        ****

Though there are 1500 Homeless citizens of Santa Monica, the city
governmenthas done little or nothing to provide emergency services and
ensure that state funding authorized for such (managed by Los Angeles
Homeless Services Authority) is put to use imeadiately.
        On Wednesday, Nov 12th after the first rains of the oncoming El
Nino winter, homeless citizens publicly occupied an abandoned building, the
Flamingo West Hotel in protest that the city had opened no cold weather
shelters and that the funding authorized wasn't being used.
        Despite harrassment by city officials refusing to name themselves
and working hand in hand with Big money developer interests such as
MaGuire Thomas real estate barons, the new Flamingo community began
repair and improvement of the property.  60 people were living there and
over 100 meals a day were being served.  At no cost to the city the
homeless were beginning to deal with the homeless problem themselves.
        At 5am on the 8th day of living in the building, 40-60 police
officers dressed in black without visible badge numbers or name tags
invaded the building and forced the residents out illegally photographing
each one without pressing any charges.  In addition to two juveniles,
three other persons were arrested.  Jennfer Waggoner, a city social
services commissioner on homelessness, and David Busch, homeless haman
rights activist, had chained themselves to the building until the
city ensured that the cold weather shelters were open.  Legal observer
Michael Reinsborough, was taken into custody and his video camera smashed
while filming the police use pain compliance holds to arrest David and
Jennifer.  The police took an hour to cut David and Jennifer from the
building, used pain compliance holds unneccessarily (particularly against
Jennifer), cut up the arms of both persons with pipe cutter and chain
clippers and refused to identify themselves by name or badge number.  The
police department later refused to provide photographs of police faces in
order that Jennifer or David might identify abusive officers to pursue a
complaint.  All three arrested persons have been charged with trespassing
and resisting arrest, and face up to a year in prison and $$thousands$ in
fines.
        The possessions of the residents of the Flamingo were confiscated
and many of them never returned including sleeping bags and other critical
cold weather survival gear for facing the El Nino winter.  The night after
the arrests, 1500 homeless citizens of Santa Monica spent the night in the
rain without any access to the paid for cold weather shelters.  Even now
only 450 shelter beds are available.  This is the last year the state of
California intends to provide any help.  The Governor has stated that there
will be no emergency shelters provided next year.

Let the city of Santa Monica know that they can't get away with making
human rights activists into political prisoners:

1. Alicia Cortrite, Santa Monica city Attorney (310) 458-8336, tell the
city attorney not to press any charges against the activists, press
charges against Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA) for breech
of contract and fine them for every day the shelter wasn't open during the
rains for non-compliance.  The arraignment is set for Friday Dec 19th, at
830am in the Santa Monica courthouse.
the e-mail address is alicia-cortrite@smmain

2. McGuire Thomas Partners (310) 453-5600 / Albert DeLeon of American
Protection Services, (310) 453-0333 Tell them not to file any charges
against the Flamingo three.

3. All 7 Santa Monica City Council Members (310) 458-8201 leave a voice
message or recorded message.  Asha Greenborg, Paul Rosenstein, and Ruth
Ebner are the anti-Homeless city councilors.  Tell them to repeal the
phony "public safety initiative" never ratified by public vote and demand
an imeadiate amnesty for the homeless cited for "camping" in Santa Monica.

4. Julie Rusk or Tracie Scruggs of Santa Monica, Human Services division
(310) 458-8704.   Tell them you want equal protection for all Santa Monica
residents, and amnesty for all homeless from anti-poor laws until adequate
housing exists in Santa Monica and surrounding cities.

5.  Contribute to the Flamingo Defense Fund.  Call (310) 289-7446 for
details.

6.  Those who live in Southern California can come to the arraignment
hearing protest :  Friday Dec 19th at 8:15am, Santa Monica courthouse.

Free Food
Free Speech
Free the Land

On behalf of the Flamingo Liberation Organisation and Food Not Bombs/
Homes Not Jails, thank you for your help.  An injury to one is an injury
to all.

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