Albuquerque action - Homelessness is not a crime.

Andrew Rose (arose@macromedia.com)
Sun, 28 Dec 1997 18:11:09 -0800 (PST)


__________
>>            Albuquerque Residents Protest Homeless Shelter
>>
>>.....About 10 people gathered at the Wells Park
>>Community Center for the "Human Defecation and Urine Press Conference and
>>Tour" to talk about problems they say are caused by homeless people.  Many
>>of the homeless, they say, often use St. Martin's Hospitality Center.....
>>
>>The neighborhood association and many business owners believe the homeless
>>attracted by St. Martin's are responsible for public defecation, crime and
>>vandalism in the area.....The group has launched a campaign to close
>>the shelter.....

DO AN ACTION.  THIS IS OUTRAGEOUS.

*  contact Troy Goodman and see if he would like the other side of the
story.  Let him know that there are people that support the rights of
people to get back on their feet and that homelessness is not a crime.
Advise him of your upcoming action, ask him to cover it or ask his "city
editor" or "assignments editor" if you get their numbers KEEP 'EM.  Media
is a great big game.  Pick a slow news day, Troy could help you with this
maybe.

*  The BIG DANGER here is the insideous nature of hate.  It is banal,
transparent, socially agreed on, and dumb stupid shit.  It creeps in when
times are tough.  This kind of shit around xmas is total total wrong.  Just
a few more of these kind of articles and it's OK to beat up, rob, burn, and
kill poor people.  Try to tell Troy that you are concerned about poor
people being portrayed as criminals without "balanced" coverage.  This will
make him interested, journalists love "balance"  : |

* propose something along the lines of "Care and Concern for People During
Holidays Press Conference and Tour" whatever you call it include the Press
Conference and Tour bullshit so they get the message that you are paying
attention to their hate.

* the action could be serving food "next to a shanty town that borders the
Downtown railroad tracks".  Do the whole nine yards with literature table,
hot soup etc.  Call a press conference for the serving.  (call all the
press (radio, newspapers, TV - get their numbers from the phone book) ask
for the "assignment editor", tell that person what is going on.  They will
want a FAX, get their fax numbers and fax them something RAD. Put Direct
Action Civil Disobediance on it if that's what you are going to do.  Call
them back after you've faxed to see if they got it.  Do this 2 days or 1
day before the action.

* talk nicely to Andy Guterriez, who said "But if the city wants to spend
billions of dollars redeveloping this area, they have to get rid of the
transients."  Find out what the hell he means.  Is Burque planning to
redevelop that chunk of town?  What will it cost the property tax payers?
Do they have an equal plan to provide for warmth and food for people?  It
is possible that you could be a big pain in the ass to any developer who
just wants to kick everybody out and start building.  If said developer
happens to know local police chief, you just may have a PHOTO OP.

* definitely talk to  Tony Louderbough, discuss your plans, see if he has
ideas.  Make nice, and bring the extra soup etc to the shelter if he (they
want it).  Be allies, assure him that you are in it for the good and not
just to stir shit up (I mean not JUST to stir shit up).  See if there is
some legislation or city action that he knows about that you can time this
with.

* Getting back to the feces thing is focussing to much on their issue, and
I think that the issue is broader, but if you want to, check out if there
actually are any open public bathrooms and have that info handy.
Another media reality - STAY ON YOUR MESSAGE.  If the reporter starts
asking you about "shit" tell him that the issue is that people are not
waste and should not be treated like waste. You don't have to answer
questions thoughtfully or at all in an interview, interviews are not normal
conversations.

* keep serving food, you're doing the right thing.  Be at peace with the
business people, the police, everyone - you are educating people that
people are not 'poopy', don't be 'poopy'.

(of course these are all just ideas and you should definitely have a group
process that gives everyone a chance to be heard and contribute ideas.
What you all agree to do will be much easier to accomplish if you all agree
to do it, bust up the work, some people like to do stuff others don't,
trust eachother)

DONT TAKE THIS "SHIT" THESE PEOPLE WANT PEOPLE TO THINK THE POOR ARE bad
people who poop on sidewalks.  FUCK THAT.   Try to do a good clean
nonviolent action that reads at least not awful in the paper.

also don't expect to much, actions are exciting, but don't warm the belly
like yummy tomato, onion, rice, yellow pepper, kale soup.

let us know what your plans are and maybe we can do some out of town
support (he he he), try to get video cameras for your action if you expect
wise ass rednecks or police, still cameras at least.


FOOD NOT BOMBS!  HOMES NOT JAILS!