*ALERT: Cleveland Police ARREST Tent City homeless & advocates

Tom Boland (wgcp@earthlink.net)
Sat, 25 Dec 1999 00:05:32 -0800 (PST)


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PLEASE CIRCULATE this alert to people who support our human right to gather
in peaceful protest.

The Ohio AP PHOTO EDITOR is Gary Gardiner at (888) 315-8184 or (614)
885-3059 in Columbus. Instructions for transmitting your photos to The AP
are on the
Ohio AP Web site, http://www.ap.org/ohio/ or the Ohio ftp site,
http://www.sendap.org .

http://newsfinder.arinet.com/fpweb/fp.dll/$stargeneral/htm/x_dv.htm/_ibyx/cg0302
6/_itox/starnet/_svc/news/_Id/630491043/_k/8U9jI1AdJhvluG9m
FWD  Associated Press - AP Wire Service - Dec 23, 1999 10:12

     POLICE DISPERSE PUBLIC SQUARE HOMELESS AND ADVOCATES

CLEVELAND (AP) _ A homeless tent village erected on downtown's
Public Square prompted police to arrest five people and disperse
about six others for holding what they called an illegal
demonstration.

Police only arrested those who would not leave the site early
today, said Nancy Lesic, Mayor Michael R. White's press secretary,
and police spokesman Lt. Ed Thiery.

The homeless people and homeless advocates who began sitting
underneath tarps at 4 p.m. Wednesday lacked a permit that is
required for demonstrators to be on city property, they said.

Brian Davis, director of the Northeast Ohio Coalition for the
Homeless, said the city is trying to keep the homeless away from
Public Square, which is decorated for Christmas and a New Year's
Eve celebration and is near retailers.

Police turned out at 3 a.m. to stop ``a very small demonstration
on Public Square that could possibly jeopardize sales downtown,
because pedestrians don't want to see a tent with homeless people
two days before Christmas,'' Davis said.

Of the people arrested, two are homeless, he said.

About three weeks ago, the mayor announced police were stepping
up enforcement against street crime and panhandlers downtown.

``This group was treated consistently with the way we have
handled this issue in the past,'' Ms. Lesic said. ``They were
holding an illegal demonstration. They did not get a permit. If
they want to hold a demonstration, we can help them through that
process.''

City officials and lawyers of the American Civil Liberties Union
will meet this afternoon to discuss what Davis called a policy
violating the civil rights of the homeless.

AP-CS-12-23-99 1111EST
Received  Id AP99357B6860200 on Dec 23 1999 14:51

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