Have you voiced opposition to police sweeps of homeless people?

Tom Boland (wgcp@earthlink.net)
Tue, 9 Feb 1999 21:18:07 -0800 (PST)

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When was the last time you wrote to the media or officials or publicly
voiced concern about police sweeps of homeless people?

For a good example, see Alvin Valeriano's Letter to the Fresno Bee, below:

FWD  Fresno [CA] Bee - January 17, 1999

[Letter to the Editor from a Food Not Bombs volunteer]


Around this time last year, while Food Not Bombs was preparing for its
second anniversary of sharing food with homeless folks, members of the
Fresno Police Department came in six cars and ticketed two homeless
people who slept under a pavilion at Roeding Park to stay dry during a
rainy night. We have photos of this incident.

This year, Jan. 6, Fresno police officers ticketed some homeless
people, again around Roeding Park, for littering and confiscated their
belongings. What they have to stay warm, that is clothes and blankets,
were taken from them. There are witnesses to this incident.

Is this in response to the problem of blight and trash in our city?
Isn't there a compassionately more intelligent way of dealing with
homelessness in Fresno?

Some homeless folks who were affected immediately called local media
outlets, hoping to put a stop to the insensitive confiscation of their
clothes and blankets at a time when it is still extremely cold. Nobody
came to help them.

Many of those living on the streets are veterans. I've met and made
friends with several of them, including three who fought in Vietnam.
Many have problems and need help. They're good people.

Food Not Bombs of Fresno replaced some of their clothes. We're out of

-- Alvin Valeriano Food Not Bombs volunteer Fresno


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