STOP THE SWEEPS

Graeme Bacque (gbacque@arcos.org)
Sat, 13 Jun 1998 10:37:23 -0400


Graeme Bacque
319 Dundas St. E. #408 Toronto, Ontario
M5A 2A2 CANADA
V: (416) 368-3366 F: (416) 368-5984
Internet: <gbacque@arcos.org>

June 13, 1998

To whom it may concern,

I am not a resident of Seattle or of the United States, but the situation
being imposed on the homeless community in your city is also typical of
regulations being imposed in my own city and elsewhere. It is also totally
unacceptable. 

Unproven allegations regarding public safety must never be wielded in this
fashion to prevent the peaceful assembly of citizens (whether housed or
homeless) and doing so amounts to punishing people who are more than likely
already victimized by social policies created by your government and
others. As long as affordable housing remains in short supply and emergency
shelter beds are insufficient in numbers to meet the resulting need, then
it is absolutely essential that homeless people be permitted to congregate
peacefully in order to ensure their mutual safety, especially after dusk.

If there are indeed specific issues affecting safety of  citizens in your
community, it makes poor sense to engage in actions which would result in
persons being forced to scatter and be made vulnerable as a result. I
therefore must urge you to act without further delay to halt any further
attempts to disrupt peaceful congregations of homeless persons and to work
alongside your homeless constituents to enact measures that enhance
everyone's safety.  These must include - but not be limited to - developing
and maintaining an adequate supply of affordable housing *and* emergency
shelter resources and should contain a strong focus on non-coercive
community development.

Sincerely yours,

Graeme Bacque
Toronto, Canada