When: Fridays at 5 p.m.
Where: The Palm, 1672 Lawrence St, Denver, CO 80202 (map)
This action seeks to highlight the role of The Palm and the Colorado Restaurant Association in pushing an ordinance through the city council that criminalized the survival act of sleeping by our homeless friends. Wendy Klein, the sales manager at The Palm, testified for the Downtown Denver Partnership in support of the “Urban Camping” Ban. Detailed information on the impact of the “Urban Camping” Ban on the homeless can be found at Denver Homeless Out Loud.
Wendy Klein, sales manager at The Palm, spoke in strong favor of the ordinance criminalizing homelessness at the April 30, 2012 city council public hearing about the “Urban Camping” Ban. She also brought the unanimous vote of the Colorado Restaurant Association in support of the ban to the City Council.
According to Kline who could only refer to the homeless as they or it, “they are lining up outside our doors even as we speak this evening placing their property on our property to save their nights real estate so that they will have a safe, warm place to sleep impeding our guests and even those who are walking back and forth from the restaurant…Now with the warmer weather descending, we are seeing it come back in full force. Our people are asking us what we can do.”
The wealthiest “movers and shakers” in Denver meet to eat, socialize and make deals at Palm Restaurant.
Survey finds law criminalizes activities necessary for homeless survival without providing alternatives.
The Denver Camping Ban: A Report from the Street
Camping Ban Proves to be Counterproductive and Cruel
Denver Homeless Out Loud (DHOL) is a coalition of individuals and organizations working hand-in-hand with and for the homeless on the impact of the “Urban Camping” Ban. The “Urban Camping” Ban authorizes the police to require the homeless go to a shelter or move along whenever they are caught protecting themselves from the elements or face criminal sanctions. The ordinance went into effect on May 28, 2012. DHOL works to insure that Denver’s homeless community has access to public space, adequate services, and a political voice in the City of Denver.
There are plenty of reasons why a homeless person might actually prefer not to go to a shelter--contagious diseases, tainted food, sex offenders, abusive practices by shelter staff, and better alternatives, like sleeping in one's own car. Despite all these, shelters remain continuously full, and people are turned away every night of the year. That's because there are so many homeless--more than 12,000 in Denver alone.
Homelessness is one of the few "growth trends" in our present economy. And it is, indeed, a purely economic phenomenon. Nobody chooses to be homeless. Kerouac was talking about low-budget tourism--a very different thing. This is not tourism, not a vacation, not camping. Let's be clear about that.
The three leading causes of homelessness are job loss, the high cost of housing, and break-up of a family. Mental illness and substance abuse do not cause homelessness. There are plenty of people who have these problems and yet have a roof over their heads. They have housing for the same reason you do. Either they have the money to pay for it, or someone who has the money is willing to provide a home for them. Those are the only reasons why anyone has a home.
In communities across North America October 22nd has become a day to commemorate victims of police repression and violence. For many communities, October 22, 2010 took on a more urgent meaning in the wake of severe police repression and violence that has plagued cities large and small. In Denver, this year's October 22nd event saw a rise in hostility towards the cops and an increased militancy from years' past.
Throughout 2010, police in the metro area have repeatedly made headlines with horrific acts of violence directed at community members. Ranging from allegations of sexual assault, rapes of children, murders, and beatings, news stories have painted a picture of a department that is clearly running amok and waging war on the residents of Colorado. Offending officers are rarely held accountable and department leadership deftly sweeps incidents under the rug to stave off an increasingly angry public.
One of the most violent and high profile incidents occurred in July. Denver Sheriff's Deputies serving as guards at the new Denver Justice Center murdered 56 year old Marvin Booker, a homeless preacher being held as a prisoner at the jail. Marvin had asked for access to his shoes before he would comply with orders to return to his cell. In response, five deputies tackled him, placed him in repeated choke and pain compliance holds, tasered him, and beat him. Marvin died shortly after the attack. While the local coroner deemed the death a homicide, the DA announced in late September that no charges would be filed against any of the officers involved.
Grand Valley Homeless Children Need Day Shelter
On Wednesday, September 1, at South 9th St. and the railroad tracks (631 S. 9th St.), Housing First! No More Deaths!, homeless families and other supporters are holding a demonstration to demand action for homeless families. As wonderful of a community as Grand Junction is, there remains a void in services provided to homeless families with children. If this need can not be met before the cold weather of winter comes to the Grand Valley, Housing First! No More Deaths! is ready to take action.
There have been around 500 school-age children identified as homeless in District 51, and there are many more homeless babies and toddlers. There is no designated space in our community for homeless families, some of the most vulnerable members of our community, to safely spend time during the day.
The Catholic Outreach Day Center provides space for homeless adults to do laundry, receive mail, and have shelter from inclement weather during the day. But the Day Center has exhausted their resources and are unable to allow children in their facility. This means that Grand Junction’s homeless children and babies are left out in the elements, and single mothers and fathers are left with nowhere to do laundry or access the Day Center’s other services.
On May 7th three GJ Police Officers were placed on administrative leave following allegations that police slashed tents, bike tires, and other things at a well-established houseless camp. Over three weeks later the police remain on leave as the investigation dragged on. But on Saterday May 29th GJPD dropped eleven brand-new tents to The Bad Water Flats Collective house where member of Housing First! No More Deaths! could then distro the tent to the victims. We view this as an admission of guilt and we expect further consequences in the future.
Loca Media Round-Up (so far)
Daily Sentinel: http://www.gjsentinel.com/breaking/articles/police-give-tents-to-transients-as-part-of-misconduct-probe
CBS 5: http://www.krextv.com//index.php/site/article/grand_junction_police_give_new_tents_to_homeless/rex779192/
<code>Three Grand Junction Police Officers were placed on administrative leave on Friday May 7th under allegations of damaging homeless peoples’ property. The officers are under criminal investigation by the Mesa County Sheriff’s Department and under internal investigation at the PD.
On Monday May 3rd, GJ Police Officers were in the area of a well-established homeless camp near the confluence of the Gunnison and Colorado Rivers. Some residents were denied access to the area by the police during their visit. No known residents were in their camps at the time. Residents later returned to slashed tents, scattered belongings and slashed bike tires. On Wednesday, Jacob Richards, long time Red Pill editor and contributor and Housing First! No More Deaths! activist, filed a complaint about the incident. By Friday, three officers were placed on leave. The story was picked up by all local media outlets, the Denver Post, and even hit the AP wire.
The fact that the GJPD are conducting an internal investigation and the Sheriff’s Department is investigating the matter criminally indicates that the powers-that-be may actually be taking this seriously.
Criminalization and harassment of the homeless is nothing new to Grand Junction. Police officers and the law itself target the homeless. The City attempted to virtually illegalize flying a sign in the city in the summer of 2009 as an emergency ordinance, but was shut down by the power of the people. In July of 2009, two undercover GJ police officers were ousted from the organization Housing First! No More Deaths!. Panhandling within a median began became illegal in the fall of 2009, and overnight Colorado West Park became a median without any formal process.
As odd as it may seem, the system might actually bring some form of justice for the houseless, and some accountability to the GJPD.
Saturday, April 3rd, 5pm. Whitman Park Grand Junction, Colorado
In an all to common of incident, three houseless people were contacted by the Grand Junction Police Department, for nothing more then being in a park frequented by houseless people. Officer Winch approached Juile and Johnny A Martinez and engaged the two in small talk about an incident from the day before in the park. Officer Winch then asked to see a waterbottle that Juile had. She gave it to him. He smelled it and "got pissed saying 'You lied to me.'" said Juile. Officer Winch then said that he wanted to see what was in Julie's backpack, she refused, and according to Julie and Martinez Winch yanked the backpack from Juile and began searching. "That's when he cuffed me," Juile said. They had Juile in cuffs for over half an hour for a drinking in public ticket.
When Juile's partner, Lumber Jack, came back to the park he headed to the public bathrooms where now two officers and a sergeant were talking to Juile and Martinez. "I told them I just needed to go to the bathroom," he said. "Then I told them they have no right to search her backpack. That's when they grabbed me and took me to the ground." Lumber's arm was turning more and more purple.
"He was so verbally aggressive," said Juile. "I asked for a female officer to search me, but he searched me anyway," she added.
After a little over half-an-hour all three people were released all with blue tickets. Julie for drinking in the park, Lumber Jack for crossing a street while intoxicated, and Johnny Martinez for interfering with an officer for refusing to leave while his friends were being manhandled, cuffed, and ticketed.
By Tom Gomez
Until 2004, Colorado State prisoners were paid $2 a day for our labor, roughly $40 a month. Since that time the Colorado State Legislature, in an attempt to reduce the cost of incarceration while it enacted more laws to lock up more people, for more time, reduced the amount paid to prisoners to $0.62 a day, roughly $13 a month. While the change has made prison conditions harsher, it has done nothing to reduce the spiraling cost of incarceration in Colorado. Despite the change the Department of Corrections budget has grown every year since. Colorado now spends more on prisons than it does on higher education, and there is no end in sight. Last year the DOC population grew by another 2% despite a falling crime rate. At a cost of $30,000 a year for each prisoner it houses DOC is not likely to be able to significantly reduce, or even offset, the high cost of incarceration by such methods as raising the cost of phone time or cutting back on food. Instead state university students and their parents will pay the bill, by absorbing another 9% increase in tuition next year. It will be paid by cuts in services to seniors, by public education, and by the improvised children of the men and women doing time here.
State legislatures across the country have built prisons while cutting funding for education and public health for 30 years now. In the name of cutting the cost of ‘big government’ and getting ‘tough on crime’ they have made prisons harsher, more crowded and dangerous, but not cheaper. Led by ‘tough prosecutors’ who view not only crime, but poverty itself as a moral failing they have given us a nation of tent cities that stretch from sea to shining sea bursting with the nation’s three-million homeless people, and interstates from coast to coast dotted with razor ribbon and guard towers. In many American cities more than half of all public school students will not graduate high school.
IN THIS ISSUE:
Secret ICE Detention Centers
Criminalization of the Homeless in Grand Junction
Top Ten Movies to Watch this Winter
War is Peace: Obama Sends More Troops to Afghanistan
March For No More Deaths on The Streets of Grand Junction
Cointelpro: Black Panther Coloring Book
The Boogers: Music Review
Foreclosures Way Way Up in Mesa County
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