Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Update #2 on Safe Ground March

Here, rather quickly, is the latest news re the Safe Ground March that Sacramento Homeless Organizing Committee's Homeless Leadership Project is planning. All information comes from the webpage of the event found in the SHOC wikispace.

The march will begin at Loaves and Fishes, at 1 pm, and end at César Chávez Park, downtown at 10th & J Sts, where there will be a press conference and rally.

The purpose of the march, explained at the SHOC wikispace, is this:
... to educate the public about the need for people that are homeless to be able to sleep legally, and to hold our elected officials accountable to serving homeless people's interests. Currently, its against the law in most cities to sleep outside, even when there are not enough emergency shelter beds or affordable housing available. Sacramento bans the use of camping "paraphernalia" which can actually include a backpack. "Storage on public property", an aspect of the ordinance, has been used against someone that had his backpack set on a table in the park. When not enforcing the ordinance, law enforcement routinely "move people along", sometimes with little warning, sometimes by throwing their survival gear away when the people are away from their camps. Until there are other options, homeless people need someplace to stay, some safe ground.
There are now seven co-sponsors of the event, with the Sacramento Homeless Organizing Committee's Homeless Leadership Project taking the lead. Newly added as a sponsor are CHAM Ministry of San Jose, Chicano Consortium and Sacramento Area Peace Action. The seven co-sponsors now are: What will happen during the march and at the rally in the park is explained at the SHOC wikispace:
After the march, we'll have a press conference. During rally we will have a few keynote speakers and an open mic at some point. We'll probably sing fractured homeless Christmas Carols during the march and maybe at the rally. We will participate in the National Homeless Memorial Day and read the names of the homeless people that have died this past year.
Here, the approximate route of the march, per the SHOC wikispace, with, at right, a crude line drawing of the trek, by me. [Yeah, yeah, I'm no Picasso.] [The mapping devise is out-of-date, calling Cesar Chavez Park "City Plaza Park."]:
We'll leave Loaves & Fishes at 1 pm, walk down 12th Street. We'll meet up with Francis House group at 12th and C Streets. We can sing Christmas Carols. We'll make a right on H Street and make a left on 10th Street, stop briefly at the City Hall and say something. We should be at Cesar Chavez Park by 2 pm or earlier.

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