Saturday, February 28, 2015

Southern California hits the ball!

California Senator Carol Liu (25th District) has sponsored CA SB 608. The Bill seeks to modify 647(e) (see bolded text below) and add new text.

647(e) Who lodges in any building, structure, vehicle, or place, whether public or private, without the permission of the owner or person entitled to the possession or in control of it. This subdivision does not apply to conduct that is protected pursuant to Section 53.81 of the Civil Code.

The new text, 53.8 and 53.81, contains classifications and protections intended to defend the rights of homeless people.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015


Some were surprised by the ruling by the United States Court Of Appeals For The Ninth Circuit on Desertrain v. City Of Los Angeles. Anyone that bothered to listen to the Desertrain v. City Of Los Angeles proceedings probably wasn't surprised. The bench was obviously upset by the case, as presented by Los Angeles, and their assertive opinion was a hope filled reminder of common decency. The citable result of Desertrain v. City Of Los Angeles (2014): 'car habitation' is no longer a crime, within the jurisdiction of the 9th Circuit. A serious question remains; how long before new 'ugly law' strikedown workarounds become freshly oppressive ordinances?

More recently, the California Court of Appeal, Third Appellate District ruled on Allen v. City Of Sacramento. To me, it isn't clear if the 3rd rejected arguments because of filing technicalities or because of substance, although the opinion is laced with 'sleep is a crime' sentiments. While the 3rd rejected many of the arguments, they did acknowledge equal enforcement as a problem that needed to be addressed. My guess is that the 3th was very aware of the strong 9th opinion, given the similar class of victims of oppression, and didn't want to be embarrassed by the 9th striking down the ruling in Allen v. City Of Sacramento.

Meanwhile, back at the PeaceCamp 2011/2012 case; Ed's procedural trivia appeal held, and the substance of the matter is headed back to the Santa Cruz Appellate. I assume the Santa Cruz Appellate will rubber stamp the initial ruling, yet again, and then perhaps an appeal on substance will occur. Or perhaps not. It's difficult for me to know because, in practice, the case is not mine.

My overall impression; the United States Supreme Court ruling in Papachristou v. City Of Jacksonville (1972), as poetic as it is at times, has been and will continue to be ignored at all levels of executive and legislative influence. Just as the debates leading to the 9th Amendment, as well at the 9th Amendment itself, have been and continue to be ignored. Perhaps because the wealthy are not often found sleeping and when they are, they are excused from any rules of law that might apply.


Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Why Sleep Is A Crime.

After years of no response, when questioning people and public figures, I've decided to start PeaceCamp2014 by listing possible motives for the criminalization of sleep, because petty tyrants (even the judicial branch) have demonstrated a clear and persistent lack of courage, when asked a simple, direct question.

Why is sleep a crime?

Pride. Walled people are burdened with the belief they are better, allowing them to feel it is acceptable to criminalize the fundamental biological needs of others.

Wrath. Their unchecked feelings of hatred and anger toward others drives a grotesque fetish, controlling minute details of existence.

Gluttony. Their indulgent and consumptive lifestyle is not held back by their walls, generating the need to control every space, resource, and person.

Avarice. Trapped in their cycles of unfulfillable lust, desire forces them to claim sovereignty over the dreams of others.

Envy. Seeing others free from the materialism they cling to so desperately, destroying lives becomes a sick and twisted projection of self loathing.

Sloth. Having failed to develop spiritually, they fail to act when their aggressive cohorts create inhumane laws used to persecute others.

Perhaps you disagree, and have a perfectly reasonable and rational explanation for the criminalization of sleep. I dare you to state it.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Broader Recognition Of Human Rights Violations, At Last?

Recently the United Nations Human Rights division had harsh words for the United States Of America.  Among the issues raised; the moral and legal failures of local, state, and federal government.  Not only failing to protect the rights of the poor, but also noting the explicit and intentional abuse of the rights of the poor.

Perhaps as public relations spin, there have been echoes amongst the organizations that receive payment to speak for the poor, as well as some of the government agencies that have been slumbering for so long.  Whatever the reasons and motives, it is encouraging to see terms like human rights being used more widely, when addressing the systemic and chronic persecution of the poor and homeless.

Here are some recent examples, via the National Law Center On Homelessness And Poverty website (apparently the NLCHP is bringing a Constitutional challenge against the camping ban in Boise, Idaho!)...

Criminalizing Homelessness is Costly, Ineffective, and Infringes on Human Rights

From Wrongs to Rights: The Case for Homeless Bills of Rights Legislation

3 Reasons to Address Homelessness as a Human Rights Issue

U.N. Human Rights Committee Calls U.S. Criminalization of Homelessness "Cruel, Inhuman, and Degrading",_Inhuman,_and_Degrading.pdf

Friday, September 27, 2013

Arresting Abusive Tyranny: Beyond Political Brands

Results matter.  Results matter more than political brands.  Results matter more than the currently fashionable factions embedded in any given system of governance.  Why is the evaluation of governance not based on results, instead of stereotypes or obscene selfishness?  In my opinion, the focus of evaluation should include those who suffer, for it is those suffering that need assistance, those suffering that need relief, those suffering that need to alter their systems of government.

Has political science failed, as an intellectual discipline?  Is brand loyalty driving the lack of well known (and used) concepts and terminology?  Political debates rarely cover results in detail.  Results over time, as societies under brand influence evolve, and ignorable failure modes become ignorable no longer.

Why is accountability for results so rare, often late, and brutal?

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Is an "Emergency Homeless Response" how it begins?

The City Council of Columbia, South Carolina has put their fears into writing. Unanimously, they also codified their fears in law. Businesses are encouraged to report perpetrators.

I actually have some respect for their explicit bigotry. It will be interesting to see if their attempt will stand in court. Surely other cities are watching, waiting to see what happens (similar to the wait to see how eminent domain plays out in Richmond, California), preparing similar efforts (ask TBSC).

What did Columbia, South Carolina make illegal? Being downtown. Yeah, that is it, just being downtown. If accused, and refusing to go to the holding area, jail is the solution. Once at the holding area, permission is required to leave, and returning downtown is not allowed. Their police chief seems troubled, possibly because he might be the fall guy, should the effort run into legal trouble.

Illegal to be downtown, you ask? Why??? All it takes it being the 'wrong race'. No, just kidding. All it takes is being the 'wrong religion'. No, just kidding. All it takes is being the 'wrong gender'. No, just kidding. All it takes is being the 'wrong sexual preference'. No, just kidding. All it takes is being the 'wrong political party'. No, just kidding. All it takes it being homeless. No kidding.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

On The Agreement To End Hostilities

In mid-2012, after the appeal was completely blocked by the judiciary (for the 647(e) 'lodging' conviction, for the PeaceCamp2010 sleeping ban protest (AKA the 1st case)), I was (re)incarcerated.  After the standard few days of being held in general population, I was moved to the medium/minimum security facility in Watsonville, next to the garbage dump, to serve the remaining portion of my sentence.  While there, someone told me they had heard rumors of an announcement, about an "Agreement To End Hostilities", coming from the Pelican Bay SHU facility.

The next time Ed (the lawyer) visited me, I asked him to find out about the announcement, and if he found it, to mail a copy to me.  I also asked him to mail it to me as a person (not a lawyer).  Why?  Because I wanted to be sure the mail was opened and read!  If Ed sent it as a lawyer, they might not open and read it.  I wanted to avoid being persecuted later, for having 'contraband' (for various reasons, possession of various publications and documents are verboten, while incarcerated).

Soon, the mail arrived; opened and (presumably) read, probably unaltered.  So I read it.  As I read the announcement, I was struck by the unity of the message, a "mutual agreement on behalf of all racial groups".  The word that made me smile the most was "obstructionists".

Immediately, I started to show it to others, including shot callers.  Some were as impressed as I, others questioned the authenticity of the document (something I could not attempt to verify, because I was incarcerated, without access to the internet).

The announcement called for unity in SHU, Ad-Seg, General Population, and County Jails.  The announcement called for peaceful protest activity/noncooperation e.g. hunger strike, no labor, etc.  Of course I was interested!  The October 10, 2012 deadline was days away.  I wondered if people would try to settle business, before the deadline.  I wondered if unity would hold, because anyone 'misbehaving' at Watsonville would probably be sent back to the jail downtown (there are fewer 'privileges' there).  I wondered if word would make it out to County Jails before the deadline.  Apparently it didn't, because October 10th came and went, without any noticeable change.

And soon thereafter, I was woken up and told I was being released.  This was surprising, because my official release date was the end of October.  So I asked the guard if there was a mistake.  He said no.  I asked again (there was someone standing nearby, who said 'shut up and go before they change their minds').  The guard made a call, confirming that there wasn't a mistake.  I asked if I would have to return, if there was a mistake.  The guard said no.  Cool.  I gave away my commissary and books, and left.

Ever since then, I have wondered why I was released early.  Was it because they miscalculated my remaining time (a common mistake)?  Was it because they needed the space (the California prison/jail crowding decision stills threatens the system)?  Was it because of my (slight) activism after receiving the 'Agreement To End Hostilities' announcement?  I may never know.  But, if I return to the system, it seems unlikely that I will be returning to medium/minimum Watsonville, because I am likely to support the agreement, along with the 30,000 others, hunger striking right now.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Unfashionable Defiance

Why is sleep a crime?  It is difficult to get an answer, from anyone.  It is much easier to get a conviction (sentenced to 6 months and then sentenced to 2 years).  The appellate court refuses to hear arguments.  So sleep is still illegal.  A fundamental human need remains a crime.

Recently someone dared, using chalk, to write things like "No Thanks, Big Banks" on the sidewalk in front of Bank Of America.  Upset about the big bank bailouts, he expressed himself, and was taken to trial.  The threat of 13 years, if convicted, seemed to wake a lot of people up.  Now that the chalkist has been acquitted, those people will probably return to sleep.  Meanwhile, those suffering from predatory foreclosure continue to join those that face jail time, for the act of sleeping.

In Detroit, The Empowerment Plan is helping by making coats that are also sleeping bags.  This too is very fashionable.  But the difficult question remains unanswered, even among fans of The Empowerment Plan; why is sleep illegal?  In Santa Cruz, wearing such a coat/sleeping bag could result in a ticket, because using a blanket to keep warm at night, even if awake, is also a crime.  You think I am kidding?  I am not kidding.  I have received that very ticket.

Do you have an answer for that inconvenience question?  Do you know anyone that has an answer for that question?

I don't care if it is unfashionable.  I am going to keep asking.