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On February 6, 2018 the City Manager of the City of Berkeley posted a public notice to the residents of the homeless encampment at 2134 Martin Luther King Jr. Way demanding that the residents “immediately collect your belongings and leave this location” under threat of “arrest to gain your compliance”. A copy of this notice is below. This encampment was established by First They Came for the Homeless (FTCftH) after many years of harassment by the City of Berkeley.
This ongoing oppression by the City of Berkeley is not isolated to FTCftH but represents a historic and ongoing policy of human rights violations targeting landless people throughout Berkeley in violation of many human rights laws including the Eighth Amendment prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment, the Fourth Amendment right to privacy and due process of law, the Fourteenth Amendment right to equal protection under the law, and Article 11 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, which recognizes “the right of everyone to an adequate standard of living for himself and his family, including adequate food, clothing and housing, and to the continuous improvement of living conditions.”
In Sullivan et al. v. City of Berkeley (Northern District Court of California, case number C 17-06051 WHA) FTCftH asks that the city establish “sanctioned encampments” so that landless people can have a semblance of dignity.
This current eviction is collective punishment after a fire which occurred in a small part of the encampment. Before the cause of the fire was determined the City Manager rushed to evict the encampment. This is despite the fact that no one was injured in the fire, and the displacement of the encampment does nothing to ensure the safety of the residents.
Rather than criminalize homelessness the City of Berkeley should work collaboratively with the residents of the encampment to improve their living conditions.
Make your voice heard and support the rights of landless people to provide for their basic survival needs. Sign the email petition below now!
We also ask supporters to provide their phone number so that we can add your name to the phone tree to provide support to defend the encampment.