Friday, May 16, 2008
Court rules Fresno violated homeless rights
Yesterday was the day that BlogCatalogue promoted as Bloggers United for Human Rights! I'm not sure yet how many bloggers participated, but I suspect a fair number of us did. Not me, though! A sick cat occupied my spare time in the early part of the week, and then a sick dog got the latter part of the week. If I'd just thought about it, I could have saved Saturday's post on International Tent City Day or Tuesday's post on the Topfree movement for Wednesday....but I didn't. Or I could have taken yesterday's post on excessive police force and made an explicit link to Bloggers Unite...seems, in fact, that about 80% of what I write is related to human rights in some way. I want to thank BlogCatalogue for recognizing and encouraging blogs' role in social change.
This Monday, a federal court ruled that destroying the property of homeless people is a violation of the 4th and 14th Amendments to the U.S.l Constitution, and that the city of Fresno, CA had violated those rights in a series of raid of homeless encampments. Specifically, the city violated homeless peoples' right to due process and the right to protection against unreasonable search and seizure.
One would like to think that the word would spread quickly to other municipalities but too many of these cities believe they are nations unto themselves; more court battles are sure to come.
Photos: Fresno encampment from Humanity for Homeless; homelessness activists, StreetSpirit.