Sunday, January 31, 2010

Disorderly conduct arrests faulted by NYC's Picture the Homeless

They're tired of being targeted, ticketed, jailed and fined under the banner of New York City's Disorderly Conduct statute, and they're doing something about it-- launching a civil rights campaign..

Members of Picture the Homeless, a grassroots organization founded and led by homeless people, last week held a civil rights summit with other community groups to discuss how this "overly broad and ill-defined law"  is used as a way of making money for the city.  Meanwhile, the lives of people who can least afford it are disrupted as they accumulate arrest records and default warrants if they can't pay the $150 fine.

PTH members talk about their experiences and why they're involved in this campaign on video.  It's not a slick production but bear with it and you will hear real people, obviously weary, who haven't had it easy, stand up for themselves and each other.

The Indypendent has coverage of this forum, at at PTH's blog, the administrator says, "We appreciate the Center for Constitutional Rights for hosting -- and much appreciate the participation of George Bethos of NYC AIDS Housing Network / VOCAL NY Users Union, Lalit Clarkson of Malcolm X Grassroots Movement, and the courageous Juanita Young of the October 22nd Coalition to Stop Police Brutality and Parents Against Police Brutality.  Within PTH, we thank Maria and Salaam for running the show, and Carlos for his always-blazing poetry."
 Photo: Picture the Homeless members

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