What a nice day to Seize the Tents and other Belongings from the Homeless!

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December 21.  The Winter Solstice, four days before Christmas.  The shortest day of the year, followed by the Longest Night.  Theoretically the COLDEST day and night of the year, and in the middle of pouring, frigid rain.  And a few hours before various charitable groups in the county had scheduled events for what’s been dubbed “National Homeless Person’s Memorial Day.”

Apparently The City of Kindness, as represented by their obedient APD “Homeless Outreach Team” tagged along with by Code Enforcement, found this to be a deliciously ironic and effective time to seize the tents and other possessions of numerous peaceful homeless folks in West Anaheim?  (In a field behind a nursery on Broadway across from Maxwell Park, around 10-11 AM.)

Or was this a defiant reaction by the reactionary forces of the city, to the fact that several of us public speakers had shown up to the Council meeting the previous evening, to ask the newly elected People’s Council to AT LEAST stop enforcing the City’s unconstitutional and inhumane Anti-Camping Ordinance, AT LEAST for the winter months, until a better solution can be implemented?  

It’s probably a fantasy that we speakers already have THAT much power.  But we will be back in force at the next meeting, January 10.  We should escalate our demands:  OVERTURN the anti-camping ordinance, make it clear that police are no longer allowed to seize property that’s not unsupervised, and open up both Karcher Village (the unused city property southeast of the 91 and Harbor) as well as (since it’s not fair for District 3 to absorb all the region’s poverty) the unused city property northeast of Beach and Lincoln, until better solutions are found and implemented.  Meanwhile, discuss temporary compounds of small “modular” houses, as well as mobile restroom/showers like other cities have.

Regarding yesterday’s raids, you can see three really good interviews in the video below at 3:42, 6:14, and 9:10, while doing like most of us do and skipping through half-mad Roussan’s anti-gay and anti-Muslim rants:

As of 3pm, it was still raining, and the organizer of the National Homeless Person’s Memorial Day event on the riverbed told us it was cancelled.  But apparently it proceeded a little later anyway, when the rain stopped.  This memorial, as well as a larger more establishment one at the Christ Cathedral, honored the lives of the 178 homeless people who died on the streets of Orange County this year.

Jan. 10 – Let’s make the new Council DO something about this!


About Vern Nelson

Greatest pianist/composer in Orange County, and official troubador of both Anaheim and Huntington Beach (the two ends of the Santa Ana Aquifer.) Performs regularly both solo, and with his savage-jazz quintet The Vern Nelson Problem. Reach at vernpnelson@gmail.com, or 714-235-VERN.