I’m sleeping with Baxter in Fullerton tonight – how ’bout you?

from Juice friend Stephan “Bax” Baxter, part 3 of an ongoing series

Please RSVP and join us at whichever level of support your comfort level allows.

Speak – Tuesday 6:30 pm – Please join us at the Fullerton City Council as a speaker, or otherwise in support of those asking that the city council order a moratorium on the enforcement of the “no-camping” ordinance being applied to the homeless until such a time that suitable accommodations are established such as year-round emergency homeless shelter or otherwise monitored encampment (e.g. Rusty Kennedy’s Brea Dam) is opened offering an alternative to sleeping in public.

Demonstrate Support – 8:30 pm – If The Mayor or two members of the council have not at this point indicated their willingness to support agendizing a moratorium on the enforcement of the “no-camping” ordinance, we ask that you join us as we reassemble at the Fullerton Transportation Center near the Kelly Thomas Memorial only a few blocks away, with signs in support for the homeless and the objectives of those who will be sleeping in an act of civil disobedience later that evening. Our arguments and requests will have already been made to those in a position to change policy, so we will not be yelling into megaphone, or disturbing local business and their customers. This is not how one builds community support on a Tuesday evening. We ask that those in a position to do so, use this opportunity to bring nonperishable food items and clothing to be left at the memorial benefiting all those who call the transportation center “home”.

Sleep With Me – 11:00 pm – At this point several supporters, who are not themselves homeless but are willing to violate the “no camping” ordinance in order to focus public and press attention from on the criminalization of homelessness, will lay out bed rolls and sleeping bags in a very obvious public location and violate the ordinance themselves. If you wish to join the organizers Stephan Baxter and Andy Anderson in this 3rd phase of the event please rsvp stating so and contact Steve Baxter by email at Stephanbaxter@me.com or by FB message.

If you object to the ticketing of homeless residents by the Fullerton Police Department for the crime of sleeping outdoors when this city council recently voted down a homeless shelter assuring that there are no viable indoor sleeping option, PLEASE RSVP as a Supporter or a Camper depending on your comfort level. Doing so will help us stop the dehumanizing, over reaction to an admittedly growing homeless problem in Fullerton. If we with our numbers can show community support to have a moratorium on the cynically named “No-Camping” ordinance placed on the city council agenda on short notice, we will demonstrate to the City Council, to the city manager, to the city attorney, and to the chief of police:

  1. That our community has learned from the mistakes of the past even if those in office forget too easily.
  2. We are demonstrating that our community is no longer willing to look away when anyone among us, regardless of economic status, special needs, ethnicity, or sexual orientation, is victimized by those in power or treated with anything less than the respect and dignity which we ourselves demand.
  3. We are proving that Fullerton does not tolerate bullying of any kind and that Fullerton is on its way to becoming a bully free zone.

“Supporters” are those who will show up (if possible bring signs) and or speak in support of placing a moratorium on enforcement of the “no-camping” violation on the council agenda, and/or will gather in support at Kelly’s corner at the Transportation center at 8:30 where several supporters are going to be sleeping in violation of this city ordinance. Regardless if you spend the night or not, you are the most important aspect of this evening because your presence between 8:30 and 10:00, or your absence, will be what other potential supporters and detractors will gage our effectiveness on. The question they will be is if we can make things difficult for them if they continue to criminalize homeless and sanitize downtown Fullerton of its unwashed, unkempt and unloved. Regardless of how passionately you feel about this issue, and even if you support the cause in others ways, if you do not physically show up even for an hour, the assumption will be made that the community in large does not mind the shift in policy and the Irvinization of Fullerton, and that is when the things already accomplished begin to become undone.

Why A School Night?

  1. Tuesday 9/17 will mark two weeks since members of the community spoke in objection to the “no-camping” citations and requested that enforcing end until there is a shelter. To date no progress has been made to end the enforcement and tickets issued have not been dismissed.
  2. Having the event on Tuesday to coincide with the scheduled City Council Meeting giving the council one more opportunity after public comments to express support to put this issue on the agenda.
  3. By having it on a Tuesday the camp-in aspect of the event will avoid the drunken chaos which downtown Fullerton becomes from Thursday – Saturday thanks to the 40+ drinking establishment surrounding the transportation center.

To Those “Sleeping With Andy & Me,” aka The Campers:

All those supporters who in an attempt to bring attention to the dehumanizing practice of making homelessness illegal choose to stay after most others leave with a bed roll and sleeping bag, find a safe spot which does not block traffic or endanger anyone, and try to get some sleep along with organizers Andy Anderson and Stephan Baxter. By doing so you will be violating the “no-camping” ordinance and risk a citation. If you plan to sleep in violation of the “no-camping ordinance” You must:

  1. Familiarize yourself with the ordinance and the potential in fines or jail time associated when violating that ordinance:  http://www.artwithanagenda.org/camp-in-protest-on-917.html
  2. Bring a current and valid State or Federal ID (e.g. Driver’s license orpassport)
  3. Be willing to plead “not guilty” if cited
  4. Not already be homeless*, not be on probation, parole, have warrants, bring any weapons, bring anything that someone could claim is a weapon, bring any illegal drugs or devices which may appear to be delivery devises for illegal drugs, assume that a weed RX will not be enough to avoid detention, have any alcohol on your person or be impaired by alcohol or drugs.
  5. Be willing to go without sex this night
  6. Understand that we are not pretending to be homeless, and that we are privileged by comparison. By sleeping for one night as the homeless do, we are attempting to bring attention where very little is focus now
  7. Realize that doing this does not make you heroic and remember that you have friends that camp outside for a new IPAD, Laker tickets and sneakers … during this for human dignity is the least we can do
  8. Bring at minimum a bed roll and sleeping bag. Small one-man pup tents are acceptable but nothing larger
  9. Be prepared to walk four blocks to the organizers’ gallery space if you need to use the restroom
  10. Be prepared to have everything you bring confiscated or stolen
  11. Be prepared to be cited by a Fullerton Police Officer for anything he or she can think of
  12. Be prepared to have him or her appear as if they are enjoying this process a great deal,
  13. Be willing to comply to the orders of the police – even if these orders appear to be mean, stupid, nonsensical and degrading – without complaint.
  14. Be willing to be objected to insults from commuters and guests of our downtown drinking establishments without being provoked into any type of response.
  15. Have transportation, your own, or others available at 5:30am (I am told that this is when the OCTA clears out the area for morning commuters)
  16. Know that overnight parking is not permitted in the adjacent parking lot
  17. Be prepared to spend the next few months wondering if it was worth it.

Our assumption is that the Fullerton Police Department will only be watching this first camp-in hoping that it will fizzle. If, however, they make contact with anyone in our group, our behavior and our demeanor will be such that we give them zero justification to escalate this to violence. Violence is something that they are much more at home with than we are. They are trained in violence and we are dedicated to peace, justice and equality. It will be our conduct, and the fact that audio and film will witness all police contacts that night which will allow us to keep home field advantage.

From the Organizers:

When the homeless must lay their head down somewhere in Fullerton and are subsequently cited for “camping”, they are issued a citation so cynical in its applications that their status as residents in their own community is accused of being illegal regardless of an individual’s conduct or past accomplishment. All that matters is that on that day they were homeless, and with this factor alone, in Fullerton California, there is presumption of guilt.

The organizers and supporters of this event, however, would never presume all police officers, even those who now without a hint of awkwardness or acknowledgment of the location, issue homeless men and women citation only feet way from where Kelly Thomas feel into a coma after being brutally beaten by men wearing the same type of uniform. And friends, that alone is why we win this thing, we are better than they are.

*This transportation center has been the target of police sweeps resulting in citation, and if we not succeed in putting an end to the policy they will do so again. It is not unreasonable to think that on this night, although they are not part of the camp-in, that police t may want to issue the homeless more citations so protesters are blamed for bringing them attention. Anyone who believes that it is better that we allow the policy to continue unchallenged than to confront it may want to consider avoiding the transportation center that night and we will do our best to have all attention focused on us. if those who have seniority in the area ask us to leave to an other less visable location we will respect and comply.

ADDITIONAL INFO AT ART WITH AN AGENDA http://www.artwithanagenda.org/camp-in-protest-on-917.html

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"Admin" is just editors Vern Nelson, Greg Diamond, or Ryan Cantor sharing something that they mostly didn't write themselves, but think you should see. Before December 2010, "Admin" may have been former blog owner Art Pedroza.