Homeless protesters say they will continue challenging Sacramento’s newly enacted no-camping ordinance. Another arrest Monday morning followed the arrest or citation of seven others on Saturday.
Hours after the arrest of a man for sleeping near the front door of City Hall, demonstrators pitched tents at the site, essentially inviting arrest.
The city has said there is enough room at city sponsored shelters for all the protesters, but they say they represent hundreds of homeless people who are camping illegally because there is no room for them.
“The fact that we’re spending so many funds here in Sacramento to harass sleeping disabled is sickening to me, its like a nightmare type thing,” said homeless protester David Andre.
They also say the services the city says are available are grossly exaggerated.
City police officers have given demonstrators several warnings before they act, but the goal of the group at City Hall is to bring attention to an ordinance.
Paula Lomazzi, director of the Homeless Organizing Committee, is not a part of the protest, but she supports the efforts of the homeless to fight for their rights. Her group is trying to overturn the ordinance, citing federal court opinions indicating that laws punishing people for being homeless and poor are unconstitutional.
“I don’t understand why there is the law against people’s very existence, there’s not enough shelter, there’s not enough housing, so to punish people for being too poor to afford rent is pretty cruel,” said Lomazzi.
By early evening, police had not acted on the new violations. Past arrests have occurred early in the morning.