May 08

The Pavement – London Magazine for Homeless

Magazine in London Helps Homeless With Articles on Where to Get Food and Services

Pavement magazine, 5 year anniversary film from nick aldridge on Vimeo.

WHAT PEOPLE SAY ABOUT THE PAVEMENT MAGAZINE (LONDON)

SERVICE PROVIDERS

“We are always happy to get a call from The Pavement – it’s one way of telling that something we are doing is having a real impact on the lives of homeless people. Plus we rely on The Pavement to help us get news and information about services and issues out to the people most affected.” Alison Gelder, CEO, Housing Justice.

“I have seen The Pavement a couple of times now and am really impressed with the content of it. It contains helpful information for our clients regarding what services are available in the city.” Programme Coordinator, The Salvation Army

READERS

“I think The Pavement is brilliant. To people that don’t know it, I’d describe it as like a mix of Private Eye and the Yellow Pages for homeless people. It’s certainly something that I relied on many times.

“I remember the last time I was homeless, I went to a Day Centre and said it’d been a while since I’d slept rough in the city and needed some information about soup runs. They gave me a copy of The Pavement and that sorted me out.

“I knew where I could go to get food, where I could find day centres and get the help I needed. With a copy of The Pavement in your hand, you can survive.

“Homeless people need The Pavement. It gives us a voice and we don’t have a voice. You don’t hear these stories in the mainstream media. They tell you about Katie Price’s wedding but not about the homeless guy who was stabbed in Blackfriars last night. That’s what The Pavement is for.” Christopher Ubsdell, former rough sleeper

OUR MISSION AND AIMS

The Pavement is committed to publishing independent advice as well as hard-hitting and entertaining reportage, tailored to a homeless readership within the UK via our regional magazines and UK-wide website. We aim to provide and publicise appropriate information that is objective, timely and relevant on a range of advisory and practical services available to homeless people, as well as news on the issues impacting the homeless and dispossessed from across the UK. Our ultimate goal is to help reduce short-term hardship amongst our readers and longer term to provide them with information to enable them to guide their own futures.

The Pavement exists because there was nothing like it, but it fulfils a need.

The Pavement is a small charity, founded in the spring of 2005. We distribute The Pavement in London, Scotland and the West Midlands, and we plan to launch in other regions. In London alone, we deliver 4,000+ copies of The Pavement to over 70 hostels, day centres, homeless surgeries, soup-runs and libraries. By using volunteer journalists and homelessness sector professionals, as well as work from the country’s best cartoonists (many of them Private Eye contributors), we’ve achieved a balance of news, features, humour and service listings unlike other publications.

Our journalists cover the news from the streets or news affecting the streets, and we often deal with topics ignored by the mainstream press. Alongside this, other professionals provide features on health, foot care, legal advice and life in hostels, with the back pages given over to The List, a regularly updated directory of homeless services.

As always, we welcome comment, so do get in contact.

RECENT AND ONGOING CAMPAIGNS

WORD ON THE STREET

The Pavement’s Word on the Street project aimed to empower homeless volunteers to contribute as fully as possible to the magazine. For three months, volunteers with direct experience of homelessness attended workshops, run by media professionals, to help them develop skills in reporting and photojournalism. They were given training in everything from interviewing to computer skills. The team pulled together a very special November 2014 issue of The Pavement, which featured a brand new cartoon strip (1, 2), Heartbreak Hotel, based on their experiences in hostels, as well as a host of first personal pieces. The group will continue to contribute to the magazine, drawing on a growing bank of ideas for articles, and creating podcasts for the website. A short film about the project is in development.

1 Forget Dennis the Menace and the Bash Street Kids… Beano artist’s new cartoon strip stars a homeless Scot (Sunday Herald, 2 November 2014)

2 Karin Goodwin talks about Heartbreak Hotel (STV, 14 November 2014)

THE UK COMMON RIGHTS PROJECT

The UK Common Rights Project allowed homeless people to speak about the lack of those common rights – water, sanitation, food and shelter – the rest of us take for granted. We worked with Housing Justice and Open Cinema to create a hard-hitting report and website, which were launched at the House of Commons. One of the project films won the Best Short Documentary category at the 2014 Moondance International Film Festival in the US. The project was a follow-up to 2010’s Rights Guide for Rough Sleepers, which we worked on with Housing Justice and Liberty.

WHO BENEFITS?

Over 100 charities, big and small, are members of the high-profile campaign that aims to show the reality of the help that benefits provide, why they need it and the difference it makes. Almost a third of homeless people on Jobseekers Allowance have had their benefits sanctioned (cut off), for instance, compared to just three per cent of housed claimants, leading to destitution and desperation among some of the country’s most vulnerable people.

JUST FAIR CONSORTIUM

The Just Fair Consortium monitors the fundamental human rights to food, housing, social security, education, equality, employment and health. Members, who include Oxfam, the Trussell Trust, the Trade Union Congress and Unicef UK, endorsed a common statement of recommendations from the Going Hungry? The Human Right to Food in the UK report. In 2015, the United Nations will review the UK’s human rights record, and the consortium will be part of the reporting process.

American readers can go online to www.thePavement.org.uk to read the current and past issues for free. Be sure to check out their comic strip.  Below are some photos from some of their issues.

Jan 02

Now It’s A War on Pillows! L.A.’s Mayor Goes Goofy

New Ordinance Takes Effect January 7, 2017

Thousands Sleeping in Vehicles at Risk for Money-Grabbing Fines

“Get Out of Residential Areas” Says Mayor and Council

Goofy Garcetti Fines up to $75 for having a Pillow in your car!  Is he nuts?

L.A. Mayor Garcetti Leads Attack on Poor.

L.A. Mayor Garcetti Leads Attack on Poor, even outlawing pillows in any vehicle.

The Shameful Actions Against Thousands of Displaced Folks Living in Vehicles

The City of Los Angeles has done it again, launching a new campaign against anyone “dwelling” in a vehicle.  The new Ordinance (Fully reproduced at the end of this article) takes effect on January 7, 2017. It shoves vehicle dwellers out of residential neighborhoods, near parks and schools, and seeks to push them either back onto the street to sleep on the cement, or shove them into “industrial or commercial” areas that are already heavily posted with signs that say “No Parking between 2am-6am”. In other words, making it very difficult to park somewhere just to sleep.  Many of these vehicle dwellers work in low paying jobs and cannot afford the insane high rents in Southern California, hence they live in their vehicles.

Law Applies to Everyone, Even the Thousands of Moms and Pops Visiting Their Kids.

The local efforts to criminalize homeless and poor folks across the State and other states in this Country reveals such a sick situation of conflicting laws that it is amazing the public puts up with these loony politicians.  For instance, with this new law in Los Angeles, relatives who have traveled from afar to visit their moms, dads, or other kin, cannot park their RVs in residential neighborhoods.  Many cities have also banned the parking of RVs in residential driveways.  In some cities, like Burbank, a police permit and fee is required to park an RV anywhere on a city street.  The arriving moms and pops have no idea what a hassle they are in for just coming to Southern California for a friendly visit.

Pasadena Rose Parade Out of Town Visitors Targeted by Cops. 

There is no parking anywhere on any street in Pasadena without an expensive permit only issued to residents.  Imagine the surprise the tourists get who come out from another area to see the Rose Parade. They face tickets and tow.  The rich folks who run Pasadena, the same folks who actually gave their City Manager in effect a lifetime job, really don’t want a lot of visitors, especially ones in RVs.  The thousands of small businesses suffer from a constant loss of business from out of town visitors who are denied a place to park overnight.  Unless you can afford to stay in a $300 dollar a night hotel room.

LA Outlaws Sleeping Bags, Blankets, Pillows, Cooking Utensils, in any Vehicle

The new Ordinance actually prohibits the public from carrying a sleeping bag, pillow, sheet, blanket or other items in your vehicle.  Ironic as the City disaster folks are telling everyone to carry just those things in your vehicle for an emergency, such as an earthquake.  Will the City set up checkpoints around town to search all vehicles for pillows?  The perfidy of the sociopaths who run the City has now hit an all-time high with this one.

The City Does Not Have Even One Decent Solution to the Many Problems of the Poor

Many thinking people and websites have sent in or published solutions to some of the problems.  The City has ignored all of them.  We have proposed safe overnight parking facilities, for instance.  There should also be well placed areas for RVs and Campers to dump grey water and get fresh water.  The City has never tried to even provide adequate rest room facilities for both homeless and tourists,  Much of the low-cost housing that was built for our poor and seniors is occupied by foreign immigrants who never worked a day in their life in this Country.  Another taboo subject not to be mentioned in the hallowed chambers of City Hall. And by the way, we are not talking about Mexicans or Hispanic folks.  We are talking about the many thousands of old people brought in to L.A. County from European, Russian, and Middle Eastern countries and given low cost housing plus benefits for political asylum.  

Not Everyone Sleeping in Their Vehicle is “Homeless

Let’s face the fact that many folks could have reason to dwell in their vehicle.  Folks coming into L.A  to live and work sometimes have to live out of their vehicle until they can even find an apartment and a job. Tourists from around the world travel in RVs and Campers on their vacations.  Seniors who can’t get into the low cost housing that was allegedly built for them are more and more living in their cars because they can’t afford rent. There’s also a growing trend of folks who just want the freedom of living in a vehicle. There’s also the traditional gypsy lifestyle.  And then there’s the 50,000 homeless in L.A  Criminalizing poor people, homeless folks, seniors, visitors, and tourists is a despicable act of cowardliness by the Mayor and  Council.

Below is the Complete Text of the New Ordinance.

 

ORDINANCE NO. 184530 An ordinance amending Los Angeles Municipal Code Section 85.02 to establish regulations governing the use of vehicles for dwelling on City public streets and to provide a sunset of the regulations in 18 months. The City finds and declares the following:

 

WHEREAS, for a variety of social, economic and personal reasons, many people dwell in their vehicles on City public streets;

 

WHEREAS, some people with homes choose temporarily to dwell in their vehicle on public streets because of financial considerations, such as a person catching an early morning flight or train and instead of paying for a hotel room decides to dwell in his or her vehicle overnight on a public street near the airport or train station;

 

WHEREAS, some people have no housing and they believe their safest option for dwelling is in their vehicle on public streets;

 

WHEREAS, substantial public health, safety and quality-of-life concerns are posed by persons who use their vehicles for dwelling on public streets, especially on streets in residential areas or in sensitive areas, such as near schools, day care facilities and parks;

 

WHEREAS, there have been numerous complaints by residents of litter, unsanitary conditions, noise and crime, sometimes resulting in altercations, when persons dwell in their vehicles in residential and sensitive areas;

 

WHEREAS, the conditions described above have resulted in and will likely continue to result in blight, sanitary and public health concerns, excessive noise and crime, not only affecting residents, but also affecting persons who dwell in vehicles and are at a heightened risk of assault, robbery and other criminal activity;

 

WHEREAS, dwelling in vehicles on public streets diminishes the economic viability of the City and its many tourist attractions;

 

WHEREAS, the City has an interest in balancing the needs of those individuals who dwell in their vehicles and the needs of all City residents, businesses and visitors for clean, healthy and safe public areas;

 

WHEREAS, the City’s existing law addressing vehicle dwelling was found to be unconstitutional by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal in Desertrain v. City of Los Angeles; 1

 

WHEREAS, the City currently has no reliable information on the number and location of people using vehicles as dwellings or the impacts to health, safety and the physical environment, if any, resulting from this activity, and is unable to obtain such information from other sources;

 

WHEREAS, the City has reasonably determined that gathering the information necessary to evaluate the impacts to health, safety and the physical environment, if any, due to the use of vehicles for dwelling on public streets will take approximately eighteen months;

 

WHEREAS, the City intends to allow vehicle dwelling in order to gather data and information related to impacts to public health, safety and the physical environment, if any, for use in developing permanent regulations pertaining to the use of vehicles for dwelling on public streets in the City; WHEREAS, the City intends to allow vehicle dwelling only on non-residential streets and on streets that do not have a school, pre-school, day care facility or park;

 

WHEREAS, the restriction on vehicle dwelling regulates the conduct of dwelling in a vehicle on a public street and is not a parking restriction;

 

WHEREAS, the City has determined that the regulations will not result in a serious or major disturbance to an environmental resource;

 

WHEREAS, the City intends to provide public outreach regarding the provisions of this ordinance, including engaging the assistance of homeless service providers such as the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority and making publicly available on the City’s website maps identifying streets where vehicle dwelling is allowed;

 

and WHEREAS, the Chief Administrative Officer will coordinate the collection and analysis of data and information by City departments and third party organizations with relevant expertise for purposes of determining the impacts to public health, safety and the physical environment due to the implementation of these vehicle dwelling regulations and will compile the resulting data and analysis into a report with recommendations for action to the City Council and Mayor within eighteen months of the effective date of this ordinance.

 

NOW, THEREFORE, THE PEOPLE OF THE CITY OF LOS ANGELES DO ORDAIN AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Section 85.02 of the Los Angeles Municipal Code is repealed in its entirety and replaced as follows: SEC. 85.02. REGULATING THE USE OF VEHICLES FOR DWELLING.

 

A. Use of Vehicles for Dwelling Restricted on City Streets. No person shall use a Vehicle for Dwelling as follows:

 

Between the hours of 9:00 P.M. and 6:00 A.M. on any Residential Street; or

At any time within a one Block radius of any edge of a lot containing a park or a licensed school, pre-school or daycare facility.

 

Nothing herein precludes the enforcement of any other laws such as parking restrictions, including, but not limited to, prohibitions on overnight parking.

 

B. Definitions: As used in this section:

 

Block is defined as 500 feet.

 

Dwelling means more than one of the following activities and when it reasonably appears, in light of all the circumstances, that a person is using a vehicle as a place of residence or accommodation:

 

Possessing inside or on a vehicle items that are not associated with ordinary vehicle use, such as a sleeping bag, bedroll, blanket, sheet, pillow, kitchen utensils, cookware, cooking equipment, bodily fluids.

 

Obscuring some or all of the vehicle’s windows. Preparing or cooking meals inside or on a vehicle. Sleeping inside a vehicle

 

Residential Street means any street which adjoins one or more single family or multi-family residentially zoned parcel.

 

Vehicle means any motor vehicle, trailer, house car or trailer coach as defined California Vehicle Code.

 

C. Penalty. A first violation of this section shall be punishable as an infraction not to exceed $25. A second violation of this section shall be punishable as an infraction not to exceed $50 and all subsequent violations of this section shall punishable as an infraction not to exceed $75. Violators may be eligible for referral to a prosecutorial-led diversion program such as the Homeless Engagement and Response Team (HEART). D. Sunset Provisions. The provisions of this section shall expire and be deemed to have been repealed on July 1, 2018, unless extended by ordinance. E. Severability. If any portion, subsection, sentence, clause or phrase of this section is for any reason held by a court of competent jurisdiction to be invalid, such a decision shall not affect the validity of the remaining portions of this section. The City Council hereby declares that it would have passed this ordinance and each portion or subsection, sentence, clause and phrase herein, irrespective of the fact that any one or more portions, subsections, sentences, clauses or phrases be declared invalid.

 

Aug 07

Hope of the Valley

Here’s the Latest Information on Hope of the Valley

Van Nuys Help Center (6425 Tyrone Ave. Van Nuys, CA 91406). This is our main facility that daily provides homeless services to our clients. Here, we provide daily hot meals from 12:15pm-1pm Monday through Friday and most Saturdays. Additionally, we have showers available for our clients from 9-11:45 every day. We also have case managers onsite, Department of Mental Health, Veterans Affairs, etc. This is a one-stop shop for our clients seeking assistance.
Thrift Stores. We still have the thrift store in Sun Valley (but this will be closing towards the end of the year). So, we have 3 stores:
Sun Valley (8165 San Fernando Rd. Sun Valley, CA 91352).
Granada Hills (18167 Chatsworth St. Granada Hills, CA 91344).
Santa Clarita (19379 Soledad Canyon Rd. Canyon Country, CA 91351).
Hope Care Center (New Recuperative Facility). This facility, located at 11134 Sepulveda Blvd. Mission Hills, CA 91345, is where all of our Administrative offices currently are. In the downstairs portion, however, we have a recuperative care facility that acts as a shelter for homeless patients being discharged from hospitals. This facility accepts no walk-ins, clients have to be transported by a hospital and admitted by our team here. We have a full skilled nursing staff here that help bring our clients back to full health, as well as a case management team that works to find them appropriate housing. They are fed three delicious and nutritious meals a day here by our executive chef, Geronimo. The recuperative facility contains a brand new commercial catering kitchen that is capable of making 3,000 meals a day! In addition to the recuperative care portion of the building, we have a Federally Qualified Health Clinic (not up and running quite yet), but will provide health care for the surrounding community.

Nov 18

Create Overnight Parking Lots Now!

City of Los Angeles Should Act Quickly To Provide Overnight Parking For Folks Living in Vehicles (FLIVS)

Now that the City of Los Angeles is moving forward to tackle the massive issues of homelessness, they could do one thing quickly that does not cost a lot of money and would go a long way to help out those living in their vehicles.  Here are a few suggestions from the Gypsy Cool Council:

1.  Find parking lots where FLIVS (Folks Living In Vehicles) can park safely overnight

2.  The lots should have some kind of bathroom facilities, at least porta-potties.

3.  Rules and hours clearly posted.  Suggest start at 6pm with all FLIVS to be out of the lot by 9:00am.

4.  No drinking or illegal drug use allowed.  No loud or bad-behavior will be tolerated.

5.  Security to be on site for the protection of the vehicle’s occupants.

6.  This is to be a place of refuge, not a place for police to troll the lot to issue citations for minor vehicle violations, like expired license tags.  These people need help of all kinds.  They do not need to have their situation made worse by cops harassing them over minor vehicle issues.

7.  Possibly social service folks could at times be on hand to provide whatever services are possible.

8.  Information should be made available about local places to get free or low-cost food.

The City could contact other cities who have run such overnight lots to learn from them about the issues that have surfaced, like trash and other problems.  San Diego and Santa Barbara have run these types of facilities in the past.

Another thing that could be immediately done is to revise the “No Overnight Parking” signs that the Department of Public Works has put up all over town.  An example would be Riverside Drive, south of Griffith Park, where FLIVS and especially RVs used to park. The City has posted “No Parking from 2am – 5am” signs, eliminating the street for overnight FLIVS.  These signs should be taken down.  The street can be controlled from permanent camping by simply having 2 hour parking from 9:am to 6pm signs put up.  It is really cruel and discriminating to put up signs all over the city to keep poor folks, visitors, and vacationers from parking in those areas at night.  The signs should start coming down now.

Posted by Uncle Paulie

If you have comments on this issue send to gypsycool@live.com

Nov 18

Los Angeles Homeless Capitol of America

City of Los Angeles To Appoint  “Czar” To Coordinate All City Activities for Homeless

On November 17, 2015 the Los Angeles City Council passed a resolution to create a position to oversee all the City’s activities and departments dealing with the massive homeless problem. The resolution passed unanimously.

Homeless Motion

As the American economy continues to collapse for the poor and middle class, more and more folks are forced into the streets or to living in their vehicles.  Rents in major cities like Los Angeles continue to escalate, leading to an increase in folks with no hope of even getting a cheap apartment, much less a house.  Meanwhile, the City continues to defy logic by allowing thousands of luxury apartments to be constructed and thousands of houses to be “mansionized”.  If there really is a drought, then why is the City promoting the wild out-of-control construction of thousands of more housing units for the wealthy?

This is America.  We Don’t Need a “Czar”

Many questions remain unanswered.  The City claims that new Federal regulations from the various  bureaucracies have to be addressed by new coordinating efforts of the various City departments dealing with homeless issues.  No one has yet been named as the new “Czar” of the homeless.  The term itself is somewhat demeaning, it conjures up references to a long-ago time when Russia was ruled by a Czar, an absolute autocrat eventually toppled by a popular revolution that led to the creation of the Soviet Empire. This is America.  We don’t need a “Czar” – which is language actually used in the Council’s official motion.  A Department Director would be fine.

Oct 28

How To Live in Your Van and Survive

New Edition of Famous Underground Handbook Now Available

IMG_3165

A straightforward, no-nonsense manifesto on living the nomadic underground life. Clearly maps out the current insanity of today’s world situation while offering invaluable tips on food, health, security, money, van living, and dealing with cops. Gets you well on your way to dropping out of this oppressive system, then lists over 1,300 additional books where you can find everything else you need to help weather these uncertain and chaotic times.

This handbook covers everything you need to know to live on the edge and survive.  The author, Skip Freedman has lived the nomadic life in his van for over 10 years.  He knows every angle of how to survive in these urban mini-police states.  And by the way, a vast preponderance of folks who live nomadic or semi-nomadic lifestyles have jobs and work when they need to.  As we have said on this website, if you have an indication that you are going to lose your job and not be able to pay your rent or house payment, do not wait for the ax to fall.  Do yourself a favor and prepare now.  Get a van, RV, or other suitable vehicle now, and trick it out.  You will be glad you did.

There are thousands of folks in the Los Angeles area who are living nomadic lifestyles.  Most of us work, but we were tanked by the economic collapse that started in 2000 that wiped out the good factory jobs, literally exporting them overseas.  It meant that many of us had to get lower paying jobs, and we soon found that after paying rent and bills we were underwater financially.  The solution was to cut living expenses:  move out of the expensive apartment, get a storage unit, join a health club for showers, and live in a vehicle. There are many articles on gypsycool.com about how to do this, with many more coming. We still work for a living, but have money to spend on what we want, not give it to some landlord for an overpriced roof over our heads.

I wish that everyone could get Skip’s book and read it.  The print is small to save printing costs, but the information is the best around.  As an added bonus, Skip spend several years compiling a fantastic bibliography of books on the subject that he has written about.  You can get most of these at your library, even if the library has to order them for you.  There is also youtube.com, which has thousands of great videos on the subject of van, nomadic, or semi-nomadic living.

Order this book today.  It is not available anywhere else, at least for a while.  That’s right, this website is the ONLY place you can get the book. At this time it is not on amazon.com or any other place, meaning that the price to you is a low direct price from the publisher and author.  Amazon wants as much as 60% of the price from small publishers.  That means if it does get to amazon that the price will be $20-$40..00

Where to get the book:.

The book is 8 1/2 X 11 size with a comb binding so it will lay flat or open fully by folding the pages around.  The book is available in the United States through www.Biblio.com for $15.00.

Mar 14

The Homeless Go Underground

Homeless Across America Living in Tunnels, Storm Drains, and Caves.

Las Vegas StormdrainsAs the class war in America intensifies, many homeless folks have been driven underground.  Really underground.  For instance, in Las Vegas a colony of lost souls are living under the glitzy city in storm drains.  Unable to find work, and driven off the streets by cops, they sneak into the city’s storm drain system to make their temporary living quarters.  As more and more folks get foreclosed, they have to move to apartments.  If they lose their jobs then the next stop is a shelter, if a spot is available. The shelters are only temporary, so eventually people take to living in their vehicles.  Many buy old RVs to live in.  This is actually a good solution, one could live forever in a good condition RV, but many cities across the country have launched cruel wars against them.

The middle class and rich class elitists look upon homeless folks with fear.  They don’t want RVs parked in their neighborhoods, the occupants could be serial killers.  They could also more likely be really nice folks just down on their luck, or seniors making a new life by taking the gypsy trail around the country.  No matter, in city after city, the upper classes have passed very mean-spirited laws against anyone living in a vehicle.  RVs are particularly vulnerable because they stand out like a sore thumb.  In Southern California, for instance, cities like Burbank want anyone with an RV in the city limits to go to the police station, register with the cops,  and pay a $5 fee per night.  In Pasadena there is no parking on any street without a permit that can only be purchased by a resident.  The going permit is around $65 per month.  Outsiders, post-foreclosed refugees and homeless need not apply.  Gypsy Cool gets reports from all over the southland of folks who are getting harassed by the cops, getting tickets, getting their rigs towed away and actually getting arrested.  One man told us the cops knocked on his RV door the day before Christmas and ordered him outside, then towed his vehicle away.  There was no “warning” notice posted.  The cops told him they were going to “get rid of you people.” It cost the man around $700 to get his rig back.  He is a retired aerospace worker trying to live on his social security pension.  Like the veterans who served their country, now this guy is no longer “needed”, he’s superfluous to the ruling class.  Any wonder why so many veterans are committing suicide every day?

Vietnam War Comes Home

Kansas City tunnels

Kansas City tunnels

Meanwhile, in Kansas City, the cops raided 3 homeless camps and found that many of the folks there were living underground in tunnels. The excuse for the raid was that some copper was being stolen from a near-by grain storage facility.  Possibly a few of the people in the camp were bad apples, the cops should have found the culprits and arrested them, but they instead bull-dozed all the camps and filled in the tunnels, punishing all the homeless living there.  Looking at this, it is like the Vietnam war has now come full circle.  Remember that the Viet-cong guerrillas in Vietnam lived in tunnels, in fact much of the rural population lived in tunnels for protection against air strikes.  American troops punished all when they could, destroying the tunnels and moving the population into special “security” villages. It seems that things are going in a similar way in Kansas City.  The homeless can’t even find peace hiding in caves and tunnels.  Viewing the photos of the caves it looks like they were very professionally made, in fact, they were so perfect it will probably turn out that the tunnels were made by others in past years, maybe dating back to the civil war.  It seems unlikely that a few homeless folks could have made them, no tools or shovels were laying around, and no dirt displacement was seen in the video.

Columbia South Carolina Most Depraved City in America – Mass Deportations of Homeless to “Camp of No Return”

Councilman Runyan sends poor to camps

Councilman Runyan sends poor to camps

In Columbia, South Carolina, the war on the poor has now gone into the mode of an outright Nazi operation.  The City passed an ordinance to criminalize the homeless.  The cops are giving people who “look like” they are homeless a choice: go to a special “camp” that is 15 miles outside of town or go to jail.  That’s the choice.  Once in the “camp” there is no return, cops are stationed on the road between the camp location and the City of Columbia to make sure the poor don’t try to wander back into town. This is nothing more than a concentration camp for the poor.  The cost for all this is huge, over a million bucks to start.  This mass deportation of the poor is nothing short of a mass kidnapping.  Is the U.S. Justice Department going to let this pass?  Imagine during the Civil Rights movement if Southern cities had started deporting African-Americans out of cities and into special internment camps.  During World War 2 America “interned” all people of Japanese ancestry and sent them to concentration camps.  Much of their personal and real property was confiscated and they never got it back.  These were also American citizens, victims of the same cabal that still runs this country.  It is now happening again right before our eyes.

Following in the Footsteps of Nazi Germany

This operation, pushed by Columbia Councilman Cameron Runyon, harkens back to the days of Nazi Germany.  Once Hitler took power, the poor were rounded up and sent to forced labor camps.  Next it was the “radicals”, the communists, anarchists, and non-Nazi socialists.  Then it was the Jews, gypsies, and others.  Marching down this same path is new would-be “gauleiter” Runyan and his crew of mean-spirited “business men” in Columbia. Runyan claims to be a Christian, but he must have been dozing in church when the minister talked about Jesus.  His plan of mass kidnapping and relocation is spun with words like “shelter”, instead of what it really is, a concentration camp for the poor.  First it’s the poor, then who’s next on the list? Ignore this raging class war at your own risk.

Criminalization of Poverty

Former President Lyndon Johnson must have a smirk on his face, even though he is certainly burning in the fires of hell for his many evil deeds.  His War on Poverty was a complete success.  It took some time, with a lot of help from the banksters, but about 40% of the population is now in poverty of one sort or another.  The final step of this “war” is to make poverty itself illegal, a move that various state and local governments have been pushing for over ten years.  The National Coalition for the Homeless published a monumental report in 2004 that chronicled the evil deeds being put into “law” around the country.  They even listed the 20 meanest cities in America.  Now, ten years later, Columbia, South Carolina can be put right up on the top of the list.  As the class war scales up to new heights of depravity against the poor in cities across the land, we can see the beginnings of a new nazi-style state, complete with cameras and spies on every corner and concentration camps for the poor.  When will Americans wake up and realize that the beginning of the solution to the problems of poverty is to help the homeless and put the banksters in jail.  Blaming homeless folks for the evil deeds of the financial terrorists is the biggest irony of our time.

Story by Uncle Paulie

News Report on Kansas City tunnels Click Here.

Columbia South Carolina story Click Here

Criminalization of Homeless Report Click Here

May 12

Venice Parking News

THANKS TO MARK RYAVEC & VENICE STAKEHOLDERS ASSOC. (VSA) OVERNIGHT PARKING DISTRICTS (OPDs) – DESIGNED TO RESTRICT VEHICLE-DWELLERS FROM PARKING OVERNIGHT – ARE BACK ON THE FRONT BURNER IN VENICE, CA!

Following a lawsuit brought by Ryavec and VSA against the CA Coastal Commission (CCC) & City of L.A (COLA) – a settlement proposal has been drawn up for submission to the CCC June hearing.

We need to put the pressure on CCC, who have already denied OPDs in Venice twice, to deny them a third time. Please sign this petition and pass along.

Permit parking in Venice would be in violation of the 1976 Coastal Act which was designed to keep public access to the CA coast free and open to all.

NOPDs IN VENICE! KEEP OUR PUBLIC STREETS FREE!

PRESERVE ALL PUBLIC ACCESS TO THE VENICE COASTAL ZONE!

JOIN WITH US IN TELLING THE CA COASTAL COMMISSION THAT VENICE STREETS SHOULD BE OPEN TO ALL – PROVIDING PUBLIC ACCESS TO THE COAST AT ALL HOURS OF THE DAY OR NIGHT.

WE DON’T WANT PARKING PERMITS ON OUR STREETS IN VENICE

Sign our petition here http://www.change.org/petitions/keep-our-public-streets-free-nopds-in-venice – each time someone signs and email is sent to City of L.A. and the CCC. You can sign, even if you don’t live in Venice – because coastal access should be for everyone !!!! Thanks, SOV

Oct 29

Squatters Victory in East Village

Sharing a Part of Activist History in the East Village

By COLIN MOYNIHAn

From the street, the brick tenement on Avenue C looked like any other building. But inside on Saturday afternoon, about 30 people gathered to look at a storefront space covered with graffiti and murals.

“This is C-Squat,” Laurie Mittelmann explained to one of the spectators, “soon to be home to the Museum of Reclaimed Urban Space.”

That museum, Ms. Mittelmann said, was being established to, among other things, tell the story of how activists in the East Village took over abandoned properties and over the years transformed them into permanent housing or community gardens.

She said that she came up with the idea for the museum with Bill DiPaola, the executive director of an environmental group, Time’s Up, whose members participated in demonstrations to preserve community gardens and squats.

Some of those efforts were effective. Most of the East Village gardens became permanent parts of the neighborhood in 2002 after Eliot Spitzer, then the state’s attorney general, and the Bloomberg administration resolved a lawsuit Mr. Spitzer had filed against the Giuliani administration to prevent their sale to developers.

Although the police evicted many squatters, the city called a truce about a decade ago and about a dozen squatter buildings remained. The resulting agreement cleared the way for residents of those buildings, including C-Squat, at 155 Avenue C, to become legal owners.

Still, the neighborhood has undergone startling changes over the last three decades, and Ms. Mittelmann said the goal of the museum was to preserve the memory of its recent history.

Mr. DiPaola said that he was enthusiastic about opening the museum in C-Squat, perhaps the most anarchic of the squats, and home to members of local bands like Choking Victim, Banji and Dog That Bites Everyone.

Opinion about the museum idea varied among C-Squat residents. Ultimately, a majority decided that the project made sense, said Brett Lebowitz, who has lived in the building for 20 years. Residents said the museum would provide monthly income from a tenant that promised to reflect the philosophy that was an important part of the building and the East Village itself.

Last week, Ms. Mittelmann, a neighborhood activist who lives nearby, and Mr. DiPaola signed a lease to rent the storefront for about $1,700 per month. (Up to now, the space had been used mostly as a community room.) Over the past several weeks, they have been renovating the space and assembling photographs, artworks and other materials to exhibit there.

Among the displays are old issues of The Shadow, an underground newspaper published from 1989 to 2008, which reported on the evictions of squatters, the bulldozing of gardens, and battles over a curfew in Tompkins Square Park.

And Ms. Mittelmann and Mr. DiPaola recently looked at back issues of The East Villager, a free monthly newspaper published in the mid- and late 1980s, while sitting in the kitchen of a former editor in chief of that newspaper, Heidi Boghosian.

The issues contained photographs of the Gas Station, a performance space on Avenue B created by members of an art collective called the Rivington School; an article about a rally against the eviction of squatters from a building on East Eighth Street; and an interview with a resident at the Christodora House on Avenue B, a doorman building that some demonstrators pelted with pieces of concrete after the eviction. A Christodora resident, identified as Mr. X, is quoted as saying, “I was quite irritated.”

Ms. Boghosian said she would also make letters to the newspaper available to the museum. One of the letters was from the writer Luc Sante, who in 1988 called those campaigning against sidewalk peddlers “pea brains” and suggested that they might need to “take lessons in urban ambulation.”

In addition to displaying artifacts and pieces of art, Mr. DiPaola said, the museum will organize tours like the one on Saturday, which was led by several longtime neighborhood residents.

fter leaving C-Squat, the group made stops at a squat on East Seventh Street and two community gardens before ending at Bullet Space, a squatter building on East Third Street, where they looked at a display of bottles, clay pipes and coins believed to date to the 1800s and unearthed in a backyard dig two years ago.

Later, a C-Squat resident, Bill Cashman, said the museum’s examination of the recent past had motivated him to research the more distant days of his building using tax records and other resources. The tenement was built in 1872, he said, housed a pickle store, and went through various other permutations before squatters moved in more than 100 years later.

“I’ve always wondered what was in this building before us,” he said. “Who was walking these halls?”

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