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Wed, 19 Mar 1997 20:43:53 GMT

"aggressive" panhandling and homeless camping, Food-not-Bombs is leading a sleep-on- city hall action to demonstrate that scapegoating those of us who live on the streets for the problems created by employers and federal, state, and municipal government is not allright. Join in solidarity on Thursday, March 20th at Los Angeles city hall. Sender: a-infos-request@tao.ca Precedence: list Reply-To: a-infos-d@tao.ca

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BACKGROUND The public safety committee of Los Angeles city council has been considering 2 versions of an ordinance infringing on the right to pan or busk for small change, a common survival tactic for homeless members of the L.A. community. These emerge from the offices of mayor Riordan and district attorney Hahn, and are considered by many election politicking. One of the ordinances includes an ambiguous reference to camping presumably illegalizing all outdoor sleeping while providing no housing for the homeless community. The ordinances are also of ambiguous constitutionality because of the freedom of speech issues surrounding the act of panning.

WHY IS THIS SCAPEGOATING? During recent welfare reform legislation the Federal government created block grants to pass the social saafety net responsibility on to state government. Meanwhile the Federal government is spending 1.5 $Billion on a new Livermore Labs computerized nuclear testing facility here in California. The state government is in the process of cutting foodstamps and general assistance rolling more people onto the streets while building expensive new prisons. California has the highest per capita incarceration rate in the world. During Pete Wilson's opening ceremony speech at the new downtown L.A. prison, he specifically mentioned this prison as a solution to homelessness problems. Recent legislation will also be cutting the social safety net out from under 100's of 1000s of non-"citizen" residents.

WHY IS THIS A LABOR ISSUE? Employers in this country continue to make huge profits while downsizing and plant migration lower wages and create unemployment pushing more and more honest working people towards homelessness. Those unemployed and under threat of homelessness are an easy pool to pull replacement labor from for corporations in labor disputes thus discouraging action towards increased wages and the abolition of the wage payment system. Defending working people in all states of homeless- or worklessness is what is implied by the Industrial Workers of the World motto "An injury to one is an injury to all!"

WHO ARE THE REAL AGGRESSIVE PANHANDLERS? Callous Employers, State and Federal Government, and local city politicians that back scpegoating laws to cover up for the problemcreators.

ACTION Bring your sleeping bag and pajamas to city hall 8pm on Thursday, MARCH 20TH. For more details contact Michael @ (213) 735-8648 or Cameron @ (818) 353-0090.

SOLIDARITY ACTION Come down to city hall even if you can't sleep. Food not Bombs will be serving free vegetarian food at 8pm. Bring candles for a candlelight vigil at 1045pm. Volunteers to observe and those who can bring food, clothes or blankets for those in need, would be welcome to do so.

OTHER SOLIDARITY ACTIONS Contact city hall and register your support for protesters. Address snail mail communications to City Council, c/o City Clerk, Rm 395 Los Angeles, CA 90012-4801 or contact your council person directly area code (213) Mike Hernandez* 485-3451 / 485-8907fax Joel Wachs$ 485-3391 / 680-7895fax Laura Chick$ 485-3486 / 485-8988fax John Ferraro$ 485-3337 / 624-7810fax Michael Feuer* 485-5013 / 687-7406fax Ruth Gallanter$ 485-3357 / 237-0549fax Richard Alarcon 847-7777 / 847-0707fax Mark Ridley-Thomas$ 485-3331 / 485-7683fax Rita Walters 485-3351 / ?fax Nate Holden 485-3323 / 485-9829fax Marvin Braude 485-3811 / 237-0637fax Hal Bernsen 485-3343 / 237-0638fax Jackie Goldberg* 485-3353 / 613-0819fax Richard Alatorre$ 485-3353 / 237-0680fax Rudy Svornich$ 485-3347 / 626-5431fax

$ = sponsor or ordinance * = considering voting against?

Mayor Richard Riordan 847-2489 / 485-1286fax city attorney Hahn 485-5408 / 680-3634fax candidate for mayor Tom Hayden 478-0290 / ?fax

WHAT'S NEXT? During the February 24th public safety committee hearing, this potential ordinance recieved vocal opposition in general and was specificly questioned regarding its constitutionality and wether or not the fundamental problem is actually inadequate services for those in need. It was sent back to the District Attorney's office for rewriting and for a review of services and services delivery. It is expected to emerge in 6weeks from that date around April 7th or 14th in the public safety committee where you can oppose it publicly. If the committee takes it into consideration then it will be voted on by the entire city council, and then (unless the initial vote is unanimous) will have a rereading 1 week later to be decided by magority vote. If passed, it would then become law one month after the required mayor's signature. All of these points are susceptable to public clamour, particularly before the early april city elections. The public safety committee meets on Mondays in room 340 of city hall. Information available from John White, Clerk of public safety committee (213) 485-5775

Food not Bombs serves free vegetarian meals downtown L.A. at a place called "circle" located at 3rd and Main on every Sunday at 1pm. For information or to volunteer call Cameron at (818) 353-0090. Free the land.

Please distribute this message to those who would like to know.


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