The Berkeley Emergency Shelter

The Poor Tour 2016-2017

City of Berkeley:
Stop Raids on the Homeless

To be delivered to Berkeley City Council and Dee Williams-Ridley, City Manager
Please read petition below and join us.

Thank You

January 9, 2017

What’s wrong with this picture?

From headlines in local papers recently:
“Young woman stabbed; police search for suspect.”
“Police hunt for armed and dangerous Berkeley suspect after homicide, stabbing.”
“Berkeley police release video of armed bank robbery.”
“Men, girl arrested after carjacking attempt and robbery.”
“Child hurt by shattered glass after Berkeley shooting.”

From eyewitness accounts Friday morning, 1/6/17:

“5 AM Jan 6 – Berkeley Police raiding First They Came for the Homeless camp now at Spruce and Rose. 34 BPD officers, 8 City workers, 13 City squad cars, 1 paddy wagon, and 4 Public Works trucks – all to evict 8 disabled, unsheltered tent occupiers.”

And from the East Bay Times 1/7/17:

City spokesman Matthai Chakko said Friday that “it takes a tremendous amount of resources” to disperse a camp.

There are things police should be doing. Arresting carjackers, searching for armed and dangerous suspected murderers and dealing with armed robbery suspects are three of them. Figuring out how to prevent or minimize such incidents is another. What the City of Berkeley’s police should not be doing is evicting homeless people — especially at 5:00 AM using large-scale operations that take ‘a tremendous amount of’ resources.

Op-ed: Shooters, stabbers, carjackers and tent occupants – one of these things is not like the others

A sign was posted on the median of Shattuck Place in North Berkeley on Friday, Jan. 6, where hours earlier police dispersed a homeless tent camp. (Tom Lochner)
Clark Sullivan, left, and Jens Sandmann on the median of Shattuck Place, in front of the Safeway shopping center on Christmas Day. (Tom Lochner)
A sign thanking the people of North Berkeley was posted at Shattuck Place after police dispersed a homeless camp on Friday. (Tom Lochner)

Read the Berkeleyside Op-ed: Berkeley police should be spending their time chasing murderers and carjackers, not evicting people from the tents they use for shelter.
By JP Massar

January 6, 2017

Berkeley homeless camp evicted yet again

A homeless tent camp near the North Berkeley Safeway store was dispersed shortly before dawn Friday, marking the 15th time since Oct. 1 that police evicted the group from various locations in and around the downtown area, according to one of its members
Read story in The East Bay Times

Kennedy/Maio Team is BAACKK in Berkeley

from Berkeley Daily Planet
Be careful of what is happening behind closed doors!

"The Arreguin administration, with help from Ben Bartlett and Linda Maio, could manage to turn the homelessness crisis into a Patrick Kennedy giveaway.

The prospective agenda for the January 24th regular meeting:

36. Referral to City Manager: “Step Up Housing” Initiative - Micro-Units to House Homeless and Very Low-Income People
From: Councilmembers Bartlett and Maio

Recommendation: Refer to the City Manager to take the following actions through the Ad Hoc Committee on Homeless Solutions:

  1. Identify parcels of City owned land for citing assisted-living modular micro unit buildings.
  2. Take affirmative steps to speed the permitting and approvals process for the creation of below market housing.
  3. Obtain zoning approval and a building permit for a 4 story and approximately 100 unit building consisting of stackable modular units.
  4. Upon completing construction, allocate $1,000/month [PER UNIT -tl] from the budget to lease the building. The actual construction costs of the building will be privately financed at no charge to the City.
  5. Identify a housing non-profit to be responsible for managing and operating the building.
  6. Establish criteria for selecting individuals and determining eligibility. These need-based criteria will take into account seniors, disabled people, and Berkeley natives who have become Financial Implications: Staff time
Contact: Ben Bartlett, Councilmember, District 3, 981-7130

Kennedy proposes to build sub-standard (160 sq ft) units by slapping together prefab units and collecting $1,000 per month per unit indefinitely. (He wants more money if he has to buy the land). The city will separately pay to manage and maintain the units. The units will be exclusively for the down and out.

None of this has gone before any commission. The City Manager is now apparently a social worker ("Establish criteria for selecting individuals and determining eligibility."). No analysis has gone into whether this is a good strategy for helping people.

Where did this idea come from? Patrick Kennedy sees easy money on the table...

Read on...The Berkeley Daily Planet

December 31, 2016

A personal opinion, as we move into our next year


Pre Dawn Raid - Protecting What We Can
Pre Dawn Raid - Protecting What We Can (early November)

I am in awe of this group and their strength over the past 3 months!

They have been fighting for realistic and humane solutions rather than allowing the City of Berkeley to continue their past behavior of attempting to criminalize homeless. They have be subjected to over 12 police raids on their encampments during this time, mostly based on unsubstantiated complaints and codes that the DA continues to throw out of court!

At these raids they have had tents, blankets and other personal property confiscated by police, at times pulled from their hands, and this property taken to the dump, often destroyed by their treatment. Police (under orders from the City Manager's office and its Code Enforcer, Gregory Daniels) continually violate their rights, in full view of attorneys there to witness. The public's right to observe has even been denied by isolating them as far as a city block away through the use of "Crime Scene" tape and lines of police threatening arrest to anyone daring to even touch the yellow tape, let alone cross this randomly placed tape in an attempt to help them safely pack their gear and load it on waiting pickups and the drivers that have shown up at 4:30am to witness and help rescue it from the dump. If they are not quick enough to pack up and if they cannot get their belongings to these vehicle fast enough for G. Daniels, Berkeley Code Enforcer, police are instructed to take it away from them and put it in dump trucks.

Police have even confiscated small backpacks that have included vital, life saving medications! Remember most of these campers are disabled!

The violence of the police, the inhumane and illegal treatment they are subjected to, and the amount of property that is being illegally taken from them in these raids increases with each police action! There were TWO in one day, which was a day or two before Christmas! The citizens of Berkeley have a right to know what is happening! Their perserverance is an attempt let the public know!!!!

Keep up the good fight! We have been winning but it is not over yet!

From the trenches
- Barbara Brust

December 30, 2016

Nextdoor Community members continue the persecution of the homeless

Earlier in 2016, the social media known as "Nextdoor" was called on it's racist posts that were taking over in its Oakland neighborhoods, with little if any intervention made by Nextdoor's executives. After the article in the East Bay Express came out some changes were made in its guidelines and the ability to have members post "profiling" posts in its Crime & Safety Section.

A few months later anther investigation was done by the East Bay Express on Nextdoor's abundance of somewhat less than charitable posting on the homeless living in Berkeley. Sadly, this article did little to motivate any additional changes on the part of Nextdoor executives nor did it succeed in curbing those that insist on posting what could be seen as a "profiling of the homeless." These posts come from folks that refuse to see anything but drunks and junkies intent on stealing and harassing every resident they can. Needless to say, this is quite far from the full truth.

During this "holiday season" of Peace and Good Will to All one member chose December 25th to start yet another thread in the Crime & Safety section about how that "awful group" of homeless seems to have descended on their part of town. Of course it was meant to stir up folks to " the city council member's) office and/or the BPD. This needs to be nipped in the bud." Further they declared that the area did not "need the crime/drugs/needles/obstruction caused by a tent city."

Remember, this was and continues to be, a CLEAN & Sober encampment

And the bias was in full swing. In 5 days it has already gotten 90 posts (and I wonder how many private messages as well). It is heartening to see that those with a heart seem to at least be leveling the field at last.
There is much that still needs to be done.

From the trenches
- Barbara Brust

Berkeley homeless community protest

KRON News - By Ella Sogomonian
BERKELEY (KRON) — A homeless community has set up tents in a very busy area of Berkeley.
They say it’s a protest for affordable housing. The tents are in the affluent Gourmet Ghetto neighborhood.

Read the full story and see KRON Video HERE

December 28, 2016

The Play’s the Thing … (aka Capoeira Politics)

A frightening and painful article by Steve Martinot. A must read!!! Brings the nightmare of the Berkeley City Council meeting of December 13th smack in your face.
Don't listen to me, read this.
Don't believe this? Watch and listen to the video of the meeting on the city's website. (below excerpt is only Item 39)

Appalled by what you see, be at the next travesty in person, see how your opinion can mean nothing, and the how the keys to the hen house continue to be turned over to the fox!

"....the city has spent reportedly over $300,000 for police raids... this community has been assaulted by the police, and stamped out 12 times in the past year (actually, since early October) – its possessions seized and its members left by the city to lose their lives to exposure. (luckily this has not happened to this group yet, though there have been many emergency medical visits) Several constitutional rights have been trampled in the process."

Our attempts at getting official figures on the waste of $$ spent on these raids through PRA requests have been answered with "We have no documentation on these actions!"

December 14, 2016

7:15pm to 12:45am Dec 13
w/Newly Elected Mayor & City Council Members

Meeting began with applause... showing the high hopes we all had for the newly elected Mayor and the 3 Council Members…

This version only includes Item 39 (page 15 Annotated Agenda)
Download annotated Agenda HERE
To see complete meeting Click here to go to City Site.

December 10, 2016

Berkeley homeless hope for better treatment from new council

Homeless people and their advocates rallied at an encampment on a boulevard median strip on Friday to protest what they said is the increasing frequency and brutality of sweeps by the city.
Read the East Bay Times article

December 9, 2016

South Berkeley Neighbor Coalition Demand that Encampment Remain

Press Conference & Support Rally

10:00 AM - Friday, December 9 - Adeline and Oregon, Berkeley
Video by: Christine Schwartz
Read Press Release

Neighbors and community leaders convened a press conference to document their support for the Poor Tour homeless encampment that is currently on the Adeline St. corridor.

01:00 Michael Lee (First They Came for the Homeless) -- Background on the protest encampment. Notes that encampment population is overwhelmingly elders who are disabled. Hopeful of the new direction of council.
4:11 Pastor Tony Hughes (St Paul AME church) -- speaks to the ethical imperative of helping the homeless.
5:31 Richie Smith (neighborhood resident since 1949; Friends of Adeline) -- Speaks with the encampment almost daily. Encourages others to come out and see, not go by rumors. Calls for unity and helping the needy as times grow harder for everyone.
8:26 Osha Neuman (East Bay Community Law Center): The Law Center is a happy neighbor of the camp but unhappy with the city. Recent raids of the encampment and confiscation and destruction of property have been illegal and unconstitutional.
10:31 Cheryl Davila (Berkeley City Council Member, District 2) -- has visited camps numerous times and is disheartened by how they have been treated. Calls for an end to raids and property confiscation/destruction.
13:34 Olivia deBree (Nurse Practitioner) -- has been doing health assessments and a health census of the camp, and has responded to calls for help during raids etc. Range of health problems include COPD, two people with diabetes (one insulin dependent), C. diff. infection (Clostridium Difficile), urinary frequency issues, bowel incontinence, chronic diarrhea (with poor bathroom access), people dependent on canes and wheelchairs with severe mobility problems. During one raid, Olivia had to beg officers for the return of life-critical medical supplies that had been taken. The camp is defenseless and the raids are inhumane.

December 5, 2016

12 Noon (or there abouts) I get a phone call that the police have shown up at the new encampment on Adeline and Oregon. HUH? They don't raid in daylight?!!!
Made some calls alerting others and hustled down to see how I could help. Upon my arrival I see no police presence but do notice the tell-tale signs of yet another PUBLIC NOTICE having been served. They used to take much more care on these. They used to have more specific locations listed and they used to be signed and dated by the "complaining member" of the Berkeley City Manager's office. The last few we have gotten have not included these, but most of the rest is merely just a copy/paste job.

Public Notice 12-05-16
Click on image above for pdf file
NOTES Page One (from *.pdf)
  1. This code has already been thrown out of court countless times, even by a jury trial!
  2. If this is indeed true, then tell me why there is a picnic table, clearly installed by Berkeley Dept of Parks, situated on Oregon St. side of the median????
  3. We have never been able to get verification of ANY complaints! Instead, many neighbors visit us and bring supplies and food. This time I am demanding transparency about these complaints with a form PRA
  4. THERE IS NO "human waste" as we all use public restrooms and we take all litter to appropriate containers, and even pick up litter left by others!
  5. Today we took a drive through each intersection, making videos of each section. As soon as we can get it online we will show you here! THERE ARE NO STRUCTURES BLOCKING SIGHT LINES FOR ANY VEHICLE!
Google map of median
NOTES Page Two (from *.pdf)
  1. I challenge you to get an answer on this phone number, at ANYTIME!
  2. It is extremely difficult to get to this location for many folks. It is not in a central enough place. Also, public transportation will often NOT allow you on the bus with your belongings, so you would risk losing all of your property to get here if you could not carry it on your back. THERE ARE NO LOCKERS AVAILABLE FOR THE HOMELESS!
  3. Word has it that it usually takes 90 minutes to get a shower. Better get in line before 8am. Then, there goes breakfast!
  4. There is generally a 2 week wait to do laundry!
  5. Only 1 hour???? YIKES!
  6. Odds on you will only get voicemail.

December 4, 2016

Homeless encampment near Old City Hall disbanded Friday
by Lillian Holmes
The Daily Californian
Is anyone keeping track of these raids? Does this make 10? 11? 12? All I know is it is insane and immoral to keep torturing these folks by waking them in the pre-dawn hours with threats of arrest if they do not hurry up and move... What is that definition of insanity? "Doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results..."

December 2, 2016

Jesse was sworn in yesterday, and a breath of relief slipped out of me. Perhaps the raids were over.....

Flash: Meet the New "Boss" of Berkeley--
Sorry, Mayor Arreguin, but employees are making policy now

The Daily Planet

WTF!!!! Jesse sworn in 12/1/16
Police Raid on encampment 4:30AM 12/2/16!!!!!
2+ truckloads of gear stolen! Tents, blankets, sleeping bags, tarps.
Police lines all up before they even woke anyone!
Chairs stolen from disabled! Civil rights violations galore! Call the Berkeley city manager! Call the new MAYOR! COMPLAIN AS A CITIZEN with a heart!
Encampment moves to Adeline & Oregon

November 25, 2016

Monday we expect the cops to come and steal our stuff again. The new mayor is working on solutions. Will the cops listen? Jesse will not be sworn in for several days, so no one needs to listen yet. Sit with us. Watch us during the night.

Public Comment The Berkeley Daily Planet

Emergency Measures to Address Homeless Crisis

Berkeley Mayor-elect Jesse Arreguín
Friday November 25, 2016 - 10:50:00 AM

I have placed the following on the Berkeley City Council Agenda for December 13:
Take the following actions to implement emergency measures to address our growing homeless population:

  1. Direct the City Manager to provide an update on staff and Council actions discussed on November 1, 2016 to respond to the homeless shelter crisis.
  2. Direct the City Manager and Chief of Police to permit camping on designated public property, unless conditions arise posing an imminent threat to health and safety.
  3. Establish an ad-hoc subcommittee to work with the City Manager to explore emergency solutions, including short-term Navigation Centers.
  4. Refer to the City Manager and City Attorney to develop a formal city policy modeled after the proposed amendment to San Francisco’s Police Code.
  5. Adopt an Ordinance repealing Ordinance No. 7,449-N.S., which restricts the placement of objects on sidewalks to a 2 square-foot area.

Read More

November 18, 2016

Press Release from First They Came for the Homeless Encampment

For immediate release:
Berkeley Homeless Advocacy Group Demands Cessation of Brutal Harassment - Real Solutions

Despite the sleep deprivation torture tactics and repeated harassment by Berkeley Police; despite their repeated theft of homeless people's belongings in violation of Wilson v City of Los Angeles; despite the recent arrest of Mike Zint, one of their organizers, and earlier of Nanci Armstrong, a housed supporter and candidate for City Council, for lynching, First They Came for the Homeless, an advocacy group of homeless people in Berkeley, have and continue to maintain a visible presence near Berkeley City Hall.

It is one thing for Berkeley to reject, as it did on Friday morning, Trumpism on a national level. It is another to act locally with compassion and assistance, instead of harassment and mean-spiritedness, with respect those of its residents who have the least.

First They Came for the Homeless calls upon the new Arreguin i and the City Manager to immediately

Impose a moratorium on police raids of homeless tent villages.

Designate a location for a sanctioned tent village, as the cities of Oakland and Santa Rosa have done.

Renew the emergency shelter declaration and actually use it this year to provide meaningful housing alternatives by beginning to construct tiny homes and other alternative housing to provide truly affordable housing for those without the means to afford Berkeley's rents.

Immediately rescind the hateful anti-homeless ordinance language which restricts homeless people to two square feet of existence and forbids them from staying in one place with their possessions for more than two hours.

First They Came for the Homeless has been and continues to make visible the face of homelessness in Berkeley. Not content to sleep furtively under bushes so that the good burghers of Berkeley may ignore the homeless, they have pitched tents at old City Hall, on the Adeline median, at Adeline and Fairview, and most recently at new City Hall over the course of this last year. They demand the one thing that everyone needs - a place to call their own.

The Pacifica Evening News, Weekdays – November 18, 2016
Two Evictions in 2 Days, Berkeley Homeless Push for City Solutions
Reported by Corinne Smith
Berkeley police raided the homeless protest encampment outside City Hall for the second night in a row, confiscating tents and personal property, though no arrests were reported. The City of Berkeley spokesman responded saying people need to move to shelters. The homeless group known as "First they came for the homeless" says there aren't enough shelters, and the one's that are available are unsafe. The group have proposed several shelter solutions over the past year, including a village of tiny homes at Aquatic Park. But the City Council rejected all the group's proposals so far, and has yet to determine viable options for short term shelter and housing for the homeless.
KPFA 94.1-FM Berkeley

Human peace sign event dovetails with stopping the homeless merry-go-round
The Berkeley Daily Planet

November 17, 2016

The Pacifica Evening News, Weekdays – November 17, 2016
Berkeley Police Evict Homeless Encampment, 5th Eviction in Two Months
Reported by Corinne Smith
Berkeley Police continue arrests of the homeless camped outside the City Hall. Early Thursday morning they arrested a homeless leader of the group called "First They Came for the Homeless." It was the 5th raid in 2 months. The move comes just one day after Mayor-elect Jesse Arreguin met with the group in what was reported as a productive meeting to discuss solutions to Berkeley's homeless crisis. Homeless activists are calling on the Berkeley City Council to stop the evictions, legalize encampments, and declare a winter shelter for Berkeley's homeless.
KPFA 94.1-FM Berkeley

Berkeley homeless encampment dismantled in predawn raid
By Jenna Lyons
SF Gate

November 8, 2016

Homeless encampment moved from Civic Center steps to corner across from Berkeley High School

Op-ed: Open letter to Mayor, City Council about homelessness in Berkeley
By Jack Kurzweil

November 7, 2016

Video released by Copwatch

My day in the trenches
- Barbara Brust

Awoken yet again, after a few hours sleep, RAID @ CIVIC CENTER!

I feel like I am losing my mind. I do not know me anymore. My grand entrance downtown was someone else. I HATE WHAT THE CITY AND ITS COPS HAVE DONE TO ME!
I trust no one now, and I feel like my heart has been broken a thousand times.

I am home, slept most of the day. Have some responsibilities I have to take care of, then I will look for help.

Candidate Arrested 4 Days Before Election - For Protecting a 65 Yr Old Woman From the Police
by JP Masser
The War on (Some) Drugs might well end in California on November 8th, but one thing remains constant: the War on Homeless People and anyone who steps up for them in Berkeley.
Daily Kos

DA declines to file charges against Berkeley candidate in homeless camp raid
No charges will be filed against Nanci Armstrong-Temple
East Bay Times

November 6, 2016

My day in the trenches
- Barbara Brust

More papers served, I should have been saving these. Could have papered my walls by now.

Shortly after my arrival back with GOOD coffee and incredible pastries this AM, after sleeping for maybe an hour in my car last nite, Lt. RAT arrived with his pack following behind, bearing gifts for the occupation:
RAT: "Good morning Barbara, how are you today?" Wearing that sardonic smile that so reminds me of the face my dad used to have on while beating me (he too was a Lt but with NYPD)
Bb: "Get out of my face, I am not talking to you!" (or I may have said F*CKING face)
They showed up with a box of donuts and another of coffee. I wanted to throw mine in his face but would not waste it.
RAT said since we were always (bitching for some when we were rudely awakened by 5am raids) that he decided to bring some today. (Wonder if he paid for it or our tax dollars did) as his minions walked around offering their blood gifts. I was a bit surprised everyone but me would take some, but I am housed so we are different.

To set up a photo op, I told the woman cop serving I wanted her to bring me one.
She obliged.
I snapped my pic and refused the cup.
RAT: (as he is ready to serve me my warning) "So, are we talking now?"
Still with that grin that makes me either want to slap him or spit in his face.
Bb: "NO! You need more than coffee to make that happen after yesterday! Back off"
I was never served this paper.

I thought of my friend Patricia across the street and wanted her to experience being "served by the cops" and suggested they make sure to serve her some coffee & donuts. As I turned aroud and pointed her out to the cops I saw there were a few more over there, not partaking in this chicanery, with their hands on their gun belts and one was talking with her. This made me nervous.

After they left I went over to see how she was and found out they were questioning her as to her connection with us. They tricked her into saying that she had been with us on and off since we arrived after which they served her the warning of arrest if she did not move as well. Totally ILLEGALLY! Notice stated we were in violation of a code concerning "City owned property" a new statute for me, and she was not violating it. She had only come over to see the art we were creating, and had even used her phone camera for the first time, to have an image to remember it with. She was very proud to have done that.

Mike was chattering on the small megaphone and referred to her and I over the air. As I stood next to her, Patricia started yelling something back to them. I called over and asked them to bring her the megaphone. Of course they did. I wonder how she felt using it…

this morning we woke up at our current Poor Tour site at Berkeley Civic Center/new City Hall to the weird sight of a swine pack of cops bringing us coffee, donuts & threats to raid [in unreadable argot] - among the herd was one named Lt Rateaver [or Rat Bastard], who arrested & assaulted our Michelle Lot at the last violent raid, she was injured along with two other woman, one a senior, both disabled [Melissa Dewey & Barbara Brust]- Michelle read him the riot act, how dare he?? - some of us shunned the coffee [especially since our wonderful member & ally Mike Wilson delivered the big container of hot coffee he's been bringing every morning, showing up the same time as the piggies bearing no good news] - stay tuned! - before a next sweep there may be more shenanigans
Many images can be seen at FTCFTH RAT is in the first pic

Later, still in severe pain, I took off with a comrade to have our injuries checked out. My knees felt like there was a gallon of fluid compressing them and the level of pain was almost 3x's as much as it was yesterday!

While staggering to the examination room Nurse Christi is asking me about how they were traumatized..
I reply: "I was thrown down on the ground."
"Did you report it?"
"To who?"
"The police.."
"They are the ones who did it!"
Pause... Voice lowered, we continued a conversation in a very different tone...

Video taken by Anti Police-Terror Action at Santa Rita Prison after the release of Michele and Nanci
Michele's Experience
Nanci's Experience

November 5, 2016

Follow Up on KPFA including a short interview with Nancy Armstrong-Temple

My day in the trenches -Barbara Brust

After a fairly decent sleep, 6 hours, the most I have had in weeks, I awoke with an incredible amount of pain in my body and what felt like a broken heart... It took me almost 10 minutes to get out of bed it hurt so bad, and hours to ignore the pain and begin to be able to get around with my cane again. So much on my "To Do" list for today, my trip to urgent care will have to wait another day... Perhaps I will start feeling better tomorrow and get beack to my usual level of managed chronic pain.

We have occupied Berkeley's new City Hall on Milvia between Center & Allston We are having a day of rest for some, Urgent Care visits for others injured in the Police Raid last night and tension about when they will come for us next.... The only way we could feel secure would be if we had many more people join us... sit with us, laugh, decorate the front of the Civic Center with our ART INSTALLATION (sadly they do not last too long though...) and talk about what it is really like out here, not just what little gets reported, most of which is filled with the lies that are given to them.
We pine about how Berkeley used to be and how "un" Berkeley it is today. We brainstorm about different ways we can WAKE UP that lost spirit! I have to believe the "public" would care if they knew what was really happening... it is truly ugly!

November 4, 2016

Both Michele and Nanci have finally been released.

Meanwhile, in downtown Berkeley, the Civic Center has been decorated for the homecoming party. Hopefully, no uninvited guests show up! (Photos soon)

"LYNCHING" - A Felony Penal Code defined as, "The taking by means of riot of any person from the lawful custody of any peace officer."

Report and interviews from KPFA News

Berkeley’s homeless plan questioned

The Daily Planet:
Tent City raid routs homeless sleepers, allies--protest moves to city hall steps
- Carol Denney
Friday November 04, 2016 - 02:26:00 PM
Click here
Flash: Homeless encampment raided at 5:00 AM
-J.P. Massar
Friday November 04, 2016 - 02:00:00 PM
Click here

And in the Daily Cal:
Berkeley police dismantle homeless encampment, arrest City Council candidate Click here

4 arrested in police raid on Berkeley homeless encampment

Encampment raided at 5:00 AM.
By JP Massar

Best information I have:
Nanci Armstrong-Temple, D2 candidate for City Council, arrested, possibly for "lynching" and taken to Santa Rita.
Two other people arrested - one taken to the hospital (a young man) and one taken to Santa Rita (his mother).
Videos: First They Came for the Homeless (FTCftH) FB Page
FTCftH et al marched at noon from Fairview and Adeline to City Hall. Doors were locked.
Berkeleyside has an article up on the rousting: Encampment Vows to Return

My comment (By JP Massar):
This is yet another horrendous example of criminalizing the homeless. But this time it comes with potentially hundreds of thousands of dollars or more of liability to the taxpayers of Berkeley. It is quite possible that excessive force and constitutional rights violations lawsuits will be filed, costing the city of Berkeley not only the cost of the settlements and legal fees, but City Attorney time and energy, not to mention the ridiculousness of employing a weaponized army at 5:00 AM to remove peacefully sleeping people.
Not only is this a possibility, but with the arrest of D2 candidate Nanci Armstrong-Temple and her incarceration in Santa Rita on possible "lynching" charges, Berkeley could once again become a center of Black Lives Matter protest as happened in late 2014, and become a national disgrace.
Berkeley's powers that be could have chosen to leave the encampment alone. The bullshit about feces is, well, simply "not bullshit" because it was either planted to give them an excuse to clear the camp or never existed. The City of Berkeley has once again chosen stupidity over sense.
One week ago the City of Berkeley, City Council members, the encampers and homeless advocates and supporters sat down and had a peaceful, intelligent conversation. Four days later the City and the Council dumped feces on those who participated in that conversation, ignoring their concerns and filling their report with lies and innuendo.
This is no way to run a City.

Article on Berkeleyside
Note from Barbara:
Berkeleyside wrote:
Some period later, a woman, subsequently identified as Barbara Brust, 65, of Berkeley, arrived on scene. She obtained a bullhorn and began to incite others. She refused several verbal requests to stop her conduct. She did not comply with officers’ requests, and was arrested for violation of 148 PC. During a struggle, she ended up on the ground. Officers ultimately carried her to a transport van. Ms. Brust was cited and released at the scene.
She obtained a bullhorn and began to incite others...
TRUTH: I was losing my voice and i was angry, the megaphone is always used. I was NOT inciting anyone.
She refused several verbal requests to stop her conduct.
She did not comply with officers’ requests.....
NOT TRUE!!! I was NEVER asked to do that. I was demanding an inventory of what was in the garbage trucks. Then suddenly Lt Rat grabbed the megaphone out of my hands, and somehow twisted my arm and BOOM! I was on the ground!
Officers ultimately carried her...
BULLSHIT! I was immediately grabbed by I dont know how many, trying to hold on to my cane, and was dragged... immediately is quite different from ultimately!

Update from the protest
Updated 6:45pm - please join us at Berkeley Civic Center on Milvia
The protesters marched from the scene of the raid to the Civic Center on Milvia between Allston and Center. There they sit on the steps with chalk and signs, hoping for a lot more people to sit with them and join hands, until Nanci is released.
Read Press Release November 4, 2016, 1:00pm

Read report from The Friends of Adeline

Videos of POLICE action

MARCH Starts at NOON from Adeline + Fairview to the Berkeley POLICE!

First They Came for the Homeless
Please join us for a march to the Berkeley jail to protest our violent eviction and the arrest of Four of our protesters, two of whom have been injured.

City Council candidate Nancy Armstrong Temple was arrested and injured by BPD. Barbara Brust, a 70-year-old community activist for the homeless was tackled and injured by police for using a bullhorn.

The raid was effected by over 23 BPD officers and more than 14 City workers. 16 official vehicles were deployed.

Most of the protester's property was confiscated by the City Manager.

Please gather at 10:00AM today for the march at Adeline and Fairview. And share this call-out, please.

November 3, 2016

Event: First They Came for the Homeless General Assembly

When: Thursday, November 3, 2016, 5:00PM

Where: Tent village at Adeline Ave. and Fairview intersection (in case of BPD eviction, a new location will be sent-outt)

Please share this announcement with sympathizers of First They Came for the Homeless

The proposal of First They Came for the Homeless to create an intentional community of people without housing options was rejected by Berkeley's City Council this past Tuesday, Nov. 1. (For more details, see below.)

This means we remain subject to police raids and evictions, which makes it more difficult for us to provided a place for Berkeley's homeless where they can safely sleep and get food and assistance for their critical needs.

Our response to the City of Berkeley's rejection of our proposal for a drug and alcohol-free tent village is to organize the tremendous support and encouragement we've received from Berkeley's housed community to actively demonstrate the benefits of our model to the satisfaction of City officials harboring doubts.

Please come to the General Assembly to contribute to our plan for next steps and find out how you can help.

Here’s a digest of the current situation:
First They Came for the Homeless members have established a peaceful, clean, drug and alcohol free collective in the face of cold temperatures, wind and rain, ongoing police raids, lack of basic resources, and duplicitous city officials. The collective entered into dialogues in good faith with city officials who have proved unable to meet the need of sheltering homeless people in Berkeley. A strong proposal from First They Came for the Homeless and community members to create an intentional community with a stable location for tents, water, garbage pick up and sanitation resources (such as was recently established in Oakland) was dismissed by Berkeley's City Council Tuesday night (Nov. 1). In the city’s reports, there was a lack of recognition shown to the collective's contribution, false allegations were made, they failed to address the immediate issues for the many whose lives are at risk, and the city manager office alluded to future police raids (each of which is estimated to cost about $30,000).

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October 20, 2016

Op-ed: Berkeley must change the way it provides shelter to the homeless
By JP Massar

October 7, 2016

Protesters criticize Berkeley homeless services center