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General News    H4'ed 10/24/12

The People Have Spoken!

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The latest buzz in the East Bay Express's "News & Opinion" page(s) is a one-sided discussion.

The upcoming election on November 6, 2012 will have a gaggle of measures to vote from, along with the mayoral race and city council seats... as well as the national election, which is most likely rigged, as we have seen in the past with George Bush and the Diebold (voting-machine) scandal in Ohio, a swing state that solidified Bush's second term in 2004.  But enough of that nonsense, let's get to the local stuff... the stuff We (The People) still have some control over. 

Let's discuss Measure S, the "No-Sit-No-Lie" order.

Well, I'm not going to say much.  I am going to post what is written on these pages, because I feel it is important for people to read.  And some people may not get the East Bay Express, or even feel like going to their website (although I can't see why not): ; So, I will post what they have written.  The words written are so inspiring to me that I may have to write even more columns on this very subject, as I have been given even more information to pool from concerning this very topic.  And, I talked with Rachel Swann, before she ran her piece, and gave her a bevy of information about what I've been writing about for over six months now, but was basically condescended toward, and (metaphorically) patted on the head.  I could tell, by the way she was interviewing John Caner the evening prior that she wasn't going to be impartial to the homeless' plight.

Enough of me and my observations, let's get to the very first contributor, and that person is none other than the East Bay Community Law Center's Osha Neumann:

"S Is About Removal, Not Rehabilitation"

"Rachel Swan strolls the avenues with John Caner, the gangly CEO of the Downtown Berkeley Association, and a  prime mover behind Measure S.  Candidly, he tells her that when sidewalk sitting is outlawed, he "foresees a system in which ambassadors would quietly shoo homeless people away from the city's main commercial districts, making them cleaner and more pedestrian-friendly, while creating an uptick in foot traffic to bolster local businesses.'  The veil slips for a moement and the truth is revealed.  Measure S is about sweeping the homeless people off the street.  It's about preemptive criminalization.  Some homeless peple may do bad things, so let's criminalize something they do that's innocuous.  It's not about getting them services.  It's about getting them out of here."

-Osha Neumann, chair, No on S Campaign

Beautifully put.  It is about sweeping away their criminality (against humanity), at minimum!


"Do the Issue Justice"

"I was deeply upset by Rachel Swan's piece on Measure S, in particular by her closing: 'Even if Measure S isn't a fix-all, it can certainly make the street life downtown a little less convenient for Cody.  If voters pass the ordinance this November, he'll have to find a new bedroom.'  Rarely is animus toward Berkeley's homeless people so unabashed that we have journalists saying, 'Three cheers for someone suffering from mental illness being inconvenienced and forcibly relocated!' and referring to a man's belongings as 'detritus.'  With tensions running so high around this law and those it targets, it is not surprising that journalists would get swept up in the fury, too; however, this fraught emotional climate requires more than ever that the public be educated about what S will and will not accomplish in a way that's balanced and factual.  As the East Bay's 'alternative' long-form news source, the Express is uniquely positioned to deliver that.  Here's to hoping that, with a month to go until the election, you can run another story and do this issue justice."

-Joey Shemuel, Berkeley

"Detritus"...GAME OVER.

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I'm a homeless student, writer, and activist... currently panhandling my way through school (and life.).
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