By Josie Wales
Police departments across the country have been ramping up raids on the homeless, stealing coats, blankets, and other personal items and leaving those on the street with no protection from the cold and rain.
The Homelessness San Diego Facebook page recently posted a video of city workers conducting an “encampment sweep” that was recorded by homeless advocate Michael McConnell. According to CW6, “the city says it routinely posts clean-up notices downtown as part of its regular weekly abatement schedule.”
The Denver Police Department released a statement last Thursday evening defending police officers caught on video taking blankets, sleeping bags, and tents from homeless people and issuing some citations. Freezing temperatures didn’t stop the cold-hearted cops from confiscating the items “as evidence of the violations.”
The video taken by a bystander went viral after being shared by the ACLU of Colorado’s Facebook page. It was swiftly followed up by an open letter to Denver Mayor Michael Hancock, Denver City Council, and city officials. The letter, which expresses horror at the willingness of the local government officials to endanger the lives of the homeless, “demands that the City immediately (1) direct its police officers to cease confiscation of blankets and other survival gear possessed by people experiencing homelessness, (2) suspend enforcement of the Denver Urban Camping Ban through the winter months, using that time to explore alternative approaches to homelessness that do not criminalize people for having nowhere they can afford to live and (3) end the coordinated sweeps of people experiencing homelessness, whether they are conducted through police, public works, private security, all of the above, or any other means.”
This is not the first time Colorado authorities have come under fire for their brutal treatment of the homeless. In February of this year, Denver Law School released a report called Too High A Price: What Criminalizing Homelessness Costs Colorado, which examined the economic and social cost of the anti-homeless laws. According to the paper, “Laws that criminalize panhandling, begging, camping, sitting or lying in public, and vagrancy target and disproportionately impact homeless residents for activities they must perform in the course of daily living.”
Los Angeles deployed an entire task force to crack down on homeless people, imposing their own “encampment sweeps” in September. The ironically named “Homeless Outreach and Proactive Engagement” teams are supposed to help reduce the number of people living on the street, but they appear to be doing nothing more than turning those who are less fortunate into criminals.
The ACLU declared a small victory over the summer when it successfully defended the rights of a man charged with trespassing after trying to gain access to emergency shelter. According to Jessie Rossman, a staff attorney with the ACLU of Massachusetts:
Today’s landmark, unanimous ruling has affirmed, e.in the state high court’s own words that ‘our law does not permit the punishment of the homeless simply for being homeless.’
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Anti-homeless laws are cruel, unconstitutional, and create more hardship for those targeted, making it harder for them to get back on their feet. It is unthinkable to believe that stealing blankets and clothing from people living on the street is justifiable by any legislation, and it is terrifying to see law enforcement follow orders to do so without blinking an eye.
This article (America Has Unofficially Declared War on the Homeless) is free and open source. You have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Josie Wales and theAntiMedia.org. Anti-Media Radio airs weeknights at 11 pm Eastern/8 pm Pacific. If you spot a typo, please email the error and name of the article to firstname.lastname@example.org.
There is no lawful authority, and it matters not who gave/gives those orders. All law enforcement is REQUIRED to take and keep an Oath to support and defend the US Constitution. THAT is their, and all who serve within our governments, highest contract, and it comes before the orders of superiors and before the duties of the position occupied. They are required to refuse any unlawful order, and that includes *color of law. They are required to know the difference by knowing at the very least the Bil of Rights. So those actions could be charged as *terrorism, quite possibly **treason.
*Black’s Law Dictionary, Fifth Edition, defines Color of Law as: “The appearance or semblance, without the substance, of legal right. Misuse of power, possessed by virtue of state law and made possible only
because wrongdoer is clothed with authority of state, is action taken under “color of law.” Black’s Law Dictionary, Fifth Edition, page 241.
The requirement for all Federal and State Civil officers to give their solemn and binding Oath is established in Article VI, Section 1, Clause 4.
For the crime to be Treason, Cramer v. United States (1945), the Supreme Court held that a specific intent – adherence to the enemy, and therefore to harm the United States—is necessary, rather than the simple
rendition of aid. Our legitimate government is the US Constitution to which they are Oath bound (or required to be to have any lawfulness to their actions).
When their actions are against the people who have committed no crime, but are homeless mostly due to what those in government did such as “Free Trade”, etc makes what is being done to them not only despicable, but criminal in action.
“Just following orders” and/or “just doing their jobs” does not exclude them from crimes against the American people, *treason, **terrorism. (Read the Nuremberg Trials, at least the Opening Statement by Roberts)
*Article III, Section 3 of the Constitution of the United States, and it provides that: “Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort.
No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court.”
So what are the three important elements that are necessary for an offense to constitute treason: it requires an obligation of allegiance to the legal order, and intent and action to violate that obligation. They are bound by Oath and allegiance here in the USA to the US Constitution, and to their own state’s Constitution – Not to any superior, or to any job.
Norton v. Shelby County… The Court said: “An unconstitutional act is not a law; it confers no rights; it imposes no duties. It is, in legal contemplation, as inoperative as though it had never been passed.”
Brookfield Construction Company V. Stewart 284 F Sup. 94: “An officer who acts in violation of the constitution ceases to represent the government.”
18 USC § 241 – Conspiracy against rights: If two or more persons conspire to injure, oppress, threaten, or intimidate any person in any State, Territory, Commonwealth, Possession, or District in the free exercise
or enjoyment of any right or privilege secured to him by the Constitution or laws of the United States, or because of his having so exercised the same; or If two or more persons go in disguise on the highway, or on the premises of another, with intent to prevent or hinder his free exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege so secured
They shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both; and if death results from the acts committed in violation of this section or if such acts include kidnapping or an attempt to kidnap,
aggravated sexual abuse or an attempt to commit aggravated sexual abuse, or an attempt to kill, they shall be fined under this title or imprisoned for any term of years or for life, or both, or may be sentenced to death.
Sherar v. Cullen, 481 F. 946: “There can be no sanction or penalty imposed upon one because of his exercise of Constitutional rights.”
U.S. Supreme Court in Miranda v. Arizona, 380 U.S. 436 (1966): “Where rights secured by the Constitution are involved, there can be no rule-making or legislation which would abrogate them.”
Gross v. State of Illinois, 312 F 2d 257; (1963): “State Judges, as well as federal, have the responsibility to respect and protect persons from violations of federal constitutional rights.”
Great Article, and helps me to believe that there are more young people who will stand against this official lawlessness. As an aside, there are several Court Rulings from the US Supreme Court, including rulings from the 1980’s, which state clearly that a law or rule that contradicts the US Constitution and Bill of Rights is fundamentally void as a Matter of Law. This trend of increasing laws by the hundreds is a smokescreen.
I find it perplexing that if a government can’t provide 100% employment or sustainable welfare payments for those they can’t employ that they would sink to the levels of callous inhumanity that I read in articles coming out of what many once regarded as the greatest country on Earth (at least by it’s own citizens). Whilst my own country Australia has turned into an unpleasant Police State of late at least the government provides welfare (A$439/week for a single adult) as well as a house or apartment for 25% of one’s income. I suppose when a government spends over 50% of it’s revenue on defense (actually offense!) not much is left for the people it’s supposed to serve. The notion of Police shooting people’s dogs for the mere offense of barking coupled with the disturbing details of this story clearly demonstrate America is finished (sadly)!
Well Said. I follow what’s going on in Australia quite closely, and I have been stunned by how closely Australia followed the globalism of the US during the past 15 years, although it is not well known in the US that Australia ensures basic living allowances for its people, thus, preventing the kind of poverty endemic in the US.
This is all indicative of the fascist, globalist take over of the planet cleverly orchestrated by our “friends” in the Federal Reserve. Australia has little choice but to remain ‘friends” with America and “put up or shut up”. The C.I.A has already overthrown one of our Governments (Whitlam 1975) however few Australians realise America’s involvement as Governor General Kerr was made the fall-guy at the time. Contrary to the blatant propaganda spewed out by the mainstream press many people here as in America have supported Trump in the hope he can at least put the brakes on a process which seems hell-bent on dragging us into WW3. All it will take is another large false-flag that will be blamed on the Zionist’s current favourite enemy. The next 6 months will tell however I remain pessimistic.
Yes, and I guess I should address this to Che. The US Cabal owns some out of this world, valuable property at the heart of Australia, so, yes, it “owns” Australia. Am I right that Whitlam made a few critical comments about the Viet Nam debacle? Or, was it the presence of the US in the Philippines?
Whitlam also wanted to close down Pine Gap, the secretive American base in the center of Australia which no Australian is allowed to set foot it. Since the debacle 41 years ago (I was 10 but remember it well) no Australian Priminister has dared to oppose the will of the United States. Despite this, most Australians have an overwhelmingly positive view of America largely a consequence of the entertainment industry and the similarities between our two cultures. I grew up believing that America saved our country from Japanese invasion in WW2 and as such deserved our respect however access to the internet has enabled me to understand why we were at war with Japan in the first place.
Yes, propaganda really works! You know about Pine Gap, but how many other Aussies do? The Treaty that is the basis of that facility is secret, and a lot of money has been paid to keep it that way. Whitlam was one in a billion.
Interesting how it’s perfectly fine for police to steal blankets, coats, and other personal property from the poor, working class, but they would ever do the same with a rich person, because “private property” is sacred.
Yes, the New World is the Great Social Experiment of the overlords. Think CHEAP LABOR. All great wealth has been derived from the exploitation of slavery and cheap labor.