A big turnout for the Right2Rest, voted down 6 to 5 (property against democracy)

     Yesterday was a huge turnout at the State Legislature, and many eloquent speakers , particularly Ray, a leader of Resurrection City, Dawn Riley Duval, the representative of the ALCU, the leader of Colorado Coaltion for the Homeless, a lawyer who works on homeless issues across the country from Washington, but many others as well.  The lawyer from Washington pointed out that criminalization policies, in addition to their sheer depravity, do nothing to solve the problem.  Those who wish to live in a decent society need to act differently about this.
       Yet the Committee voted down a right to rest – a basic human right – on behalf of narrow-minded private ownership.  Yes, businesses don’t want the unhoused sleeping or resting on their doorstep.  But the solution is to provide places to sleep, stop police brutality and routing of the unhoused, provide public funding to put people to work and give people a chance to get educated, and with a decent society – one with a common good for all – have some time, place and manner restrictions on sidewalks in front of businesses.  Leave out all the rest and one gets the crass private enterprise – private property – society of the very few with no affordable housing and a camping ban – all over Colorado where human beings have been criminalized for resting (Ray, among others, described eloquently, hope the cops push and kick you and force you to move along; how the unhoused are unable to sleep for fear of this and for their belongings – often confiscated by the police.  A backpack with a birth certificate…
    Dawn Duval spoke of an uncle with a drug problem whom she thought died in police custody in another city this weekend (it turned out that the uncle’s close friend had died).  Her uncle was a soldier long ago.  Again, think of the treatment of homeless veterans…  
     A man named Sekou spoke of an uprising about this.  Those who voted against doing anything about this horrible situation would help to provoke this. Thank you to representatives Salazar and Melton and the others who voted for the right to rest.  Denver Homeless Outloud has a speak out tonight that goes toward continuing the work to create here a society with some baseline of decency…
From: Denver Homeless Out Loud <admin@denverhomelessoutloud.org>
Date: February 25, 2016 at 11:46:11 AM MST
To: Denver Homeless Out Loud <admin@denverhomelessoutloud.org>
Subject: Committee Votes 5-6 Against the Right to Rest – We press on…Join us TODAY for Speaking out for the Right to Rest Event

Colorado Legislative Committee Votes 5-6 Against the Right to Rest

Yesterday, February 24th 2016, the Local Government Committee of the Colorado State Legislator voted 5 for 6 against the Right to Rest. We were one vote short of passing this committee. 
We are very sad. Because this bill did not pass the people of Colorado will continue to be awakened and moved about the city with no place to legally rest; the people of Colorado will continue to be ticketed and later thrown in jail for covering up with a blanket to stay warm; the people of Colorado will continue to hear taps on their window from officers telling them they can’t sleep in their own car. Laws will continue to be used to attempt to hid, to move “away,” the fact we live in a State and a Country with mass homelessness and poverty. 
But we cannot be hidden and forced “away.” We are here and we will continue to exist in public space. And just as we must continue to exist, we will continue to join together and fight for our rights to exist…! 
So much gratitude goes to Representatives Salazar and Melton for their incredible, dedicated, and deep hearted leadership in this fight!!    
Together we ran the Right to Rest Act last year and were voted down 3-8; we ran the Right to Rest Act this year and were voted down 5-6; we will keep coming back to the legislator year in and year out until we have the Right to Rest! 
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Following yesterday’s hearing we are not stopping! Join us TODAY Thursday 2/25 for 
Speaking Out For The Right to Rest 

Denver Homeless Out Loud In Partnership With People Rising Against Poverty

When: February 25th 5:30-8:00pm

Where: Denver Inner City Parish; 1 21 2 Mariposa St, Denver CO

The day after the committee hearing, we are holding our Speaker’s Bureau with People Rising Against Poverty in order to raise the voices of those impacted by the criminalization of homelessness and mobilize to build the movement even stronger…

-Hear directly from houseless people affected by the brutal policies of criminalization

-Discuss strategy with most affected people and DHOL organizers on paths forward.

-Learn how to get involved

-Eat food!

Please also join on our Facebook event invite page and help spread the word by inviting your friends!

http://wwwfacebook.com/events/76951 82031 79377/

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