Summer recess for City Commission is nigh. This means that at best, any new Homeless Hate Laws, as originally proposed in January or otherwise, will not likely be voted on and enacted prior to September.
Unfortunately, although the opportunity to use a public platform to speak about the criminalization of the homeless will abate, attacks and oppression against unwanted elements downtown is sure to last all summer long as always. Fort Lauderdale Food Not Bombs will be sharing every Friday and offering educational workshops on civil rights and other topics coming soon to Stranahan Park.
Confusion Over Private Property Ordinance
Contrary to a recent article at Broward New Times, the City Attorney has confirmed that the first of the new Homeless Hate Laws, the private property in public space ban, is being enforced. However it does seem to be true that so far this law has not been used on anyone. Rampant theft and disposal of homeless property by police, city works employees, security, and volunteers in the Stranahan Park area continue as usual.
Fallout From Last City Commission's Gay Marriage Resolution
Mayor Jack Seiler may be popular amongst the city status quo, but he's earned the wrath of another powerful interest in the greater Fort Lauderdale area. His scornful downvote for a completely symbolic gay marriage resolution at last week's City Commission puts him at odds with a political movement growing more powerful every year both locally and nationally. On a completely unrelated note, did you know that Jack is up for re-election in 17 months?
Finally, kudos to homeless advocates in Pensacola. After recently launching a permanent homeless camp from a small bitcoin fortune, and successfully defending it from the City's best attempts to shut it down, the Pensacola establishment is finding itself even further from the side of justice this week. Occupy Pensacola's lawsuit stemming from their eviction in 2011 was re-opened by a federal appeals court. Escambia county's malfeasance and neglect with the way they treat their impoverished residents has never been more glaring. Did we also mention their jail recently exploded?
They've proved that the system in Florida can be held to account for discriminatorily destroying homeless people's rights. We'll keep that in mind. 2 months of resistance to homeless hate laws...many more to come.