Friday, October 20, 2006

A victory for the homeless
(but, no, not in Orlando)

Clothing, medication, tents and blankets, as well as irreplaceable personal possessions such as family photographs, have been destroyed in raids by Fresno’s Police and Sanitation Departments.

A federal judge has issued a temporary restraining order to keep the city of Fresno, California, from destroying the property of homeless people without warning.

The lawsuit was filed Tuesday by the ACLU, claiming the City of Fresno is violating the constitutional rights of homeless people whose personal possessions are being destroyed and confiscated in ongoing raids.

Read the Fresno Bee article here and the San Jose Mercury News report here.

So how "silly" does this lawsuit sound now? "If the ACLU really wants to stand up for the homeless, it should drop this silly lawsuit and lobby for more shelters," wrote columnist Bill McEwen in the Fresno Bee. "The criminals among the homeless belong in jail; the remainder need treatment or tough love. The tents and the sleeping bags must go."


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