Homeless man's protest irritates mayor
John Martin was camped out in front of City Hall, but then has moved across the street. Martin is protesting Mayor Dan Sullivan's policy of clearing homeless camps in Anchorage.
Peeved by his inability to stop a homeless man's sit-down protest downtown, Anchorage Mayor Dan Sullivan wants a law that would punish anyone who sits or reclines on a downtown sidewalk.
The idea of a new law came up, said city attorney Dennis Wheeler, because the administration wanted to remove John Martin, who says he is protesting the mayor's treatment of homeless people -- particularly, the city's decision to take and destroy some homeless people's possessions during the course of clearing out illegal camps on public property around town.
"We got calls and complaints about this guy sitting and camping on the sidewalk," said Wheeler. "So we looked at our code and we didn't have anything that specifically addressed sleeping or sitting on the sidewalk."
The city was able to get a judge to rule that Martin had violated a prior court order that he not camp on municipal property, and to order him off the City Hall block.
Read the Anchorage Daily News report here.
Update: Martin has been arrested for being an out-of-compliance sex offender. Read the Anchorage Daily News report here.