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City Attempts to Break Up Peaceful Sacramento SafeGround Campground

A group of about 30 homeless campers in Sacramento established SafeGround on 7/21/09 on a vacant lot near downtown Sacramento. The property owner, Attorney Mark Merin, has given permission to the campers to live on his property. The campers elected a Council of Elders, adopted the following rules and have each signed an agreement to honor them: no drugs, no alcohol, no violence. The community prepares communal meals, shares resources and looks after each other. Ages range from the twenties to senior citizens; some are physically disabled; the younger campers are actively seeking work. Many are former residents of Sacramento's infamous Tent City .

This morning police officers arrived and have threatened people with arrests unless they leave immediately. A number of residents are prepared to stand their ground. They are fed up with being pushed from place to place by the police and have nowhere else to go.

Background: Over 1,200 homeless people in Sacramento must sleep outside every night for lack of better options. The shelters are overflowing; thousands are on the waiting lists for housing assistance. Homeless persons, social service agencies and local businesses have joined together to establish a safe, decent, legal campground in Sacramento . For more info, go to www.safegroundsac.org or www.sacloaves.org

When: Right now, 7:30 AM Tuesday, September 2, 2009
What: Large Scale Police Action in Progress – Arrests of Peaceful Homeless Campers
Where: SafeGround Camp, vacant lot on C Street between 12th and 13th Streets

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