Letter: A brief summary of Friends on the Street

A brief summary of the activism of Chico Friends on the Street (CFOTS), as we sought to defend/support the human rights of those who live in our public spaces:

In 2021, we continued the core practice of CFOTS: Gathering with homeless people in the public space as a demonstration of solidarity and in a “free speech” protest of criminalization laws and practices. Sunday after Sunday, for six years, CFOTS has supplied food, clothing, toiletries, tarps, blankets and sleeping bags. New in 2021: the Community Coffee Hour, three mornings per week, sharing coffee and breakfast items.

In 2021, through numerous council appearances, LTEs and KZFR radio shows, CFOTS has voiced a moral objection to the following: 1) The City’s ongoing adherence to unconstitutional laws and enforcement practices. 2) The eviction of “campers” from our commons areas.  3) The repeated (3X) closure/fencing of City Plaza.  4) The City’s ongoing and deliberate withholding of adequate toilet access.  5) The closure/demolition of our only soup kitchen.  6) The City’s hiring/funding of Point of Contact and Paul Webster–both antagonistic to human rights. 7) The City’s support for retrograde motion on civil liberties affecting the destitute mentally ill.

In 2021, CFOTS has voiced support for the ongoing and heroic work of those at Legal Services of Northern California, the American Civil Liberties Union and the Center for Human Rights & Humanitarian Law.

In 2021 we mourned the loss of our CFOTS ally and dear friend, Jana Burgess-Henry.

For more information: chicofriendsonthestreet@gmail.com

— Patrick Newman, Chico


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