Open Letter to Berkeley City Council from Liberty City

First they came for the homeless's photo.

First they came for the homeless

December 27, 2015

This email spells it out. Liberty City worked. Unfortunately, the city didn’t care.

An open letter to the city council:

The Christmas vacation is here, and you are on recess for the holidays. Yet you have committed crimes that make your recess impermissible. Let me explain.

When a person is homeless, what enables that person to survive are the banal possessions used to protect from the elements – clothing, sleepings bag, poncho, pieces of cardboard, and maybe a tent.

When the police broke up the self-governing intentional community called Liberty City that had established residence on the lawn in front of City Hall two weeks ago, they seized and confiscated and trashed a lot of these people’s property.

Without that property, these people are without protection, and thus threatened with sickness or death from exposure to the elements.

To pose or create a threat to a person’s life is a felony. This is the crime that the police of Berkeley committed when they broke up that self-governing intentional community dedicated to the mutual survival of its members. And the police committed that crime at the behest of city council.

To threaten a person’s life is a crime. To do it to a mass of people all at once is, in the terms of the Nuremberg Decision and international law, a crime against humanity.

To retrieve its honor, the city council must abandon its recess and instruct the police to return that confiscated property to their owners. It should also instruct the police to assist all homeless people to find or obtain the services or shelter that they need to survive. This needs to be done now, as the weather drops toward freezing.

Otherwise we have a Christmas without justice.

–Mike Zint

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