Sent to us from the Venice United Methodist Church:
Candle Light Vigil – Response to RV Sweeps in Venice
Venice Clergy and People of Conscience Gather on Tuesday Evening and Bring Light to Recent Police Sweeps of the Vehicular Housed.
Venice, CA – Reverend Thomas Ziegert, Pastor of the Venice United Methodist Church, will lead a candlelight vigil starting at 6:pm, Tuesday November 25th, at the corner of Rose Ave and 3rd Street: the location of recent pre-holiday “homeless sweeps” done by the City to clear the street of un-housed and vehicular housed people.
Venice community leaders and Venice residents stand in opposition to using City laws, such as permit parking, and the undue expense of using law enforcement as the answer to our economic problems or other social problems causing homelessness and poverty – especially when it would be much more cost effective to house people.
“Until we can right the wrongs of an economic system that necessarily impoverishes a portion of this society, we should at the very least not criminalize those we wrong,” said Reverend Ziegert, who is also the current chair of the new Venice Town Council. The California Pacific Conference of United Methodist Church passed a resolution this year against criminalizing homelessness, which was co-authored by Reverend Ziegert.
Laws used to criminalize homeless people are often called ‘Quality of Life’ laws, such as the one criminalizing living in a vehicle. “It is the person living in poverty that needs a better quality of life. Our elected representatives should not be writing laws specifically meant to shield the more privileged ‘residents’ from people who have done nothing more than be poor or homeless.” said Peggy Lee Kennedy, of Venice Food Not Bombs and the Venice Justice Committee, a third generation Venice resident opposed to criminalization.
We are in a period of economic crisis. Corporations suffering from great debts due to mismanagement are being bailed out. On the other hand, people living in their vehicles, many who simply cannot afford to pay astronomical rents in Los Angeles and many who have recently lost homes, are being criminalized, harassed, and debased. What is wrong with this picture?
In the hope to bring light to this situation we will begin to hold candlelight vigils that respond to police sweeps.
Venice United Methodist Church 310-391-2314
Justice Committee and Media Group 310-883-8865