No Right to Rest Report and Documentary on the Criminalization of Homelessness in Colorado is coming out April 7!
Event: Release of No Right to Rest Report and Those People: Our Public Existence Documentary
Date: Tuesday, April 7, 2015
Time: 1-3 pm
Location: St Paul’s Lutheran Church, 1600 Grant St, Denver CO
There will be food!
Almost 500 people living without housing in 10 Colorado cities completed a survey in which they shared their experience with police and private security guards, local laws against resting in public space, and access to other basic needs such as bathrooms, shelter, and housing. This survey was conducted by Denver Homeless Out Loud and partner organizations across Colorado and the findings have been analyzed and turned into a report by Dr Tony Robinson and Allison Sickels of the Political Science Department of the University of Colorado Denver. A short documentary “Those People: Our Public Existence” by Direct Autonomous Media Collective and Denver Homeless Out Loud further shares the experiences of people in Denver who have been harassed and criminalized for surviving in public space. Both the survey report and the documentary will be presented for the first time at this event.
Here are three disturbing findings from the survey:
70% of survey respondents have been harassed, ticketed, or arrested for sleeping in public spaces.
64% have been harassed, ticketed, or arrested for sitting/lying down.
60% have had their belongings taken by police or city employees.
These and many other survey findings clearly show that basic acts of rest and survival are no longer legal in many Colorado cities and that people are being criminalized and “moved along” for performing them. As one man said, “The lack of rest is real terrible. You’re constantly on the move, because you’re told to get up and move on. You kind of get accustomed to it.”
The release of this report and documentary is happening a week before the Colorado Right to Rest Act (HB 15-1264), which was written based on the findings of this survey, goes to committee hearing in the Colorado State Legislature on April 15th in the morning. Colorado is one of three states, along with California and Oregon, that are working together through the Western Regional Advocacy Project to pass the Right to Rest Act this legislative session.
See DAM Collective site here