A brief summary of Friends on the Street – Chico Enterprise-Record

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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 CFOTS ‘core practice of meeting with homeless people in public space as a manifestation of solidarity and in a “free speech” protest against criminalizing laws and practices. Sunday after Sunday, for six years, CFOTS provided food, clothing, toiletries, tarpaulins, blankets and sleeping bags. New in 2021: Community Coffee Time, three mornings a week, sharing coffee and breakfast items.

In 2021, through numerous council appearances, LTE and KZFR radio broadcasts, CFOTS expressed moral objection to the following: 1) The City’s continued adherence to unconstitutional laws and enforcement practices. 2) The eviction of “campers” from our common areas. 3) The repeated closing / closing (3X) of City Plaza. 4) The City’s continued and deliberate refusal to access adequate toilets. 5) The closure / demolition of our only soup kitchen. 6) The City’s hiring / funding of Point of Contact and Paul Webster, both hostile to human rights. 7) City support for the retrograde motion on civil liberties affecting the indigent and mentally ill.

In 2021, CFOTS expressed support for the ongoing and heroic work of the Northern California Legal Services, 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: [email protected]

– Patrick Newman, Chico


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