campaign against proposed sit/lie law in berkeley succeeds

by Tim Phillips

Berkeley voters decided last week not to make it a crime to sit on sidewalks in the city’s commercial districts between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m. The proposal involved citations and a possible maximum sentence of six months in jail. According to one of the measure’s supporters, who spoke on public radio in October, “When I was on Shattuck yesterday, I had to step over a homeless person to get into a gelato store I wanted to go into.”

Wow. That’s cold-hearted.

The ordinance would also have criminalized activists for sitting on commercial district sidewalks between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m. during, for example, unpermitted demonstrations or encampments.

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