San Francisco lawmakers, residents and local business owners are planning a rally outside of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals next week ahead of a hearing on an injunction that bars the city from enforcing laws that prohibit the homeless from blocking the streets, according to The San Francisco Standard.
The Coalition on Homelessness, a San Francisco-based advocacy group, sued the city in 2022 for removing homeless encampments and allegedly destroying their property, according to the SF Standard. The rally is in support of the enforcement of the homeless ordinances, and individuals say conditions in the streets have become dire. (RELATED: ‘They Think It’s Racist’: Leo Terrell Accuses Elected Officials Of Surrendering To Rampant Crime)
“I can’t count on two hands the people who’ve told me, ‘There’s a tent encampment blocking customers from coming in, that started a fire I had to put out with an extinguisher, and the city said they can’t do anything about the encampment,'” Ben Bleiman, a bar owner and president of the San Francisco Entertainment Commission, told the SF Standard. “People are waking up and waking up fast.”
The city has been hesitant about enforcing the ordinances as a result of the injunction, according to The SF Standard.
Homelessness is on the rise in San Francisco, and open drug use and crime have become common. Between 2015 and 2022, the homelessness population increased by nearly 1,000 people, according to the City and County of San Francisco website.
“It’s really important that the residents of the city are aware of the position this judge has put us in … but we also have to hold the city accountable,” Terry Asten Bennett, co-owner of Cliff’s Variety Store, told the SF Standard.
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