Sacramento Safe Ground’s tent-city campout begins

Activists hope to increase awareness on homeless issues

Sacramento Safe Ground’s campout, scheduled to begin this past Wednesday, May 1, didn’t come about without a little drama. Activists spent a night in the old City Hall last week, assuring angry landlords and homeowners that their weeklong Stake Down homelessness awareness event, on C and 12th streets, would be nothing to worry about. Safe Ground also took the city to court to try and push its three-night camping permit to seven nights. Nothing doing.

Representatives repeatedly referred to the event as an exercise in First Amendment rights and claimed that if they can keep things safe and sanitary for three days, they could do it for seven. But the judge was reluctant to go anywhere near the city's camping ordinance. Score one for fussy Alkali Flat residents.

Stake Down campers will only legally be allowed to camp through the night of Saturday, May 3. Their goal is to educate Sacramentans on homeless issues.

Any chance of civil disobedience? Safe Ground lawyers say prolonged camping won't be an issue, but we'll keep an eye out for that one.