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'Here There' encampment given 72 hour notice for eviction from BART property

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CIECIE CHEN | FILE

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NOVEMBER 02, 2017

The “Here There” encampment residents woke up Wednesday morning to find the site covered with “NOTICE OF TRESPASS” flyers, urging residents to clear out of the space within the next 72 hours.

BART Police Department hung up the fliers on posts and on individual tents at the “Here There,” or the westside encampment. The BART officers evicted the eastside encampment last week, but the westside encampment was temporarily granted  permission by US District Judge William Alsup to stay on the property on 63rd St. and Martin Luther King Way.

On Tuesday, however, Alsup approved of the encampment’s eviction and denied an amended complaint filed Oct. 26 by encampment residents Clark Sullivan, James Blair, Toan Nguyen, Arika Miles and Adam Bredenberg. The complaint followed their lawsuit filed Oct. 23 against the city of Berkeley and BART, according to the court order.

In the complaint, the plaintiffs allege that the city and BART violated the Americans with Disabilities Act, and the Fourth, Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments, the Order stated.

“While sympathetic to the plight of plaintiffs, and the problem of homelessness, which is ever more severe, the Court must be faithful to the law,” the order stated.

The order also required that BART give fresh notice and a minimum of 72 hours for residents to move out. This time would provide plaintiffs time to appeal the decision if they choose to do so, the order added.

According to BART spokesperson Jim Allison, BART has been working with the city for six weeks to address these two homeless encampments. He said in an email that BART has received over 50 complaints about unsafe and dangerous activity from nearby neighbors and school parents.

“We have provided adequate notice to relocate alongside information about available resources,” Allison said in an email. “We are hopeful the western encampment will comply with the notice to vacate.”

According to Allison, BART will continue to work with the courts and the community to resolve the “complex issue” of the westside encampment.

Sam Clune, a resident of the encampment, said around 20 to 30 police officers that showed up Wednesday morning to post fliers, and that he believes that about more officers will show up to the encampment early Sunday morning, which the end of the 72 hours notice. The encampment’s attorney, EmilyRose Johns, also said that the next eviction will likely take place Sunday morning around 5 a.m.

Trevor Sullivan, who has resided in the encampment for about two months, said that they were informed of the eviction about two weeks ago.

“The businesses are probably tired of seeing homeless people everyday,” Sullivan said. “But they don’t know the situation of how a lot of people here are disabled and a lot of people here are not able work. We work with community and really earn this spot to be a drug-free camp and to get where we are.”

Sullivan said that the residents have no official spot at the moment, but they have discussed four or five locations to move to after the eviction. He added that they will just “roll with the punches” and see what happens next.

“We know how to react the best way we can, we know how the legal system works and we have people helping us in the court system,” Sullivan said. “We should be alright.”

Contact Ella Colbert at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @colbert_ella.
LAST UPDATED

NOVEMBER 02, 2017


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