Merced Homeless Encampment Demolished, Residents Displaced

Andrew Kuhn
Merced Homeless Encampment 2015

Photo by Andrew Kuhn

Jan. 26, 2015

This morning Caltrans began removing a longstanding homeless encampment, where an estimated 25 people called home.  Some of them have lived there for up to two years.  Shortly after 8a.m. Caltrans workers with heavy machinery began tearing down makeshift buildings and bagging things up from the encampment.

Thursday, Jan 22 a notice to vacate the property was posted but residents say it wasn’t enough time to find shelter and move their belongings.

Gail Henslee, 60, who has lived in the camp for 2 months:

“We have nowhere to go, and they don’t care,” she said.

Brent Shirley, 52, has lived in the camp for six months:

“There’s no closure for all of this – none,” he said. “It’s just a vicious cycle we’re all living in.”

One man complained of chest pains and was taken to the hospital in an ambulance shortly after the crew arrived.

Steve Mentz, 51, living in the encampment for 8 months waiting for disability benefits. Photo by Andrew Kuhn

Steve Mentz, 51, said he didn’t know where he was going to spend the night.

“They’re making it where there’s nowhere to go,” he said.

To top the whole thing off, as if displacing people in the middle of winter isn’t already ironic enough, the Merced County Rescue Mission said it will not be opening it’s warming shelter this winter.

Last year, there were 768 homeless people in Merced County, including 21 children, based on the 2014 Homeless Count and Survey.

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1 Comment on "Merced Homeless Encampment Demolished, Residents Displaced"

  1. The US Constitution IS our legitimate government, and under the Bill of Rights (*which NO one who serves within our government are LAWFULLY or LEGALLY allowed to mess with in any way) PROTECTS our natural rights.

    They were NOT given that authority, and to take it is usurpation, much like an armed gang does.

    Thomas Paine:“It is the duty of the patriot to protect his country from its government.”

    Cockrum v. State: “… It is one of the high powers delegated directly to the citizen, and is excepted out of the general powers of government. A law cannot be passed to infringe upon or impair it, because it is above the law, and independent of the lawmaking power”.

    Amendment Nine says that all of our natural rights are NOT listed, but THEY ARE STILL PROTECTED: “The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.”

    So what rights are PROTECTED by the US Constitution but not listed? Things people did before governments existed, before the US Government existed like the use of water, farming, organic seeds (they were the only kind), travel of any type, CAMPING and creating a home where and when NEEDED, sharing food and stuff, trading food and stuff, etc. Hopefully you are bright enough to get the picture.

    The Preamble to the Bill of Rights makes sure that the people and the people who serve within our governments understand that the authority they LAWFULLY have is LIMITED: “… HE Conventions of a number of the States, having at the time of their adopting the Constitution, expressed a desire, IN ORDER TO PREVENT MISCONSTRUCTION OR ABUSE OF ITS POWERS, THAT FURTHER DECLARATORY AND RESTRICTIVE CLAUSES SHOULD BE ADDED: And as extending the ground of public confidence in the Government, will best ensure the beneficent ends of its institution. ..”. Notice the words “further”, “misconstruction”, and “abuse of its powers”, the complete US Constitution says exactly what those who serve within our governments in any capacity are ALLOWED to do, what they are FORBIDDEN to do, and what they may do ONLY as described and under specific circumstances. When Obama said he saw the US Constitution as a ‘limiting document’ he was correct. It places MANY limits on those who serve within our governments – federal and state.

    Patrick Henry: “The Constitution is not an instrument for the government to restrain the people, it is an instrument for the people to restrain the government — lest it come to dominate our lives and interests.”

    Caltrans does not have the authority, nor does any judge, law enforcement unless they are on PRIVATE property as all other property is owned by the people themselves, including those homeless. So when they were forced to leave it became *terrorism on US Citizens by all involved at any level.

    * 28 C.F.R. Section 0.85 Terrorism is defined as “the unlawful use of force and violence against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives”.

    James Madison, the Father of the US Constitution: “Because if . . . [An Unalienable Natural Right of Free Men] . . . be exempt from the authority of the Society at large, still less can it be subject to that of the Legislative Body. The latter are but the creatures and vicegerents of the former. Their jurisdiction is both derivative and limited: It is limited with regard to the coordinate departments, more necessarily is it limited with regard to the constituents. The preservation of a free Government requires, not merely, that the metes and bounds which separate each department of power be invariably maintained: but more especially that neither of them be suffered to overleap the greater Barrier which defends the rights of the people. The Rulers who are guilty of such an encroachment, exceed the commission from which they derive their authority, and are Tyrants. The people who submit to it are governed by laws made neither by themselves nor by an authority derived from them, and are Slaves”

    By the way, this tells all of you why there is NO SUCH THING AS “emergency powers” or “martial law” here in America – The Supreme Court of the United States: “The Constitution of the United States is a law for rulers and people, equally in war and peace, and covers with the shield of its protection all classes of men, at all times, and under all circumstances. No doctrine involving more pernicious consequences was ever invented by the wit of man than that any of its provisions can be suspended during any of the great exigencies of government. Such a doctrine leads directly to anarchy or despotism.”

    As does this – Home Building & Loan Association v. Blaisdell, 290 U.S. 398, 425 (1934) : “Emergency does not create power. Emergency does not increase granted power or remove or diminish the restrictions upon power granted or reserved. The Constitution was adopted in a period of grave emergency. Its grants of power to the Federal Government and its limitations of the power of the States were determined in the light of emergency and they are not altered by emergency.”

    Justice Robert H. Jackson (Chief of Counsel for the United States, Nuremberg Trials – Nazi Germany): “It is not the function of the government to keep the citizen from falling into error; it is the function of the citizen to keep the government from falling into error”.

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