San Francisco Mayor Joins Hundreds Of Protesters Urging 9th Circuit To Scrap Ban On City Clearing Homeless Encampments

"I am sick and tired of being sick and tired."
A homeless man sleeps in front of his tent along Van Ness Avenue in downtown San Francisco, California on June, 27, 2016. Homelessness is on the rise in the city irking residents and bringing the problem under a spotlight. (Photo by Josh Edelson / AFP) (Photo credit should read JOSH EDELSON/AFP via Getty Images)
JOSH EDELSON/AFP via Getty Images

San Francisco Mayor London Breed joined more than 200 protesters who gathered Wednesday outside a federal courthouse to call for an end to a federal restriction on the city’s ability to clear homeless encampments.

“It is not humane to let people live on our streets in tents, use drugs. We have found dead bodies, we have found a dead baby in these tents. We have seen people in really awful conditions, and we are not standing for it anymore,” Breed said at the rally.

“I am sick and tired of being sick and tired,” she said.

“So the goal here is to make sure the Court of Appeals understands we want a reversal of this injunction that makes it possible for us to do our jobs,” the mayor said.

The protesters demanded an end to a federal judge’s order banning San Francisco from cleaning up homeless tent encampments unless the city has enough shelter beds for every homeless person.

Inside the courthouse, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals heard arguments from the city’s attorneys asking the court to throw out the temporary injunction against cleaning encampments.

The Coalition on Homelessness, which brought the lawsuit, argued that the restrictions on clearing encampments should remain in place and accused the city of failing to provide adequate housing for San Francisco’s homeless population.

Meanwhile, attorneys for the city argued that the city has in fact offered housing to homeless residents, but they often refuse it. San Francisco’s attorneys argued that the offer of housing should count towards the mandate to provide housing and requested the injunction be lifted.

A day before the protest, the mayor said San Francisco has to be “able to clear the streets” during a meeting at the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce.

“I get that people suffer from mental illness,” Breed said. “I get they suffer from addiction. And I know that those things are complicated. But if we have a place for people to move, you should not be forced to just allow people to be on the sidewalk.”

This issue has come before the 9th Circuit a number of times.

In July, the appeals court again denied West Coast cities the ability to remove homeless people from the streets unless they can provide enough shelter for all of them.

The court declined to rehear a case involving the Oregon city of Grant’s Pass, which meant that a lower court’s ruling in July 2020 against the city remained in effect.

In the Oregon city case, the lower court ruled that city ordinances and fines against homeless people camping in public areas violate the Eighth Amendment, which prohibits excessive punishments.

San Francisco has been in the throes of a homelessness crisis for years now, and it has only gotten worse since before the pandemic.

About 38,000 people are homeless in the Bay Area on a given night. That’s up 35% since 2019. More than 7,000 people are homeless in San Francisco itself.

Crime and open-air drug use often accompanies the homeless issue, causing businesses to flee San Francisco’s downtown, where foot traffic has thinned.

The drug crisis is still raging as well, although overdose deaths have dropped from their all-time high in 2020 during the thick of the pandemic.

In 2022, San Francisco saw 620 fatal drug overdoses, down from 640 overdose deaths in 2021. In 2020, overdose deaths spiked to 725.

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The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  San Francisco Mayor Joins Hundreds Of Protesters Urging 9th Circuit To Scrap Ban On City Clearing Homeless Encampments