Safe Ground Capitol Rally

A Safe Ground Rally was held on the south lawn of the State Capitol on April 21, 2009. It drew an attendance of over four hundred people, including several advocates from other parts of the state.
The rally was sponsored by the Sacramento Homeless Organizing Committee, Loaves & Fishes and Francis House. It began with a bit of music by Jackson Griffin, an opening prayer by Bishop Soto and a few great speakers: Greg Bunker of Francis House, Mark Merin, attorney; Plaintiff Connie Hopson; and Paul Boden, Director of the Western Regional Advocacy Project.
Shamus Roller, Director of Sacramento Housing Alliance, read a letter written specifically for the rally by the National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty. There was a shout out from the other cities represented.
The rally ended with a call to action from Joan Burke urging people to support and advocate for safe and legal places for people to camp until there is enough housing for everyone.
Then Sr. Libby invited those who had committed to doing civil disobedience to come forward and for those not wanting to get arrested to stay on the grassy area. About 25 people lined up with sleeping bags in front of the south entrance to the State Capitol, willing to get arrested. However, they didn’t get arrested and left later that evening. It might have been due to the surprise visit from Senator Darrell Steinberg who was seen hugging protesters after his short impromptu speech. State police were seen putting their plastic handcuffs away after his appearance

Blocking the south entrance of Capitol
West Step of the Capitol

State Senator Darrell Steinberg