California Homeless Union protest at Silver Dollar Fairgrounds

Anthony D Prince, General Counsel Attorney of the California Homeless Union, leads the rally and protest on Monday. Prince organized the rally to protest the county’s decision to terminate the lease with Red Cross that would continue to provide housing and aid to the homeless and Camp Fire refugees. Photo credit: Christian Solis

On Monday, the California Homeless Union, along with locals in support, protested in front of the Silver Dollar Fairgrounds in Chico in response to the shelter closing on Jan. 31.

“We actually had an agreement with some of the Red Cross officials so we could have access and they we reneged on that agreement,” said Anthony D. Prince the General Counsel Union Attorney of the California Homeless Union. “We got people out here protesting the fact the county is going to terminate the lease.”

Prince also mentioned that there were conflicting reports from the media regarding the shelter closing date, and that they had reports of people feeling like they are being treated like criminals.

“Our civil rights and their civil rights have been violated,” said Raelynn Butcher, one of the leaders of the Marysville local union. “We are here today to demonstrate, a non-violent demonstration of course on their civil rights being violated for no place to go.”

The protesters stood in front of the fairgrounds across the street. They later moved in to rally on the other side of the street where the fairgrounds are.

“What we’ve been doing all along, ever since the shelter has been open, we have caseworkers that meet with everybody who is staying at the shelter,” said Stephen Walsh, a spokesperson for the Red Cross.

“There’s two populations that were given 48 hours notice to leave and that expired yesterday. One (population) is people that we met with who…we met all their needs that we discussed with them, and the other group is folks that we have been unable to meet with who aren’t sitting down at the table with caseworkers. ‘Cause it’s hard to provide services if we can’t sit down and talk about what your needs are.”

Julian Mendoza can be reached @[email protected] or on @JulianMTheOrion on Twitter