No Homeless Ban! - Protest and Campout at White Night

Saturday, February 18, 2017 - 20:00 to Sunday, February 19, 2017 - 00:45

Join us on White Night to protest & camp out against the new Melbourne City Council ban on rough sleeping! This will confiscate homeless people’s property and fine people just for not having a home. This does nothing for homelessness, or the housing crisis.

>>>Meet in front of the State Library at 8pm, bring banners, signs and friends.<<<

*We encourage people to come and speak about their experiences of homelessness.*

PEOPLE ARE NOT "RUBBISH", YOU CAN’T SWEEP THEM OFF THE STREETS!

There are now more than 100,000 people in Australia who are homeless, 25,000+ of which are in Victoria. Over the past year, an unprecedented number of people have been sleeping rough on the streets of Melbourne. The Melbourne Street Count 2016 counted 247 people sleeping rough on one Winter night in the CBD, a 74% increase on the previous year. Melbourne City Council has decided to address this crisis by banning people experiencing homelessness from the Melbourne CBD!

The new homeless ban will see people experiencing homelessness fined for sleeping rough, or moved out of the municipality, and they could have their belongings impounded. The Council also plans to run an “education campaign” to discourage people from supporting people experiencing homelessness through donating food, money, and other items such as bedding. The council claims this campaign is necessary as they have to remove 100-150kgs, not tonnes, of left items and rubbish from CBD streets every week. There would surely be more food waste created through the city's cafes and restaurants in a week. Our Right to Give!

This sickening attack on society’s most disenfranchised, and potentially most stigmatised group, will do nothing to address homelessness. All across the city, rooming houses are being closed down to make way for property developers. Rooming houses and short-term crisis accommodation places cost anywhere in the vicinity of $200 a week, where people have to share toilets, showers, and kitchens with up to 40 complete strangers. They are also notoriously dangerous places that do not provide people a safe space to address trauma. Because of this, some people choose to 'sleep rough', and we respect their decision. Speaking of providing pathways out of homelessness, the private rental market is becoming increasingly inaccessible and the net loss of public housing over the last decade means there are now over 35,000 people on the public housing waiting list in Victoria alone, and this number grows at 100 a month. 

Rather than invest in public housing and fund services to help people experiencing homelessness get back on their feet, governments would rather punish people and sweep the problem under the rug. This will only push people out of sight and into unsafe areas of the city. People experiencing homelessness in the CBD have their belongings stolen and are assaulted on a regular basis when they sleep alone. The MCC wishes to divide the homeless community - Mayor Doyle has explicitly stated that these new laws are an effort to stop the kind of 'large homeless camps' that were seen on Flinders St. This is whist the people staying there claimed time and again that they felt safer there in numbers, beneath CCTV, in full view of the public.

Join us as we stand up to these attacks. People experiencing homelessness have as much right to the city as anyone else. A Right to Be. We are calling on Melbourne City Council to back down from the homeless ban and on our right to give. We will be organising actions over the next month to draw attention to this issue and put community pressure on politicians to consult with people experiencing homelessness to find real solutions to the growing homelessness and housing crisis. 

The MCC's approach is a LAW AND ORDER approach, instead of one based on JUSTICE.

Follow the campaign on social media: #NoHomelessBan

Venue:

State Library of Victoria

328 Swanston St

Melbourne