…Never Runs Smoothly
Recently, I was confronted by a staff/volunteer at Branch 2 of Catholic charities who prevented me from distributing my fliers to save Dollhouse. I will not reiterate the entire story as you can read the background here. In short, I tried to take the staff/volunteers picture. I was told that I could not take photographs inside the shelter.
The next day at Branch 3 of Catholic Charities, I tried to take photographs of people playing Madden 2010 on a Playstation 3 for a second time at Branch 3 and was again told no. READ ABOUT HOMELESS GAMERS HERE.
As a result of these denials, I sought a legal order to enjoin them from preventing me from conducting outreach to save Dollhouse and allowing me to continue to take pictures.
I am asserting that Catholic Charities invades privacy by video taping everything at the shelter. I also assert there is a first amendment right to engage in solicitation and free speech as a homeless resident at Hennepin County secure area. The fact that it is a charity and not the state should not make a huge difference. I maintain that fundamental rights cannot be outsourced by transferring the administration of programs to charitable organizations. Allowing charities to eviscerate the first amendment would effectively create a “charitable” curtain, isolating members of the homeless community and impairing their ability to communicate with the outside world. Disallowing photographs/media in this environment would also fundamentally impair legitimate news gathering activities. What are they trying to hide?
My complaint can be obtained here.
In any event, Catholic Charities finally responded to my complaint. Here is their answer. As you can see, Catholic Charities is essentially denying almost everything.
One interesting note, Catholic Charities admits it is taping homeless people while they are sleeping in paragraph 18. They write, “In response the allegations in paragraph 17, Catholic Charities alleges that it maintains security video cameras which monitor activities in the common areas of Branch II which operate while guests are sleeping. Catholic Charities denies the remaining allegations.”
Some readers will recall that I asked Minnesota Rep. Margaret Anderson Kelliher (DFL) whether homeless people should be videotaped while they sleep in homeless shelters. My efforts were featured in a City Pages article. You can watch the video to see her response which is carefully crafted but open minded.
I want to make clear that all of this stems from my simple wish to express my love for Eliza Dushku and save her television show.
Recent events are not making it any easier for me to help save the show for the woman I love. I do not have much longer to stay at Our Savior Shelter. My last day is Monday night. At the same time, TWITTER has suspended all of my accounts again!
Please help sign my petitions and send some emails.