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Camp for Homeless Marchers Called 'Circus' in Santa Monica

September 28, 1987

A small band of homeless people on a "trek for justice" to publicize their needs remained camped in an oceanside park in Santa Monica on Sunday, while some local residents complained of the "circus."

About 30 members of the homeless activist group Justiceville had spent Saturday night on a grassy section of Palisades Park. But members said they planned to stay one more night and leave today, bound either for Malibu or UCLA.

"We want to hit areas of affluence and influence," said Mike Neely, one of the homeless.

The group has been on what their leader, Ted Hayes, calls an "awareness campaign" begun Friday after Los Angeles city officials shut down its urban campground for the homeless near the Los Angeles River. They spent their first night in Beverly Hills.

"We're not trying to move into these communities," Hayes said. "We want land on the outlying areas of the city, where we can create our own community."

In Beverly Hills, they were greeted by the mayor with doughnuts and coffee. But in Santa Monica, Allison Bass, manager of the Breakers Motel, across the street from where the group camped Sunday, complained: "The circus they created last night cost us business. We had at least five rooms empty and we're always full."

Santa Monica has an ordinance against sleeping overnight on public land, but police spokesmen said it is not enforced in Palisades Park, where homeless people regularly sleep.

The Justiceville group had not created any problems, Sgt. Russ Martin said.

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