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Protesters Target Sacramento Businesses After City's Homeless Ordinances Pass

MIDTOWN SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Homeless advocates gathered on the corner of 21st and N streets, calling for a boycott of businesses which support moving the homeless out.

The protest follows two city ordinances directed at the homeless which recently passed.

Resistance is building against the City of Sacramento and the Midtown Business Association.

"They basically criminalize the act of asking for help, which further criminalizes one's existence," said James Clark.

Clark, who is homeless, organized the protest which criticizes two ordinances that recently passed in Sacramento.

One limits where the homeless can panhandle, the other makes it a misdemeanor for not leaving a park within 24 hours of being told to leave by police.

Clark's solution?

"We're gonna be boycotting businesses because they are adversely hurting people who are suffering," he said

Specifically, businesses affiliated with the Midtown Business Association's board, which Clark accuses of wanting to kick the homeless out.

"The ordinances are about behavior, not targeting homelessness," said Emily Baime-Michaels.

Michaels is executive director of the MBA and says attracting new businesses to Midtown is part of the organization's job.

"It's not about moving people around, but it is about making sure our environment is safe and welcoming," Michaels added.

CBS13 asked locals Monday if the protest would influence them to boycott businesses in support of moving the homeless out.

"I'd rather hear something about the companies that are supporting what they are doing," one man said.

Clark isn't taking no for an answer.

He has plans to march around the city in hopes of gaining enough support to push his cause.

"It's a First Amendment right, and I'm not gonna give up my First Amendment rights," said Clark.

Clark says he's targeting the Downtown Sacramento Partnership next, saying it's one of the most vocal organizations against the homeless.

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