Fresno Bill B-40 Ordinance No. 2017-40

Pictured is Bill B-40 Ordinance No. 2017-40. This law was passed by the Fresno City Council on August 24, 2017. This law is typical of the no camping laws being passed throughout the state and country. We will use it as an example to show why it is illegal and unconstitutional to use this law and others like it against the Mules and our nomadic way of life.

Note: The Mules have not as yet in our many passages through Fresno had this law used against us. But the threat has clearly been made and stated by the Fresno City Council with the passage of this law.

Section 10-1700 states: The streets and public areas should be accessible and available to the Public. The use of these areas for camping interferes with the rights of others to use these areas for which they were intended.

Pictured is a typical example of the amount of space the Mules require to rest for a twelve hour period in the night-time hours in a public area such as a park or open area. This kind of use entering the park at night, leaving in the early morning hours does not interfere with the right of others to use a public space. The space at night for the most part has been vacated.

Section 10-1700 also states the storage of personal property interferes with the right of others.

The Mules are not storing anything. When a person stores property, they hide it behind a bush, lock it up in a box, etc., then leave it assuming it will be there on their return. That’s the circumstance of storage Section 10-1700 is referring to. The Mules do not leave their belongings. We unpack our mules, place our belongings on the ground, fix dinner, lay down our bedroll, sleep for a twelve hour period during night-time hours, awake in the early morning, and leave.

The Mules again are not interfering with the right of anybody in the use of a park (public space).

Section 10-1700 also states camping (stopping to rest for a twelve hour period during the night) constitutes a public health and safety hazard. The Mules challenge anybody to prove that the Nomadic Way of Life we practice is or has ever been a safety health hazard to anyone of the many communities we have traveled through for so many years.

The Mules

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Mules stopping to visit their long-time companion Lady

On our way south, Little Girl and I stopped to visit Lady, who looks great and is being given the best of care along with her pasture mate Coco.

We waited here for ten days for a $300 6-hour life skills class in Fresno that we were required to attend by the Alameda County District Attorney for our arrest by the California Highway Patrol in Castro Valley.

Now Little Girl and myself will continue on our migratory journey south to the San Diego area.

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Fresno Bill B-40 Ordinance 2017-40

The Mules have become aware of Bill No. 40 and Ordinance 2017-40 entitled, Adding Article 17 to Chapter 10 of the Fresno Municipal Code relating to Unlawful Camping, which was passed by the Fresno City Council on August 24, 2017.

Section 10-1700 clearly states the purpose/reasons for the passage of this ordinance (2017-40). 

REASON #1: The use of Public areas within the city of Fresno should be accessible and available to residents and the PUBLIC. The use of public areas to store personal property interferes with the rights of others to use PUBLIC areas. 

3 Mules Response #1: Pictured are our belongings set on the ground demonstrating the use public space we take on any given night. There is 24 hours in a day. The Mules only claim space for approximately 8 hours during the night when most people are in their homes. This can hardly be construed as interfering with the rights of others to use a public area.

REASON #2: Health and Safety.

3 Mules Response #2: This law is casting a large net dragging the Mules into an area which we don’t belong. The law clearly states its purpose in being passed is to address the problem of people congregating in large numbers, pitching tents, and creating unhealthy conditions, such as accumulation of trash, defecation and urination, drugs, alcoholism, etc. The Mules travel alone, stay only for an 8 hour period at night in any one place, dispose of their waste in the most sanitary of ways practiced throughout the ages for thousands of years.

The Monk throws a tarp over himself, squats down, will defecate on the surface of the ground, dig a four-inch hole, and bury it if it’s applicable to do so; or, place in a bag, carry until an appropriate place is found to dispose. The Monk urinates in a plastic bottle then disposes contents in an appropriate place. Our method is similar to the suburban citizen who places their dog’s poop in a bag and disposes of it in an appropriate place.

The Monk carries a scoop, places the mule’s droppings into a bag and carries and disposes in an appropriate place. The Mules methods of waste disposal is by far superior in terms of health, efficiency and costs than the suburban model.

A citizen of the suburban model goes down the hall, turns to the left, enters an expensive, elaborate space surrounded by four walls, closes the door, sits down on a toilet defecates into a pipe that goes under the ground where it travels accumulating disease and toxicity as it makes its way to the sewage treatment plant, where it is treated with many chemicals that are toxic, then is released into the environment via creeks, rivers, etc.

The Mules and their response to public safety. The Mules threaten nobody. We’ve traveled the Western United States for the past 33 years and consecutively in California for the past five years. We’ve walked through San Francisco, San Diego, Los Angeles and the towns in between and never hurt a soul. Our use of public areas has in no way ever created a public safety issue. We have a proven track record of 33 years living our nomadic way of life and bringing the value of that life to all the areas that we have passed though in our endless journey.

The above being understood, the Mules believe that no common sense mind could come to the conclusion that the Mules are a threat to Public Health and Safety or interfere with the rights of others to use public areas. The Mules have received nothing but positive energy from the people of Fresno as we have passed through many times before on our annual migratory journey. The Mules find it hard to believe that the 552,000 people who live in Fresno would see the Mules as a PUBLIC Nuisance, and would not want the Mules cited, taken to jail, heavily fined and the Monk and the Mule separated.

To use 2017-40 against the Mules and this ages old Nomadic way of life for things we do not do and things we are not is illegal. The Mules live under and have the same protections afforded by the Constitution guaranteeing the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness as the council members of Fresno. The right to life includes the basic function of sleeping and eating.

The Mules

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Little Girl stolen and found by Selma Police Department

Thank you Selma Police Department

On Thursday, October 13, 2016 around 1:15AM, while I was asleep behind the Selma Plaza Shopping Center in Selma, CA, the shopping center’s security guard drove up in his truck and woke me up. He said he had seen me with my two mules earlier in the evening at the shopping center. He wanted to let me know that he had just seen a man on a bicycle leading Little Girl, my 28-year old white mule, away on Highland Avenue.

Before I went to sleep, I had secured Lady and Little Girl on a picket line to the fence with a secure knot that can’t come undone by itself. I looked where Little Girl had been picketed and she was gone. I flagged down a police officer and told him what happened. I couldn’t risk leaving Lady alone and waited in place.

Around 2AM, Selma police returned and said that they located Little Girl. One officer stayed with Lady and my belongings, while the other officer took me to get Little Girl.

The Mules want to thank the Selma Plaza Shopping Center night security guard who woke me up to alert me that Little Girl was taken as it resulted in her quick recovery. I neglected to get his name and hope he sees this and writes us. I also want to thank the four Selma Police officers on duty last night – Officers Alvarez, Officer Johnson, Officer Hissong and Officer Musso, who responded and located Little Girl. Without the security guard as witness and fast action of all the officer involved, it would have been very difficult to locate Little Girl if we had awoken hours later without any witness information or any idea which direction to look if she got hidden. We also want to thank Selma Police dispatcher who we spoke to on the phone who gave us updates while we were waiting. We are forever grateful more than our words can express.

We do not want to go into details about the person who took her, so please do not ask for more info. We are just thankful that Little Girl, who has been with me and Lady for the past 25-years, was located and unharmed. This is the first time in in our 30+ year journey that this has ever happened.

This morning, we walked to Selma Police Department to thank the four officers but they had finished their night shift. These are photos of other Selma officers who came out to meet Little Girl and Lady. After we thanked the Selma Police Department for their help, we left Selma and continued on our migratory journey south.

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The Mules vs. City Council of Clovis

On Friday, June 24, 2016, the Mules arrived in Clovis, CA. We got onto a nice multi-use trail in the afternoon and were heading north. Upon walking for awhile, we met a TV news crew from KMPH and they asked if they could ask questions and take film for their FOX26 KMPH 10:00 news broadcast. We said sure.

The Mules at Trader Joe’s parking lot

We went to Trader Joe’s to buy some cranberry juice, then went back to the trail.

It was getting late so we decided to stop off to the side of the trail and rest for the night. A lady named Janeen brought the Mules some hay when we were at Trader Joe’s so they (the kids) were set. [Thank you Janeen for unexpectedly appearing out of nowhere and bringing the kids hay and carrots for their dinner.]

After fixing and eating my dinner, I was sitting on the water bucket on the Fresno-Clovis Trail, relaxing and enjoying being off my feet. At about 9:30pm, two officers with flashlights from the Clovis Police Department came upon us wanting to know what we were doing. We said that we have stopped here to rest for the night. The officer said the city council of Clovis says no camping in the city limits of Clovis. We said we were not camping, we have stopped here on this public right of way to rest for the night.

The officer said they were responding to calls from citizens about us being here. We said we were exercising our legal right to use a public thoroughfare and any attempt by the use of codes, regulations or laws to deny us that right shall be considered blatantly illegal.

The officer returned to his cruiser, came back in a reasonable amount of time, used discretion, in regards to the no camping law and said we could stay for the night if we would agree to leave in the morning. We said yes we would, which was stated intention.

So the kids and myself slept peacefully through the night, arose in the morning, ate breakfast, packed up and were on our way for another day living in balance with the Natural World all day, every day

Note: The Public thoroughfare in a free country must be open to all comers. The Mules are one of those comers. Our use of this thoroughfare is not the same as those who live, eat, play, and sleep inside houses then come out of those houses for some fresh air and exercise.

The Mules wander freely throughout the day then stop and use the public space to rest for the night. Any law that prevents the Mules from resting and sleeping, a most necessary function to sustain life, must be considered by any common sense mind, to be illegal.

With the above being said and understood, the Mules will not and cannot obey these no camping laws. For to do so will be the end of us. This place of any one human being wandering with his or her animal companions, has access to many dimensions. This dimension on this earth is the one we love the most. The Mules will not be removed from it. Long live human beings and their connection to Earth. There is no future without it.

The Mules

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Tent City Canvas House custom-made tarp for 3 Mules

Back on June 6th, we posted the following question: “Can anybody out there make us a green-colored, 1000 denier nylon tarp measuring 75″ X 105″ (8’9″ X 6’3″) with 1/4-inch grommets on all four corners and on the middle of each side? Color preference is green, tan, brown or grey, not black as that would absorb and retain too much heat. This is not a tarp that we can simply purchase at a hardware store. If so, please message us with total cost (material, labor and shipping to California), time to deliver, and contact info.”

Thank you to those who took time to research and send us information on places that we could contact. We followed up on each lead sent to us. Most places quoted 4-6 week time frame to make or could only make the tarp in black color, which we did not want.

On Tuesday, June 21, Raj Sharma, owner and president of Tent City Canvas House in Fresno, contacted us that he read our story, looked at the 3 Mules website, understood our request and specific need, and wanted to make and donate the tarp as described for the Mules. We said thank you and accepted his kind offer.

We were 25-miles away in Reedley. Mr. Sharma said that this is Tent City’s busy season as they make tents all over the country and around the globe since 1958, but he would make it a priority to get this done for us to pickup on Friday morning, our estimated our arrival to Fresno.

On Friday morning, the Mules arrived at Tent City. Everyone was very nice. The tarp was made exactly to our specifications. The Mules are very appreciative to Mr. Sharma and his staff at Tent City for their effort and support as this tarp is a necessary item in our day-to-day nomadic way of life.

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Sanger, California

Yesterday late afternoon, we arrived in Sanger, California and stopped to rest between two buildings. Earlier in the morning while we were in Reedley, Linda posted that she could bring hay if we needed it. When we found our spot to rest for the night, we wrote Linda back asking if her offer to bring hay to us was still available. She said yes. So the kids had nice hay for dinner and breakfast thanks to Linda, Matthew and Jacob.

As we were packing up to leave in the morning, Javier and Efrain from Apache Smog and Tire in the building next to us, came over and asked what we were doing and what we were all about. We talked a bit and they looked up our website. Javier said that Academy Feed Store is 3-miles down the road and asked if we needed anything. We said that we needed two horseshoe files. He said to go to the feed store, and if the store had what we needed, tell the store to give him a call and he would pay for it. We walked to the feed store, which had what we needed and they called Javier. Thank you Javier for your kind support toward the mules.

While securing the kids in a shopping center parking lot so that we could go buy bread, an animal control officer told us that we were not allowed to be walking through the City of Sanger. We said that we had the right to walk in any public thoroughfare in this country. I went in the store to buy a loaf of bread and when I came out the animal control officer was still there. The officer said he had looked at our website. We talked briefly and went our separate ways.

We went to deliver the Declaration of Emergency (DOE) to Sanger City Hall, then continued our way towards Fresno.

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