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Center Column Archives
Since August 2012, at least four people have died inside the Santa Cruz County Jail from lack of medical care: Christy Sanders, Rick Prichard, Brant Monnet, and Bradley Gordon Dreher. Sin Barras, a community-based group that works to build coalitions to eradicate the prison industrial-complex, has organized a rally and march on Saturday, April 6
, at 4 p.m. at the clocktower in downtown Santa Cruz. Sin Barras demands that, "Santa Cruz County officials provide real healthcare within the county jail, eliminate pretrial detention, and reallocate jail funding to create drug treatment centers and welfare programs outside of Santa Cruz County Jail."
Bradley Allen went to the Santa Cruz County Courthouse steps with his camera on Wednesday, November 30, 2011, to cover a demonstration for Santa Cruz Indymedia, part of Indybay, at a time the Occupy movement was at its height. He assumed it would be similar to others he had recently been to, where people had rallied, marched, and picketed banks.
Last year on May Day, a boisterous but mostly peaceful demonstration promoted by Occupy Oakland and other groups, was attacked by an OPD assault force. In the ensuing confusion, Oakland police targeted several individuals. Like so many arrested during actions of civil disobedience and protest, the district attorney has stacked charges on top of the initial ones, and failed to notify the accused of his arraignments. On March 19th, the Oakland Police Department sent ten officers to Prince’s home to make good on their warrant. Prince was being held at Santa Rita jail on $25,000 bail, but all charges were dropped except for one on March 21 and supporters were able to pay the bond for his release.
Motions to dismiss trespass and felony vandalism charges against four individuals charged in association with the 75 River Street bank occupation in Santa Cruz were denied by Judge Timothy Volkmann on March 11. Gabriella Ripley-Phipps, Franklin Alcantara, Brent Adams, and Cameron Laurendau have a trial date set for May, but that date will most likely be changed due to a case conflict with one of the defense attorneys.
On February 12, Berkeley Police murdered Kayla Moore. Kayla Moore lived with "mental illness" and has been described by friends and family as a Transgender person who "passed as a woman." One month later and the Berkeley Police still have not released information as to the cause of Kayla's death, leaving most questions unanswered. On March 12, while police and corporate media were largely silent about the death, a nighttime march was held to call attention to the lack of accountability for the in-custody murder in Berkeley.
On March 5, Michael Walker, aka Ghetto Prophet (GP), co-chair of the ONYX Organizing Committee, was arrested at his home by the California Highway Patrol. Police claimed he was in violation of his parole, but GP has been off of parole since August 2012. Supporters believe this is a political attack because earlier that same day, GP participated in the Justice for Alan Blueford (JAB) Coalition rally. As of March 16, Ghetto Prophet is still being held at Santa Rita jail and supporters are asking for donations to help support his family.
Coinciding with demonstrations planned worldwide for February 23, Bradley Manning's 1000th day in prison, community members in Santa Cruz gathered at the Town Clock on February 24 to demand justice and humane treatment for the U.S. "whistleblower" soldier. The overwhelming sentiment of the Santa Cruz group was that Manning is a whistleblower and that the role he played exposing the military's crimes was crucial to the functioning of U.S. democracy, as well as a legally permissible activity.