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Community members protesting local laws that criminalize homelessness held their third group campout at Santa Cruz City Hall on July 26. Several dozen people slept in the City Hall courtyard from sunset until the following morning, when they were greeted with a large buffet-style breakfast served by a fresh-faced group. Organizers have more sleep-ins planned for the future, with the next confirmed for Sunday, August 2, again at Santa Cruz City Hall.
The Humanist Hall is being attacked by newcomers who live in condos built right next door only about ten years ago. The Humanist Hall has opened its doors for countless radical and under-served organizations over the past 75 years, yet now it is being labelled a public nuisance by the City of Oakland due to complaints from the new neighbors. An online petition calls on Mayor Schaaf to “encourage condo owners and renters to respect the social norms of the neighborhood – our neighborhood – that they have moved into.."
For two months, the Muwekma Farm thrived at its location on the corner of 31st Avenue and International Blvd in Oakland. On July 9, however, the City of Oakland and OPD destroyed every single plant, raised bed, and bench. Muwekma Farm writes: We have no specific date for retaking the land, but when we do there will be another announcement. To those who desire a world free of environmental destruction and economic slavery, we would like to remind you that there is an inordinate amount of vacant land in the City of Oakland.
Founding member of the First Friday Oakland Art Murmur, Rock Paper Scissors Collective writes: With a little volunteer elbow-grease and fundraising effort, the Rock Paper Scissors Collective (RPSC) was born — a destination where the community could come together, organize, share skills, knowledge and create. Now, we are being forced out of our space. The Collective’s long time landlord plans to charge market value for the space, well beyond what we can afford as an all-volunteer run nonprofit. As of August 31st, RPS will be without a home.
On July 14, three of the remaining Santa Cruz Eleven defendants agreed to a plea deal with the prosecution, and the last remaining member of the group followed suit at his hearing on July 22, bringing to a close the Occupy-era case that has been slowly moving along since 2011. Defendants entered pleas of “no contest” to a charge of misdemeanor trespass. The felony vandalism charge was dropped.
On July 4, community members in Santa Cruz held a public campout at Santa Cruz City Hall, but it was quickly cut short by police at about 1am. The campout was organized in response to the recent reduction of services at the Homeless Services Center that occurred due to a funding deficit, as well as to protest local laws that criminalize sleeping outdoors. At least eight individuals were issued infraction citations for refusing to leave City Hall.
In June, the Santa Cruz County Grand Jury released its report: "Medical Services at the Jails: How Does the Sheriff­ Coroner Manage Oversight?" Since 2012, Santa Cruz County has outsourced its jail medical services to the private for-­profit corporation California Forensic Medical Group (CFMG). The Grand Jury has found that there is, "a lack of transparency and accountability on the part of CFMG and there is insufficient oversight by the Sheriff ­Coroner’s office."