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."
On Friday, March 1, Women In Black of Santa Cruz, along with other peace groups, demonstrated at the corner of Cooper and Pacific in downtown Santa Cruz to call for an end to the U.S. drone program and to tell the government and President of the United States, "Ground the drones! Stop killing children and other innocent people!"
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.
On February 17, individuals gathered in Monterey for an Idle No More flash mob held in solidarity with First Nations and Chief Theresa Spence. Organizers described the flash mob as an opportunity for "dance and prayer" and to educate the public. Groups represented at the gathering included the Ohlone and the Chumash, as well as a number of others.
Students and workers gathered outside the Cowell Student Health Center on the UC Santa Cruz campus on February 13th in response to recent news that the UC system is planning to "exploit an Obamacare loophole" and cap student insurance coverage. The proposed plan would also increase the Student Health Insurance Plan fees by 25%. Rally organizers called the changes "financial mismanagement" on the part of UC administrators.
The first-ever lawsuit against an animal research lab under California's cruelty and unfair competition laws was filed in early January in a complaint with the California Superior Court of Santa Cruz County against Santa Cruz Biotechnology, Inc., for violating state animal cruelty and unfair competition laws by failing to properly care for their animals according to numerous Animal Plant and Health Inspection Service (APHIS) inspections.
On December 6, a jury found Linda Lemaster guilty of "unlawful lodging" during Peacecamp 2010 in Santa Cruz, and she was sentenced to community service and probation. Lemaster believes now, even more than when she left the trial, that her being cited for lodging was about breaking up a political protest that relied on a law enforcement strategy that is anti-homeless and has a homeland security agenda.