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Building Towards Tent City: Week Four In Front of Coonerty's Bookshop
HUFF voted to support a Sleep-Out Sunday August 12 at City Hall as we continue to table and demonstrate in front of Vice-Mayor Ryan Coonerty's workplace--Bookshop Santa Cruz. Since City Council refuses to hold its police department to the same human rights standard as Los Angeles and San Diego (i.e. not arresting homeless people at night), events will begin at City Hall Sunday nite.
With 27 potential plaintiffs willing to file suit to overturn police harasssment of homeless people at night, the weekly Sunday tabling at 1520 Pacific Avenue is attracting more volunteers and supporters.
Potential entertainment this weekend: a debate between a Coonerty stand-in and a Sleeping Ban opponent, some new satirical songs against anti-homeless laws, a speak out and general discussion/ debate on emergency solutions to homelessness in Santa Cruz (campground/carparks, lifting the camping ban generally, lifting it in limited areas of town, squats, shopping cart tent cities in the parks, etc), coaching on how to Fight Back in the Courts, special training on Talking Back to the SCPD, and more!
Help plan events for August 12th and beyond. (All-night guerrilla theater movies at night? A day of teach-in activity?
Prepare speeches for City Council on July 24th.
Munchies, signs, flyer, songs, shouts, hoots, and chatter!
Take reports on the latest ticketing madness in downtown Santa Cruz on Pacific Avenue and thereabouts.
A possible report from street tarotcard reader Jason Paschal, busted for denouncing O'Neill's. When Paschal called the police to report being spat on and called "nigger", he was arrested for "disturbing the peace."
Vigil Against Two Wars (the War on the Poor in Santa Cruz and the War in Iraq/Iran): Say NO to the occupation of Iraq, the war provocations against Iran, and the failure of "progressive" politicians to take action!
More info and to volunteer call 831-423-4833
Joe displays his sign on Pacific Avenue which says, "Fight Terrorism, Not Homelessness" and is framed by about 8 citations, most of them for illegal sleeping in Santa Cruz.
An officer with the Santa Cruz Police Department, and then another officer, investigate two people sitting on a curb holding a sign.
Here is the message that was verbally conveyed from the police officer (shown above holding the sign) to the people on the curb:
If you are broke and homeless, then go somewhere else.
A shelter was suggested by the officer, but the reply was that the shelter is not compatible for them. Then the cops told them to go back where they came from, to go to a shelter in their hometown.
The police were polite. However, they enforce a policy of criminalization of poor people.
Joe believes that my camera was helpful in this situation and notes that the police hate being recorded. I agree, but I also feel the police wield around a sort of autonomy which seems to protect them from concepts like 'accountability' to the people they claim to 'protect and serve.' Rather, and more precisely, the police understand that they are accountable to the wealthier sectors of our society. That means enforcing the rules of corporations and the 'market.' The officers moved on up Pacific Avenue and the people on the curb moved along as well.