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Support for Evicted Market Drummers (1/9)
by Santa Cruz Trash Orchestra ( trash [at] riseup.net )
Tuesday Jan 8th, 2008 12:02 PM
For the last two weeks police have evicted the market drum circle using the new 15-minute parking lot law. Join us in direct action against oppressive local laws and reclaim public space!

Last week the ever-present market drum circle was evicted from their spot under the tree in the parking lot by police using the new 15-minute law (persons cannot be in any city parking lot longer than 15 minutes). Join us to protest that eviction and reclaim that public space!

Support for Market Drummers
Wed Jan 9th 4pm
Santa Cruz Farmer's Market
(Bring percussion - resonant trash or a drum)

The City of Santa Cruz's parking lot panic law is in effect and being enforced. For those unfamiliar the law restricts the use of downtown parking lots and garages to parking and retrieving of vehicles (the person must be in and out in 15 minutes), and for pedestrians passing directly through from one sidewalk to another or a bordering store. Anything else (waiting in your car for a friend, eating lunch, talking to friends, playing music...) is trespassing, illegal, will get you hassled by Santa Cruz's finest, and, ultimately, fined.

271-santa-c-ca.jpg

Ostensibly to create a safer downtown, this absurd law is a further attempt to create a sterile downtown for smooth undistracted shopping. It criminalizes creative uses of public space for art and recreation.

From this article on Indybay:

On two successive Wednesdays, police have ordered the peaceful drum circle to leave their traditional spot in the public parking lot [alongside the Farmer's Market] using Mayor Coonerty's Ban on Public Assemblies in parking lots. The new merchant-backed law prohibits lingering in a parking lot or garage unless you have a vehicle there (and then only for fifteen minutes). It removed ten blocks of public space from public use.

A twisted and unjust law, but only words on paper until enforced. Uniformed fascists (some very friendly and decent, of course, as they oppress you) will try to enforce it with what they believe to be legitimate power. But we are really the ones that make the choice whether to legitimate that power or not. We choose not to go along with the program.

This is merely the newest battle of a war in Santa Cruz. A war against dissent, against the poor, against the homeless, and now against people making music. We challenge these laws and the police crackdown on undesirables -- an effort to "clean up" the streets of Santa Cruz of the young, the very old, immigrants, the unemployed, homeless, the insane, and anyone who resists.

Join us in solidarity with other musicians and friends playing music together.

References:

This is a video from Wed Jan the 9th 2007. Traditionally this has been a place where Food Not Bombs has fed and musicians gathered. Before the new Parking Lot Trespass law, as far as I am aware, there have been little to no complaints or problems. The scene was reminiscent of the days when the people were allowed to dance in streets in front of the Copper House and street music was and accepted part of our culture which is being ripped from underneath us.

More important is the taking of our right to use public property and not allow the City to use unnecessary laws aimed at the poor, and unconstitutional in nature.

I am disabled and find myself in my car resting and paranoid I will be cited. There is already a law for anything that can happen in a parking garage or lot. This ordinance can and will only be selectively enforced. Its a waste of time, money, resources and is just another way to slowly take away all our free speech and rights the commons have traditionally throughout history been used for.

I was not present at the time this was taken. But thank you all who attended and fought for all our rights to use our own public space without a 15 min time limit.

Thank you Trash Orchestra and all the other musicians and community members that attended. I believe it was your numbers that kept surveying officers at bay. Thank you for standing up for my right to use the public property. Thank you for taking direct action in a non violent and dignified manor.

Tim Rumford
Sleepisarigh [at] live.com

§The Video
by Tim Rumford Friday Jan 11th, 2008 1:44 PM
Copy the following to embed the movie into another web page:
download video:

trash_orch_1.wmv (33.2MB)

Sorry folks,
Tried to embed the video using HTML, so not to duplicate video on Indybay's servers, but it doesn't work. So here it is.