SF Bay Area Indymedia indymedia
Indybay About Contact Newsletter Calendar Publish Community

Santa Cruz Indymedia | Arts + Action | Health, Housing, and Public Services | Police State and Prisons

Beat It! This is Our Parking Lot!
by ~Bradley ( bradley [at] riseup.net )
Friday Jan 25th, 2008 4:02 PM
As you literally may of heard, on January 23rd, the Santa Cruz Trash Orchestra and fellow drummers provided rhythm for the weekly community gathering in the Cathcart parking lot during the Santa Cruz Farmers Market. A vegetarian soup was provided to all interested by a renown local chef and supporter of peaceful community gatherings. The mushroom soup was able to soothe hunger and warm up the cold, although not rainy, afternoon and break the ice while people were beginning to gather around and wonder what was going to happen. Without needing any cues, the Santa Cruz Trash Orchestra got the party started and slowly but surely more and more people began playing music, dancing, sharing food, poi spinning, hacky sacking, talking, documenting and spectating.

One woman was arrested, for reasons that were unknown to her and witnesses to her arrest, by SCPD officer Cline. At least four police cars and a police SUV were stopped in Cathcart Street immediately after the arrest, but they decided to keep on rolling down Cathcart and left the community gathering and drum circle alone. In response to police harassment at the drum circle in previous weeks, a poster taped on a tree urged people to support the market drummers and asked Mayor Ryan Coonerty if having the SCPD issue citations for drumming was his way to Keep Santa Cruz Weird.
soup_1-23-08.jpg
soup_1-23-08.jpg

You can read more about the weekly gathering in the Cathcart parking lot (Lot No. 4) on Wednesday, January 23rd and watch video at:

Taking Back the Tarmac--Santa Cruz Reclaims People's Parking Lot #4
http://www.indybay.orgnewsitems/2008/01/23/18474460.php

For further background information, see:

Santa Cruz Police Hassle Drummers During Farmers Market
http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2008/01/16/18472983.php
§Keep Santa Cruz Weird?
by ~Bradley Friday Jan 25th, 2008 4:02 PM
weird_1-23-08.jpg
weird_1-23-08.jpg

Mayor Coonerty... is THIS how you
Keep Santa Cruz Weird?

Santa Cruz Police Hassle Drummers During Farmers Market
http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2008/01/16/18472983.php
§Santa Cruz Trash Orchestra
by ~Bradley Friday Jan 25th, 2008 4:02 PM
scto_1-23-08.jpg
scto_1-23-08.jpg

Santa Cruz Trash Orchestra
http://www.trashorchestra.org
§Trash-struments
by ~Bradley Friday Jan 25th, 2008 4:02 PM
trash-struments_1-23-08.jpg
trash-struments_1-23-08.jpg

§What?
by ~Bradley Friday Jan 25th, 2008 4:02 PM
what_1-23-08.jpg
what_1-23-08.jpg

Is was unclear why this woman was apparently singled out, quickly arrested, and taken away in a police car by SCPD officer Cline.
§Cline
by ~Bradley Friday Jan 25th, 2008 4:02 PM
cline_1-23-08.jpg
cline_1-23-08.jpg

§Cuffed
by ~Bradley Friday Jan 25th, 2008 4:02 PM
cuffed_1-23-08.jpg
cuffed_1-23-08.jpg

§Taken
by ~Bradley Friday Jan 25th, 2008 4:02 PM
taken_1-23-08.jpg
taken_1-23-08.jpg

§Cathcart
by ~Bradley Friday Jan 25th, 2008 4:02 PM
cathcart_1-23-08.jpg
cathcart_1-23-08.jpg

§Flowers
by ~Bradley Friday Jan 25th, 2008 4:02 PM
flowers_1-23-08.jpg
flowers_1-23-08.jpg

§Community Cart
by ~Bradley Friday Jan 25th, 2008 4:02 PM
wctc_1-23-08.jpg
wctc_1-23-08.jpg

The Community Cart, a project of the Wellness Community Transformation Center of Santa Cruz, kindly provided hot tea and exchanged visionary ideas with people.
§Drum Circle
by ~Bradley Friday Jan 25th, 2008 4:02 PM
drums_1-23-08.jpg
drums_1-23-08.jpg

§Hacky Sacking
by ~Bradley Friday Jan 25th, 2008 4:02 PM
hack_1-23-08.jpg
hack_1-23-08.jpg

§Cat
by ~Bradley Friday Jan 25th, 2008 4:02 PM
cat_1-23-08.jpg
cat_1-23-08.jpg

How long is a cat legally allowed to be in a tree in Santa Cruz?

There are many factors to consider, such as: Is the tree located on Pacific Avenue, in a parking lot, at San Lorenzo Park, or on Science Hill? Does the cat appear to be shopping, or simply hanging out? Does the cat look or smell dirty? Is the cat on a leash? And, of course, is the cat white or black? ;-)
§Parking Lot
by ~Bradley Friday Jan 25th, 2008 4:02 PM
parking-lot_1-23-08.jpg
parking-lot_1-23-08.jpg

§Poi
by ~Bradley Friday Jan 25th, 2008 4:02 PM
poi_1-23-08.jpg
poi_1-23-08.jpg

Poi is a form of juggling, or object manipulation with balls on ropes, held in the hands and swung in various circular patterns, comparable to club-twirling. It originated with the Māori people of New Zealand (the word poi means "ball" in Māori). Women and men used it to increase flexibility, strength, and coordination. It developed into a traditional performance art practiced mostly by women. This art, in conjunction with others including waiata a ringa, haka and titi torea, make up the performance of kapa haka (Māori culture groups).
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poi_(juggling)
§Trumpet
by ~Bradley Friday Jan 25th, 2008 4:02 PM
trumpet_1-23-08.jpg
trumpet_1-23-08.jpg

§Food Not Bombs
by ~Bradley Friday Jan 25th, 2008 4:02 PM
food-not-bombs_1-23-08.jpg
food-not-bombs_1-23-08.jpg

§Kids
by ~Bradley Friday Jan 25th, 2008 4:02 PM
kids_1-23-08.jpg
kids_1-23-08.jpg


Comments  (Hide Comments)

by an editor
Friday Jan 25th, 2008 6:53 PM
HUFF, Please do not repost video on indybay that is already posted on indybay! Thanks!
by Rico
Friday Jan 25th, 2008 7:00 PM
However, you could either link to the video or if you are all javascript savvy, you might be able to link back to it with an embedded object.

Your browser is not able to display this multimedia content.

by an editor
Friday Jan 25th, 2008 7:04 PM
Video embedding is not working right now, but as Bradley wrote in the body of the article-

You can read more about the weekly gathering in the Cathcart parking lot (Lot No. 4) on Wednesday, January 23rd and WATCH VIDEO at:

Taking Back the Tarmac--Santa Cruz Reclaims People's Parking Lot #4
http://www.indybay.orgnewsitems/2008/01/23/18474460.php
by Tim Rumford
Friday Jan 25th, 2008 7:44 PM
Sorry I did re-post video either Robert was writing his comment as I was posting or I missed the whole conversation, but it looks like the editors removed it , and quickly too..
Here is a funny yet appropriate video. anti war protesters using karaoke against the police, and a little delay, and satire.
link

I have read about other Trash Orchestras and similar tactics being used with success , most of the time in other cities in America.

Tim Rumford.

by Robert Norse
Saturday Jan 26th, 2008 12:08 AM
THE LAW AS WRITTEN

Those trying to educate themselves on the issue should check out the exact wording of the new law [http://www.ci.santa-cruz.ca.us/council/ordinance/2007/17.pdf ].

The relevant section, MC 9.64.010, reads: "Parking lots and parking garages owned and operated by the City of Santa Cruz...shall be used only for the purpose of parking and retrieving motor vehicles and bicycles and for no other purpose." MC 9.64.020(a) continues "...When parking a motor vehicle or bicycle in or retrieving a motor vehicle or bicycle from a parking garage or parking lot...no member of the public, whether driver or passenger, shall remain on the parking lot or garage premises for more than fifteen minutes." [30 minutes if you have a disabled placard on your car]

We are fighting to return commercialized space to traditional public use. Don't be discouraged or diverted by troll postings. Folks can disagree. The important issue is whether you as a community member accept this new massive reduction in public space. And what you choose to do about it.

We need to focus on strategies and tactics that successfully challenge abusive enforcement of this law. Any enforcement is abusive, given what the law seeks to do--empty the parking lots of all human interaction.


IGNORE THE TROLLS; ARM YOURSELF WITH INFORMATION

Claims about "unreasonable noise", "pot smoking", "blocking traffic" and other objections (real and imagined) can be dealt with through other laws, for those so concerned.

For those who look into the history, there was never any significant evidence of unusual public safety, traffic, or noise problems in the parking lots.

The passage of this expanded law was simply part of the Coonerty-Robinson-Mathews agenda at City Council to provide more "tools" for the SCPD (along with adding cops and rangers to drive homeless out of the Pogonip, stepped up patrols downtown driving homeless out into the rain, restriping Lighthouse Field parking lots to criminalize RV parking there, banning parking from midnight to 6 AM to move along campers, etc)

Indymedia stories that I and others have written pretty carefully document the history of this law. Scroll back and check it out.

Trollsters have no new information only snide jokes, anonymous personal insults, and shrill denunciation. Ignore the vitriol and focus on how to restore the public spaces.


POSSIBLE STRATEGIES

The community's job is to return this space--and other space around town--to public use, regardless of the special pleading of some merchants, conservative staffers, and police officials raising bogus "security" concerns. It clearly won't be done by gutless politicians unless the price of enforcing this and other absurd laws becomes too high.

What's new is the willingness of the community to stand up to abusive and expanded police power that criminalizes positive and innocent behavior in public spaces. We saw this last Wednesday and on January 9th. Keep it up!

Contact friends. Hold a group meeting in a parking lot. If you're religious, bring a prayer group down. When you see someone being ordered out, walk in. Police may avoid hassling the Drum Circle next week because of the numbers, and instead go after isolated homeless, youth, minority, and other "suspicious"-looking types at other times when the community isn't watching.

Get a copy of the law. Inform tourists that sitting in their cars is illegal under the law and that they have no right to be there. If they look at you like you're crazy and remain, write down their license number and make "citizen arrests" by calling the SCPD to report "criminal behavior". A flood of 911 calls reporting violations of this law (remember, Council has made it a crime) might have a salutary effect. It will create a record whether the police are willing to accept your report or not.

Remember folks don't need to be there for fifteen minutes to be in violation. Any behavior in a parking lot that isn't "parking or retrieving" a vehicle is criminal unless you're walking directly through, have a permit, or are a city employee (!) on city business. Reading a book, chatting with a friend, eating your lunch, working on a computer are all now criminal--for the rest of us mortals. You name it, it's been made a crime. 'Cept driving in, parking, returning to the car, and driving out. Or that's how the law is worded anyway.

The only way to stop selective enforcement of this law against the poor is to show merchants just how "welcoming" their new law makes Santa Cruz. With all the wonderful meter maids ticketing vehicles from dawn to dusk, shoppers may not be too pleased to learn that listening to their car radio is now a crime, once they're parked.
The economic impact of this may roll back the snowjob down by Coonerty and the Downtown Association.

LEGAL STRATEGIES

It also provides good defense for folks ticketed under the law when police then refuse to enforce the law against the well-heeled even after you've reported their "crime". It's called "Selective Enforcement"--hard to prove, but so threatening to City Council that they killed the Citizens Police Review Board in 2003 when the CPRB began examining that issue [http://santacruz.indymedia.org/newswire/display/3006/index.php http://santacruz.indymedia.org/newswire/display/3081/index.php]

Note also that the law is unconstitutionally vague: what exactly does the 15 minute rule mean? It doesn't take 15 minutes to retrieve or park a car under any but the most unusual circumstances. But, what if you leave the parking lot to do something you've forgotten to do and then return? Does the 15 minute period start over again, or do you subtract the time you previously spent in the lot? Only Coonerty knows for sure.

How about giving out fliers in parking lots? That's now illegal. It has nothing to do with retrieving or parking a vehicle. Isn't this a clear First Amendment violation? Carry some voter registration forms and some fliers with you. The religious can carry a copy of the Bible to do so impromptu preaching; the skeptical can carry a copy of the Bill of Rights and try reading it--like Wobblies did in the opening years of the 20th Century in Los Angeles and other cities in their Free Speech fights.

Will it fly in court? Who knows? Some of these isues are legal questions. Others will become community issues if police and politicians insist on enforcing bad laws.

Note that this law is an infraction, so no one will get a jury trial unless the police charge other offenses--which they are wont to do when folks don't robotically obey their orders.

The moral and human question each of us must answer is whether we are going to let police and politicians fundamentally change the way public space has been traditionally used in Santa Cruz. It is pretty clearly the new law is either an open culture war against hippies, homeless, counterculture folks, youth, and other riffraff. Or it is an absurd attempt to eliminate "crime" by banning all non-criminal behavior (other than parking). This locks up public spaces at a time when they're disappearing all too quickly (say goodbye to the state parks!).

Folks who think about ousting Bush and denounce the Democrats for not overturning Bush's murderous foreign occupation, the Patriot Act, the Military Commissions Act, the use of torture, the massive wiretapping--need to consider what is being done here locally. If we don't resist local abrogation of traditional liberties here in Santa Cruz where it is most visible and palpable, what can we hope to do at a national level? Act locally today, so we can unite to act nationally tomorrow.
by Tim Rumford
Saturday Jan 26th, 2008 1:15 PM

This is the media release PDF file you can find for any day on the SCPD website. Its used for Cops and Courts. Normally all arrests downtown, no matter how minor are listed. Notice the huge gap in time and the fact that Marry's arrest is not there.
by Robert Norse
Saturday Jan 26th, 2008 7:15 PM
Shelly, a plaintiff in the Sleeping Ban Lawsuit, told me she spoke with Mary in the last few days.

Shelly's report of Mary's account: Mary was playing a trash instrument, opened a bottle of brandy, was immediately seized by Officer Kline, who poured out her bottle. He then forced her to the ground in a pain compliance hold. She did not resist, Shelly reports her saying.

She was taken to jail and held until 8:30 AM the next morning, for public intoxication, then released without charges, too late for jail breakfast and too late to get to any of the homeless breakfast meals.

I spoke with Mary on Wednesday afternoon in the forbidden parking lot before the arrest. The interview is archived at http://www.radiolibre.org/brb/brb080124.mp3 --near the end of the show. The final part of the interview I'll play tomorrow. It will be archived at http://www.radiolibre.org/brb/brb080127.mp3 j.

Call in at 831-427-3772 with comments and suggestions for Wednesday's upcoming Drum Circle, Food Not Beans feed. I also suggest someone get some voter registration forms and see if police commit some federal indiscretions by interfering with the registration of voters.

by Robert Norse
Saturday Jan 26th, 2008 7:20 PM
I'm not sure if police records generally show public intoxication arrests, if charges are dismissed by the officer. That may account for its failure to show up.

Perhaps someone can contact friendly Zack Friend, the police department's official Velvet blue Glove over its knotty nightstick to ask for details. If so, let us know.
by Someone who I don't know who I am.
Sunday Jan 27th, 2008 1:41 PM
UCSC took back it's parking lot? Shouldn't we applaud their efforts for fighting against an unjustified assault too?

Maybe the destruction of a local company's property is your way of saying, "Good job UCSC, you're just like us."
by brxnt
Sunday Jan 27th, 2008 3:17 PM
I saw officer Cline with with Mary the second he got out of his car to
apprehend her. She had both hands on her percussion instrument.
Everyone at the drum circle knows that it's not a place to be consuming
alcohol and no one ever does. Even the drunk guys don't drink there.
There is something sacred about the spot when its happening.
She may have had a bottle in her backpack that she was wearing but
even the Bradley's photo shows her with both hand on her instrument
when Cline had his oppressive paws on her.
by cp
Sunday Jan 27th, 2008 5:31 PM
this isn't directly related, but this is a slideshow someone did of the Riverside county tent city which has been permitted to stay, somewhere in the San Bernardino area. Santa Cruz is famous on indybay for coverage of its conflict over a lack of a homeless shelter, and law enforcement preventing people from being in the large forested parks, downtown parking lots, parked in residential or commercial areas, etc. This was filmed in 2006, so supposedly it is larger now

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jmeHiFZUWtE
by Rico
Monday Jan 28th, 2008 9:47 AM
I suggest people come out again to support the drummers.

It would be helpful if the drummers themselves discuss ahead of time their strategy of what they will do when the police come to remove them. Of course, I suggest they refuse and I suggest they refuse to ID also.

If you are there, observing police harassing drummers, don't just watch, step up and get involved.

I'll be there to support this venerable Santa Cruz tradition and Food Not Bombs.
by Ryan Coonerty (posted by Norse)
Monday Jan 28th, 2008 11:34 PM
I posted the following comment as a separate story, but indymedia editors apparently haven't felt it's sufficiently locally newsworthy, and it was buried at the bottom in "other" stories. I repost it here as a comment.

In response to an e-mail from a community member, Mayor Ryan Coonerty briefly explains his position:

From: kaplanks [at] hotmail.com
To: rcoonerty [at] ci.santa-cruz.ca.us
Subject: RE: Musicians Downtown
Date: Mon, 28 Jan 2008 16:16:42 -0800

Dear Mayor Ryan Coonerty:
"Ryan Coonerty"
RE: Musicians in Parking Lot Downtown at Farmer's Market

There is a big difference between a loiterer who appears to be "lying in wait" to do mischief ie: rob, steal or vandalize, and a group of musicians entertaining the community for free, while sitting under a tree. I would think the police would be able to discern the difference of intent.

I am just a passerby, who happens to enjoy the music and who exercises my first amendment right to freedom of speech by contacting you, when I see a group of musicians no longer able to congregate as they have been doing for many years. It seems to me that the laws of "right of ways" and established "use over time" should allow the musicians to continue.

Sincerely,
Karen Kaplan




Subject: Downtown Lot
Date: Sun, 27 Jan 2008 21:39:51 -0800
From: RCoonerty [at] ci.santa-cruz.ca.us
To: kaplanks [at] hotmail.com


Thank you for writing. It helps to hear from citizens on issues such as this. The City Council, for many good reasons, can't tell the Police which laws to enforce and not enforce.

We did pass the Parking Lot ordinance in response to concerns from our city and downtown employees who were being harassed on a daily basis. It is a difficult balance the many uses and needs of people downtown.

All the best,

Ryan

Ryan Coonerty
Mayor
City of Santa Cruz



My comment: I remember NO evidence presented of any harassment of city employees in the parking lots that I remember (though much was made of this in the parking garages). See "Zooming At You: Public Assembly Ban in City Parking Lots" at http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2007/09/21/18448912.php

Earlier discussion at "Parking Lot Panic Expansion Law Headed for Downtown Commission 5-24" at http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2007/05/10/18413705.php .

The Downtown Commission tapes can be heard in part on archived shows of Bathrobespierre's Broadsides; go to http://www.radiolibre.org/brb/brb070510.mp3 (towards the end of the audio file).
by Bunny
Tuesday Jan 29th, 2008 4:47 PM
The guy in the center of the picture titled "hack_1-23-08.jpg" is a known drug dealer selling meth. His name is Jeremy and he has not been seen in town for awhile. He is dangerous.
Indybay may want to take that picture down as it does not help people trying to fight this cause. It makes it look like the people advocating the drummers also advocate the drug dealers. That is not the case.
by Hammertime
Tuesday Jan 29th, 2008 5:21 PM
While Robert attempts to portray this in a narrowly defined focus of cops/establishment vs. freedom/drummers, the reality is much more complex and interwoven.

My prior posts have addressed essentially the same points. In short:

I have nothing against drumming, personal liberties, or people loitering in parking lots. But these populations seem to be generously interwoven with:

- public drinking and drunkeness (case in point, Mary)
- drug use and dealing (case in point the above methhead, the crime stats in parking lots)
-other sketchy activity I don't want my kid exposed to. (pot smoking, public drinking, people yelling "Fuck You" at cops).

I do have a problem with public drunkeness, drug use and sales, and other sketchy activity as described.

I tend to view the situation in total, not by picking and choosing the parts that support my agenda, as seems to be robert's wont.
As a result, I don't feel the same level of outrage that the cops are working that group and busting people for illegal activity.

Drumming? No problem, all for it.
Drumming mixed with methheads, public drinking, public pot smoking, confrontational antics with cops while robert incites it? Problem.

(And by inciting, I refer to yelling at the cops while they're conducting arrests...using the drum circle to further his sleeping-ban agenda...proposing that people who support drumming perform citizens arrest on people they see sitting in the parking lot for more than 15 minutes to polarize the issue, etc.).

I think that both sides, cop and drummer, have been played by robert in his obsessive focus on huffy activity.
by Ben
Tuesday Jan 29th, 2008 6:47 PM
brxnt wrote "Everyone at the drum circle knows that it's not a place to be consuming
alcohol and no one ever does."

Are you kidding?

I go to the Farmers Market quite often and you do see people sitting around drinking and smoking pot. People notice these things. Both of these activities are illegal if being done in public. While some people might insist that smoking pot on the street is ok in Santa Cruz under Measure K the reality is no, it is not. Also, under SB420 and prop 215 smoking pot within 1000 feet of a school, public recreation center, or youth center is not legal, even for MM patients. This lot is well within 1000 feet of 2 centers. The people that helped write these laws approved of this.

What really worries me about this is that quite possibly the city will decide the situation in the lot is too volatile and not extend the permits for the farmers market to continue. Talk of violence and disruption will, in the end, ruin the farmers market for the people using it for it's intended purpose. If the market gets cancelled it will be a big loss to the people of Santa Cruz. That loss would have a big effect on the uniqueness that is Santa Cruz.

by Robert Norse
Wednesday Jan 30th, 2008 5:43 AM
Tales of terror about alcohol use, pot smoking, corrupting minors, and angry responses to police power expansion ignore the real issue: the right of the community to use public spaces for non-criminal activity without asking permission from the police or authorities. Such concerns were not a part of the dialogue that created these laws (though that's the mentality that's pushing them). Ben's illegal drinking and potsmoking is illegal--so use the appropriate laws if it's such a problem. It hasn't been--except for folks who don't like the scene there generally and now have the Parking Lot Panic law as an excuse to remove it. Bunny, it looks like Jeremy in hack 1-23-08 is hackeysacking, not selling drugs. Or perhaps the meth is hidden in the hackeysack? Spare us the Drugwar diversion stuff; even felons have a right to use public spaces for lawful activity. Hmm, or maybe you're right. City Council did ban hackeysacking downtown. So maybe you did spot a crime in action! Hammertime, your personal attacks on me and my "agenda" aside, how do you feel about police clearing the parking lots of everyone not parking a vehicle? That's what everyone else in the parking lot (including spectators from the Farmer's Market who were also "violating the law" were doing). That's the issue here. The critics, I believe, are mainly "trolls" who broadly support the parking lot panic law, increased police power, the removal of riffraff downtown, and the removal of non-commercial countercultural activity. They aren't interested in the issue we're raising, so they simply post to discredit and divide us. I don't advocate censoring them, but we need to be clear on what's going on. It's not only not okay to drum anymore in a parking lot. It's not okay to talk, to sit under a tree, to read a book in your car. How can you defend a law that criminalizes these things? I don't think you can. So instead trolls point to disagreeable problematic behavior which is already illegal. ALREADY illegal. Of course, the point is to justify a far more sweeping law which bans everything from lunching in your own car to chatting with a friend. True,the drugwar laws and sleepingban laws don't work. But that's not a good reason to give police even bigger hammers. Prison population has expanded from around 200,000 in the 60's to 2.3 million a few years ago nationally. Get a clue. And yes--full disclosure-- I'll continue to be suspicious of police who selectively handcuff and jail poor people with an open container but pass by loud rich drunks coming out of bars. Even when the Parking Lot Panic law is dumped. But right now the issue is key police enforcement of a bad law against a positive group of people as part of a conservative merchant agenda. I too am not terribly happy with unhealthy drug use and public intoxication. But ultimately these are problems that require solutions that don't involve cops, if they are to be effective. Making everything criminal to give police a pretext to "preemptively" harass, cite, and arrest for these problems deepens the sickness. The controversy about arresting Mary arose because the police had previously moved on the entire crowd of DRUMMERS. Not drinkers, drugsellers, or violent protesters. Peaceful traditional drummers. And police succeeded in scaring them away (on three previous Wednesdays) with the threat of citations which low-income musicians couldn't pay. Hopefully folks will find creative and peaceful ways to say NO to this today and every time it happens. The issue is shutting down public spaces with the threat of armed uniformed force. Simple as that. Cops will enforce this bad special interest law which bans the public from traditional lawful Santa Cruz activity, unless the community resists. So resist we must. The presence of the Trash Orchestra and foodservers seemed to provide the heart and spirit to encourage the community to resume its lawful constitutional activity. I hope they show up again today. It's amazing to me how people can feel such outrage at the transformation of the national government into a police state with legalized torture, legalized spying, legalized criminal occupation of a foreign country, etc., but tolerate and justify local fascistic ordinances designed to further the police and merchant agenda. But the City Council's aspiring Democratic party panjandrums have been doing this for years. Even Rotkin couldn't stomach the Parking Lot Panic law in its final form. And we all know his record.
by We've come full circle.
Wednesday Jan 30th, 2008 6:56 AM


Stop the dramatic writing and stick to the realities robert. Nobody is telling "tales of terror" about drug and alcohol use. They're calmly and factually pointing out that its a near constant within the drum circle sphere, and they think it's a downer. You've kindly posted video that shows those very activities.

I don't see that your seeking to isolate the issue of the parking lot ban from the surrounding issues of illegal activity is any different than the cops seeking to isolate the illegal activity from the surrounding issue of the parking lot ban.

It's two diametrically opposed viewpoints approaching the drum circle from different directions. You say the cops use the parking ban as an excuse to approach the drummers and bust them for illegal activity. I say the cops haven't busted one person for drumming, only for illegal activity.


...and your embracing the derogatory term of "troll" to try and silence those you oppose is ironic, viewed in context of the horrible days of "troll busting" employed against the homeless some decades ago. I know that's not lost on you.
The media Press release by the SCPD on January 16th shows a case number, no address, Block 0, five unidentified names, and the crime of being interviewed. I find this interesting as the arrest of Marry and other more... real incidents are often left out of cops and courts, like every other Wednesday after that.
You can view the case and misinformation at http://www.ci.santa-cruz.ca.us/pd/MediaLog/011608.pdf
Second page, at time 16:18. Case number 08S-00428. "Several people were field interviewed while loitering."

I find what appears in these releases selective on a massive scale, which affects the press and our access to public information.

I have requested the rules and guidelines for putting out this release and why such arrests and other incidents are often left out while others are left in. This allows them to paint whatever picture the SCPD wants to paint as far as criminal activity downtown.

The use of the word Trolls is used by even indybay editors. The word is an internet slang word used since 1980. It has nothing to do with the troll busting, a word the cops coined. But of course blame Robert for all the ills of a protest he only has supported and videoed, which is a good thing as no media came, and I wonder why when their reports show nothing happened except on the 16th.

"An Internet troll, or simply troll in Internet slang, is someone who posts controversial messages in an online community, such as an online discussion forum, with the intention of baiting other users into an emotional response."

I would add almost always done anonymously.

"The word likely gained currency because of its apt second meaning, drawn from the trolls portrayed in Scandinavian folklore and children's tales; they are often ugly, obnoxious creatures bent on mischief and wickedness."

"No provenance has ever been demonstrated to connect it with the modern usage"

"A "concern troll" is a pseudonym created by a user whose point of view is opposed to the one that the user's sockpuppet claims to hold. The concern troll posts in web forums devoted to its declared point of view and attempts to sway the group's actions or opinions while claiming to share their goals, but with professed "concerns". The goal is to sow fear, uncertainty and doubt within the group."

"For example, in 2006 a top staffer for then-Congressman Charlie Bass (R-NH) was caught posing as a "concerned" supporter of Bass's opponent, Democrat, Paul Hodes on several liberal New Hampshire blogs, using the pseudonyms "IndieNH" or "IndyNH." "IndyNH" expressed concern that Democrats might just be wasting their time or money on Hodes, because Bass was unbeatable. Bass ended up losing the election."

As far as arresting only people being criminals, every single person walking in the lot was breaking the law. So either the law is made for all or its a bogus law. Slective enforcment is not legal or consitutional.

I still have yet to hear any well made argument for this law. Do you support it? If So why? If not why? That would be dialog the community could benefit from rather than opposing people you simply do not like.
Oh my! Ryan sent me EXACTLY the same email when I wrote him!

Jeez, Ryan! At least get some fresh material!
by Rico
Thursday Jan 31st, 2008 11:17 AM
As we taught the Know Your Rights workshop at Cooper and Pacific, passerby Ryan Connerty declined to stop and learn a thing or two about your rights in a police encounter. Maybe because he already know it all.

I know that he is allegedly an expert (and UCSC lecturer) on the subject of civil liberties, but I often wonder precisely what expert means in this case (or how low the bar is for the job of UCSC lecturer). Mr. Connerty seems to have little problem supporting local laws (while opposing national ones!) that would seem to snatch at our guarantees to civil liberties and look past what the SCPD does to violate people's civil liberties.

* Reaffirmed sleeping ban in the light of Ca Supreme Court decisions declaring it unconstitutional.
* Sponsored local laws prohibiting assembly in public parking lots
* Supported Santa Cruz police after discovery of spying on community organizers
* Stepped up enforcement of downtown ordinances, including sitting, standing, and performance restrictions
* Supported Coast Hotel development

He's one of those guys that you can see has both the ambition and the soullessness to head for state or national office.

On the plus side, during research I did note several positive things about Ryan Coonerty:

* Supported styrofoam restaurant ban
* Opposed Home Depot on the wealthy westside
* Opposed UCSC growth without significant kickback to the city
* Serves at the Santa Cruz Homeless Services Center soupline once a year
* Likes kittens, bunnies, and rainbows

by Robert Norse
Thursday Jan 31st, 2008 2:20 PM
I hope Rico's concerns about our new Mayor don't prevent him from regular purchases at Supervisor Neal Coonerty's Bookshop Santa Cruz.

Also on the plus side for Ryan:

++ Has open bathrooms during business hours for those not banned from his bookshop for political reasons
[see "Santa Cruz Mayor Lashes Out..." at http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2007/12/22/18468436.php )

++ Has wisely avoided supporting the installation 24 hour bathrooms or portapotties for residents (homeless and housed) so as to avoid health, safety, and morality problems.

++ Has remained silent as new private security guards roam City Hall and Library grounds informing people of creative new unwritten laws that make it illegal to sit there after dark.

++ Has allowed a few homeless people to sleep in eaves of his bookshop regularly without calling the police.

++ Has added a ten minute period of Oral Communications at the beginning of the twice-monthly 3 PM City Council sessions, while shortening the more accessible 7 PM period from 30 minutes down to 20 minutes. Ryan has also reduced the allowed speaking time to two minutes per person.

++ Has educated the public with a signed letter on Mayoral stationary clarifying that activist Robert Norse (me, i.e.) is guilty of "(1) targeting the economic well being of my (non-elected) family members and friends as a means of influencing my public policy decisions; (2) Harassment and intimidation of city and Bookshop Santa Cruz staff; & (3) Inappropriate comments to female members of City Commissions and my family members." [See reference above for correspondence]

++ Has wisely avoided spending city staff time and money actually documenting any of these charges by responding to a Public Records Act of 12-20-07 by clarifying that "no records exist" for any of those charges. [Ditto]

++ Apparently has no objection to Chief Ranger John Wallace's latest policy of ticketing shelterless homeless people fleeing the rain under bridges (and creatively doing so by using the Sleeping Ban during the supposedly legal hours during the daytime) in a new policy of sealing the areas under bridges so they cannot be used by the riffraff seeking to escape from the elements (Report from Aquarius 1-30-08)
by Robert Norse
Thursday Jan 31st, 2008 2:21 PM
I hope Rico's concerns about our new Mayor don't prevent him from regular purchases at Supervisor Neal Coonerty's Bookshop Santa Cruz.

Also on the plus side for Ryan:

++ Has open bathrooms during business hours for those not banned from his bookshop for political reasons
[see "Santa Cruz Mayor Lashes Out..." at http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2007/12/22/18468436.php )

++ Has wisely avoided supporting the installation 24 hour bathrooms or portapotties for residents (homeless and housed) so as to avoid health, safety, and morality problems.

++ Has remained silent as new private security guards roam City Hall and Library grounds informing people of creative new unwritten laws that make it illegal to sit there after dark.

++ Has allowed a few homeless people to sleep in eaves of his bookshop regularly without calling the police.

++ Has added a ten minute period of Oral Communications at the beginning of the twice-monthly 3 PM City Council sessions, while shortening the more accessible 7 PM period from 30 minutes down to 20 minutes. Ryan has also reduced the allowed speaking time to two minutes per person.

++ Has educated the public with a signed letter on Mayoral stationary clarifying that activist Robert Norse (me, i.e.) is guilty of "(1) targeting the economic well being of my (non-elected) family members and friends as a means of influencing my public policy decisions; (2) Harassment and intimidation of city and Bookshop Santa Cruz staff; & (3) Inappropriate comments to female members of City Commissions and my family members." [See reference above for correspondence]

++ Has wisely avoided spending city staff time and money actually documenting any of these charges by responding to a Public Records Act of 12-20-07 by clarifying that "no records exist" for any of those charges. [Ditto]

++ Apparently has no objection to Chief Ranger John Wallace's latest policy of ticketing shelterless homeless people fleeing the rain under bridges (and creatively doing so by using the Sleeping Ban during the supposedly legal hours during the daytime) in a new policy of sealing the areas under bridges so they cannot be used by the riffraff seeking to escape from the elements (Report from Aquarius 1-30-08)
by Robert Norse
Thursday Jan 31st, 2008 2:31 PM
For more on the Coonerty e-mail, go to the original story, inexplicably (and they WON'T explain) buried beneath the fold in the "Other" section at http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2008/01/28/18475517.php .

For a general discussion of censorship and such like concerns go to: "Deleted Comments Discussion" also buried below the fold at http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2008/01/18/18473304.php

Please--this brief note is not meant to derail the Coonerty Commendation Parade here or divert the discussion of the Parking Lot Pogrom (pogrom: "(from Russian: погром; from громить, pronounced [grʌˈmʲitʲ] "to wreak havoc, to demolish violently") is a form of riot directed against a particular group, whether ethnic, religious or other, and characterized by destruction of their homes, businesses and religious centres.").

Coonerty is a rookie in the game of saying the same thing and needing fresh material. Robert has been braying the same tired and biased one-liners for 20 years now. Over and over and...*yawn*.
by Robert Norse
Monday Sep 1st, 2008 1:40 PM
Tales of terror about alcohol use, pot smoking, corrupting minors, and angry responses to police power expansion ignore the real issue: the right of the community to use public spaces for non-criminal activity without asking permission from the police or authorities.

Such concerns were not a part of the dialogue that created these laws (though that's the mentality that's pushing them).

Ben's illegal drinking and potsmoking is illegal--so use the appropriate laws if it's such a problem. It hasn't been--except for folks who don't like the scene there generally and now have the Parking Lot Panic law as an excuse to remove it.

Bunny, it looks like Jeremy in hack 1-23-08 is hackeysacking, not selling drugs. Or perhaps the meth is hidden in the hackeysack? Spare us the Drugwar diversion stuff; even felons have a right to use public spaces for lawful activity. Hmm, or maybe you're right. City Council did ban hackeysacking downtown. So maybe you did spot a crime in action!

Hammertime, your personal attacks on me and my "agenda" aside, how do you feel about police clearing the parking lots of everyone not parking a vehicle? That's what everyone else in the parking lot were doing (including spectators from the Farmer's Market who were also "violating the law"). That's the issue here.

The critics, I believe, are mainly "trolls" who broadly support the parking lot panic law, increased police power, the removal of riffraff downtown, and the removal of non-commercial countercultural activity. They aren't interested in the issue we're raising, so they simply post to discredit and divide us. I don't advocate censoring them, but we need to be clear on what's going on.

It's not only not okay to drum anymore in a parking lot. It's not okay to talk, to sit under a tree, to read a book in your car. How can you defend a law that criminalizes these things? I don't think you can. So instead trolls point to disagreeable problematic behavior which is already illegal. ALREADY illegal.

Of course, the point is to justify a far more sweeping law which bans everything from lunching in your own car to chatting with a friend.

True,the drugwar laws and sleepingban laws don't work. But that's not a good reason to give police even bigger hammers. Prison population has expanded from around 200,000 in the 60's to 2.3 million a few years ago nationally. Get a clue.

And yes--full disclosure-- I'll continue to be suspicious of police who selectively handcuff and jail poor people with an open container but pass by loud rich drunks coming out of bars. Even when the Parking Lot Panic law is dumped. But right now the issue is key police enforcement of a bad law against a positive group of people as part of a conservative merchant agenda.

I too am not terribly happy with unhealthy drug use and public intoxication. But ultimately these are problems that require solutions that don't involve cops, if they are to be effective. Making everything criminal to give police a pretext to "preemptively" harass, cite, and arrest for these problems deepens the sickness.

The controversy about arresting Mary arose because the police had previously moved on the entire crowd of DRUMMERS. Not drinkers, drugsellers, or violent protesters. Peaceful traditional drummers. And police succeeded in scaring them away (on three previous Wednesdays) with the threat of citations which low-income musicians couldn't pay. Hopefully folks will find creative and peaceful ways to say NO to this today and every time it happens.

The issue is shutting down public spaces with the threat of armed uniformed force. Simple as that. Cops will enforce this bad special interest law which bans the public from traditional lawful Santa Cruz activity, unless the community resists. So resist we must.

The presence of the Trash Orchestra and foodservers seemed to provide the heart and spirit to encourage the community to resume its lawful constitutional activity. I hope they show up again today. It's amazing to me how people can feel such outrage at the transformation of the national government into a police state with legalized torture, legalized spying, legalized criminal occupation of a foreign country, etc., but tolerate and justify local fascistic ordinances designed to further the police and merchant agenda. But the City Council's aspiring Democratic party panjandrums have been doing this for years.

Even Rotkin couldn't stomach the Parking Lot Panic law in its final form. And we all know his record.