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Rotkin Claims: No Flyering Allowed at the Metro Center--Protest 11-26 11:30 AM
Mike Rotkin informed me today by telephone that political leafleting was illegal at the Metro Center. I was falsely arrested and ticketed at the Metro Center earlier this month after telling security guards it was the right of the people sitting there to be left alone. Earlier I had been ordered off the property for insisting a security guard do something about religious KSCO sermons being blasted out the loudspeakers onto the public sidewalk. I'll be back tomorrow to gather reports of harassment there and establish the right to be there (and flyer there). Join me.
I was not custodially arrested (i.e. taken to jail or to the police station), but I was held against my will, required to leave the property, and displayed as a public example to intimidate others.
Extensive audio tape documenting all of this can be found at http://www.radiolibre.org/brb/brb081106.mp3 and http://www.radiolibre.org/brb/brb081109.mp3 (download and fast forward to the relevant sections).
The general crackdown is discussed at http://www.indybay.org/comment.php?top_id=18551237 ("Police/Merchant Crack-Down Downtown: Resistance Meetings Saturday and Sunday")
Rotkin's supports the right to assemble at UCSC and says he opposes recently enacted restrictive regulations (Good Times: "Speak Here or Forever Hold Your Peace" at http://www.gtweekly.com/20081020267121/news/activism/speak-here-or-forever-hold-your-peace ).
However he's also a long-time supporter of the Sleeping Ban and the Downtown Ordinances and has gone so far as to have me arrested for trying to go into a public ACLU meeting with a sign protesting the Sleeping Ban (see stories below).
Activists ask ACLU to help end sleeping ban
Rotkin Responds to the ACLU Scandal: Signature Hypocrisy of Phoney "Progressive" Politics -
Rotkin has agreed to be part of a debate on Free Radio 9:30 AM on Sunday December 7th around the repressive UCSC rules, but also regarding his position on downtown free assembly restrictions and public comment cutbacks at City Council.
I'll be distributing the following flyer today at City Council. The Metro false arrest described accurately at http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2008/11/04/18548934.php
Take Back Public Space
Wednesday November 26th 11:30 AM
On 11-2, Metro security guards & the SCPD cited activist Robert Norse for “refusing to leave a business”.
Norse was standing 5' from the public sidewalk on the walkway into the Metro entrance near Pacific.
The guard rebuffed his complaint about religious sermons being broadcast over the loudspeakers.
When Norse objected to the guard's harassing homeless people there, he was told to leave. He refused.
He faces $100-200 fine. Recently benches have been removed and police cracked down all along Pacific Ave.
When contacted on 11-25, Metro Board member Mike Rotkin said it was “illegal to leaflet” there.
At least two foodserving groups reported police harassment and direction to leave the downtown area.
After the 9:30 -11:30 AM HUFF (Homeless United for Friendship & Freedom) meeting
at the Sub Rosa Cafe (703 Pacific next to the Bike Church--
(rain and heavy attendance may send us to the Saturn Cafe at Laurel & Pacific)
Start at the HUFF meeting, bike or walk to the Metro Transit Center.
Bring signs, cameras, audio recorders, umbrellas, leaflets, and high spirits.
Coming December 6th: Saturday Night Sleep-In at City Hall (Call 423-HUFF for info)
Flyer by Norse of HUFF (Homeless United for Friendship & Freedom) 831-423-4833 http://www.huffsantacruz.org 11-25-08