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

Homeless activist and lawyer jailed for six months for Sleeping Protest
by Robert Norse ( rnorse3 [at] hotmail.com )
Friday Jun 10th, 2011 1:00 PM
Homeless activist Gary Johnson--repeatedly ticketed and arrested in the 3-month long PeaceCamp2010 protest against the Sleeping Ban at the County Courthouse--was sentenced to 6 months in jail and taken there in chains. Activist-attorney Ed Frey, who initiated, supported, and was arrested, during the protest was jailed at the same hearing today. Judge Gallagher refused to suspend sentencing pending appeal, denied a motion for a new trial after several jurors complained of juror misconduct, and declined to answer Johnson's question "how can I take probation to obey all laws, when you've defined "sleeping" as lodging to the jury, making it a misdemeanor crime? How can I not sleep for six months during probation?"
I got a phone call this morning from Becky Johnson who was at court for what Gary Johnson (no relation) and Ed Frey thought was a hearing on their motion for retrial in the case of four defendants (Frey, Johnson, Collette Connolly, and Art Bishof).

After denying the motion, Gallagher announced he was also holding a sentencing hearing, which may violate the rights of the defendants--since, I'm told, there has to be advance notice of a hearing. He initially sentenced Frey to 400 hours of Community Service and 3 years probation, which Frey refused. Gallagher then sentenced Frey to 6 months jail (the maximum sentence). Johnson was also given the same sentence. All this is a second-hand account from the eye-witness testimony of Becky Johnson who was in court.

Apparently the ante for those who peacefully protest the Sleeping Ban has been raised to half a year's jail time. Recent modifications in the City's Sleeping Ban law that provide for dismissal of tickets if one has signed up for a "Waiting List' at the Homeless Services Center. (See "Camping Ordinance Revisions Pass at City Council" at http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2010/09/16/18658837.php ).

Frey has been an outspoken and principled activist who provided nightly portapotty support for the homeless protest (a first in Santa Cruz), something even the City was unwilling to provide. He has been a regular pro bono defender of homeless victims of the Sleeping Ban like Robert "Blindbear" Facer (see "Mayor Mike Rotkin debates Ed Frey on Free Radio Santa Cruz at http://peacecamp2010.blogspot.com/2010/07/mayor-mike-rotkin-debates-ed-frey-on.html ).

Gary Johnson continued the principled protest against the Sleeping Ban as others tired, retired, or fell away. SCPD and Sheriff's Deputies adopted a variety of new repressive measures against him and those activists that continued the protest (see "Lights, Camera, Tickets! Klieg Lights at City Hall--Throwing Light on the Shelter Shortage" at http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2010/08/19/18656364.php

Frey's debate with former Mayor Rotkin can be found at http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2010/07/08/18652988.php .

Six months in jail (even four months for "good behavior") is likely to cost Ed Frey his law practice and his home.

Becky Johnson should be writing a more extensive account of the shocking court repression shortly.

Those interested in supporting Gary and Ed can contact HUFF at 831-423-4833 or e-mail me at rnorse3 [at] hotmail.com .

VEHICULARLY HOUSED ACTIVIST CROW ANNOUNCED HE WOULD BEGIN A MORNING PROTEST AT THE COURTHOUSE FROM 7:30 AM TO 9 AM MONDAY THROUGH FRIDAY.

Comments  (Hide Comments)

by Robert Norse
Sunday Jun 12th, 2011 12:20 PM
Numerous comments (some of them not worthy of lining the trash can) have been removed from this site; others of more value.

http://beckyjohnsononewomantalking.blogspot.com/2011/06/ed-frey-gary-johnson-jailed-for-6.html

Bad story in the Sentinel:
http://www.santacruzsentinel.com/ci_18250352?IADID

Becky Johnson's comment on that story:

NOTE TO READER:

Missing from Kelly's article is that the DA asked for 400 hours of community service from Frey and Johnson, which is excessive. They were convicted of sleeping which is non-violent and has no victim. Also missing from Kelly's article that Gallagher issued a $50,000 bail should Frey want to be at liberty to file his appeal.

Also, the "registered sex offender" was originally falsely called a "child molester." That charge was later retracted. the man arrested, had, at age 14 impregnated his 12 year old girlfriend. He is now 27. He does not belong on the sex offender's register and posed no threat to anyone.

While Gallagher did deny the juror misconduct, he did so by calling our recordings of jurors saying that one juror did commit misconduct in a recorded interview after the verdict with DA Dabkowski participating. Gallagher ruled the tape "hearsay" and quashed any further investigation involving the juror misconduct.

Gary Johnson said he'd be unable to comply with the probation restriction to "obey all laws" since he is homeless and has to sleep at night. "I can't go three years without sleeping."When pressed as to where Johnson could sleep, Gallagher said "You can sleep in jail" and ordered him immediately jailed. The law says nothing about "sleeping in public" and only prohibits "illegal lodging".Lodging is not defined by the law.
by (posted by) Norse
Sunday Jun 12th, 2011 12:24 PM
The Sentinel gave more coverage to this protest--thanks in large part to the PR work of Curbhugger Chris Doyan--than to any other homeless protest in Santa Cruz. Check the sidebar at http://www.santacruzsentinel.com/ci_18250352?IADID ,

The stories include:
* Aug 25:
* Camping ban protesters march to Santa Cruz police station

* Aug 17:
* Police use state anti-lodging law on protest of city camping ban

* Aug 16:
* Camping protest continues, despite some complaints, more citiations at Santa Cruz City Hall

* Aug 12:
* Camping ban protesters cited, again
* Santa Cruz homeless activists take their fight to City Hall, literally; city leaders vow to enforce camping ban

* Aug 10:
* Two more homeless camp protesters arrested in front of Santa Cruz County courthouse

* Aug 9:
* Homeless continue a protest on steps of county courthouse, after two nights of arrests, citations

* Aug 8:
* Homeless protest camp shrinks after two nights of arrests, citations, but some plan to keep up demonstration
* Deputies arrest five, cite 17 at homeless camp at county courthouse

* Aug 6:
* Homeless protesters ready to 'bring on the battle'

* Aug 4:
* Protesters at courthouse ask deputies to stay away

* Aug 3:
* Deputies ask questions at Santa Cruz camping ban protest, no tickets given

* Jul 29:
* Santa Cruz camping law applies to demonstration at county courthouse, officials say

* Jul 28:
* Homeless campers plead with Santa Cruz city leaders to change sleeping law

* Jul 21:
* Peace Camp demonstration enters third week on courthouse steps as county officials weigh their options

* Jul 11:
* Ed Frey: 'Peace Camp' sleep-in a protest for freedom and justice

* Jul 7:
* Homeless protest on county lawn could miss mark

* Jul 6:
* Homeless, their advocates sleep at county courthouse to protest Santa Cruz's camping ban
by Robert Norse
Sunday Jun 12th, 2011 12:27 PM
http://peacecamp2010.blogspot.com/
by Leigh Meyers
Tuesday Jun 14th, 2011 7:19 AM
The judge, it might be noted, made up his own 'common' definition... usage, if you would, to the city's prosecutorial advantage.

Corrupt.

But I LIKE Websters (despite the fact he LUVED the annihilation of Native Americans)

From Merriam-Webster Dictionary:

Definition of LODGING
1
a : a place to live : dwelling b : lodgment 3b
2
a (1) : sleeping accommodations (2) : a temporary place to stay

"(2) : a temporary place to stay"

Which means... "Welcome". The sleeping et al comes after... IF the owner of the "Lodging" condescends to allow it.

But FIRST comes "Welcome", which is all well and good on private property. On property owned by the public and under the jurisdiction of state or local bureaucrats, not an individual 'titled' owner so-to-speak, "Welcome" alone opens up a seriously ugly can of worms regarding the right to free travel and other things some others may care to elaborate on.

When someone Lodges with me, first they have to be welcome... in this case's socially jurisdictional purview, meaning "to be in the city of Santa Cruz at all", before one sleeps.

It also appears to inhibit the time allowed to traverse the state as one will not technically be welcome, and obviously 'convictable' if they need to sleep as they travel.

In that sense of the word it also appears to attempt to circumvent the 'Motorist resting" rule allowed for by the state department of transportation as the same charges applied to these sleeping bag campers IS just as applicable to someone sleeping in a car.

"Leave no brother or sister behind enemy lines..." ~~POCC (Prisoners of Conscience Committee).
Expect Us.
by Becky Johnson
Wednesday Jun 15th, 2011 8:34 AM
SHOULD ANYONE WONDER what GALLAGHER used as the definition of "Lodging" which he says he got out of a dictionary (apparently not the one LEIGH has copied in the above comment), Gallagher said:

"to lodge means to settle or live in a place, that may include sleeping."

He told jurors that to find a defendant guilty of illegal lodging, they must "commit the prohibited act with wrongful intent."

"The defendants are charged with unlawful lodging. To find them guilty you must:

1. determine that the defendant lodged in a building, structure, or place
2. defendant did not have the permission of the owner or person in charge

Of course we DID have the permission to BE THERE. We were NOT trespassing. We were engaged in 1st amendment activities that included freedom of speech, freedom of peaceable assembly (and a bunch of people sleeping is darn peaceable!) and we were redressing government grievances (the Sleeping Ban).

GALLAGHER made up his own definition of "lodging". HE ALONE said it means "sleeping"and then threw two men in jail for 6 months on a first offence (the maximum). Gallagher is a bad judge.

He poisoned the jury pool. He committed judicial misconduct when he provided a definition that wasn't in the law.
And he has punitively charged ED FREY and GARY JOHNSON with a draconian sentence because they refused 400 hours of community service.

He should be recalled.


by Sky Meadow
Wednesday Jun 15th, 2011 11:30 AM
I am somewhat taken aback by a passage in Becky Johnson's comment above.

"The defendants are charged with unlawful lodging. To find them guilty you must:

1. determine that the defendant lodged in a building, structure, or place
2. defendant did not have the permission of the owner or person in charge

Of course we DID have the permission to BE THERE. We were NOT trespassing.

But on Becky Johnson's own website she posted a copy of the letter the campers received from the sheriff's officers prior to any tickets being handed out. I am including a link to the letter Becky included in her site:

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-E2paLIirYbE/TfK0hzzVBfI/AAAAAAAAAtc/ZuDWkLAff0I/s1600/PeaceCamp2010noticeofillegallodging.jpg

The first sentence of the letter states: "You are lodging here without the permission of the owner or person entitled to control this property."

I am trying to be respectful and not cause any problems with the monitors of this site. I would just like Becky to explain how she can say "Of course we DID have the permission to BE THERE. We were NOT trespassing.", but on her own website she posted a letter saying that they did not have permission to be there. The these two pieces of information, provided by her, are in conflict with one another.
by DW
Wednesday Jun 15th, 2011 5:02 PM
...Sky. Public agencies can set reasonable place, time and manner rules, even for alleged "First Amendment" activities. Sounds like the county put them on notice they were trespassing and had every legal right to arrest the "campers."
by Becky Johnson
Wednesday Jun 15th, 2011 6:45 PM
SKYE MEADOW ASKS: It said: ""You are lodging here without the permission of the owner or person entitled to control this property."

BECKY; (click on my link for a more legible copy of the notice.) The first thing is that it is not signed. No one, certainly NOT "the person in charge of the property (Susan Mauriello)" signed it. In fact, it is unsigned. In court, we heard testimony that County Counsel wrote it. But why is it unsigned?

Lt. Steve Plageman, the SHERIFF in charge of security for the building testified in court that he had never written a "lodging" ticket in his 23 years of service before that night.

Of course GALLAGHER and JUDGE REBECCA CONNOLLY both have declared PC 647 (e) constitutional without a definition of "lodging".

The notice says that "lodging" is illegal at any time of the day or night. Later we found it also applies to "any place" as well. Well, you got me there. It does say you can't live at any time in any place. Clear as a bell! Arrest everyone for living !

But it doesn't say you can't sleep.

The law doesn't say you can't sleep. It says you can't "lodge." Gallagher alone said that Lodging = to settle or live in a place that may include sleeping." And that clause that says you may not "settle in" or live within an entire State comes right out of Article 13 of the Indiana State Constitution of 1851 which outlawed "Negros and Mulattos".

Is this the kind of law which our leaders have sunk to? Vagrancy and loitering laws have largely been found unconstitutional. So now they use "camping" "lodging" and "sleeping" bans to force people to go away or arrest them for sleeping.

The notice also says "this action is not intended to interfere with your non-lodging demonstration during normal business hours."

BECKY: That's confusing. Our demonstration wasn't during business hours. It was from 8PM to 8AM. and with a porto=pottie. And telling us we could demonstrate during normal business hours is a no-brainer. They didn't tell us we were trespassing. They only arrested people who were sleeping and they waiting until the middle of the night to do it.

Last I heard, my right to protest (frreedom of speech, the right to peaceably assemble, and the right to redress government grievances) is 24/7, and NOT just during "business hours." Further complicating this, is that the County Bldg. has no business hours posted on any of the doors. So its anyone's guess as to when "business hours" are.

by Sky Meadow
Wednesday Jun 15th, 2011 8:17 PM
First, I did click on the picture to see the larger version of it. The link I provided was to the larger, or "more legible" copy. If you had clicked on the link I provided you would have noticed that. But that is neither here nor there and has nothing to do with my question.

You said "Of course we DID have the permission to BE THERE. We were NOT trespassing.". Who gave you permission to be there? Did you get a letter from someone saying that you had permission to be on the premises at night? And was that letter signed? You are implying that someone gave you permission, but the letter whether signed or unsigned, contradicts your statement. It says quite the contrary, that you did not have permission to be there. Please address that before moving on to other parts of the letter.

You say "The law doesn't say you can't sleep. It says you can't "lodge." Gallagher alone said that Lodging = to settle or live in a place that may include sleeping."

Sleeping is included in many definitions of lodging.

From Wikipedia: "Lodging (or a holiday accommodation) is a type of residential accommodation. People who travel and stay away from home for more than a day need lodging for SLEEP, rest, safety, shelter from cold temperatures or rain, storage of luggage and access to common household functions."

From The Free Dictionary: "1. A place to live. 2. Sleeping accommodations."

From Merriam-Webster: "a : a place to live : dwelling b : lodgment 3b a (1) : sleeping accommodations"

From Answers.com: "A place to live. Sleeping accommodations."

Gallagher is hardly alone in saying that sleeping is included in the definition of "Lodging". A quick Google search will reveal hundred of examples of lodging that include sleeping. But lodging also means to set up a place to live. Bringing in personal property, clothes, bedding, cooking areas, food, drinks, musical instruments, and a porto-potty certainly give one the impression that you had every intention of settling in (lodging by definition), if just for the night. So it's a bit disingenuous to imply that you don't know what lodging is and what it includes.

You write "The notice also says "this action is not intended to interfere with your non-lodging demonstration during normal business hours." BECKY: That's confusing. Our demonstration wasn't during business hours. It was from 8PM to 8AM. and with a porto=pottie."

What is confusing about that? Business hours by most people's definition is during the day. Most people think 9-6, but I believe that the court house has extended business hours. Are you trying to tell us that a woman of your education and intelligence doesn't comprehend the meaning of "business hours"? Do you really need that explained to you?

But back to the questions I asked you. Why are you saying you had permission to be there, but then have a letter delivered to you by the sheriff that says you did not have permission to be there? And if you had permission to be there, why didn't you tell him who gave you permission to be there when they gave you the letter?

Again, I am not trying to be disrespectful. It's just your statement and supplied "evidence" don't jive. They are at odds with each other.

by Becky Johnson
Thursday Jun 16th, 2011 7:48 AM
SKYE MEADOW WRITES: "Who gave you permission to be there? Did you get a letter from someone saying that you had permission to be on the premises at night? And was that letter signed? You are implying that someone gave you permission, but the letter whether signed or unsigned, contradicts your statement. It says quite the contrary, that you did not have permission to be there."

BECKY: The courthouse and county bldg. grounds are public space. There are no hours of operation posted. We were not trespassing. We had a legal right to BE THERE. THat came up in court too. Officers testified that we had a right to BE there. Just not to "lodge" which they never explained or defined. It seemed they were only giving notices to and citing or arresting those who were sleeping.

For instance, I was there. I was walking around, filming with my videocamera. I was neither given a notice nor cited. Sheriff's made a distinct difference between those sleeping and those who were up and awake.

Also: Had ED and GARY been convicted under the Sleeping Ban, (MC 6.36.010 section a) they would have had to to 8 hours of community service for the same conduct.
But DA DABKOWSKI sought 400 hours!! ( a fact that never made it into the SENTINEL article!).
by Becky Johnson
Thursday Jun 16th, 2011 7:59 AM
SKYE MEADOW WRITES: "Business hours by most people's definition is during the day. Most people think 9-6, but I believe that the court house has extended business hours. Are you trying to tell us that a woman of your education and intelligence doesn't comprehend the meaning of "business hours"? Do you really need that explained to you?"

BECKY: Do you REALLY need to have it explained to you that we have first amendment rights during hours other than posted "business hours?" We can LEGALLY protest at night. that is what we were doing. We were protesting the Sleeping Ban. Also NO BUSINESS HOURS were or are posted anywhere on the Courthouse or County bldg. as far as we knew, every hour is a business hour. OUR BUSINESS of protesting the Sleeping Ban took place a night. The notice was ambiguous as to whether we can/could protest at night.


SKYE MEADOW WRITES: But back to the questions I asked you. Why are you saying you had permission to be there, but then have a letter delivered to you by the sheriff that says you did not have permission to be there? And if you had permission to be there, why didn't you tell him who gave you permission to be there when they gave you the letter? Again, I am not trying to be disrespectful. It's just your statement and supplied "evidence" don't jive. They are at odds with each other.

BECKY: Did you READ the notice? It SAYS that we couldn't "lodge" there. It didn't say we couldn't BE there. IN fact, sheriff's didn't interfere with those who were there but weren't sleeping.

What do you think of the sleeping ban in Santa Cruz having a punishment of "no more than 8 hours of community service" but the DA charging ED and GARY with 400 hours of community service? Why a sentence 50 times more punitive than the city ordinance? Does that spur a comment from you?
by RazerRay
Thursday Jun 16th, 2011 11:22 AM
peacecampprotestersleeping-beckyjohnson.jpg
peacecampprotestersleepin...

Friday June 17
1:30 PM - 2:30 PM
Santa Cruz County Court House
Department 2

Gary Johnson, one of the PeaceCamp 2010 defendants recently sentenced to 6 months in jail for violating California PC 647(e), the 'Lodging' law, will have a hearing (reason currently unknown, hopefully sentence reduction) on June 17 2011 at 1:30 pm in Department 2 of Santa Cruz County Superior Court.

Show your support... Leave no brother behind enemy lines!
by Sky Meadow
Thursday Jun 16th, 2011 12:52 PM
Becky wrote "SKYE MEADOW WRITES: But back to the questions I asked you. Why are you saying you had permission to be there, but then have a letter delivered to you by the sheriff that says you did not have permission to be there? And if you had permission to be there, why didn't you tell him who gave you permission to be there when they gave you the letter? Again, I am not trying to be disrespectful. It's just your statement and supplied "evidence" don't jive. They are at odds with each other.

BECKY: Did you READ the notice? It SAYS that we couldn't "lodge" there. It didn't say we couldn't BE there. IN fact, sheriff's didn't interfere with those who were there but weren't sleeping. "

Are you reading the notice? The first sentence clearly says that you do not have permission to be there. You didn't answer that part. Rather, you jumped to another sentence and start writing about that. From what I understand you're a part time teacher. If one of your students asked you what the definition of "Lodging" was, what would you tell them?
by Becky Johnson
Saturday Jun 18th, 2011 9:47 AM
HUFF activists went to court yesterday at 1:30PM, but Gary Johnson was not on the calendar.
A check at the window determined that the hearing had already been held @ 10 AM and the
only business discussed was a postponement to July 24th @ 8:30AM in Dept 2.

the subject of the hearing is: TRO22536

A TRO hearing? Johnson was issued a stay-away order from City Hall and the Courthouse prior to trial,
which impacted his 1st amendment rights to protest in those places. Perhaps the hearing is about that?

Ed Frey remains jailed but now has two attorney's working for him. He could be freed on bail pending apeal,
but Gallagher set it at $50,000, despite that the two missing defendants had only had bail set at $2500 each.

REaders should remember that ED and GARY are only being charged with SLEEPING and not other conduct.
And that the jails are already in an over-crowded crisis state and are set to get an influx of prisoners from
State prisons. The guy who ran over that 3 year old kid in San Lorenzo park just got sentenced to 6 months in jail.

Run over a three-year old kid = sleeping? Apparently in our courts, thats how it goes.
by Robert Norse
Saturday Jun 18th, 2011 10:16 PM
Speaking with one of Ed Frey's two attorneys, Peter Leeming, and checking the court records, I learned that Frey was found guilty of three counts of lodging (i.e. sleeping as defined by Judge Gallagher).

So, full disclosure, I suppose we can "credit" Gallagher for not making a bad sentence worse. He could have ruled by the sentences run consecutively instead of concurrently, which would have meant an 18 month sentence.

It's apparently also the case that Frey waived a sentencing delay at a prior hearing, so that Gallagher wasn't obliged to delay sentencing after he ruled against the new trial motion. Though it seemed to observers that Gallagher pushed directly into sentencing without notice, he apparently had been given that power by a prior waiver.

That said, it seems pretty clear that the D.A. and the judge both used a vague and overbroad law to discourage protests that the sheriff's department decides it doesn't like (even though there are no "closing hours" for the County Building grounds). And that forthright denunciation of this kind of kangaroo court process results in outrageously severe punishment.

Ed has a hearing for reconsideration of sentence 8:30 AM on Friday June 24th in Dept. 2 for those who are interested.

The same punitive procedure is being carried out against Linda Lemaster, former Homeless Issues Task Force chair and City Commission for the Prevention of Violence Against Women chair. She faces trial in August.

Meanwhile, I'm told that dozens of homeless people have signed petitions asking for the release of Ed and Gary Johnson.

Hopefully there'll be on an on-line petition soon.
by Robert Norse
Sunday Jun 19th, 2011 10:02 AM
http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2010/09/16/18658837.php
by Kc
Tuesday Jun 21st, 2011 6:59 PM
Just wanted to say, firstly, a 7:30am protest monday through friday is really hard for anyone to do. Believe me, I have been doing it for the past week and a half since we have started. I am tired throughout the day and often need to take naps. I can see first hand how hard it is for many homeless.

But Beast From the East thinks Becky is out there all alone. I am out there every single weekday (skipped one on accident). Crow is out there every single weekday... really quite amazingly considering he has been taking care of a women with cancer for some time now. I don't think waking her up at 5:30 in the morning telling them to move is very respectful or even empathetic at all.

There have been various support rolling through the parts. But every bit helps.

On the other hand, I think it is distracting to debate whether we had permission to be there or not. PeaceCamp 2010 was a demonstration to demand the city to repeal the Sleeping Ban. They didn't ask Crow or any other homeless person if they wanted the City to enact a Sleeping ordinance, why should they have asked for permission. Retaliation is not an act I am fond of in fact. It leads to conflict and polarization. In fact, I think Beast From the East knows this concept really well. But the fact remains that people to this day are being woken up by public servants in the middle of the night for exercising their necessity to sleep.

However, retaliation can be an effective tool. When I kept woking my mother up in the morning (around 10am) after she pulled the graveyard shift, she got fed up with it. She retaliated. One night, my parents decided to wake me up every 30 minutes in the night. I have ever since thought, "well maybe I shouldn't wake her up." We as a people don't have the same ability to retaliate as effectively. We can't merely wake Ryan Coonerty up every 30 minutes in the night and expect him to all the sudden change His policies.

So I think retaliation can be used when needed, not all the time. Used in moderation the retaliation is more powerful and valuable. You don't ask permission to retaliate. It is an act of force. PeaceCamp2010 was a retaliation against the cities Sleeping Ban. It was their way of waking Ryan Coonerty up every 30 minutes...so to speak. I guess the City grew up and is able to beat us up for retaliating, something I was unable to do as a child when my parents woke me up.

by Robert Norse
Wednesday Jun 22nd, 2011 8:31 PM
PC2010 was "a wake-up call" for the Santa Cruz community.

It resulted in meaningful (but insufficient) changes in the City's Sleeping Ban law (MC 6.36).

It created a safe place for a month for dozens of homeless people to sleep.

It challenged the court's delay in considering the unjust conviction of Robert "Blindbear" Facer for sleeping on the beach when there was no legal sleeping spot in Santa Cruz for homeless people.

It provided the only nighttime toilet facility for homeless people.

It mobilized people to picket the courts day and night. It created the most press in the Santa Cruz Sentinel and other mainstream media ever on homeless issues.

While "retaliation" is not without justification, PC2010 was exactly the opposite of that.

PC2010 didn't send homeless people to the homes of politicians like Coonerty and Rotkin to wake them up at night and demand they "move on".

It didn't create any disturbances (no citations were ever issued for that).

It didn't create any illegal mess (no citations there either).

Those present engaged in no violence, destroyed no property.

It was hardly "retaliation", but rather a time-honored gathering of the people to peaceably assemble for a redress of grievances.

Grievances that are still unredressed.

It did challenge those in power, who then pulled the ancient 647e state penal code out to intimidate protesters.

Those reading this threat may be a little mystified since a number of comments have apparently been deleted--mostly, I would imagine, because they are personal attacks on activists. Those interested in that kind of "dialogue" might want to check out the comment sections of the Santa Cruz Sentinel.

Anonymous attacks on activists (fat, rich, ugly, etc.) obviously have nothing to do with the dialogue here. The same critics who so freely throw mud (which apparently indymedia cleans up by deleting posts) are afraid to come on my radio show which I do twice weekly.

I'd prefer to have the abusive or off-topic comments hidden rather than deleted, of course, and continue to suggest that to indymedia.
I'm less concerned about it than I used to be, though, because so many of the comments are just plain crap.

Ed Frey comes to court Friday morning at 8:30 AM in a motion to modify sentence. The word is that he's been moved to Watsonville and is on work-furlough. Gary Johnson, however, remains in jail with no hearing slated and 5 1/2 months behind bars in front of him. For sleeping outside.

Sad. And disgraceful.
by Becky Johnson
Thursday Jun 23rd, 2011 7:15 AM
A slight correction to Robert's last post: GARY JOHNSON will be in court on Friday, June 24th at 8:30AM along with ED FREY's attorney, Peter Leeming. The hearing is to seek a sentence modification. ED is eligible for work furlough, but it has not started yet. He IS in Watsonville at the Rountree Medium Security facility at 90 Rountree Lane. Ed will be seeking time served as his final sentence.

His untimely jailing has caused financial problems for his household, and has impacted his ability to represent his clients. The usual punishment for a Sleeping Ban violation is a maximum of 8 hours of community service. The DA literally asked for 50 times that amount.

Supporters are asked to attend this hearing in Dept 2 where Judge John Gallagher is expected to re-consider his own ruling.
by Lee Andrews
Thursday Jun 23rd, 2011 11:25 AM
A major correction to Becky's last post. Get your facts straight, Becky and stop distorting the truth. When you say "The usual punishment for a Sleeping Ban violation is a maximum of 8 hours of community service. The DA literally asked for 50 times that amount." you're spinning and distorting the truth. Ed Frey was convicted under the 647(e) Anti-Lodging, NOT the Camping Ban under the Santa Cruz Municipal Code. While the "usual punishment" was 8 hours for being convicted under the Camping ban, the punishment under 647(e) is greater. That's what the DA asked for and that's what Ed and the other Johnson received. Given that Ed and the other Johnson refused community service, they ended up getting what they rightfully deserved --- jail time!
by Robert Norse
Thursday Jun 23rd, 2011 4:37 PM
I think Becky's point is that the "crime" itself "sleeping", as Judge Gallagher defined "lodging" under PC 647e, was the same as 6.36.010a "sleeping after 11 PM". Same crime. Fifty times the time. Just pick a different law. Compounding the obscenity is the fact that the shelters were full and the action was a peaceful protest at a government center.

Becky's update on the case can be foundat http://beckyjohnsononewomantalking.blogspot.com/2011/06/free-gary-johnson-free-ed-frey.html.
by Sky Meadow
Thursday Jun 23rd, 2011 7:14 PM
Robert wrote "I think Becky's point is that the "crime" itself "sleeping", as Judge Gallagher defined "lodging" under PC 647e, was the same as 6.36.010a "sleeping after 11 PM". Same crime. Fifty times the time. Just pick a different law."

I think you're convoluting things. By your definition, or "clarification" of what Becky tried to say, a person that goes into a restaurant who walks out on their tab and is caught, refuses to pay back the owner of the restaurant, refuses to perform community service, and lands in jail, could be defined as committing the crime of "eating". Judge Gallagher did not say that lodging means to sleep. He said sleeping was included as part of the definition of lodging. Do you not agree that he used the word sleep as a portion of his definition of lodging?

From Becky's article. "Gallagher told the jury that they should use this definition of lodging: "to lodge means to settle or live in a place, that may include sleeping."

You are purposefully eliminating the part where he said "to settle in or live in a place". The fact that a porto-pottie was brought in, food was cooked and served, entertainment was provided, revelry ensued, and recreational activities took place, does imply settling in or living was going on. And in the same spot night after night for months. Some people were also storing their belongings on the site during the day. The sleeping was not the only activity taking place.

The truth is Ed was not cited for the camping ban. He was cited for lodging. And unfortunately that carries a different and more strict sentence. The protest was simply not thought through.
by Lee Andrews
Thursday Jun 23rd, 2011 10:00 PM
Nice try Robert, but you and Becky are distorting the facts of the case and engaging in hyperbole, plain and simple. You, Becky and Ed, as organizers of PC2010 were ultimately outsmarted by the authorities. You failed to realize that for just about any crime, there are usually multiple statutes that a person can potentially be charged with. You thought it was going to be the same old game to be played with the authorities: You protest by sleeping, the authorities cite you for violation of the camping ban, and if you do go to court, the only penalty is 8 hours community service. Too bad for you that the city didn't play your game. Now it's time to pay the piper. The bottom line is that Ed and the others were charged and convicted of breaking the law. Ed and Gary went to jail because neither would consent to performing community service and now you and Becky are playing the "Poor Ed" card. Woefully commenting that he has 8 kids and grandkids to support and that he'll lose his law practice. ANSWER ME THIS: Don't you think Ed should have thought about that BEFORE he he told the judge essentially to shove the community service?
by Becky Johnson
Friday Jun 24th, 2011 1:49 PM
RESPONSE TO LEE ANDREWS: Until Aug 7 2010, NO ONE in Santa Cruz county who was found guilty of sleeping under ANY locally enforced laws which prohibit sleeping (SC Muni Code, SC County Camping Ordinance, Watsonville Muni code, or Scotts Valley camping ordinance, UCSC camping ordinance) were charged with any jail time. Fines range from $97 to $162. Community service by code is limited to 8 hours in the City of Santa Cruz. NO ONE has gotten six months in jail for sleeping! NO ONE.

THis was draconian. As was the 400 hours of community service. As was the $50,000 bail.

And let me remind you and readers that GARY JOHNSON is STILL in JAIL for 6 MONTHS for SLEEPING four times in 90 days. Horrors!

Read more at the link to today's article on my blog.
by Lee Andrews
Friday Jun 24th, 2011 3:12 PM
Becky, your comments are still a distortion of reality. Irrespective of what people were charged with or sentenced to in the past, today is a different day. You, Robert, and Ed were outsmarted by the authorities. You were focused on playing the same old game and the authorities had an ace up their sleeve and it was 647(e). You lost.
by Human
Saturday Jun 25th, 2011 5:42 PM
I disagree with human scum like Lee Andrews.

Sleep should not be a crime.
by Robert Norse
Sunday Jun 26th, 2011 1:03 AM
For more recent details on this shameful case, go to "Frey Released from Jail on Bail Pending Appeal; Gary Johnson Still Locked Up" at http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2011/06/26/18682897.php . For those interested in following the inevitable anonymous troll-twaddle, follow some of the links there.

If critics wish to have serious discussion about these issues, they can, of course, call in to my radio show Sundays 9:30 AM to 1 PM and Thursdays 6-8 PM at 831-427-3772 broadcasting at 101.1 FM. With one or two exceptions, they never do.