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Santa Cruz Indymedia | Global Justice and Anti-Capitalism

Occupy Santa Cruz - Global Day of Action
by Alex Darocy ( alex [at] alexdarocy.com )
Sunday Oct 16th, 2011 3:33 PM
Community members gathered Saturday afternoon to join Occupy Santa Cruz in support of the Global Day of Action, which featured planned events by Occupy movements around the world on October 15, 2011. A local sleep-in was planned, and various activities were held at the county courthouse, including a 2:30pm march through the downtown which again headed to the major banks, Chase, Wells Fargo, and Bank of America. The march was estimated to have several hundred participants.
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As marchers neared the courthouse on their return from visiting the banks and Pacific Avenue, approximately a dozen people sat down on the Water Street Bridge and began a short occupation of the roadway, which forced a closure by police that extended past what would have been the 'normal' march time. The larger group was generally of the opinion that no civil disobedience should occur that day, since the events at the courthouse were officially permitted, and the occupation of the bridge shortly ended. Once near the courthouse, protesters began a meditation sit-in in the middle of Water Street. Again the larger group disapproved, and they managed to get everyone but one meditator up off of the road. When community members involved with Occupy Santa Cruz spoke with him, he communicated that that he would get up if the SCPD asked him to. A member of Occupy Santa Cruz's legal working group then conveyed that message to the police, and officers approached the meditator and politely asked if he would stop blocking the road. He agreed immediately and exited the roadway without incident.

The courthouse rally continued through the afternoon with musical performances, but by the evening, a planned group sleep-in on the courthouse steps never really manifested.

For more info about Occupy Santa Cruz and Occupy Wall Street, see:
http://occupysantacruz.org/
http://occupywallstreet.org


Alex Darocy
http://alexdarocy.blogspot.com/

Feel free to re-use these images.
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Water Street Bridge.
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Water Street Bridge.
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In front of the Santa Cruz County courthouse on Water Street.

Comments  (Hide Comments)

by cp
Sunday Oct 16th, 2011 9:28 PM
Here is someone's youtube video from this day, where they wouldn't let them shut their Bank of America account.

Incidentally, I've been receiving unemployment for nearly a year. Earlier they were sending paper checks, but recently the state converted to debit cards which are run through Bank of America. It's sort of weird because they still send a statement in the mail, and don't save postage. I guess perhaps some of the unemployed don't have bank accounts and can't cash the checks w/o a fee

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tK0O30aFT7g
by Linda Ellen Lemaster
Monday Oct 17th, 2011 9:44 PM
Nice report == I wasn't in the march, usually can't be in tight crowds due to environmental allergens/sensitivities due to workplace crimes long ago. So getting the news is all the more important thanks Indybay and Alex Darocy!

I KNEW the commercial media was browning out on this. Love these photos!

While the anticipated Solidarity Sleeppver at courthouse didn't coalesce, as noted, there is an unmentioned sleep-in for occupiers. Benchlands near Water St Bridge. This evening, there were dozens of dome and pup tents sprinkled on the green amongst the kitchen tents and the Teepee.

People had cooked up home-made spaghetti and served it just b4 the General Assembly today, (Monday 10-17), and later, maybe around 8pm rice and wonderful veggie or chicken stir-fry dishes, were delivered from India Jose on the Courthouse steps. Like twenty gallons or more, gone in half an hour.

My guess is thirty to forty OSC were people sleeping there after working long days for the Occupation. And those who support Occupy Santa Cruz who need a snooze, welcome.
by Incredulous
Tuesday Oct 18th, 2011 11:49 AM
"30 or 40" people consumed "20 gallons or more" of soup and chicken in half an hour? Wow.
by Linda Ellen Lemaster
Tuesday Oct 18th, 2011 2:53 PM
... in addition to those who participated the OSC General Assembly and smaller group meetings b4 and after, and in addition to the local folks (foot and bicycle traffic mostly) who showed up. I would guess the G.A. was between 75 and 50 other folks, and that could be undercounts? At one point there appeared to be a 6-person facilitation team.

There's usually a little bit of overlap between "sleepers" group and "meetingers", but I counted heads at the sleep site during the OSC GA meeting yesterday.

So sorry if I misrepresented anything -- bad juxtaposing. One of the busy hungry people commented, "locusts" of us when he came for Joze food and it was already gone.
by Incredulous
Tuesday Oct 18th, 2011 9:05 PM
No worries. Yeah, "locusts" would sum it up nicely. Couldn't have said it better myself.
I spoke with Alex today. He reports some aspects of the Saturday march that cause me concern. Mainly, the anxiety felt by some in the march about trying to anticipate possible police concerns.

Vice-police Chief Steve Clark effectively bullied protesters away from Mission Plaza Park on Friday the 7th through Steve Pleich.

Later that night Sheriff Wowak's deputies under Sgt. Hansen and Lt. Christy tried to bully the protesters away from the County Building on Water St.

On Sunday the 9th, they did so again. Since then, the numbers and spirit of the protesters as well as the spread of protests around the country (2050 and counting!) has apparently discouraged the cops from direct confrontations.

The new SCPD strategy seems to be to try to get protesters to act like cops themselves and "police" those who step out into the street, hold signs in the bike paths, post signs on poles, etc. This seems on a par with Deputy Chief Clark's absurd claim that the protest interfered with the Children's Festival in Mission Plaza Park week before last.

Last night at the G.A. someone had an announcement that he'd spoken to the protest-hostile Clark who was offering "to let the protesters" stay in the San Lorenzo Park Benchlands encampment if protesters "didn't post signs". Get real, Clark. It's the people who have the power here--unless they succumb to threats. Police officers used to a monopoly of power, of course, don't appreciate this at all; it gives them an extra reason in addition to conservative ideology to shut down protest.

The point of protest is to spread respect for true public assembly, reoccupy public space, and expand human rights, beyond the constricted boundaries of the Bush-Obama Wall-Street[-backed imperial regime. The point is to liberate us all from the fears and repression that whisper we must obey authority "or else".

Alex, who took some great photos of the Saturday march, was disturbed by the fact that protesters spent time pressuring instead of supporting those who chose to sit down in the street. According to Alex, police were not particularly disturbed, and indeed had to be called over by over-eager police helpers to pressure the protester to move. Instead of supporting and joining the non-violent activist who was trying to stop business as usual in the most innocuous way, marchers allowed their middle-class conditioning to take over and attempt to shoo the man off the street. I heard similar concerns from David Silva about cop-emulating monitors who were moving folks along instead of supporting their courage in taking back the streets and sidewalks.

Instead of inspirational speeches at the end of the march, there were soporific songs by Ginny Mitchell, well-performed and well-received, but of a tone to cause 2/3rd of an energized crowd to disperse. This was Alex's impression.

Folks need to take the actions that inspire them. I only hope the more visionary and courageous don't get squashed by those who under the illusion that if they only follow "police orders" all will be safe and orderly. There'd be no encampment at all if folks had followed deputy orders on Friday and Sunday nights a week ago.

I'm glad the autonomy resolution passed, lifting the oppressive illusion that Occupy Santa Cruz must ratify every independent direct action that springs from the protest.

I encourage folks to treat police orders with no more respect than those of any other private citizen seeking to impose a repressive agenda on the protest.

Good luck with the planned 9 AM bank and noon foreclosure protests planned for tomorrow!
by Robert Norse
Tuesday Oct 18th, 2011 11:06 PM
http://www.spreaker.com/page#!/show/the_commander_x_show_1 (Enter the entire website address)
by Not for me
Wednesday Oct 19th, 2011 11:02 AM
So, who made Robert Norse God?

What authority does this mook have to dictate who is protesting in a proper manner and who isn’t up to snuff.

What credibility does he have to declare Ginnys singing sophoric and ridcule her for her efforts? It’s particularly galling to me that he does this when he took his own dumb ass to the mall last year and sang sophomoric protest Christmas carols that he composed himself .

Who is Norse to determine that some of the protesters are “over eager police helpers”?

And

I tell you who he is: He is a hijacker, attempting to co-opt this protest and turn it into his pet project by making it all about camping in Santa Cruz. He says so in his own words, citing the first two objectives of the protest as “The point of protest is to spread respect for true public assembly, reoccupy public space”.

Not my priorities Norse; not even close. Dismantling bank corruption is. Neutering the power of lobbyists is.


Stop trying to act as a leader of this protest, you arent’. Stop trying to mandate what its priorities are; you don't own this one. Stop speaking for the group; you don't.
by Alex Darocy
( alex [at] alexdarocy.com ) Wednesday Oct 19th, 2011 4:20 PM
Robert clearly stated that he was reporting on my impressions of what happened at the rally on Saturday, and his version very accurately represents what I told him. Thoughtful analysis and critique of any social or political movement is always a good thing, and comments about a music style, or scheduling issue, are not intended to be taken personally.

To back up Robert's additional analysis, I spoke with one very active occupier today, a man in his early 20s, who has spent most of his nights at the occupation, and his participation has been primarily motivated by the local camping ban. While his interest in the federal issues is strong, and he has been involved with the Occupy Santa Cruz bank marches, that aspect of the movement is not a primary motivator for him.

The organization of Occupy Santa Cruz is consensus driven, and I personally don't believe that any one individual could actually hijack the process, but the authorities will certainly try to, as will local elected officials, and Robert's thoughtful analysis provides information to help people recognize that, and to inspire them to act if they see fit.
by Not for me
Wednesday Oct 19th, 2011 5:02 PM
With your correction, my comments remain consistent, with the exception of the claim that you sang Xmas carols on the mall. I continue to take offense at the presumption that one person can pontificate on what is effective protest vs. what is not, what is a good protest song vs. what is not, and who is doing enough to fight the man vs. who is helping the man.

And, I continue to feel that the core values of the Occupy protest movement and the We Are 99% is not about homeless camping rights and that I (and i speak only for me) doesn't want that issue to be co-opted and dominate this protest. The campers had their moment last year at their own protest, and they are welcome to have any other action they want. I take offense at any efforts to make the focus of Occupy Santa Cruz to be on the rights of people to camp. IMO, it denegrates the issues, and takes advantage of a critical mass that has gathered for far different and far more diverse reasons.
by Alex Darocy
( alex [at] alexdarocy.com ) Thursday Oct 20th, 2011 2:02 AM
Of those who have camped for the majority of the last two weeks, I have spoken with every person who is politically and organizationally active in support of Occupy Santa Cruz, and I would say that 2/3 of them are without a fixed-location home. Within that group, all of them feel that their personal situation is directly related to Wall Street and or the banks bailout. Some feel that the local camping ban is the direct result of a corporately controlled society, and they all have different views on what the solution should be, and whether action on the behalf of Occupy Santa Cruz should be taken locally or directed more towards national policy. Though Occupy Santa Cruz theoretically is in solidarity with Occupy Wall Street, the local group is autonomous and self organizing.
I completely respect your view that there is a set of core values for the movement that goes beyond homeless rights and needs to be acted on independently, but the occupy movement is a populist movement that is largely comprised of people who are now homeless because of the economy, and they will bring not only ideas influenced by their newfound life situations, but also their own immediate survival needs.
by Lab Rat
Thursday Oct 20th, 2011 2:58 AM
So, you say 2/3 of the folks camping out are already homeless. In other words, most of the people camping at OSC would be camping somewhere anyway. What does this suggest to you?

Does camping at OSC give someone's opinion more validity than the folks who aren't/can't be camping there? Because when there was a call for supporters to turn out for a big demonstration/march (Oct 15), most of those folks seemed to be concerned primarily with issues of economic crimes, the subversion of democracy, illegal wars, corporate dominance, etc.

I didn't see much emphasis on ending the sleeping ban and related matters. I'm certainly not saying that homeless/sleeping issues are unimportant, but they don't seem to be what most people identify as the key issues involved in the Occupy movement.

And if you wind up with Robert Norse speaking for and influencing the direction of the group, then I can assure you that many folks will choose to keep their distance in order to avoid his repellent, manipulative personality.
by Seems to me
Thursday Oct 20th, 2011 9:07 AM
Alex,

Your own photographs tell a different story. I don't see downtrodden homeless; I see clean-scrubbed, fresh-faced students. I don't see End the Camping Ban signs; I see Save the Middle Class signs. And I must say, I like the fact that you try to get attractive women in every photo, especially the woman with star-shaped pasties. Nothing gets the young male protester demographic to come out like provocative photos! Do the female posters know they're being used as a recruitment tool?

The original movement in NYC is called Occupy Wall Street, not Occupy Wall Street So We Can Sleep There.
by Not for me
Thursday Oct 20th, 2011 9:22 AM
I think we're both saying the same thing, but from opposite perspectives. You appear to be saying that since the majority of people spending the night are homeless and their priority interest is homeless rights, that this makes Occupy Santa Cruz about homeless rights.

I feel differently. I feel that the Occupy protests were birthed out of concern/consternation at the present economic climate, and that that should remain the focus of the protests. As an above protester noted, the signs held by the people in the marches speak to the reality of these economic issues as the focus of concern of the majority of protesters.

So while you may be correct that the majority of people sleeping there are most concerned with homelss issues, I'll continue to contend that that is not the focus of most of us who march; either here in town or nation wide. And as such, I find it disingenuous to try and contend that this is the focus of Occupy Santa Cruz. It isn't. It's the focus of the few dozen who sleep there nightly; not the majority.
by Robert Norse
Thursday Oct 20th, 2011 12:17 PM
My comments were meant to focus on the inadvisability of internalizing police priorities, shmoozing with cops, and giving credibility to police threats instead of recognizing the broader need to reclaim the public space for public assembly. It's a part of our conditioning to believe that police are around to protect us and will give us consistent, truthful, and just information. Unfortunately, that's just not so--as OSC and earlier homeless activist old-timers have found out the hard way.

Homeless people and housed activists have a common interest in assuring accessibility to the commons. Some of a middle-class mentality only recognize this when police start treating them like they commonly treat homeless people using bogus "no lodging" and "sleeping ban" laws.

It's not that the protest isn't primarily about an economic juggernaut that is crushing us all. It is, of course. But there are common interests here. Not to mention the obvious fact that the current system is forcing greater and greater numbers into homelessness.
by G
Thursday Oct 20th, 2011 12:19 PM
I've spent some time around OccupySantaCruz. I also spent a lot of time participating in PeaceCamp2010 (as well as doing time as a result of PC2010).

In my opinion OccupySantaCruz is not about the local sleeping ban. It is ironic that 647(e) or 6.36.010 might be used to break up the occupation, but the sleeping ban is not, in my opinion, the focus of OSC. It is also ironic that PC2010 was, in some ways, a reaction to the black block crap of May 1st.

In my opinion, OccupySantaCruz is about the 1% abusing the 99%.

In my opinion, what seems to be happening internally with OSC is the 89% are, consciously or unconsciously, thinking of the 10% in ways similar to how the 1% thinks of the 99%. Personally, I am not all that surprised. There is plenty of (long ignored) research describing the evolutionary dangers of authoritarian social structures. Even at PC2010, poor on poor tyranny existed. It's my impression that, at least among certain figures, that particular pitfall is not an active concern of OSC, which is truly unfortunate, for what's past is prologue...
by Alex Darocy
( alex [at] alexdarocy.com ) Thursday Oct 20th, 2011 2:16 PM
Just to clear things up, I am not saying that the majority of the community members involved as a whole with Occupy Santa Cruz are focused on homeless issues, but it is a very common topic, and it has a strong influence on our local version of the movement. The clear majority of people involved so far have been active in protesting at the banks, and they are politically interested in a variety of federally legislated financial issues.

As for my photos reflecting a "fresh faced" group of people involved, that was intentionally done through the selection and organization of the photos. The two major types of people I have observed who are involved with Occupy Santa Cruz, in relation to sheer numbers, are students and people in their early 20s, and older progressives. Beyond representing those two groups, I try to throw in shots that reflect the diversity of the group, but with 20 photos per article to share, the view of each event I photograph becomes selective to a certain extent. For a variety of reasons, I haven't shown very many photos of people who obviously look 'homeless', but in reality I could organize the photos in a way that would make their numbers and influence on the group appear much larger, so I do my best to balance the views I share. I'd actually be interested in knowing if if anyone thinks I have under-represented the homeless presence at Occupy Santa Cruz.

As for the "fresh faced," I can think of two people off the top of my head who are depicted in this set of photos who are young, fresh faced, and.....homeless.
by Becky Johnson
Friday Oct 21st, 2011 8:00 AM
There is no doubt that Occupy Santa Cruz is being treated differently than Peace Camp 2010 was. PC 2010 was not subject to sheriff's citations and arrests until over a month into our protest. But that was due to the Board of Supervisors being on vacation in August, and a dispute between the SCPD and the Sheriff's office. The sheriff's did not want to enforce the city's sleeping ban for them.

OSC enjoys broader, public support among the housed. Authorities in the City and County have given a wink-wink and a nudge-nudge as they allow what PC 2010 would never have been allowed: to set up temporary shelters which remain in place throughout the day. And PC 2010 had a porto-pottie from day one!!! OSC still has yet to get that together despite having a budget 6 times what PC 2010 ran on.

THat said, numerous laws and rules have been and are used to violation freedom of speech and the right of the people to peaceably assemble. MC 6.36.010 prohibits sleeping between 11PM and 8:30AM. It also prohibits use of a blanket or sleeping bag between 11PM and 8:30AM. Finally, it prevents "setting up a campsite with the intent of spending the night" enforced 24 hours per day.

Perhaps OSC participants can appreciate that the police and sheriff's have used these laws selectively against homeless people but, for whatever reason, have turned a blind eye to the OSC encampment.

PC 647 (e) which the sheriffs (and City) have used and which OSC has been threatened with, is such a broad brush it outlaws "living in a place" which no person alive can avoid doing. Last year, the DA charged ONLY protesters with "illegal lodging" despite that the law is enforceable statewide. Two of our local judges, however, thought PC 647 (e) was just fine. See: http://beckyjohnsononewomantalking.blogspot.com/2011/01/judge-gallagher-sleeping-is-not.html and http://beckyjohnsononewomantalking.blogspot.com/2011/03/judge-rebecca-connolly-rules-647-e-not.html