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Santa Cruz Indymedia | Police State and Prisons

Democratic Party Statement of Support--But Notice the Lack of Local Specifics
by Robert Norse
Saturday Oct 29th, 2011 12:12 PM
I was forwarded the following link at http://www.cruzdemocrats.org/we-endorse-occupy-wall-street-movement/?mid=51597 which endorses the nationwide movement, but has nothing specific or protective to say about Santa Cruz. I reprint it below with my comments.
The statement has no condemnation of the violent and unconstitutional repression happening across the country in Atlanta, Portland, Nashville, and Tucson (to name only a few), nor of the failure of local Democratic Party officials in San Jose, San Francisco, San Diego, and Oakland to rein in their police departments (except when confronted with thousands of angry people on the streets). More important there's no mention of the area where these folks might have some real power: Santa Cruz.

It has nothing specific or protective to say about our community and its rights, or Occupy Santa Cruz and its encampment.

I don't know if I'd solicit or trust any such statements anyway, but their absence shows how solid out, slimy, and irrelevant the local Democratic Party is.

There has been no explicit movement from the City Council, the SCPD, the Deputies, or the Supervisors that specifically endorses the local Occupy Santa Cruz or modifies the park closing law or camping ban laws that will probably be used ultimately to crush the protest (along with the usual needles, feces, violence, smears).

OSC and those who support it need to recognize that homeless folks outside are a key part of this movement. Disregarding, downgrading, and/or segregating them off for whatever reason is a form of class blindness and moral myopia. It is also strategically wrong, regardless of the "behavioral difficulties" that will come up in the course of creating a broader community. The homeless diaspora is the real face of the devastation created and in the rising of ALL of us, particularly those at the bottom, will come the new solution.

Hence real Support OSC statements will include and reflect real actions to restore the right to use the commons both as public assembly and survival space (which requires the creation of new community). Local Democratic Party political hacks are a long way from taking stands on these issues--and ultimately they will be irrelevant.



THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY STATEMENT

We endorse Occupy Wall Street movement

At their monthly meeting on October 26th, the Santa Cruz County Democratic Central Committee unanimously endorsed a resolution in support of the Occupy Wall Street movement, which has spread across the nation.

Members agreed that OWS protesters are drawing attention to the same problems that Democrats are also struggling to resolve, like income inequality, lack of jobs, skyrocketing health insurance costs, and corruption of the democratic process resulting from the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision which allows corporations to make unlimited donations to political candidates. The full text of the resolution is below:

Resolution in support of Occupy Wall Street movement

Whereas, peaceful protests are a respectable and constitutionally protected way of demonstrating opinion and mobilizing political momentum in the United States, and

Whereas, people are protesting on Wall Street and throughout the world over income inequality, which has reached levels not seen since before the Great Depression of the 1930s, and

Whereas, greed in the corporate and banking sectors has led to an unprecedented and prolonged economic recession; and despite record breaking corporate profits companies have been slow to hire new employees; and there is a lack of opportunity and jobs, especially for disadvantaged groups including young people, older workers and certain minority groups, and 


Whereas, health care costs have skyrocketed and health care insurance has become unaffordable or unattainable for many people,



Whereas, the Supreme Court decision Citizens United v. FEC allowing corporations to contribute unlimited sums to political candidates has corrupted the democratic process,
and


Whereas, Republicans in Congress block all attempts by President Obama to try to remedy these problems,
resulting in financial distress and ruin for many responsible citizens and
residents,

Therefore be it resolved that the Santa Cruz County Democratic Party
supports the Occupy Wall
Street movement and the constructive efforts of its participants to draw attention to these
problems.

October 26, 2011


Comments  (Hide Comments)

by Bob Lamonica
Saturday Oct 29th, 2011 9:27 PM
What, ho! Well, shiver me timbers! The Santa Cruz County Democratic Party 
supports the Occupy Wall 
Street movement!

Hail Darrell Darling! Hail Zach Friend! Hail Mary!!

Wheras, my a--. Until they say "TAX THE RICH", this is a load of you know what!

Friends and neighbors, fellow Santa Cruzans: don't be hoodwinked by this absolute load of co-opting, play it safe nonsense. Look at where Barak got his campaign contributions. Count the millionaires in the Democratic Party. They had a "mandate" to do something meaningful in our time, and they "fell flat on their a--es", to quote a former outgoing Santa Cruz Sheriff. Look at how the local "progressives" pander to the worse elements of duck and cover cowardice, in Law Enforcement AND Economics.

TAX THE RICH. Say it, or get out of the way, IMO. The time has come, and it's long, long overdue.
by Robert Norse
Saturday Oct 29th, 2011 9:56 PM
I wouldn't recommend spending lots of time on it, but the facebook debate referenced below shows an interesting hostile response to socialist activist Steve Argue, who is misidentified as a disruptor and attacked and ridiculed for his quite accurate view of Democratic Party hacks.

To check this out, go to http://www.facebook.com/groups/occupysantacruz/ ...then go to "Santa Cruz County Democratic Party » We endorse Occupy Wall Street movement"

As is obvious from my article, I sympathize with Steve Argue's views (in that facebook thread) specifically regarding local Democratic Party politicians (and indeed, the City Council, SCPD, Deputies, and Board of Supervisors as a whole). Don't judge them by their labels, but by their actions (and their inaction).

People in positions of entrenched power are generally not friends of the Occupy movements, no matter how much one might want them to be. Obviously one should judge such matters on a person by person basis, but folks in hierarchical positions usually follow orders and expect to have them obeyed. Police and army folks can change sides, but often that is not enough (as in Egypt where the army, police, and courts have reportedly arrested more people since February than in several years previous).

I hope the moderator of the Occupy Santa Cruz facebook group isn't excluding activists like Argue from the discussion (I spoke to Argue a few minutes ago and he's found he can't access any of David Shlesinger's comments). Is David the moderator of the Facebook group? Hopefully this is just a glitch.
by Becky Johnson
Sunday Oct 30th, 2011 5:15 AM
I'm not sure OCCUPY SANTA CRUZ is aware of the twin laws which can and will ultimately be used to shut down their protest: the City's Camping Ordinance and the Statewide "anti-lodging" law. Both have been used against houseless people and protesters. Both could be argued to be unconstitutional. So far, SCPD and sheriff's have held off. Ironically, HUFF has long argued that as an emergency measure, a campground and a carpark need to be set up immediately to accommodate local homeless people who cannot be served at local shelters. OSC has already set up a campground and paid for a porto-potty showing that this is a reasonable temporary solution, albeit by accident.

How can the State take the position that robbing homeless people of sleep is in the State's interest? It obviously isn't. Homeless people who have not slept the night before are poor candidates for seeking a job or housing. Likewise a conviction for camping or lodging won't help anyone to get a job or a place to live. Finally, we don't want to PAY for all the expenses it costs to enforce these laws. In the City of Santa Cruz, 60 such citations are issued each month, mostly to people who don't have two dimes to rub together.

In reality, it is the merchant community which pushes for the enforcement of these laws in order to remove the "undesirables" from the sidewalks near their stores. Rather than blame a bad economy for their low sales, merchants instead turn to abusing the poor and homeless, as factors they still have power (by directing the police)to control. MAYOR RYAN COONERTY and his merchant-wife, EMILY BERNARD ( PRESIDENT of the Downtown Association) clearly support a number of anti-homeless laws JUST to feather their own nests at BOOKSHOP SANTA CRUZ, NEXTSPACE, and DELL WILLIAMS JEWELERS.

These two should be the targets of future marches for peace and justice.
by (posted by) Robert Norse
Tuesday Nov 1st, 2011 8:40 AM
http://www.counterpunch.org/2011/10/31/jumping-to-the-front-of-the-occupy-parade/

October 31, 2011

Here Comes the Dems, GBLT's, Clergy and Big Labor
Jumping to the Front of the Occupy Parade
by MICHAEL DONNELLY

I went with friends to the Occupy Portland event at Pioneer Courthouse Square Portland at Noon last Friday. It was headlined by the band Pink Martini who played a bunch of songs in between a series of speakers. The GLBT folks were out in force and somewhat dominant in the event, as it was convened by Thomas Lauderdale, the hyper bandleader of Pink Martini who is securely tied to the GBLT community and the Oregon Democratic Party.

The speakers were an assortment of ministers, rabbis, an imam and then a woeful spokesperson for the actual Occupiers – who were camped a few clocks away. Then a rah rah “we’re here to lead you” speech by the head of Oregon’s AFL-CIO. Then a couple political hacks, Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-OR) and Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) came on and cheer-led the crowd with substanceless speeches. DeFazio’s speech was as void of substance as his 26-year Congressional record is of any accomplishments; but, if he’s done anything in those 26 years, it’s to refine his phony hissy fit persona to perfection.

It was a textbook example of folks “jumping to the head of the parade.” With classic Portland New Age babble, cribbing from their usual GLBT speeches, minister after rabbi talked ludicrously about “inclusiveness.” They even brought up the need to get to 100%! — That the other 1% were actually part of us and hurting, too and we need to “include” them.

What it wasn’t, though, was anything close to “inclusive,” itself. There was not much political analysis at all, if any. They certainly did not “include” any left analysis of just what is wrong or any real look at just why all those folks are camping out just down the street from the Square. The only speech that was remotely political was Paul Cienfuegos speaking on Corporate personhood.The only thing remotely connected to our devastated environment was a sentence by one speaker about fracking for natural gas. The only attempt to even remotely connect the dots to the party of the chosen politicians was one rabbi’s sentence that the “Democrats and Republicans both share blame” (Don’t know how he got that by the censors.).

That lack of real inclusiveness and the ties to the Dems seeking to co-opt the Occupy Movement were brought home loud and clear when Blumenaeur began to speak. A large contingent in the crowd held up signs, blown-up photos of the Rep. and a huge banner taking Blumenaeur to task for recently voting for yet another “Free” Trade bill. (Both Blumenaeur and DeFazio talk a good game, but the proof is there for anyone to see in their voting records.)

The woman on the mike, Storm Large – working her way into lead singer for the band and obviously not wanting to blow that opportunity - could have used it as a real solidarity opportunity, “Well, Congressman, we are an inclusive community here and a lot of the folks here have an issue. What do you have to say about it? Would you take some time and address their concerns?”

But, no, Large shut down the protesters, tsk-tsked them about being “respectful” and the Congressman was allowed to go forward with a meaningless speech with no larger purpose than, as noted, providing the Dems, GLBT and Labor a spot at the head of the parade.

I had thought it would be the coming weather that undoes the Occupy movement. Not anymore! Typhoon Self-promoter has already made landfall.

MICHAEL DONNELLY live sin Salem, OR. He can be reached at pahtoo [at] aol.com
by Bob Lamonica
Tuesday Nov 1st, 2011 10:40 AM
It remains a sincere contention that local "progressives" are anything but in their own backyard. A classic example is the local ACLU chapter, which proclaims it is “Defending The Bill Of Rights In Santa Cruz County”.

We only have to go back as far as the Wes Modes Affair of 2010, when Mr. Modes is arrested, tried and convicted for PARTICIPATING in an unpermitted parade. Among the 800 to 1000 present, there were at least two former city council members, well known "progressives", participating in that selfsame parade. No one stood up, including those two, among the established "progressives". Not one of them has yet to stand up and speak out against that atrocity.

Why? It is not who they are. It is not what they do. Their obvious local application of values inconsistencies should be pointed out publicly and repeatedly, until it is dinned in, and their credibility is stripped bare.