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Occupy Santa Cruz remains committed despite raid by County sheriffs, City Injunction
Santa Cruz, California – November 12, 2011 – Occupy Santa Cruz continues its peaceful public protest at the Courthouse for economic and social justice in spite of multiple official actions against the movement.
This morning at 5 AM around 15 sheriffs swarmed the Courthouse, blocking it off from the lower camp with police tape. They reinforced the County’s unofficial but repeated written notice that “lodging” was prohibited, and indicated any tents not removed by Occupiers would be confiscated and returned at some later date. A few tents were voluntarily moved, but a dozen tents and all personal property in them were taken by the sheriffs. Some individuals attempting to move out off County land were threatened with jaywalking tickets.
Although this action stopped at the Courthouse steps, sheriffs indicated that if the geodesic dome, food services, medical station and personal tents were still there Monday, they would be forcibly removed as well.
The night before, 15 lodging tickets were issued and two were arrested. One Occupier arrested last week for failure to produce ID said, “The cops were polite, but that doesn’t change the fact they’re taking my freedom away.”
The City is also pursuing an injunction against the encampment at Benchlands Park for being a “public nuisance.”
Occupy Santa Cruz continues to improve camp conditions. More toilets are being made available, and a new 24/7 camp security team is in place. A camp clean-up event is being planned for the weekend.
Several sheriffs indicated they personally were on the side of the Occupy Santa Cruz and national movements, and encouraged those present to ask the County offices to change the policies in place. One reportedly said, “We’re fully aware the Occupation isn’t going anywhere, and we want the movement to continue.” This sentiment has been echoed by County employees in the building and several local union representatives.
KION TV was on site later in the morning for interviews. Video of this incident by a private citizen as well as other Occupy Santa Cruz events is available at http://www.youtube.com/user/sapiscnn – free license has been given for other news sources to broadcast these videos.
More information and discussion will be broadcast on the radio at 101.3 FM Sunday 6-8 PM.
About OSC: We gather together as Occupy Santa Cruz in solidarity with the worldwide Occupy Movement. We are individuals committed to promoting justice. We have no leaders. We recognize the right of ALL voices to be heard: our diversity is a source of strength. We present a united front in our non-violent approach to addressing the problems we face and generating solutions beneficial to all. Please join us in creating a better world.
We gather 24/7 on the steps of the Superior Courthouse on Water Street. General Assemblies are held daily at 6pm, and on Sundays at 2pm in San Lorenzo Park.