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Occupiers Return to Occuplaza In Face of Harassment, Bogus Felony Charges
by Robert Norse
Tuesday Feb 28th, 2012 2:35 AM
Mounting protests in the next few days will challenge the false prosecutions of the Santa Cruz Eleven as described in the flyer below.

Flyer to be distributed at today's arraignment of Brent Adams and Gabriella Ripleyphipps noting the next day's arraignment in Wednesday's Witchhunt against photographer Alex Darocy and homeless activist Robert Norse.
§Occupy Activists Return to Courthouse Steps
by text Tuesday Feb 28th, 2012 11:47 AM

Occupy Activists Return to Courthouse Steps
Deputies & Cops Attack with “Cold Water” Curfew

For the last 11 days, Arrest-Me-Not Anthony--sometimes alone, sometimes with others-- tabled and picketed at the “Occuplaza”. This was the area in front of the courthouse on Ocean St. previously used by Occupy Santa Cruz [OSC] activists until driven away by deputy harassment and SCPD threats. In response Sheriff Wowak's Deputies and SCPD Chief Vogel's police resumed arrest threats. Early Saturday morning on 2-25, deputies assaulted Anthony with cold water as he slept at 2 AM, presumably to discourage his protest. Two days later, seven deputies seized the literature table enforcing Chief Administrative Officer Susan Mauriello's extraordinary 12-hour-a-day “No Trespassing” curfew.

Deputies used this pattern of repeated arrests and property confiscations to drive away OSC in December. This was followed by SCPD's wholesale destruction of homeless survival gear, creating 100-200 homeless refugees on December 8th with no legal place to go. On December 20th after an earlier speech bemoaning cruelty to the homeless, Mayor Don Lane attended the Homeless Death Memorial, which noted their 20-year reduced life expectancy.

On Wednesday February 8th, sheriffs deputies and D.A.'s went to homes of three activists and took them away in handcuffs on arrest warrants for false charges of “conspiracy”, “vandalism”, and “trespass” in retaliation for reporting on or supporting the brief peaceful occupation of a 3 1⁄2 year vacant bank building downtown, held by Wells Fargo Bank, a major predatory lender, as speculative investment. Lane has refused to ask City Manager Martin Bernal if Vogel specifically requested prosecution.

Five of the eleven charged are reporters for alternative media. Total charges: 44; Total Felony charges: 22 Our District Attorney's Office may now lead the country as the False Felony Fabricating Capital of the Country, with Santa Cruz's D.A. Bob Lee charging more felonies against OSC activists than any other city, including Oakland and New York. Estimated cost: $100,000 and rising.
§More Arraignments in False Felony Frolics Wednesday; Occuplaza Updates
by Robert Norse Tuesday Feb 28th, 2012 11:08 PM

Hopefully these flyers speak for themselves.

Come down to the Courthouse Wednesday morning and get your own hardcopy--or download and print out1
§
by Robert Norse Tuesday Feb 28th, 2012 11:08 PM

Upcoming Events

Comments  (Hide Comments)

by Gemma L
Tuesday Feb 28th, 2012 2:04 PM
I support OSC, and, to some extent, the occupation of 75 River. I don't however, understand why you keep referring to the charges as "false". For one thing, there are photographs clearly showing that the people in question were, at least, trespassing (in the legal sense) and that vandalism (minor) occurred. Maybe the term "false" has some legal standing I don't understand? If not, at least the trespass and vandalism charges have some legs, it seems to me.

I hope that the courts will see the bigger picture and acquit, though. Mahatma Gandhi and MLK, Jr. broke the law too. I don't think they tried to later claim they didn't. I think they embraced the fact that they broke what they saw as unjust laws, and faced the majesty of the legal system with grace and integrity, which is why they ultimately prevailed. I'd encourage the Occupiers to do the same. Not sure claiming the charges are now "false", when they (at least to me) clearly aren't, is the way to do that.

Good luck in court to all the defendants. Free the Santa Cruz 11.
by Robert Norse
Tuesday Feb 28th, 2012 2:19 PM
Gabriella Ripleyphipps was directed to return Wednesday, so the arraignment proceedings on that day will now include her. There will be three rather than two up for legal racking at 8:15 AM in Dept. 7.

Snackside warning: Wednesday folks will have to bring their own drinks and snacks. India Joze, who provided coffee and coffeecake this morning, will be doing the same on campus Thursday morning for the Occupy Education demonstrations, and so needs a breather.

by Support Local Journalism
Tuesday Feb 28th, 2012 3:58 PM
Some of the people charged were at the demonstration because they are journalists.

In no way are they responsible for a 'conspiracy' to break and enter and vandalize the building.

Their invaluable work in the community as local alternative journalists is clearly the reason why they are being targeted with false charges.

The targeting of community journalists should not be compared to the intentional acts of civil-disobedience by Gandhi and MLK.
by John Thielking
Tuesday Feb 28th, 2012 5:42 PM
Santa Cruz County District Attorney's Office
701 Ocean St, Rm 200, Santa Cruz, CA 95060
dao [at] co.santa-cruz.ca.us
phone: 831-454-2400

Recommendation: Beseige the DA's office and call them and e-mail them every day until they move to drop the charges. I'm sure there are plenty of Don Lane/Mike Rotkin type liberals in other towns who will be too happy to call the Santa Cruz County DA and complain about the injustices that are occurring more than 50 miles from the center of their towns, while they lay silent about the injustices occurring in their own communities. Let them call the Santa Cruz County DA for a change.
by -A-
Tuesday Mar 13th, 2012 1:13 AM
Keep up the fight. We are experiencing the same problems. Solidarity!