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View other events for the week of 9/ 7/2012

Title: Candlelight Tent Vigil Protesting Homeless Sweeps
START DATE: Friday September 07
TIME: 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Location Details:
Santa Cruz City Hall
Event Type: Protest
Please join us in community as we express our sadness and outrage at this campaign of harassment of those who're the most vulnerable.

We will gather at City Hall at 7pm, Friday Sept. 7th

We will hold a circle and share some thoughts before we slowly walk together through town carrying candles and lofting tents above our heads. We'll traverse Pacific Ave, then visit the river levee and then back to City Hall.

We expect to have dixie cup hooded candles but please bring flashlights and tents if you have them.

This is the first step in a new multi-tiered campaign to address the city's criminalization of outside night sleep.
We welcome you to join us.


The City of Santa Cruz has been using the SCPD & the City Parks Dept. to attack homeless camps.

We are in the 7th week of this campaign that has seen more than 300 citations given, more than 100 camps destroyed and personal belongings trashed and more than 150 arrests.

While the Homeless Services Center has closed the Paul Lee Loft shelter the City has offered no other solutions to people who are survival camping in the woods, river levee and downtown.

It is illegal to sleep outside in Santa Cruz btwn 11pm - 8am and it is illegal to lay under a blanket... EVEN IF ONE IS AWAKE!!

Where are these folks supposed to sleep safely and legally?
This situation refuses basic human rights and dignity and in many cases, is patently against the law.



Added to the calendar on Thursday Aug 30th, 2012 4:15 PM

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§Flyer for the Sleep-Deprived
by Robert Norse Friday Sep 7th, 2012 4:57 PM

JOURNALIST FACES JAIL AS COPS CRUSH HOMELESS CAMPS
LOCAL REFUGEES GET TICKETS, LOSE SURVIVAL GEAR

+++ There is no available shelter for 95% of the 1000-2000 homeless in Santa Cruz at the city-funded Homeless (Lack of) Services Center [HLOSC]. All services except for a few scattered churches have full waiting lists. The City's Paul Lee Loft will be closing in shortly because of construction being done at the Page Smith Community House.
+++ Police Chief Kevin Vogel brags of the harshest attacks on homeless campsites in memory in Santa Cruz on his SCPD police blog at http://santacruzpolice.blogspot.com/2012/08/illegal-campsite-cleanup-continues.html .
+++ In seven weeks, hit teams of rangers, cops, and city “clean-up” crews have (according to Vogel) issued 309 citations, made 116 arrests, posted 167 campsites, and “cleaned” 66 campsites. City and County authorities have opened no new shelters, imposed no rent control, taken no action against foreclosure profiteering, nor reined in Sheriff Wowak's attacks on undocumented workers picked up for minor infractions.
+++ Mayor (and President of the HLOSC Board) Don Lane has not spoken out against these abusive raids. Lane has also declined to respond to a recent invitation to appear on Community TV to respond to concerns that the City's Sleeping Ban and the HLOSC's discriminatory policies abuse disabled people specifically and homeless people generally. Andrea Morgan, a disabled activist with a walker, was recently robbed as she slept outside—excluded from the HLOSC for her organizing.

+++ PeaceCamp2010, a homeless protest led by attorney/activist Ed Frey provided toilet facilities, food, and support for a makeshift nighttime vigil and safesleepingspot on the steps of the County Courthouse.
+++ The PeaceCamp2010 protest was a response to judicial persecution of Robert “Blindbear” Facer, a 63-year old Amish minister AND SAILOR cited for sleeping on the beach. Facer recently died of heart failure after several years of persecution from city attorney John Barisone.
+++ For its part, the City declined to provide shelter, suspend its anti-homeless Sleeping Ban law, or make other accommodations for those outside. Frey personally rented and transported a nightly portapotty,  providing the only all-night toilet facility in the downtown area. PC2010 at its height served 50-60 homeless people each night and lasted for three months.
+++ Judge John Gallagher ruled that being asleep in a protest constituted “lodging” and found Frey guilty, sentencing him to 6 months of jail—which he is now serving via house arrest.
+++ Homeless blogger and activist “Ground Zero” Gary Johnson is now in jail serving a six month sentence. He is due out October 31st. Gallagher has threatened to jail him again for two years if he sleeps again outside, though Johnson and the several thousand homeless in the County have no alternative. Gallagher targets Johnson for insisting on his right to assemble at night at the courthouse.

+++ Activist & Journalist “Lighthouse” Linda Lemaster along with dozens of others was cited in August 2010 for “illegal lodging” because she sat down on the steps of the courthouse at night in support of this peaceful protest. She faces jury trial October 15th 9 AM in Dept. 2 with a possible penalty of six months in jail and/or $1000 fine.
+++ Lemaster's latest published story details police repression in Santa Cruz against the Santa Cruz Eleven in the September Street Spirit newspaper.
+++ Attorney Eric Nelson is joining Jonathan Gettleman in representing Lemaster at her upcoming trial. They are both representing her pro bono and need funding for copying costs and other expenses.

+++ Santa Cruz--unlike San Diego and Los Angeles--has a Sleeping and Blanket Ban which criminalizes homeless people at night for survival camping. Fines for violating MC 6.36.010 range from $100 to $200. When sent to collection, additional fines and penalties are added. Since homeless people have to sleep every night and have no legal shelter, many disregard these tickets.
+++ The HLOSC refuses to give out letters to court acknowledging their Paul Lee loft shelter is full. (It also has a 2-6 week waiting list.). Repeated appeals to HLOSC Executive Director Monica Martinez and Mayor Lane have had no impact.
+++ A Lane City Council law makes ignoring 3 citations a separate misdemeanor-- punishable by up to 6 months in jail and $1000 fine. A second law makes every subsequent infraction of any kind an automatic misdemeanor. Authorities have recently declared they are stepping up enforcement of these anti-homeless ordinances.
+++ Vogel's SCPD published a snitch hotline number ramping out and facilitating the class hatred of well-to-do property owners and business people who now have police sanction to criminalize the unsightly. Regular patrols led by anti-homeless diehards like Officers Winston and Warren have escalated attacks on the poor for sitting near a building, holding up a “for change” sign after dark,etc.
+++ Pressured by the PC2010 protests, City Council rubberstamped City Attorney Barisone's ordinance which purports to immunize homeless people from citations if they have signed up for the HLOSC waiting list (MC 6.36.055). It is unclear whether this ordinance is being fairly and fully enforced, but the HLOSC's Martinez refuses to give out receipts indicating folks are on the waiting list and so eligible for the immunity. It also seems to be an unconstitutional grant-magnet which requires homeless people to join a private organization in order to be protected from Sleeping Ban prosecution. Regardless of the law, camping tickets have increased massively over the summer.
+++ Police, rangers, public works “clean up” crews, and Labor-ready hires are destroying campsites and homeless property in violation of state law & the Kinkaid court decision out of Fresno that gave the homeless community there $2.3 million.  This week another Federal Court ruled that homeless have the right to reclaim property designated as “garbage” taken in sweeps . Watch out, Santa Cruz !
+++ As with the Santa Cruz Eleven (charged with fabricated felonies and misdemeanors for a peaceful vacant bank occupation last winter), Frey, Johnson, and Lemaster are being targeted for their political activities not for actual crime. Homeless sleeping & protesting the ban are now crimes.

 ** Support Lemaster at homes4everyone [at] yahoo.com or send what you can to L.L. P.O. Box 42, Davenport, CA 95017 to defray the costs of her legal defense.
** Schedule Time to Attend Protests & Organize Resistance
** Document and Post any Abuses You Observe. Stand Up for Those Under Attack.
** Phone in reports to Free Radio Santa Cruz at 831-427-3772 or HUFF at 423-4833.
** Act to Restore Regular Use of Public Spaces Arbitrarily Closed to Repress Protest.
** Post Written & Video Reports on Facebook, http://www.indybay.org/santacruz etc.
** Refuse to Cooperate with the Campaign to Scapegoat and Sweep Away the Poor.
** Resist the Campaign of Fear & Renew Protests Against Illegitimate Authority
** Support the Santa Cruz Eleven at http://www.santacruzeleven.org
COMING UP: Afternoon Tuesday Sept. 11th : Drop in on the Bureaucrats at Work and then Speak Out at City Council to the Community

Flier by Norse of HUFF (Homeless United for Friendship & Freedom) 831-423-4833 http://www.huffsantacruz.org 309 Cedar PMB #14B S.C. 9-7-12

Comments  (Hide Comments)

by Scared-Straight Green
Tuesday Sep 4th, 2012 8:09 AM
Wow,

I guess it's all academic, since no one does anything anyway, as most people in this town, state, and country have their heads up their asses.
by RazerRay
Tuesday Sep 4th, 2012 11:43 AM
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I want to consolidate a few different thoughts I've had on the subject:

"First, our analysis ... suggests that if development assistance is not appropriately funded relative to the size, geography, and needs of (a community in the) targeted regions, it is liable to act as a double-edged sword by precipitating a revolution..." ~~Kim Cragin, Peter Chalk; Terrorism and Development - RAND Corp, 2003, http://www.rand.org/pubs/monograph_reports/MR1630.html

Let me start by stating ALL "industry standard" studies used by American cities in the development and implementation of their homeless policies conclusively illustrate that disenfranchising, demonizing and criminalizing their houseless citizens

A> DOES NOT alleviate the perceived or actual problems and

B> it cost A LOT of taxpayers money to implement those ineffectual policies.(1)

That tax money is funneled along with the dysfunctional policing policies to local law enforcement agencies which become overtly politicized against a portion of their community causing the officer-on-the-street to be even less effective in their community policing tasks as they become overwhelmed enforcing nuisance ordinances against a specific sector of the city's residents. Enforcement of these ordinances also occurs at the expense of availability of the police and their resources to the community at large within existing budgets.

(and lest I beg the point about disenfranchisement; According to a recent census of the houseless in Santa Cruz, most were employed and housed locally before they became houseless and therefore are a part of the community.)

Further, these city-created 'laws' are often unconstitutional at face and selectively enforced in order to avoid legal challenges by irate victims of these ordinances created by city officials with minimal knowledge of criminal law even as these ordinances and related 'sweeps' hamper the ability of the police to interact with and serve more socially legitimate functions within the community of homeless, which would be very distrustful of the police due previous experience with the intrinsically selective nature of city-created nuisance law enforcement.

Typically the end result of the disenfranchisement, demonization, and criminalization of the houseless solely favors the interests of commercial property owners and developers ... and police agencies(2), public and private, whose budgets and manpower are increased, even in times of economic troubles, again at the expense of the community at large.

All this for policies that do not work
All this for policies that cost taxpayers dollars.

What part of "Fiduciary Malfeasance" with taxpayer's money doesn't Santa Cruz city's elected officials and management understand when they spend their citizens money on policies repeatedly proven ineffective and counterproductive?

What part of "Your city is absolutely wasting tax revenues on policies PROVEN not functional" don't the taxpayers of Santa Cruz understand?

Footnotes:
1. Street People and the Contested Realm of Public Space, Randall Amster
http://books.google.com/books/about/Street_people_and_the_contested_realms_o.html?id=JnVHAAAAMAAJ

2. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xDiEghBf1Ec (Exposition on Nuisance Laws and society)

So where's the rage? All we get are toothless symbolic protests on a day when no one is even at city hall?

(Fridays are "furlough" days)

Let's just call the alternative #809Center

Lets show up on a day when SOMEONE IS ACTUALLY THERE (The vigil day; Friday, is a 'furlough' days... a nice non-confrontational symbolic nothing will result because no one of any importance is available) and SWARM THE CitY MANAGER'S OFFICE.

Take him hostage.

Barricade ourselves with food and supplies.

Force a confrontation with the police. The sloppier and more 'violent' the better.

It ends up on the state and national news wires.

How about headlines like this:

Homeless Mob In California Takes City Manager Hostage

Someone somewhere in the US is going to say...

WTF?

The answer is a federal lawsuit demanding the DOJ take charge of lawmaking in regard to the homeless in Santa Cruz because the city, county, and state, are apparently not capable of mitigating violations of homeless people's rights to be treated like human beings.

...and you know. I won't 'take a ticket' in a stupid symbolic act like the one planned on the seventh (setting up a tent is a ticket-getter at city hall) simply because IT ACCOMPLISHES LESS THAN NOTHING. It's simply a 'pressure relief' mechanism for middle class housed people who for some reason are romantically co-dependent with the 'less fortunate'.

But I WOULD be willing to risk a potentially violent confrontation with the police and city officials... Get sloppily arrested... perhaps even gassed or beaten.

Because at least there's SOME CHANCE that it would not be in vain.

The stage has already been set... The following is EXACTLY what they're doing to the Houseless of Santa Cruz, as noted by a human rights lawyer in this brief about the government's impingement on public space for protests.

"...troubling, and less often discussed, is the sustained use of state power to deter peaceful protesters through over-policing, a zero tolerance approach to minor violations of city ordinances and the imposition of a shifting battery of unspecified "rules." http://jurist.org/sidebar/2012/08/emi-maclean-nypd-occupy.php

by Passive Activist
Wednesday Sep 5th, 2012 9:06 AM
And who said anyone was planning to set up tents at City Hall?
by RazerRay
Wednesday Sep 5th, 2012 11:20 AM
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See Step 8 above and then read on...

It doesn't take a mob, it takes a PUSH, and candle light vigils with or without a tent at city hall again, accomplish nothing.

Here's how inaction works.

I saw an article awhile back stating the dems in congress were attempting to add $61 million dollars to the continuing resolution on the federal budget (going on 5 years since a real one) to repair cracks in the Capitol dome (with the fresco of G Washington achieving godhood) so I was suggesting around town that maybe we should just let the fucking thing all fall in and congress would meet on the Capitol steps where we could all throw rotten vegetables and rocks at them.

I did not meet ONE PERSON of any political stripe who thought that was a bad idea.

But when I suggest something like this, the same fucking people will NOT be for it.

Intangibles are sooooo much more convenient that the tangible suggestion that we jack our LOCAL AND AVAILABLE 1% pandering politicians up

Just so you know... a well known local street performer and I were discussing this and he said... In regard to OccupySantaCruz and HUFF's 'involvement' with the houseless of Santa Cruz:

"These people just don't seem to understand how badly they've alienated the people they want to 'organize'"

I second that and add... One thing Huff and OSC don't understand... We're REALLY REALLY good at spotting scams shams fakes and opportunists. It's a survival skill... and the organizational ranks of those two orgs are littered with them.

by I told you I was a Green
Wednesday Sep 5th, 2012 10:24 PM
And there will be future actions that you can come participate in planning and executing with us, if this one is not to your liking.
by RazerRay
Thursday Sep 6th, 2012 11:42 AM
longshoremen-seattle.jpg
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...to the list of organizations no homeless person should trust.

One look at the state of Green Parties globally is illustrative of why.

Do you also believe the SEIU is different from the AFL-CIO or Teamsters (with whom the SEIU is affiliated) in any significant way?
by Same
Friday Sep 7th, 2012 11:23 AM
Furlough days SHOULD be the point of attack. (I wanted to see that at Occupy, but no one read my online post and came out for that. I need to build my own force of will and argue my most radical and heartfelt ideas in person.) In order to rouse the middle class so that they rise up and demand taxes to be levied on the rich in this country, we have to demonstrate how 99% of us are not getting the services we need to maintain the entire community's safety, health, and well-being from the Government that the plutocrats have created and currently control at all levels.

The economic system and the ecosystem are already killing humans off under the current regime, capitalism. Not just the worst off, not just those who are in the deepest need, not just the angry or passive victims of police repression, not just the houseless, but NEARLY EVERYONE needs to wake up to the reality of the fact that life as we know it in the industrialized world OUGHT TO END. And then we need to find the will and courage to DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT. The sooner, the better. We need to create new non-capitalist, non-ecosystem destroying systems of material relations, as well as caring, non-dignity destroying social relations.

No, the Green Parties are not organized and effective. There full of the same type of behavior you are critical of in HUFF or Occupy. But, the fact of the matter is that the militants aren't organized or effective either. The militant action you desire cannot get off the ground. I see that you are trying to organize it yourself with "World Can't Wait." That doesn't seem to have caught on, has it? And yelling at or insulting the immobile masses does not mobilize them, as far as we've seen, has it?

Don't alienate your potential allies, brother. That's the advice I have been handing out lately, but we're all too wrapped up in our own narcissism to listen. (And it is true that I am the most in need of my own advice.) A diversity of tactics is necessary, but power struggles within our movement are a mistake, in my opinion. I wish to get to a sense of "power with" instead of "power over" (I'm quoting Starhawk). Until 99% of us are able to grapple with that, we will continue to be marginal and fail to change the systems that are killing and oppressing us.

Peace and Solidarity to all my friends.
by RazerRay
Friday Sep 7th, 2012 12:54 PM

...and it was well-statee. Albeit the WorldCantWait image was intended to be apropos... not indicative. But I STILL have to laugh about 'solidarity'. The most recent OccupySantaCruz Agenda post is showing committee meetings at Verve coffee... up above the fray on North Pacific at a section of sidewalk too narrow to panhandle or perform at. Their coffee costs THREE DOLLARS!

I wouldn't expect too many homeless people would show up.

Did Neil Frank (OccupySC's anti-homeless troll) plan this?

Meanwhile, the police have chased the houseless away from the front of Starbucks, so they moved up to Peets and vicinity wherer they are being further harassed. ANd FWIW the sanitizing of the sidewalk in front of Starbucks was not by request of the manager, but by city agency (police) fiat... So don't blame big bad Starbucks. The local employees are quite kind to the (behaviorally maintained and not so maintained) houseless.

by Me again
Saturday Sep 8th, 2012 3:27 PM
The Occupy committee only met at Verve. No one was required to purchase coffee. Luckily for us, the next establishment over (Jamba Juice) had free outside table space, where the meeting actually took place. The meeting was an open meeting, and anyone could have joined in. The folks of Occupy always come as we are, housed, houseless, male, female, young, old, quiet, loud. The hope was and is to plan non-violent direct actions regionally.

Folks can still get in on the organizing, ask for or offer transportation to San Francisco next weekend (where there will be a legal campground for folks to stay) or on Monday, September 17, when the bulk of direct actions are planned. Come to the Sunday (Post Office, 2 PM) or Wednesday GA (Courthouse steps, 6PM) to connect, or go to the Occupy Santa Cruz website. http://www.occupysantacruz.org

The General Assembly for Occupy Santa Cruz is open to all. Anyone can offer a topic for discussion and action planning, although reasonable time limits are generally put in place by the group.

The next Occupy Santa Cruz General Assembly will be held Sunday, September 9, at 2 PM at the downtown Post Office steps.

Hope to see you there, brother.