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View other events for the week of 2/ 2/2013

Title: Food Not Bombs Back In Spite of Police & Postal Harassment
START DATE: Saturday February 02
TIME: 4:00 PM - 6:00 PM
Location Details:
On the sidewalk next to the Main Post Office at the intersection of Pacific, Front, Mission, N. River, and Soquel Streets.
Event Type: Protest
Contact NameFood Not Bombs
Email Addressfoodnotbombs-sc [at] riseup.net
Phone Number
Address
FOOD NOT BOMBS RETURNS
Santa Cruz Food Not Bombs continues its weekly public feeding in front of the Main Post Office.

Last week it was driven by police and postal officials from the spot it had served at for the previous month--under the eavs of the Post Office.

At that spot it did not block traffic, was protected from the wind and rain, and operated without difficulties--except that postal employees objected for unspecified reasons (anonymous complaints).

Last week under threat of arrest, FNB was forced to the sidewalk to serve.

More on this at http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2013/01/19/18730563.php?show_comments=1#18730857 and the main story to which this comment is attached.

THE BROADER THREAT
Allowing bureaucrats and cops to deny the community the right to assemble is a dangerous precedent. Two and a half years ago City Hall and the Library were made curfew zones at night to stop peaceful protest.

Last year, Chief Administrative Officer Susan Mauriello decreed a 7 PM to 7 AM curfew at the courthosue and county building against Occupy Santa Cruz. This curfew is still in force--as though we were under martial law.

CONTACT INFORMATION
The e-mail address and website for for Santa Cruz Food Not Bombs are foodnotbombs-sc [at] riseup.net & http://www.scfnb.org .
They also have a facebook page. The best way to reach them is to come to the Saturday 4 PM meal and volunteer.

Robert Norse of HUFF (Homeless United for Friendship & Freedom) is posting this event. At our weekly meeting we voted to support FNB and encourage others in the community to cook and serve. We also urge folks to come witness and be in solidarity with FNB servers as they rightfully use the public space to both feed and raise important social and political questions.

THE BROADER PICTURE
The attack on Food Not Bombs may be part of a broader agenda by groups downtown (the Downtown Association, Santa Cruz Neighbors, SCPD, City Council) to remove visible poverty from sight and "make Santa Cruz a less welcoming place for the Undesirable".

Attacks on food servers has been done in the past in Santa Cruz and other cities and only stopped when FNB and other feeding groups refused to stop feeding, even in the face of threats of arrest.

A HISTORICAL LOOK BACK
For an account of my jailtime and its impact in helping to stopp the harassment of Food Not Bombs in San Francisco two decades ago see:

http://www.huffsantacruz.org/StreetSpiritSantaCruz/001.SoupCrime%20In%20San%20Francisco=8-96.pdf &

http://www.huffsantacruz.org/StreetSpiritSantaCruz/002.SoupCrime%20In%20S.F.%28cont.%29=8-96.pdf

UPCOMING ATTACKS ON THE HOMELESS
City Council with its right-wing majority is likely to pass the anti-homeless recommendations of the Public Safety [sic] Committee, perhaps as early as next Tuesday. See
"New Attack on Homeless Slated in City Council's "Public Safety" Committee Meeting http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2013/01/29/18730942.php .

I hope that our local FNB will continue the work of its predecessors in taking direct stands to dramatize the abuses of the anti-homeless groups (and phony povertypimps).

Those who have aided and abetted the anti-homeless sweeps of the last year using "needle hysteria" to scapegoat already vulnerable poor people need to be confronted and exposed.

DISCLAIMER
These are my opinions, though I think many in HUFF share them (even some in FNB). I do not speak for FNB (nor for the homeless community), but only for myself.

Please get in touch with FNB and sign up to cook and serve. And show up with cameras, video and audio devices, and friends to witness and support.

The only thing that illegitimate power understands is the power of the community aroused.



Added to the calendar on Wednesday Jan 30th, 2013 10:23 PM

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§To Be Perfectly Clear...
by Robert Norse Wednesday Jan 30th, 2013 11:21 PM
...I wrote and posted the calendar event above. Food Not Bombs is the contact for those who want to volunteer. The story is my perspective. It may be ambiguous or unclear from the fact that I wrote in Food Not Bombs as the contact.

Comments  (Hide Comments)

by Close Critic
Thursday Jan 31st, 2013 10:34 AM
It is my understanding that FNB makes decisions by consensus. They have yet to conduct their meeting for the week. I find it problematic that Norse is creating a calendar item for them without respect for their process.

It seems that he is trying to provoke a conflict with authorities (and his allies) by telling the community what he wants to see happen, which could create confusion--enough so that he has already felt the need to clarify himself. It also seems that he sees himself as an "expert" on the history of FNB whose opinion should be taken with greater weight than others' (a behavior which he pointedly decried last week on his radio show.)
by Northbay solidarity
Friday Feb 1st, 2013 12:28 AM
The effort of the Santa Cruz FNB to serve the people is an inspiration to us out here in the Northbay.
Advocating for and feeding the homeless is about Human Rights, which Santa Cruz seems to not recognize, placing their plutocracy in the realm of fascist regimes in Latin America with their treatment of lower-class folks.
Thank you to Robert, the author of this posting, for diligently posting updates about this struggle. Without him, our Northbay Uprising radio show wouldn't know what is happening, let alone report on it to our audience.
And much support to the HUFF for their endorsement of the Santa Cruz FNB campaign.
by Robert Norse
Saturday Feb 2nd, 2013 12:34 PM
I consulted with several FNB activists before posting the calendar event. They advised me that they'd be at the Post Office today. I hope you will too.
by Robert Norse
Sunday Feb 3rd, 2013 9:59 PM
The meal was served on the sidewalk--peanut-sauce laden tofu, salad, peace pie, snacks, and other goodies. The turnout was lower than last week--perhaps because it was the beginning of the month and folks had more money to get food independently. Perhaps because there was less "excitement" in terms of visible police harassment.

I didn't see any cops. HUFF set up a table and made available literature about the proposed Homeless Bill of Rights as well as last month's Street Spirit.

It was a mellow scene.

Occupy Santa Cruz voted to move its next General Assembly to Saturday at 5 PM during and after the Food Not Bombs meal at the post office.

Food Not Bombs activists attended the Sunday Occupy meeting today and sounded happy.

See you next week most likely.
by Robert Norse
Monday Feb 11th, 2013 1:45 PM
While I wasn't there, reports I got the next day for my radio show from two who were there noted that the meal proceeded successfully on the sidewalk--a bit closer to the Front & Mission intersection (to provide more room on a broader area of the sidewalk). The turnout was reportedly smaller, and I got no reports of police or postal inspectors interfering.

Additionally Occupy Santa Cruz met on the post office steps at its new weekly meeting time of 5 PM each Saturday--with no reported interference.

As long as the weather is sunny and warm (and not rainy and/or cold), the sidewalk area may actually be better by being more visible. However, the principle of outdoor public areas being accessible to both charitable and political activity is an important one that was blatantly violated here, with the collusion of the Santa Cruz Police Department.

Just as parks, the City Hall complex, the library, the levee, and the County Courthouse complex are now "forbidden" zones at night (even for completely lawful political assembly), so now the federal post office is now a "no go".

Prior food servings have also been targeted downtown (Dennis Adams of The Potters Hand meal across the street at the Town Clock was driven away by SCPD harassment after being harried all around town; Ronee Curry faced disapproval from Mayor Coonerty and her clients police harassment within the last few years on several occasions; Father Joel Miller faced a relentless campaign from Councilmember Cynthia Matthews for his Monday Calvary Episcopal meal--see http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2010/12/24/18667496.php).

The determination of the community to support continued access to public spaces is really the only safeguard we have.