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Last Saturday Occupy Santa Cruz and its Homeless Justice Working Group resolution proposed and endorsed a picket against CruzioWorks discriminatory termination of a signed and paid-for contract to use the group's 24-hour workspace. Building on this decision, HUFF (Homeless United for Friendship & Freedom) decided the following Wednesday to broaden the scope of the picketing and protest Friday. The protest will collect and document accounts of discrimination against homeless people at the nearby library, in public spaces downtown, and at downtown businesses. The picket's focus Friday is still the Dan Madison case. He was abruptly and unlawfully terminated without any specific reason several hours after paying, apparently on the instigation of a co-tenant in the building. The anonymous woman was made nervous by the sight of Dan's son, Gryphon, who has Asperger's Syndrome, minding two bikes loaded with their possessions in the CruzioWorks parking lot which she felt "encouraged junkies."
BACKGROUND OF REPRESSION
Police & sheriffs reportedly continue to sweep homeless campsites, seizing homeless property and destroying it in violation of state law and the state and federal Constitutions.
At the last Friday CruzioWorks protest on 8-9, Mystaya Magawa an older woman in tears, reported losing her job and then her health care and her job in Bakersfield. A cancer & MS patient newly arrived in Santa Cruz and homeless with her teen-aged daughter, she described how Starbucks made her leave the coffeeshop after buying coffee because she had her backpack with her. How unlike Bakersfield, police made her stand up when resting on the sidewalk. How she was told it was illegal to cover-up with a blanket at night outside. (Listen to Mystaya's account in the last five minutes of the audio file at http://www.radiolibre.org/brb/brb131508.mp3)
Hate cartoons in the Sentinel by de Cinzo portraying homeless people as needle-strewing fly-ridden bums while the Mayor creates a phony "Public Security" Citizens Task Force. The group, meeting at a police department ever eager to have new "tools" like the Sleeping Ban, Stop-and-Frisk, the end of needle exchange, curfews, triple-fine zones, and other policestate-heavy measures, is headed by a Boardwalk publicist and a homeless-hostile ex-Cop. The pre-fabricated agenda excluding most public testimony justifiles a NIMBY crackdown on the limited services homeless people currently get. The ambitious and smiley-faced Homeless (Lack of) Services Center director Monica Martinez backs the measures while denying homeless clients the documentation they need to avert harassment citations for sleeping and covering up with blankets--as the Paul Lee loft closes down to any newcomers for three months.
City Council and the Board of Supervisors have squandered over $100,000 to fund a "Security Gate" out at the Homeless (Lack of ) Services Center to pander to the paranoia and homeless-get-out agenda of groups like the Santa Cruz Neighbors, the Downtown Association, and Take Back Santa Cruz. (Some activists intend to denounce the waste at Oral Communications 9 AM at the Board meeting Tuesday 8-20 on the 5th Floor of the County Building).
Instead of pointing out that crime has not risen in Santa Cruz for decades--other than smaller property crimes like bike theft-- liberals nervously pander to the "Safety" myth that hysteria hotheads preaching, endlessly harping on the atypical killings of Shannon Collins, Butchie Baker, and Elizabeth Baker. This kind of political cowardice and opportunism is similar to the Obama regime's signing on to the foreign wars, the war on terror, domestic surveillance, and the heightened attacks on whistleblowers.
THE MADISON CASE
It is this myth that seems to have prompted the complaint against Dan Madison by a still unidentified tenant for simply having a homeless son standing next to a bike filled with homeless possessions. Worse, and more telling, the "liberal" CruzioWorks management had no problem in summarily denying Madison's 24-hour service (violating a 30-day notice requirement) without even giving him a hearing.
Nearly a week has passed and Madison's e-mail requesting a clear explanation from CruzioWorks has gone unanswered (See http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2013/08/08/18741236.php?show_comments=1#18741257 ).
Attempts by Cruzio's customers to get a straight answer have also failed (http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2013/08/08/18741236.php?show_comments=1#18741493).
If we patronize businesses that bill themselves as liberals but actually take their marching orders from NIMBY bigots, if we accept their succumbing to the myth that homeless people are a "Public Safety" danger, we enter a truly dangerous time.
While activists will be encouraging folks to either not patronize CruzioWorks or to demand some explanation for the exclusionary action, we will also be asking homeless people to speak out on abusive practices elsewhere. Such practices include Head Librarian Teresas Landers's new "no signs in the library" policy directing a homeless person to turn his sign to the wall--the man had a political sign denouncing George H.W. Bush--or leave the library. Landers also has implemented a "bring your backpack into the library, get kicked out" notice given to Madison a few days ago. Madison also reported a thuggish "wake up or get out" policy by security guards for nodding off in the library.
I've also received reports of First Alarm heavies excluding homeless people from the library grounds during daylight hours before the library opens, driving them from the grass at City Hall, and stalking them in San Lorenzo Park (See "First Alarm Security Guards Profile and Stalk San Lorenzo Park Users" at http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2013/06/24/18738888.php ).
Sweeps on the levee, in Harvey West Park (one this morning), and in the Pogonip are on-going and threaten the dignity, health, and safety of the homeless community.
WHAT IS TO BE DONE
Homeless folks and those who wish to oppose this crackdown are invited to join the picket, witness, and/or testify to what they have seen. If you can't make the protest but have seen particular abuses, please post the details on-line or contact HUFF at 831-423-4833 and leave your account.
Contact Cruzio at 831-459-6301 or office [at] cruzio.com to demand justice for Dan Madison and the homeless community.
To paraphrase Edmund Burke, "All that is needed for evil to prevail is for good folks to do nothing."
On the other hand, consider this posting by activist Colin Campbell Clyde: http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10151821128440854&set=gm.565530216837466&type=1&relevant_count=1 .
The choice is ours.
For more background on the case go to http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2013/08/08/18741236.php and follow the comments.
If you doubt this flyer, contact Cruzio directly and ask them!