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Santa Cruz Indymedia | Police State and Prisons

New Year's Eve Report
by Becky Johnson & Robert Norse
Thursday Jan 2nd, 2014 5:19 AM
Hopefully some photos of the DIY parade will be appearing soon on indybay. I was in the uncustomarily short and brief 5 PM parade as was activist Becky Johnson, whose comments I reprint from the Sentinel's brief New Year's story spotlighting (as usual) the SCPD and the smug Deputy-Chief Steve Clark.
Becky's Comments:

"We watched cops cite 2 homeless men for sitting on concrete lip between sidewalk & parking lot next to Union Grove music. They were sitting quietly watching the parade. Police returned to arrest one man (who was drunk) and take him to jail. A little later I saw 6 cops in front of Betty's Burgers surrounding a young homeless man sitting on a bench. He was eventually issued a citation: for having a puppy on the mall after dark!! Another (homeless) man was panhandling near the bus station. He'd put his sign away and was packing up when he was cited for "panhandling after dark." Finally, Sherry Conable saw police citing a homeless woman for having her dog tied to a pole. The only common thread in these citations is that ALL of those cited or arrested were homeless. Many dogs (perhaps a dozen) appeared in the DIY parade without a single citation issued to them. Selective enforcement, Santa Cruz style!"

My thoughts:

In past years the DIY parade assembled in the parking lot behind the Saturn Cafe. Now that that lot has been turned into a Walgreen's annex (along with some phony greenery), there was little (though some) of that.

I taped an interview with Arthur Hull, drummeister, and numerous other paraders--which I'll be playing later today on Free Radio (back on the air again, however briefly!). It can be heard 6-8 PM at 101.3, streams at http://tunein.com/radio/FRSC-s47254/ . The show will be archived at http://www.radiolibre.org/brb/brb140102.mp3 .

I was surprised that the drummers left the parade to assemble in front of O'Neill's on the sidewalk instead of in the street, as was customary. The parade was not only unusually short, but also very brief, surrendering the street quickly to join the drummers on the sidewalk. One brave Big Ball Bouncer kept playing bouncy-bouncy with the sparse crowd in the street while others crowded onto the sidewalk.

There were still a lot of smiles and traditional fun floats and vehicles. Out of respect for walkers, I kept my exhaust-heavy stickermobile out of the parade.

The Sentinel's police hand-out can be found at http://www.santacruzsentinel.com/santacruz/ci_24830693/smaller-crowd-fewer-arrests-new-years-eve-santa as well as the usual trolltalk in the comments that follow.

It's ironic that as political thugs and creeps nationally seem on the retreat (Syria, Iran, Afghanistan, the rebellion against NSA spying); in Santa Cruz the crackdown seems poised to intensify under Mayor "Rattlesnake" Robinson.

I've already received word that I shall be required at City Council to stand or sit by my tape recorder if I wish to record Council sessions. We unfortunately live in "interesting times" as Chinese sages used to curse their adversaries.

Officer Winston, to top things off, is reportedly back on the downtown beat.