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Santa Cruz Indymedia | Police State and Prisons

A Week Later The Sentinel Does Drive-By Coverage of the Santa Cruz Eleven
by Robert Norse ( rnorse3 [at] hotmail.com )
Tuesday Jun 10th, 2014 7:43 AM
Today's Scent-Anal finally got around to covering the 6-4 hearing of the Final Four of the Santa Cruz Eleven--in a story that's buried on-line and nearly impossible to leave comments on (you keep getting displaced by an ad). I suppose we should be grateful there's any space given to the issue at all. I have so far unsuccessfully tried to leave the following comments on the story--which reiterate past concerns, but, I think, are still strongly relevant. The Sentinel story is by Jessica York and can be found at http://www.santacruzsentinel.com/News/ci_25931032/Delays-continue-in-vandalism-trespass-case .
No mention of the $100,000 cost of the case to the taxpayers so far, plus another $100,000 for the upcoming felony trial. Nor any interest in the ongoing foreclosure fraud and crime being perpetrated by Bob Lee's pals in the Wells Fargo rackets. Nor info about senseless prosecution was and is part of a broader repression against the Occupy movement and stopping similar protests as the war against the poor escalates.

No analysis of the fact that the D.A. And police have zero evidence of any actual vandalism committed by the four defendants. The abuse of the “aiding and abetting' theory spins the expensive lie that simply because these four along with more than a hundred others were in the building (as I was), they are “guilty” of vandalism.

Also conveniently forgotten was the original purpose of the peaceful occupation of the now six-years vacant Wells Fargo-leased ban building: to provide a community center and/or homeless refuge for those outside—only 5% of whom have any legal place to sleep at night.

The continued case simply provides political cover for Bob Lee's failed case here and the endless distraction from escalating rents, ongoing foreclosures, and increasing poverty prompted by the massive wealth in equality in the country (and in the county).

Meanwhile on-going low-intensity terrorism against protesters and the community continues with the 6 PM to 6 AM curfew all around the courts and county buildings (denying the basic right to peaceful protest there) as well as increased “public safety” exclusions and visible police-state presence downtown, around city hall, the library, and the parks. No word from the local ACLU on these blatant bites out of the Constitution. Gary Johnson served a 6 month sentence and received an additional 2 years for sleeping on a bench outside the courthouse for a handful of nights (see http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2014/01/06/18748816.php ).

Recently I've learned from Ed Frey, the attorney in Gary Johnson's case, that there have been new positive developments in his demand to have the case reheard because only 2 of the required 3 judges were present at the appeal hearing. More on that when he posts it or I get more info. Earlier doc uments in the case are o Ed's website at http://www.fullspectrumdemocracy.org/

Gary's probation ended in March, Ed tells me, and his on-going commentary often appears at Gary's website: http://peacecamp2010insider.blogspot.com/ .

Recent updates & comments on the June 4th hearing are posted at http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2014/06/05/18756978.php .

Comments  (Hide Comments)

by former sentinel reader
Tuesday Jun 10th, 2014 10:40 AM
The Sentinel website won't let me read the article until I pay them money.
by Robert Norse
Tuesday Jun 10th, 2014 1:37 PM
Difficult to keep on screen Sentinel story:



Delays continue in vandalism, trespass case against Occupy Santa Cruz four
Next hearing set for late August

By Jessica A. York

jyork [at] santacruzsentinel.com @ReporterJess on Twitter
Posted: 06/09/2014 05:22:49 PM PDT7 Comments

SANTA CRUZ >> A Santa Cruz County Court judge is urging resolution for a case against four of the 11 people originally arrested in the 2011 Occupy Santa Cruz takeover of a vacant former Wells Fargo bank building.

"I'm not at all comfortable postponing all the cases," Superior Court Judge Paul Burdick said early last week when new legal issues were put forward from defense attorneys during a trial-setting hearing on June 3. "It's in everybody's interest to get to a resolution on this case. It's too old."

For three days in November 2011, a crowd of people ranging from 50 to 150 people staged a protest while taking over a vacant bank building at 75 River St. in Santa Cruz for three days.

Burdick said a "sticking point" in reaching a plea deal in the case was Santa Cruz County District Attorney's Office proposal that the last four of 11 people originally charged as "leaders" in the protest jointly shoulder restitution costs estimated at $25,000 in exchange for lesser charges. The defendants include Brent Adams, Frank Alcantara, Cameron Laurendeau and Gabriella Ripley Phipps. Though Burdick urged settlement, attorneys agreed that no imminent solution was on the horizon, and a new court date was set for Aug. 27.

Defense attorney Jesse Ruben, representing Alcantara, said on Wednesday that the offered up-front restitution payment deal versus a payment plan was a problem. Describing his client as indigent, Ruben said, "He couldn't afford to buy himself a misdemeanor."

The case has been beset by motions from prosecutors and defense attorneys for issues ranging from providing copies of protest footage to efforts to disqualify judges assigned to the case.

In the latest issue, one of the defense attorneys has suggested Santa Cruz County District Attorney Bob Lee may have a conflict of interest in the case due to business dealings with Wells Fargo, which is claiming damages in the case. Lee was unavailable Monday, but Deputy District Attorney Jeff Rosell said he had been given information on the case. He said so far, it was his understanding that the filing referencing the allegation against Lee was in the form of a vague brief.

"When specific information is alleged, we will certainly respond to it," Rosell said Monday.

Several court files relating to the Occupy case have been unavailable to the public since Tuesday's hearing, including the allegation against Lee.




Gary Johnson has also suggested the following places for updates on his case:

http://appellatecases.courtinfo.ca.gov/search/case/dockets.cfm?dist=6&doc_id=2048300&doc_no=H039764
https://twitter.com/PeaceCamp2010in
by Robert Norse
Sunday Aug 10th, 2014 1:47 AM
Recently the Santa Cruz Sentinel essentially froze access to all its back stories beyond a year--requiring you sign up for some special paid service which costs a few bucks per story. Previous links from stories more than a year old no longer work. So I recommend folks referencing stories, include the stories themselves in future postings (repugnant as it may be to reread Scent-Anal stuff).