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Feature Archives

Freedom Sleepers writes: Beginning last July 4th, advocates for people experiencing homelessness have been working to directly address the criminalization of homelessness and for the repeal of the city’s camping/sleeping ban. Activists have been consistent in their position that ordinances prohibiting and criminalizing lying, sitting, and sleeping in public are unconstitutional and such laws pose a grave danger of being selectively enforced against an entire class of people. In August, this position found unexpected support from the Obama Administration.
Sun Feb 7 2016 (Updated 02/09/16)
Bay Area Residents Protest the Super Bowl
Super Bowl City, a corporate playground for tourists, was set up in San Francisco in late January. Before it opened, SFPD began pushing homeless people out of the area. Several protests focused on the taxpayer-financed "city". On January 30, hundreds marched for justice for Mario Woods. On February 3, hundreds of homeless advocates held another protest. On February 6, hundreds more marched to the site to protest unrelenting economic displacements. SFPD repressed all of these protests with at least one hundred cops each time.
Wed Feb 3 2016 (Updated 04/16/16)
Plastic Fence Divides Beach Flats Community Garden
At about 10 am on February 3, a gardener and supporter of the Beach Flats Community Garden relayed the following information via text message, "City is clearing out gardeners stuff right now." By noon, a fence was up and the city's crew was gone. On the previous day, supporters of the garden announced the launch of a grassroots fundraising campaign to assist the City of Santa Cruz in purchasing the current garden from the Seaside Company, but the city is threatening legal action.
A small but dedicated group of "Freedom Sleepers" are facing all the conditions winter has to offer them as they continue to sleep outside of Santa Cruz City Hall on Tuesday nights to protest laws that criminalize homelessness and the simple act of sleeping in public.
A letter of support for Indybay's Alex Darocy was approved by unanimous vote by the Board of Directors of the ACLU of Northern California Santa Cruz County Chapter. Darocy still faces a misdemeanor charge after being cited in March of 2015 by a CHP officer after photographing the six UCSC students who locked themselves together and blocked Highway 1 as part of the “96 Hours of Action” protests against police violence and tuition hikes.
Fri Jan 29 2016 (Updated 01/30/16)
ICE Protest Blocks San Francisco Intersections
Fri Jan 29 2016 (Updated 01/30/16)
Business As Usual Disrupted in SF's Financial District
Chanting "no business as usual" and "ICE out of SF", activists in San Francisco's financial district demonstrated against the treatment of immigrants on January 26. Protesters chained themselves together and blocked two intersections downtown for several hours. At least 15 people were arrested.
On January 8, San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee’s 2016 inauguration was disrupted by protesters calling for the firing of Police Chief Greg Suhr. Demonstrators continue to call for justice following the notable police shootings of Alex Nieto and Mario Woods, which have traumatized the community in San Francisco.