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Sleep and Resistance in Downtown Santa Cruz
Alex Darocy
On April 17 a group of homeless community members in Santa Cruz initiated a high visibility sleep-protest, which was held downtown at the main branch of the post office. Sleepers subsequently occupied several locations outside of the front of the building for four days, with many individuals continuing to sleep there in protest after being cited for violating the sleeping ban or for obstructing the sidewalk. Some of those cited under Santa Cruz's municipal code 6.36.010, the ban on sleep in public places, say they were on the Homeless Services Center wait list for shelter spaces at the time they were cited. The protest was organized in support of decriminalizing sleep, and individuals primarily participated in the protest because they needed a safe place for the night. "We are just looking for a safe place to sleep, and we are really trying to get the sleeping ban lifted," a homeless participant named Zack said. Yoyo, another homeless participant added, "you can't sleep anywhere...it shouldn't be illegal to sleep." [Photos were taken the evening of April 20 through the morning of April 21]

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