Last Rights Parade and Protest (7/5)
Wed July 5th 2:30pm
Center Street Police Station Courtyard
Join us for a sorrowful funeral parade for our first amendment rights and right to privacy. A protest against the city's failure to resolve the Police Spying Scandal. A demand that city managers muzzle their dogs and put restrictions on police power to spy on us. A funeral, a parade, and direct action.
With the Santa Cruz Trash Orchestra and assorted funeral procession musicians.
On July 5th, the new SCPD policy on police spying goes into effect. Under the new rules, even if you are engaged in constitutionally protected first amendment activities, Santa Cruz police will still be able to videotape you inside or outside of your home, audio record you, listen to your phone calls, look at the mail you are receiving, read your email, make notes about your organization, tail you, monitor your website, subscribe to your email lists, and examine your membership lists.
The city has fallen down on its promise to pass a policy providing protections for our first amendment rights. They resisted. They were dragged kicking and screaming to the issue. They stonewalled. They sidelined the ACLU. They lied. Then they told us they'd done their job and that everything was okay.
Working within the system is not working.
Nothing less than our First Amendment rights to free expression and right to privacy are at risk here. We will never accept police spying on our political and community groups and activities.
Wear black. Bring signs. Bring an instrument, drum, or resonant piece of refuse.
Press Conference at 2:00pm. Police Station Courtyard.
Santa Cruz has new rules for undercover police
By SHANNA McCORD
Sentinel staff writer
Wed July 5th 2:30pm
Gather at the SC Police Station Courtyard (Center and Laurel St.)
Funeral Procession: via Pacific Ave, Farmers Market & local Media outlets, culminating in a finale' at City Hall
Join us for a funeral parade and out-cry for our first amendment rights and right to privacy. A protest against the city's failure to resolve the Police Spying Scandal. A demand that city managers muzzle their dogs and put restrictions on police power to spy on us. A funeral, a parade, and direct action.
With the Santa Cruz Trash Orchestra, funeral procession musicians and minstrels.
On Wednesday, July 5th, the new SCPD policy on police spying goes into effect. Under the new rules, even if you are engaged in constitutionally protected first amendment activities, Santa Cruz police will still be able to "legally" videotape you inside or outside of your home, audio record you, listen to your phone calls, look at the mail you are receiving, read your email, make notes about your organization, tail you, monitor your website, subscribe to your email lists, and examine your membership lists.
Six months after the New Years revelations re local police spying and infiltration of a peaceful parade organizing group, the City has failed in its promise to pass a policy providing clear protection of our first amendment rights. We'd like to tell you something different, but our local elected representatives for the most part have NOT respectfully represented their constituents, nor voiced, nor advocated for the public interest with any significant courage or backbone! Damn! They resisted. They stonewalled. They sidelined the ACLU. They misled us with promises of full discussion and public meetings, transparency. They even lied. Then they told us they'd done their job and that everything was fine. They said we should be proud of the accomplishments. Last Tuesday the one Council Member response to our concerns and frustration said publicly: ...."it's probably the best ordinance in the entire country." and that the ACLU Police Practices Lawyer, Mark Schlosberg, would agree. This said last Tuesday at the City Council meeting with a straight face (by Mike Rotkin) knowing full well that this was a lie!
Working within the system isn't working!
Nothing less than our First Amendment rights to free expression and right to privacy are at risk here.
We will never accept police spying on the activities of our community groups political, creative, liberal or conservative.
Wear black. Bring signs. Bring an instrument: a drum, a whistle, pots, pans or a resonant piece of refuse (Refuse & Resist!).
Press Conference at 2:00pm. Police Station Courtyard.
For more info: http://www.lastnightdiy.org
'Just-us' Anti-SPY Alliance: Local anti police infiltration alliance and lobbying group.
Police Practices Policy Director
ACLU of Northern California
First, thank you for your hard work. I understand it can be uh, challenging working with the conflicting passions of both activists and city managers and council. I appreciate what you do and have tremendous respect for you and for the work of the ACLU. I just wanted to say that because I don't know if I'd expressed it before.
Several people including Mike Rotkin have confidently mentioned that the new policy in place earlier would have prevented the police spying situation we had late last year. I am not so sure.
I agree the new policy is better than nothing, assuming of course, that with the adoption of the new policy any further change is not a dead issue.
Looking at the new policy, still the most glaring omission of course, is the "total surprise" that it should have included all investigative operations of first amendment activities. Under the new rules, even if citizens are engaged in legal and constitutionally-protected first amendment activities, Santa Cruz police can still monitor citizens in other ways. They are still free to videotape us inside or outside of our homes, audio record us, look at our mail, make notes about our organizations, profile members, tail us, monitor our websites, subscribe to our email lists, and examine our membership lists. (Section 610.3, notwithstanding which only applies to undercover operations)
1) But beyond that, perhaps the most important issue is the key paragraph dealing with when undercover operations are authorized:
...the Santa Cruz Police Department shall not undertake an undercover criminal operation that entails the investigation of First Amendment activities... unless: (1) there is articulable and reasonable suspicion to believe that the subject of the investigation is planning criminal activity, or is engaged in criminal activity, that constitutes a hate crime or a crime that is reasonably likely to result in personal injury, property loss or property damage;
Police Chief Skerry has repeatedly cited the 1994 New Year's police riot as a motivation for their proactive stance. Given that the police believed that there was a potential for violence, couldn't the SCPD according to the new policy have begun an undercover investigation with the information they had? Perhaps it hinges on the phrase "reasonably likely." Is there an established legal definition of that?
2) As we mentioned, the new policy does not have a definition of first amendment activities. Police Chief Skerry and Deputy Chief Vogel both stated (somewhat incredulously) that they didn't believe that the Last Night DIY parade was a first amendment activity and didn't recognize that it was political in nature. Of course a parade is by nature an expressive activities and doesn't have to be political to garner the protection of the first amendment, but that was their unreasonably high standard (as Bob Aaronson put it).
Since the SCPD didn't believe it was a first amendment activity, and since the new policy contains no definition of first amendment activities, couldn't the SCPD have chosen to infiltrate the group without violating this policy?
3) The new policy allows a deputy chief to authorize an undercover investigation. This is unchanged from the practice we saw in which DC Vogel authorized the undercover operation for Last Night DIY in October.
4) And note that the new policy only requires the police department to report the numbers of undercover operations not the targets or the nature of them.
The Auditor’s annual report to the Public Safety Committee shall be a public record and shall delineate the number of undercover investigations of First Amendment activity undertaken by the Police Department, the number of authorizations sought for this type of investigation which were sought but denied, and the number of authorizations sought for this type of investigation which were sought and approved.
The new policy in no way requires the PD to enter into the public record the nature or the subjects of undercover operations. If our group were part of an undercover operation, we would be a number on the police auditor's report, but might never know we were investigated.
And as we talked about, important missing sections are policies limiting outside agencies, records purging, and public reporting on violations of the policy.
Thanks for your response on this.
Cc: Richard Wilson, Mike Rotkin, Ed Porter, Ryan Coonerty, Just Us Coalition
As usual our Democrat Party City Council members, most especially Cynthia Mathews, Mike Rotkin, Ed Porter, Ryan Coonerty, and Emily Reilly, voted to not get in the way of the repressive functions of the Santa Cruz Police when the people found that they were being spied on for legal political activities.
This should be of no surprise to anyone. These are politicians of the same Democrat Party that voted to go to war. Locally their function is to both funnel opposition to the war into the useless and nationally pro-war Democrat Party while at the same time using their police as a repressive force against those who are calling for real change.
The left in the United States as well as in Santa Cruz has been the victim of all kinds of political repression, spying, and other disruption done by the FBI as well as local police. From the FBI's murders and frame-ups of Black Panther Party members to their bombing of Judy Bari, all information gathered is dangerous in the hands of our predatory and terrorist government. Likewise the spying and disruption of the left by the infamously brutal Santa Cruz Police is intolerable and should be recognized within the correct political context of the need to build a revolutionary socialist alternative to the war and repression of the Democrat Party.
Liberation News stands united with the upcoming July 5th demonstration against police infiltration.
Sincerely, Steven Argue
For Liberation News
An open letter to the Santa Cruz City Council in protest of police infiltration
Dear Mr. Modes and Ms. Conable:
My name is Patty Sapone and I am the Deputy Chief of the Administration Division of the Santa Cruz Police Department. It has come to my attention through an email sent to Mayor Matthews by Sherry Conable that there is a planned event called “Last Rights Parade and Protest” to be held in the Center Street courtyard of the Santa Cruz Police Department on Wednesday, July 5, 2006, beginning at 2:30 p.m. I have been led to believe you may be involved in organizing this event.
The City of Santa Cruz Municipal Code Section 10.65 requires a permit for a noncommercial event. The ordinance defines a “noncommercial event” as a noncommercial public assembly, the primary purpose of which is the exercise of the participant’s constitutional rights of free speech and assembly which meet the following criteria:
(a) Which is scheduled to take place on a city street, sidewalk, alley or other right a way; and/or
(b) Which is likely to obstruct, delay, or interfere with the normal flow of vehicular or pedestrian traffic; and/or
(c) Whose participants are not likely to comply with traffic laws or controls; and/or
(d) Which generates a crowd of spectators or participants not comply with traffic laws or controls; and/or
(e) Which due to the crowd it generates, restricts access to or use of parks, beaches, or other public areas; and/or
(f) Which will result in the placement of structures or objects on streets or sidewalks exceeding six feet by three feet in size or six feet in height.
There are some exceptions to the permit requirement. Events that meet the following criteria may be exempt:
(a) A noncommercial event held exclusively within a city park, which does not cause an impact as listed above. These events require review and approval by the Parks and Recreation Director;
(b) A noncommercial event which in the estimation of the designate reviewing authority will involve less than 100 people and for which the sponsor makes the following guarantees:
(1) Participants will assemble or march only on the sidewalks;
(2) Participants will cross streets only at crosswalks in units of fifteen or less allowing vehicles to pass between each unit;
(3) Participants will obey all traffic controls and regulations;
(4) Participants will not obstruct the sidewalks or otherwise impede the orderly flow of foot traffic on sidewalks;
(5) Participants will not place structures or objects on streets or sidewalks exceeding six feet by three feet in size or six feet in height between sunrise and sunset;
(6) Participants will obey all applicable laws, statutes and ordinances;
(7) Participants will not obstruct necessary maintenance and cleaning of streets, sidewalks, or other public facilities;
(8) If available toilets or sanitary facilities will be inadequate to meet the need for such facilities created by the event participants, a representative of the event participants shall meet with the city department head responsible for the public facility where the event is to take place and reach an agreement for the provision of adequate temporary toilet and sanitary facilities;
(9) Any signage used will not be of such a dimension or used in such a manner that such signage may impede or obstruct pedestrians on sidewalks or vehicles on streets.
There Noncommercial Event Ordinance under Chapter 10.65 of the Santa Cruz Municipal Code is available on the City’s website at http://www.santa-cruz.ca.us. Noncommercial Event permits are issued by the Police Department.
I have attached a noncommercial event permit application form for you. If your planned event meets the permit criteria, please fill out the permit application and return it to the Santa Cruz Police Department to my attention as soon as possible.
If you feel that your event does not require a permit based on the above exemption criteria, could you please provide me with the following information:
* Date, location(s), start time and anticipated duration of event
* Number of anticipated participants
* If the event involves a march or any type of parade, anticipated route of the march and/or parade
* Number, if any, of possible vehicles involved
* Name and contact information for someone who can be contacted during the event to assist with addressing any public safety concerns that may come up during the event
* If there will be any monitors assisting with the event, and, if so, how will they be identified.
If you are not the people to contact regarding this event, could you please forward this email to the appropriate person?
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at (831) 420-5814. I will be in the office most of the day on July 4th and 5th.
Deputy Chief of Police
Santa Cruz Police Department
155 Center Street
Santa Cruz, CA 95060
The information contained in this electronic mail message (including any attachments) is confidential information that may be covered by the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, 18 USC Sections 2510-2521, intended only for the use of the individual or entity named above, and may be privileged. If the reader of this message is not the intended recipient, you are hereby notified that any dissemination, distribution, or copying of this communication, or the taking of any action based on it, is strictly prohibited. If you have received this e-mail in error please notify the sender immediately and delete the original message.
Thank you for your inquiry. I am grateful that you have chosen to contact us to satisfy the safety concerns of your department. Plus we are not having any public meeting in which to send undercover officers to. :-)
First I speak only for myself. I am part of a loose coalition of people who have been fighting for greater limits on police power to monitor first amendment activities. We have been helping promote the march, but there is no one person, or single group of people responsible.
We are not seeking a permit to exercise our right to free expression. This includes marching or protesting on a public street. It is a political event, in the sense that we are protesting the city's failure to pass an adequate policy on first amendment activities. Somewhat ironic, really. But I'm sure that's not lost on you.
Honestly, we don't know how many people will be there. It could be a dozen people or it might be hundreds. As with the Last Night DIY parade, the numbers of people might totally surprise us. Or they very well could be underwhelming. If I were to hazard a guess, I'll say 100, but that might be optimistic.
We will be marching up Cedar Street with a short diversion down Pacific (starting at the Farmer's Market) and then ending up again at the Farmer's Market.
We don't expect any vehicles.
We hope to have a few people who will serve as conflict managers and police liaisons. We expect they will have yellow jackets on that say "conflict manager." If not, we'll suggest that anyone marching refer any officer's questions to the conflict managers.
Here is my cell phone in case you need to reach me. 408.218.2782 And while you can always talk to me, I won't have any authority to control any of the marchers.
Thanks for the direct communication.
Thanks for getting back to me. Lt. Mark Sanders will be the on-duty Watch Commander today. Ask for him if you have any concerns. Of course, we are asking that everyone obey all laws, especially the traffic laws. I will share your contact information with Lt. Sanders. Please feel free to contact me with any questions.
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