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Indybay Feature
Boycott Bigotry Demo at Lulu Carpenters 4 PM Today (11/10)
by Robert Norse
Friday Nov 10th, 2006 10:44 AM
The rain-postponed demonstration at Lulu Carpenters (1545 Pacific Ave. in downtown Santa Cruz) will take place this afternoon at 4 PM. Bigotry-free coffee will be available on the sidewalk for early-bird protesters.
The issues: abusive police/merchant treatment of disabled homeless AIDS patient Shane Maxwell and the general police policies routinely using selective enforcement favoring merchants over the poor (and the rest of the community).

Bring alternate cafe supplies, friends, cameras, tape recorders, and high spirits.

More info in earlier Santa Cruz Indymedia story "Santa Cruz Coffee Shop Owner At It Again" </newsitems/2006/10/15/18320439.php>
http://www.indybay.org/archives/archived_blurb_list.php?page_id=60

The following form will be available to pass on to Lulu Carpenter's owner Manthri Srinath:

A RESPECTFUL REQUEST TO THE OWNER OF LULU CARPENTER'S

Mr. Srinath:

I want to buy at local businesses that respect local people--even poor people. At cafes whose owners respect public sidewalks as places for everyone, not just those with money. Please assure me that in the future you will respect the rights of everyone. I would appreciate hearing your side of this controversy. If you have mistreated the man in question, are you willing to make some kind of restitution? Please call or e-mail me. I want to spend money here, knowing that your policy is to treat poor people decently and respect everyone's rights.

Name...............................................................Phone........................E-Mail......................


If you can't come, you might want to telephone your concerns to his cafe directly at 831-429-9804.

Other issues being raised at the HUFF (Homeless United for Friendship & Freedom) table include a Petition to the City Attorney demanding Santa Cruz follow the L.A. and San Diego policies of ending nighttime arrests of homeless sleepers, concerns about just eviction laws, and other issues of police/merchant harassment downtown.

There will also be discussion of what to do in the aftermath of the exposure of Santa Cruz's false progressivism in an election which rejected Measure G (raising the minimum raise to the poverty line locally).

Comments  (Hide Comments)

by past event
Saturday Nov 11th, 2006 12:37 PM
Hey Robert, ever think about posting your 'last minute' event notices on the Calendar, instead of the newswire? Just a thought, becuase now this call to action for 'Today' sits at the top of SC-IMC's local newswire.
by Robert Norse
Saturday Nov 11th, 2006 10:39 PM
Thanks for the suggestion. I'll try and do that in future.

There has been followup on this event. Hopefully photos and commentary will be posted shortly.

A dozen or more people were successfully persuaded to boycott bigotry at Lulu Carpenter's last night.

Comments apparently from the owner (Manthri Srinath) about the protest can be found at http://www.humanityforhomeless.blogspot.com/ under "Santa Cruz Merchant Torments Terminally Ill Man"
The November 2006 issue of The Street Spirit (at http://www.thestreetspirit.org) also carries the article.

The fliers we distributed will hopefully be posted shortly. Folks are urged to continue the boycott until owner Srinath gives the community some reasonable explanation for his false police report, reopens his business to everyone, and agrees not to misuse the SCPD or the homeless in the future.
by What a bunch of Norse-shit
Sunday Nov 12th, 2006 9:23 AM
Rich, white, trust fund baby (Robert Norse) vs. Southeast Asian, small business owner (Manthri Srinath).

Who's REALLY the bigot?
by (posted by) Robert Norse
Sunday Nov 12th, 2006 8:03 PM
Srinath declined to call in to answer concerns about his abusive practices on my radio show today.

I played various interviews from those who decided to support the Lulu Carpenters boycott. It also features some audio from 2003 when Srinath was cited by police for either assault or battery after he threw coffee on a homeless man and his "boycott Lulu Carpenter's" sign.

It should soon be archived at http://www.radiolibre.org/brb/brb061112.mp3 (download and go to the last 1/3 of the show).

Srinath did, however, do some posting on Tim Rumford's blog humanityforhomeless.blogspot.com .

Tim wrote much of the current story about Srinath's cruel, bigoted, and discriminatory behavior in earlier stories on this website. Google for Lulu Carpenter's to find them.



Here is some of the interchange on Tim's blog (which folks can access directly by going there and checking out "Santa Cruz Merchant Torments Terminally Ill Man".
The bracketed remarks are from me.

Manthri Srinath wrote [9:57 AM 11-11]

Rumsfeld [Tim's name is actually "Rumford"; presumably Srinath is simply ignorant or sarcastically calling Tim by Donald Rumsfeld's name]

I just found out about all of this yesterday when you guys showed up. A couple of points. Number one, I dropped the ticket against Shane a while back, so he's off the hook. As I said on another site where I found you, I don't have time to chase down an AIDS patient with a rabbit and a screw loose. Also, as is usually the case when fringe elements "boycott" us, business went up, not down. Don't give yourself that much credit! Also thanks for posting the text of your note. I didn't see them. My staff threw all of them in trash because they were cluttering up our space. And as far as "restitution" goes, you must be joking.
Lastly, with the exception of you, Robert Norse, Becky Johnson, Christopher Krohn, et al.(who are banned for life), we don't care how much money is in someone's account. Only that we are paid full price when they come in and that they follow our rules and respect our business. LuLu's is not for everyone. For those who get it, it's a very special place, largely because it's free of people like you.
Glad you enjoyed yourself last night. See ya.

Manthri Srinath 9:57 AM

Tim Rumford wrote [10:25 AM 11-11]
Thanks for your comment. Your deep compassion for those struck with a disease such as AIDS, and those who are homeless just jumps off the page.


Manthri Srinath wrote [11:32 AM 11-11]

I observe you have now reserved censorship authority over this comment section. Presumably, it's uncomfortable to be told just where you get off. We'll see if you have the temerity to allow this last post of mine to stand...

I have had friends who have died of AIDS, Mr. Rumford, and I have employed more than a few HIV-positive folks in my businesses. I have given to AIDS charities and was at one time the largest corporate contributor to Habitat for Humanity in a city where a company I previously owned was headquartered. So, I daresay I've done considerably more than you and your other "activist" buddies have towards solving these problems.

Inconsiderately camping in the middle of the business district (outside New Leaf, I think you said) every week to prove a point is the sort of behavior that makes me and most other hard-working business people dislike you. Again, it's not the causes that you are co-opting. It's you personally. If it wasn't for Robert Norse and gang, I would be very active locally in these same causes. This is the only town I have lived in where I haven't been involved in these issues. So much for your activism.

If you are genuinely trying to help the indigent, the way to do it is to win over people with resources, not threaten them by holding an (empty) gun to their heads.

No worries, I shan't be embarassing you by posting here again. I'll see you the next time you "boycott" outside.

Manthri Srinath


Tim Rumford wrote [12:33 PM 11-11]

Realist said...

I never censor any comments and never have. I turned on this feature because on Indybay I had people trying to get me to slander you with accusations that were, slander, like child abuse and ridicules things like that. I refused to put that on any flyer in your defense.

I do not believe those comments to be true, just people trying to get me to be unethical in the story I wrote, by Shane's own account. I tried calling you and was directed to Megan when this first started, so this would not happen. I asked for a simple one page apology. I was told to go to hell.
We would all like to here your version of the incident, but I cannot even prove it is you, since your posting anonymously. My suggestion is, you call in the show Sunday and give your side, it’s we have been asking for all along.
Broadcast Schedule Thursdays from 6-8 p.m. and Sundays from 9:30 a.m to 1:00 p.m. at freakradio.org. Free Radio Santa Cruz is also reportedly picked up by pirate broadcasters and relayed at 101.1 FM. Call in numbers are (831) 427-FRSC or 427-3772

As far as what I do in front of New Leaf: I feed people. I am not the Wed night Safe Music event, which I support. I run a homeless food program. All we do is feed people. Every Monday through local donations we cook a large pot of soup, hard boiled eggs and juice for about 60-100 people. I clean up and leave it better then when I arrived.

I never questioned your morals or ethics just your own actions.


"JP" wrote: [7:45 AM 11-12]

I wrote Manthri Srinath a letter and he never bothered to respond. That is no way to keep buisness. In my opinion you have waited far too long to come out guns blazzing now.



Robert Norse wrote: [3:43 p.m. 11-12]

I agree with JP and comment Tim Rumford for his persistent pressure on this issue.

Apparently the November 10th evening protest produced 30-40 written inquiries to Lulu Carpenter's requesting clarification, which Mr. Srinath says were "thrown in the trash". Perhaps a useful indication of how Srinath treats people he doesn't like--whether they be workers, customers, or just people nearby.

Srinath is invited (again) to present his perspective on my Free Radio Santa Cruz show (Sundays 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. 831-427-3772).

I'll be playing some tape there from last night's protest, which includes critical commentary from friends of his former employees.

More to the point, Srinath has failed to either explain his abusive behavior or his subsequent false police report.
Nor has he committed himself to not repeating such behavior in the future with the next homeless person he takes a disliking to.

If Srinath throws out any honest concerns or criticisms because they "clutter up" his place, it doesn't suggest he's open to much criticism or dialogue. His reluctance to come on the radio shows the same.

When I criticized him at City Council publicly during the 7 PM October 24th Oral Communications session, he had no reply (though Councilmember Coonerty and Geoff Dunn jumped to his defense without knowing the details of the incidents involved).

Perhaps former customers should give Srinath more room for the "special" people that he likes to attract.

We have a word for limiting your clientele to the favored elite--and it's what we mean when we suggest you Boycott Bigotry at Lulu Carpenter's.

Srinath also has another coffee shop up in Scotts Valley. I'd appreciate hearing if he has the same kind of policies up there as he does down in Santa Cruz.

For those interested, "Boycott Bigotry at Lulu Carpenters" buttons may soon be available.

There is also a Small Claims Court process available for those who suffer damages (which can involve pain and humiliation) when merchants and police collude to file false or discriminatory charges.

At our next protest we'll hopefully have that information available.

Robert Norse 3:43 PM



Manthri Srinath wrote: [4:59 PM 11-12]

Horse, [Srinath again is being witty with names]

I promised Rumford that I would not post here again, but I really can't resist. The target practice is just so juicy! So, here we go, point by point...
[Actually, as will become clear, Srinath declines to respond to any of the concerns requested by what Tim estimates are somewhere between 30 and 40 people turning in inquiry slips which his managers, he says, "threw away". He simply mocks his critics.]

I too commend you guys for your "persistent pressure" on this "issue". It has generated some great publicity, and of all people, "Norse", you should know that that's ALWAYS a good thing.
We received not a few calls this morning from people in hysterics over your "show" and we then proceeded to have the busiest morning in our 16 year history. Come to think of it, it's been a hell of a weekend too!
[Since Srinath refuses to give any details, it's hard to judge the accuracy of his account. The place looked rather depleted when we left on Friday night.]

As for talking to a journalist, as soon as you can produce a real one on say, KUSP, I will gladly sit down to talk. I don't interview with pretend "journalists" who are living on mom and dad's money. Especially not ones with with decades-old wrinkles and long grey beards.
[Perhaps we should send a fresh young female journalist to chat with him. Any volunteers?]

I don't owe you or anyone else an explanation for anything. Which is why you won't get one. Certainly, you are in no position to demand my attention when you "criticize" me. I mostly use your incendiary remarks as humor at dinner parties, but that's it.
[If abusive behavior towards a terminally ill man is appropriate dinner table humor, then Manthri is certainly on-target. One shudders to think of who he might be sitting across the table. Ariel Sharon? George Bush? Kick-a-cripple jokes have a certain appeal, I suppose.]

I didn't reply to your crude comments at City Council because, again, they were funny when they were not offensive. What do you say to a comic, besides "ha"?! Also, as a responsible participant in the process, I deemed it appropriate not to behave the way you do in public.
[You still refuse to respond to the substance of the concerns: Is the sidewalk your private property? Is it okay to treat human beings like dirt (to say nothing of terminally ill people)? Do you regularly have a "special" relationship with the police that gives you license to file false charges? We're still waiting for the answers, Manthri.]

Thanks for acknowledging that my customers are "elite". I think they would concur. As I mentioned earlier, keeping the likes of you off the property (you do remember that you will never set foot in any business I own, right?) goes a long way towards creating the great atmosphere that LuLu's customers and coworkers enjoy!

Please let me know if you need financial help on those buttons. I may be able and willing to offer some. It would be nice to be able to identify your pals ahead of time. It would have saved us a lot of annoyance in 2003, for example.

And lastly, yes, we do have the same policies in Scotts Valley. The difference there is that, to their credit, the entire city does as well.

I'm curious, how does it feel to live your life as a caricature?
[Better a caricature in the minds of some than an abusive merchant, however well protected by the police.]

Nice chatting, as always.

Hugs and Kisses,

Manthri Srinath




by Greg Montoya (roadscholar [at] cal.berkeley.edu)
Monday Nov 13th, 2006 12:27 AM
I appreciate Shane's, Robert's, and Tim's efforts in raising public awareness concerning this apparently continuing problem of aggressive verbal/physical assault. Carried out on the part of the proprietor of Lulu Carpenters against marginalized, and weak members of our society.
In the event that the postings or responses from the above mentioned perpetrator are in fact genuine, I would posit that they represent a "mind" or "being" in need of spiritual growth. They do in fact seem somewhat childish, as in: he's being a bad little boy.
I pray that this issue can be resolved peacefully with compassion and respect for one another on the part of all parties concerned.
by Phil K
Monday Nov 13th, 2006 3:04 AM
Do you think that maybe Robert is being a "bad little boy"? Speaking of answering one's critics, Robert, is it true that you "live off mom and dad's money" and that you are a "trust fund baby"? I've heard this many times, but have never heard you address it. Is it true that you have had it out for this man at LuLu's for a long time because he stands up to all of your extortionist crap? Is it possible that this whole thing was a setup orchestrated by you? Why is it that YOU never answer any allegations against yourself? I heard that you used profanity to describe this man at the council meeting and were actually told to shut up by your pal Fitzmaurice. Will you confirm this? Are you usually this liberal with the facts? Why don't you stand in the witness box, like you keep insisting this man does? I really don't see why he should answer your questions anyway. I agree with him, it's not like you are a real journalist. You're so bogus, dude.
by David Griggs
Monday Nov 13th, 2006 3:15 AM
I think the dinner table humor Srinath was referring to was YOUR incendiary remarks. So unless, you're making "kick-a-cripple" jokes, Norse, you got that wrong. Ariel Sharon and Bush? What are you saying? That people who disagree with you are automatically right wing nuts? That's a mighty big ego there, friend. No wonder this guy doesn't like you.
by Phil K
Monday Nov 13th, 2006 3:45 AM
Srinath did answer the concerns on that flyer, by throwing them all away. He doesn't care what you think, Robert. What part of that do you not understand? I just read all the sites I could find with posts on this, and you repatedly and deliberately mis-spelled his name and mocked him. Why should he treat you any differently? What a hypocrite you are.
by Manthri Srinath
Monday Nov 13th, 2006 9:30 AM
Hello again, Horse.

I see that you also have detractors here. I appreciate having some people stand up for us also, and pointing out how ridiculous you are.

I want to make it crystal-clear to all who are involved in your obnoxious pastime of flitting from city to city, attempting to bring people down to your level, that my beef is with you PERSONALLY. It's certainly not with the causes you supposedly care about. It is important to recognize that, empirically, your accomplishments in this regard (and probably any other) amount to a big fat zero. Besides alienating all of us with the resources to actually help, you have not in your entire life solved one single problem or advanced one single issue for the indigent and dispossessed. Charity at the end of a stick doesn't count. And what's sad is that among the minions that you are duping into following you are nice-sounding people like this Rumford, who while also now permanently off our guest list, sounds like a genuinely sincere, well-meaning guy. Why he has bought into your nonsense is beyond me.

Incidentally, my comment about your wrinkles and beard were a reference to the fact that you're probably near retirement age and you have never had a job to RETIRE from. I'm not interested in talking to some "fresh-faced young woman" or whatever it was. As I said, I will reserve explanations for people who matter to me. You are not one of them.

Do your parents know what you do with their money?

Manthri Srinath
by Tim Rumford (guitarandpen [at] hotmail.com)
Monday Nov 13th, 2006 3:47 PM
If you are OK with an owner treating people in this fashion and a police department that fails to protect the rights of the poor, then, you belong there. Sip your lattes and keep calling people names because so far, the people coming to the defense of Mr. Srinath have largely kept to doing just that. I would rather talk about the issues. Posting false comments trying to get me to slander Mr. Srinath is also not so classy.
I am concerned that terminally ill people are homeless in the first place. This incident brought up many issues, and people should be concerned with them. I am not OK with a DA that did not press the battery charges on Mr. Srinath in 2003. If I threw Coffee on him, I would be in jail in three seconds. I am concerned with our Police Dept. and its use of selective enforcement. I demand the City abide by the 9th Court of Appeals Jones’ decision and the U.S Constitution and end the Sleeping ban. I could care less if you like his Coffee or if he is rich or poor. I do care when a merchant thinks he owns public space and abuses a person who was no threat to him and was off his property.
by Manthri Srinath
Monday Nov 13th, 2006 6:28 PM
Rumford,

I AM sticking to issues. As you no doubt would agree, I too have the prerogative of bringing up issues, and this is what I have done. I am calling you and (mostly) Norse on your credentials and qualifications to sit in judgement over me or anybody else you don't agree with. That's my issue. Merchants and bureaucrats in this town run the other way when Norse approaches because they fear that in his selfish, haughty manner, he will complicate life for them, with or (more often) without cause. He is arrogant, inconsiderate, rude and self-serving in the extreme. In this he shares much with the worst people on the planet, the Bushes and bin Ladens. He has single-handedly created an atmosphere of distrust and fear in the downtown merchant community. I imagine it's a shock for him to actually have a merchant stick it right back at him. What you will find is that in the process of building our business around you folks, we have made you completely irrelevant. Your opinions carry as much weight in our business as helium on the moon. This is why I can throw your pieces of paper away and see sales go up at the same time. And this no doubt infuriates Norse.

As for DA's and so on, as you mentioned earlier, you don't know what happened, and since I'm not going to be bothered explaining it to you,you're again in no position to judge.

And by the way, maybe you should cast around at one of your events for all the "false posters". Those were ridiculous things to say about me, and I thank you for recognizing that. Unfortunately, people tend to believe whatever they hear, substantiated or not (Norse has built this entire pastime of his on this truism), so I appreciate you filtering that out.

You've picked the wrong side here Rumford. You could get a lot more done by working with the merchant community to further your very good cause. Norse is a waste of your time.

Good luck to you.

Manthri Srinath
by Easel Free
Monday Nov 13th, 2006 8:43 PM
Phil K--Are you Phil Kaylor?
by Cosmo
Monday Nov 13th, 2006 8:50 PM
It really shows what Pacific Avenue is: those trying to revive a Santa Cruz that has become a cosmopolitan magazine advertisement for what's popular, and those desperados wanting to survive the sinking feeling of failed economic relations.
by Easel Free
Monday Nov 13th, 2006 8:52 PM
Withdrawing the Question due to irrelavance and stupidity.
by Finale
Monday Nov 13th, 2006 8:56 PM
I like the mention of the term"spiritual" in Greg Montoya's; yes this is the issue- if there has to be a declaration of purpose to all these comments.
by Now A Lulu's Fan
Tuesday Nov 14th, 2006 6:32 AM
Manthri is being "a bad little boy"? Are you kidding me? This Norse guy has been going up and down Pacific Avenue for years trying to put people out of business just to show us how strong and powerful he is. I worked at the Trading Company when he did this there and the poor owner was terrified of him. Manthri Srinath you're my new hero! I will stop in LuLu's whenever I'm downtown to support you. I hope you run for City Council someday. It would be great to see someone showcase this awful person for what he is. A spoiled child.
by Robert Norse
Tuesday Nov 14th, 2006 12:17 PM
The issues, of course, are
(a) Was Manthri Srinath's behavior towards Shane Maxfield sufficiently abhorrent and discriminatory as to persuade those of good will to boycott his businesses?
(b) Did police collude with Srinath in issuing a false citation (both a false report and a false arrest)?
(c) How prevalent is this practice on Pacific Avenue--where police act as private security for the merchants, regardless of the rights of those involved?
(d) What can we do about it? Small Claims Court lawsuit? Public Boycotts? Demonstrations? Mediation with the Merchants? A Code of Conduct? Suggestions are welcome.
(e) What other business specifically are involved in this kind of behavior?

Since Srinath and his supporters are uninterested in these issues, we have to press them ourselves.
by Manthri Srinath
Tuesday Nov 14th, 2006 5:31 PM
That's a pretty good list there Horse (I'm glad you think that's witty. It cracks me up). You missed a few things, though.

f) How does Robert Norse know what happened between Shane and the owner of LuLu's?

g) What information leads Robert Norse to believe that a "false report" was filed or that Shane was arrested "falsely"?

h) How does Robert Norse come to the conclusion that the police "colluded" with the owner of LuLu's in this matter?

i) Is Robert Norse a person of "goodwill" and if so, to whom?

j) Why does Robert Norse feel entitled to conduct an inquisition at his whim while never deigning to answer his critics?

k) Who made Robert Norse God?

l) if a tree fell on Robert Norse in the middle of the forest, would we feel sorry for the tree?

m) Can you boycott a business that would have you arrested if you tried to buy anything there in the first place?

n) Robert Norse, will we ever be friends?

Hope that helps.
by Robert Norse
Tuesday Nov 14th, 2006 6:30 PM
Clearly the owner of Lulu Carpenters doesn't want to
a) discuss what really happened; and
b) commit himself to dealing with the concerns that 30-40 people have presented

Clearly my understanding of what happens comes from Shane's account and secondhand information from other witnesses. There's also the obvious fact that Srinath made a false report and false arrest (there was no "panhandling with abusive language" going on. It was clearly a disabled man asking an abusive and arrogant merchant to back off.)

If the situation was otherwise, wouldn't Mr. Srinath have given his account rather than mocking the victim, denouncing his supporters, and belittling the incident?

Mr. Srinath knows what he did and what he said. Perhaps in some future court an advocate for the disabled will take up the issue with him directly. Perhaps not.

In the meantime the community can make its own judgment here.

Mr. Srinath's focus on me seems to be (as it often is in such cases) an attempt to direct the focus away from the actual participants in the event and what actually happened.

However, in spite of repeated challenges, he has refused to gives us his account of the events.

In my opinion, this indicates he has something to hide and/or something he's ashamed of.

I again offer Srinath time to explain his position to the community on my radio show. To dispell all the falsehoods that are being spread here. To denounce me (if that is his wish) to his heart's content.

I don't think he'll take me up on this issue. It's easier to sneer, snipe, and snicker from the sidelines.

As for being friends--as I told Mr. Srinath at City Council, I'd be happy to see him move in a positive direction by mediating the issues.

Note that none of the issues I raised was addressed; he simply responded with personal attacks.

The only power the community has against abusive merchant-police behavior is the power of the pocketbook. Use it.
by Manthri Srinath
Tuesday Nov 14th, 2006 6:49 PM
I'm glad that things are so "clear" and "obvious" to you, Norse. I'm at a loss as to how, though. Of course, I won't explain things to YOU. You're not my overseer. Unlike you, I don't live under the auspices of my parents, and as such, I can choose who receives the benefit of explanations. As for your buddy Shane, it ought to be fairly "obvious" to the meanest intelligence - I'm referring to yours - that somebody concurred with me as to what happened. I don't carry ticket books in my pocket, you know.

As for attacking you personally, I'm only giving you a hefty dose of the medicine that you've been feeding us all these years. Your protestations of professionalism and fairness notwithstanding, you have spent all of your energies down here attacking one merchant after another in the most vicious, malicious and personal of ways. You deliberately attempt to run people out of business. And all because you have yourself been an abject failure. Your dispassionate-observer/warrior-for-justice masquerade is a bit worn. Rupert Murdoch has a more legitimate claim to objectivity than you. And mediate? With you? Now there's a joke.
by Manthri Srinath
Tuesday Nov 14th, 2006 7:22 PM
I forgot to address this. I'm actually running a business, Norse. We provide services to thousands of people a day and employ scores in very good jobs. You are broadcasting a surreptitious radio "show" in a basement somewhere so you won't get busted by the FCC for swearing on the air or whatever set of laws you're breaking.

And I'm on the sidelines?
by Coral Brune
Tuesday Nov 14th, 2006 7:58 PM
I am suspect of the person(s) who would call the behavior of a person (re: Mr. S) something akin to "heroism". Why does the world need a hero anyway? Is there something to be saved from in this case? Who is the real threat and who is being threatened? It would seem that Mr. S feels threatened is why he would threaten another individual, as reported. If this is NOT what you have done Mr. S, would you please write what you did do or say to Shane on Pacific Avenue?
by Manthri Srinath
Tuesday Nov 14th, 2006 8:18 PM
Ms.Brune,

With all due respect, I am not prepared to answer to trumped up accusations from discredited people such as Norse, et al in such a forum. Of course, my feeling about events is that, as in 2003, they occurred in a substantially different manner than advertised. This time, as previously, the authorities will no doubt come to an appropriate conclusion. I am always fully prepared to answer to them. Vigilante justice at the hands of Norse and his cohorts is out of the question, though.

I could not agree with you more about heroes (and villains). The last thing the world needs is another morality play. Unfortunately for us all, our friend Norse seems to thrive on this stuff and has picked on the wrong fellow this time. I appreciate the respectful tone of your query and I hope that I have responded in kind. Thanks.
by Robert Norse
Tuesday Nov 14th, 2006 9:51 PM
Mr. Srinath does not feel the general public--at least those of us who read indymedia--have the right to hear his account of events.

Some of us, apparently, are not worthy in his estimation, of being responded to--the 30-40 people who turned in requests that he contact them. The folks on this string who've requested information. Those who phoned his cafe.

Still, it says something, that Mr. Srinath continues to protest so much, while he says so little of substance about what ACTUALLY HAPPENED. Attempting to spin the story repeatedly is far less persuasive than recounting the facts. But the fact that he's responding at all may indicate a certain fear that somehow the truth is leaking out---even from the tiny voice of a pirate radio station that has nowhere near the respectability of his thriving business.

His profound disrespect for the community here (and his critics particularly) may give us some clue as to why he treated Shane the way Shane describes it. Hostility towards poor people is an epidemic in American society and (witness what happened to Measure G) a fatal sickness here in Santa Cruz as well.

Contempt for homeless people, particularly panhandlers, is not, unfortunately, a rare disease. Business owners are particularly prone to it, since they find it easy to blame the homeless for business problems. I believe if Srinath were candid, he'd acknowledge this.

The problem is to find a way to make the streets and sidewalks big enough for all of us.

This can't be done if the police give preferential treatment to merchants. This case is a particularly blatant one because of the bogus nature of the citation.

But if the community speaks loud enough, those who discriminate must hear--whether they want to or not.
by Manthri Srinath
Tuesday Nov 14th, 2006 10:45 PM
Norse,

You flatter yourself. I'm not trying to persuade you to anything. No spin here. That's what you do, with a smattering of embellishment thrown in for dramatic effect. I'm not possessed by a "certain fear" or any fear for that matter. Business has never been better (no, I'm not sending over the sales reports). If I disrespected the entire Indymedia community, I wouldn't still be posting here. I disrespect you, and YOU ARE NOT the entire Indymedia community, as shocking as that may be to you.

Shane is a sideshow here and you are fully aware of that. He is your pretext for prancing around at a table on the sidewalk for four hours, puffing your feathers.

I'll sort the Shane business out with the real authorities. Without your assistance, thank you very much. Who knows, maybe I'll reopen the matter, since you seem to feel this overwhelming need for clarification as to what happened. That way, you'll get it. I'm sure that will be worth it to you, even if I prevail and Shane has to pay the fine. What do you care, eh?

We'll pick this back up tomorrow. Goodnight.
by Robert Norse
Wednesday Nov 15th, 2006 6:58 AM
In Srinath's ten posts there is still no specific clear account of what happened from his perspective.

In other words, he has no substantive challenge to Shane's account.

That being the case, either accept his behavior and the way the SCPD behaved or...

BOYCOTT LULU CARPENTERS !
by Robert Norse
Wednesday Nov 15th, 2006 7:26 AM
For some background on the panhandling law and its abusive use by the SCPD previously see Powdering The Crooked Nose of The City's Anti-Homeless Panhandling Law
At http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2006/06/19/18281363.php

The “abusive panhandling law” which abuser Srinath used to abuse Shane involves saying “fuck you” to someone who doesn’t give you change, not to a merchant giving a threatening tirade who won’t leave you alone.

Srinath and the SCPD both know this. That’s why this citation “disappeared”.

I’m sure local attorneys would like nothing better than to get another $25,000 (this time out of Srinath) as they did in the Maurer case (see story above).

In fact, in subsequent protests, Srinath may have the opportunity to repeat his “leave the mall threats” and his “citizens arrest” of a person legally using the public space.

But that’s PR and bluster and out-of-control behavior, and Srinath knows it.

This is not about him and his bad judgment on a number of occasions. It’s about the principle that merchants and police cannot be allowed to create and use laws to criminalize poor people. That’s not what Santa Cruz should be about.

In the meantime, winter is closing in and people like Shane face harassment, citation, and arrest under the City’s Sleeping Ban. Santa Cruz’s practice of ticketing people for sleeping after 11 PM when they have legal shelter for less than 160 people has been ruled “cruel and unusual punishment” in the Los Angeles Jones decision in April.

L.A. now has a policy of not arresting homeless people for sleeping at night in Skid Row (though it has sent in more police to harass them during the day and for other reasons at night). We must demand Santa Cruz do the same.


by Becky Johnson (becky_johnson222 [at] hotmail.com)
Wednesday Nov 15th, 2006 7:30 AM
MANFREE SRINATH WRITES: "Lastly, with the exception of you, Robert Norse, Becky Johnson, Christopher Krohn, et al.(who are banned for life),...."

BECKY: How did I get "banned for life?" I have been a customer of LuLu Carpenters in the past. I never caused a problem nor did any staff member address any concerns. Nor has any staff member ever told me I was not allowed in your business.

Now I hear you say I am "banned for life?" Why?

What did I, Becky Johnson, ever do to warrant this punitive action?

Or are you acustomed to banning people who hold opinions you disagree with?

Publically making such a statement with no evidence whatsoever of wrongdoing appears to be a malicious attempt to damage my reputation. Please clarify your position.
by Manthri Srinath
Wednesday Nov 15th, 2006 9:02 AM
Becky, you were banned for life the last time you shoved a camera in my face over our front patio. I'm sorry I didn't send you the notice. I have identified you to my key personnel. Hopefully, this will be adequate to identify you if you come in. If not, and I happen to see you on any of my properties, I will tell you to leave. I will refuse to refund your money. I will follow you down the street until the police catch up with us and I will then read you the trespass act. Krohn got away last time before the cops showed up because he now has a nice car in which to do so. Did you marry up and also receive a nice car?

As Norse would say, back to issues. But I must first say Norse, that when someone says "goodnight", it's polite to reciprocate. "Sweet dreams" is nice also.

You really are denser/more pig-headed/more arrogant than I thought. The reason I have ten posts here is that I keep having to say the same thing. You are not entitled to an explanation of my behavior (I observe you feel the same about questions posed you). You will not receive one. You insult my intelligence by suggesting that I would compromise myself in the eyes of the law (as you no doubt recall, much of the "event" in 2003 was fiction). Of course, if you wish to make that an issue, I am a very willing dance partner. Make sure you and Shane have your (or mom and dad's, as the case may be) checkbooks ready though...I understand that checks ARE accepted in these circles. And once I start down that road, I won't stop till I'm done.

This stuff is getting boring. It was enjoyable at first, but now not so much, so perhaps I'll leave you folks alone to slap each other on the back for a while. How do you do this day in and day out for years on end?


We'll chat this evening. I have a full day of real work.
by Francine
Wednesday Nov 15th, 2006 1:00 PM
I love this! I have never seen anyone with the guts to tell Robert Norse what a poison pill he is. Everyone is too scared of him. I've only been to LuLu's once, but I'll be going back to meet the owner. Thanks owner guy for so eloquently standing up for our town. I was born here and it really sucks to see these god-awful people steal the entire agenda from us. Thanks again!
by local ACTIVIST
Wednesday Nov 15th, 2006 2:07 PM
Funny, most of what Manthri Srinath has to say about Robert and Becky... is what real local activists have been saying for YEARS now.

"...Attempting to bring people down to your level, that my beef is with you PERSONALLY. It's certainly not with the causes you supposedly care about. It is important to recognize that, empirically, your accomplishments in this regard (and probably any other) amount to a big fat zero. Besides alienating all of us with the resources to actually help, you have not in your entire life solved one single problem or advanced one single issue for the indigent and dispossessed."

"If I disrespected the entire Indymedia community, I wouldn't still be posting here. I disrespect you, and YOU ARE NOT the entire Indymedia community, as shocking as that may be to you."

"This stuff is getting boring. It was enjoyable at first, but now not so much, so perhaps I'll leave you folks alone to slap each other on the back for a while. How do you do this day in and day out for years on end?"

Sorry Shane, no offense, but with both Robert and Becky banned from LuLu's... it sure does sound like a nice place to relax... maybe even get some real organizing done... make some real social change.

You know Robert reads and responds... when he wants to.... but has not one word to say in regards to the questions about what Robert actually does for money. Sorry Robert, but this point DOES matter to people. How can we be 'in this together' when you do not even work. You cannot even relate to most people, even houseless people and the working class, and most people cannot relate to you.

Robert... how many years have people -- good people -- been telling you that your 'activism' actually hurts whatever 'cuase' you are trying to co-opt, I mean, 'promote'?

You have been at this 'activism' for years now... but you have very very very little support in this town. Business people do not like you. Most activists in this town can not even stand you.
by Manthri Srinath
Wednesday Nov 15th, 2006 6:41 PM
Well Horse, I had a lovely day at work, thanks for asking. How was yours?

Thank you to the folks posting in support of my claim that Norse is a phony and a blot on the landscape. The affirmation is nice. I would like to say to the activist community in Santa Cruz that I moved here and opened LuLu's because of what a progressive community it is. I would love to be involved in supporting good causes such as feeding and clothing the homeless also. We have wasted food in our stores everyday that is thrown away for lack of an organization that will deal with redistributing it in a professional and sanitary manner. I myself am in a position where I could devote time to such an endeavour with other local restaurants. What stops me of course is the militant wing of the advocacy community (you know whom I'm referring to by now, I'm sure) and the threat they represent to any such endeavour and the business community at large. It is very difficult to get involved with a community of people knowing that they would lynch you if they could. And having Norse and his Merry Henchmen (and Women - sorry, Becky Johnson) at the top of the heap in this town leaves us all feeling like that is the case.

If there are folks out there who don't want to see us drop dead or go out of business and do respect the exigencies of operating a clean, well-presented business district and who believe that a strong business community is an asset in the pursuit of social change, please come to LuLu's and introduce yourself. You'll find that we are conservative business people, but that we also have an open-minded philosophy and a genuine willingness and desire to help. We also come from an activist mind-set, although it has been tempered by the realities of building and growing our businesses in these competitive and sometimes hostile (thanks a lot, Norse) environments. We too believe that there are great injustices in society, and that we all have a responsibility to help. We will donate food, money and labor resources towards good causes if the programs are managed well. We will offer our management expertise as well. I was involved in a group called FoodGatherers in a town where I did business many years ago. It was very successful and could be a great model for what I'm talking about. Its mission was different from Second Harvest inasmuch as it dealt with the very small quantities of food that were leftover every day from various restaurant, cafe, grocery store and other such operations. Somehow I've never been able to get Second Harvest interested in our small quantities of waste, and neither have other restauranteurs I know (Perhaps the grocery stores have more luck).

Again, it's really gratifying to hear that I'm not alone in being fed up with these terrorist tactics from Norse and gang.

Norse, you're not invited to the party until you grow up, pull up your pants and go get a job.
by ExLuluian
Wednesday Nov 15th, 2006 7:55 PM
Robert, I used to work for Manthri and he was the hardest guy I've ever worked for, but he was also the most intelligent business person and caring boss I've had. Very rough on underperformers, but very generous with peole who did a good job, like me. He is totally a straight-shooter. He doesn't mince words. You probably know that now! He once said to me that the people on the very far left are the same as the people on the very far right. They're all going to meet in hell. I always thought that was funny. Mellow out man. He's not so bad.
HUFF (Homeless United for Friendship & Freedom) will be tabling again at Lulu Carpenters 4:30 PM to 6:30 PM on Friday November 17th.

We will be concerned with two issues.

1. Discriminatory treatment of the poor by merchants and police, as exemplified by Manthri Srinath's false citizens arrest of disabled homeless panhandler Shane Maxfield. [See http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2006/10/15/18320439.php]
DEMAND AN END TO MERCHANT/POLICE COLLUSION IN FALSE ARRESTS, SELECTIVE ENFORCEMENT, AND LAWS THAT CRIMINALIZE THE POOR AT THE WHIM OF BUSINESS BIGOTS.

2. The City Attorney's refusal to follow the Constitution in allowing the police to harass, cite, and jail thirty homeless people per month.
City Council condones these arrests even though there is no legal shelter for 90% of the homeless people in Santa Cruz.
The 9th Federal Court of Appeals has held that this practice by the LAPD at night on Skid Row is "cruel and unusual punishment" and violates the 8th Amendment to the Federal Constitution.
The City Attorney of San Diego has also stopped prosecuting homeless people for sleeping at night [Check out http://www.signonsandiego.com/uniontrib/20061021/news_7m21homeless.html for the San Diego situation].
JOIN US TO PETITION THE SANTA CRUZ CITY ATTORNEY TO DO THE SAME THIS WINTER!

Bring signs, cameras, and high spirits.

Hot sidewalk-roast coffee available for those Banned for Life from Lulu Carpenter's. [See http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2006/11/10/18328675.php?show_comments=1#18330125]
http://www.huffsantacruz.org humanityfor...

Added To The Santa Cruz Indymedia Events Calendar On Wednesday Nov 15th, 2006 10:19 PM
by Manthri Srinath
Thursday Nov 16th, 2006 5:11 AM
My, that's a lot of words in capitals. Norse, Norse, Norse. What are we going to do with you? No response to anyone's queries about you and now you're reduced to plain old fashioned yelling and screaming. Not even the pretense of sanity or professionalism. Even I imagined the veneer would hold up longer than that. It's very disappointing to see you reduced to this.

I'd say that's fairly conclusive, folks. Norse really is a phony. Great at dishing it out. Receiving, not so much.

I really am bored with this, so I'll watch this site, and respond where appropriate, but I can't keep up all this posting. This is a meaningless existence you're leading, Norse. If I was your parent, I would have made it a condition of receiving your trust money or whatever it is, that you see a shrink for that ego problem and that you work for at least a few years. They probably meant well, though.

Hey, I just had a thought...does Krohn get bigotry-free sidewalk-roast (what is that?) coffee also? Does he get a Heil Horse salute with it?
by Steven Argue
Thursday Nov 16th, 2006 11:03 AM
Manthri Srinath tells us in the past he wouldn’t feed the food he throws out to the poor because of Robert Norse. Well, Mr. Srinath, I’m glad that you are now considering other options. I hope you can get the group together that you are suggesting. In the mean time you may also try some existing groups. I know you said you’ve tried Second Harvest, you may also want to try giving food to Food Not Bombs, the St. Francis Soup Kitchen, Elm Street Mission, or Coral Street Homeless Service Center if you haven’t contacted these groups already.

Mr. Srinath, I’m glad to see you showing your humanity, but I really don’t understand why you were so mean to my friend Shane. I also think that it is shocking that you threw coffee on an anti-war protester. I'll gladly buy some of your coffee if you apologize and reconsider these kinds of actions.
by Author
Thursday Nov 16th, 2006 7:06 PM
Hey last poster, try the following language:

"I would appreciate my posts being left up. I apologize for my prior use of language. Thank you."

I think that would work better.
by Nore-shit Detector
Thursday Nov 16th, 2006 7:49 PM
Jahva House, Bookshop Santa Cruz, ID Building, Lulu Carpenter's, Sushi Now!, Pacific Trading Co.

A. These are just a few of the many Downtown Santa Cruz businesses Robert Norse has been banned from over the past 15 years.
by Manthri Srinath
Thursday Nov 16th, 2006 8:21 PM
Mr. Argue,

I'm sorry for not getting back to you sooner. A couple of points before I attempt an appropriate answer to your query. I'm not now considering options that I haven't considered before. These are issues that have been ongoing for years at LuLu's. Also, with regard to Norse, if I have created the impression that he alone is reponsible for how I feel about the advocacy community in Santa Cruz, then I must correct that. I believe he is a poster child for what I can only describe as a militant and hostile activism such as I've never seen in the over dozen college towns where I have done business. I've never seen an entire small business community so vilified as I have here, and it has left me very disillusioned about giving. What's sad is that I still give in other places that I no longer live, including elsewhere in the county, but I do not spend a dime in Santa Cruz or lift a finger to help the poor here because of the sort of thing that Norse and gang will be doing tomorrow. As far as I am concerned, as long as we are treated that way, we will collect our money and head out of town. It's just not worth trying to sort out the good guys from the bad when it's so easy to go elsewhere and help people who are also genuinely in trouble, and have no political agenda and are not out to see your business fail. Tell me that creating that mentality is a good thing for this community.

As to your specific questions, first the easy one. I have worked with some of those groups in the past. One or two brought an unacceptable political agenda to the table, but mostly there are logistical issues that require money and time. This is why a new group would be required to handle redistribution. The problem is not intent, it's logistics. Restaurants can only afford to keep the food onsite, not deliver it, and this is where the problem arises. If you are interested, do come by and visit with me in Scotts Valley or at LuLu's sometime. But, please leave any political agenda behind. I will only discuss the logistics of creating an effective and professionally run organization designed to benefit all involved. It's a complicated discussion, but I believe a solution could be found.

Now, as to the other question, I'm mean to ALL panhandlers on the mall. Never thought you'd hear a merchant put that in writing, did you?! I don't like panhandlers, and I told Shane this. Of course, I'm only admitting to what all merchants feel at some level in all communities. I'm just not very nice about it. So this shouldn't be some big shock, although I imagine I just made Norse's evening. The reason is that when you spend $100,000 a year to put up a storefront and a lot more than that to build the joint and run it, it's disconcerting to have people outside panhandling, hackysacking, and generally being Norsish. It's not good for the business or the business district. Try it sometime, if you don't believe me.

Now I don't claim that I own the sidewalk or that Shane has no right to be there. I never did. I said I don't like him there, and I'll say it again. It's that pesky 1st Amendment thing that cuts both ways. So, I won't apologize because I'm not sorry.

I realize that you're a Norsey fellow yourself (it's a small town), but the reasonably non-judgmental tone in which you asked, and the fact that you didn't call me names, makes it easier to give you the answer. By the way, with regard to the "protester", I should have thrown hot coffee on him but I didn't. He was part of a group who didn't pay for their food after they ordered it, and made up a story about a check and then kicked up a racket. I do not take kindly to anyone screwing with my hard-working coworkers. And the liquid was not coffee, it was cold, and I threw it at his sign. To hear Norse tell it, you would think that he received 1st degree burns. I don't even think he had a dry-cleaning bill.

You wouldn't enjoy doing business with me, Mr. Argue, but I appreciate the sentiment.

I will say something that may interest all of you, though - I was one of very few mainstream (non-Saturn cafe) business people not thoroughly opposed to Measure G, and just as I am telling you how I feel about panhandling, I told my business colleagues about that. I annoyed some of them for refusing to put that "No on G" sign up. I think it was poorly crafted, but I really do applaud the idea. Restaurants need some kind of exemption (not cafes, though) and the escalator clause needs some work. I hope a better worded bill is passed soon.

Horse, see what happens when you're nice? Try it sometime. I saw a picture of you in your bathrobe last week. It doesn't do you any favors. Try some real clothes. See you tomorrow. Little trust-fund jerk.
by Anna Bondoc
Friday Nov 17th, 2006 2:46 AM
I saw the incident in 2003. The woman at the front of the line ordered almost $100 worth of food and coffee. There was a sign at the cash register that said "We accept Cash, Visa and Mastercard" or something like that. When she realized they wouldn't take her check, she said she had called in and a manager had approved it. It turned out there was no manager there. Also the protester Srinath is talking about had a sign that said "Boycott LuLu's". How is that an anti-war sign?
Does this sound familiar? They were all total jerks and the whole thing was a setup. The two girls working were the sweetest people too. They called Srinath for help and he came in about 15 minutes later.The next thing I saw was this Norse and some older woman making a scene with cameras and microphones on the sidewalk. Yuck. What people.
by Becky Johnson
Friday Nov 17th, 2006 7:02 AM
In 2003 I was called to the Vigil against Two Wars at the WWI war memorial across the street from LuLu Carpenters. I videotaped the victims of Manfre Srinath's wrath and the sign he threw hot coffee at. I then went to LuLu Carpenters and ASKED if anyone at the store wanted to give their side of the events. No one volunteered so I left. I did not take any video footage in the store, nor do I have any footage of Manfre Srinath.

I am very surprised to find that I have been "banned for life" for an incident that never happened. I HAVE taken a few shots of the front of the business from the public sidewalk, but I didn't focus on any particular employee or on Mr. Srinath as he alleges. This is perfectly legal and certainly no grounds for banishment.

Of course his is the king. He can mandate without witnesses, evidence, or facts. He can direct police to write citations at terminally ill homeless people who offend his eyesite. He can throw hot coffee at demonstrators and not be prosecuted by the DA.

re: attacks on Robert for "not working" as they say, I really feel these are off the mark. Robert is a full time activist, writer, and radio broadcaster. As a reporter, he researches any issue he reports on more thoroughly than any Sentinel reporter I have known.

He goes down and searched public records, listens to past tapes of city council meetings, commission meetings, and attends all sorts of public forums. He twice weekly broadcasts these providing a service to the community at no cost.

He COULD be living it up with 25-yr-old models, yachting, drinking, carousing, and living a life of leasure on his money. But he doesn't. Instead, he has chosen the life of an activist. And the more effective he is, the more he is villified.



by Jerry
Friday Nov 17th, 2006 8:06 AM
I had given up on engagement on indymedia a while back, but following this discussion and happy to see someone stand up to the uber-narcissism of Robert Norse. I have also been a critic of Robert's entirely antagonistic style, and how he was single-handidly bringing down the entire activist community in Santa Cruz. One of my favorites from the old site can be found here, and while I swear that I am not Mr. Srinath, it does sound awfully familiar!

http://santacruz.indymedia.org/newswire/display/3210/index.php

Robert, you accuse people of being "aggressive" or verbally violent- have you ever looked at yourself in action? You become possessed of a need to get as much attention as possible, and while you type in a subdued style here, your comments are always antagonistic in person ("WHEN DID YOU STOP BEATING YOUR WIFE????" "WHY DO YOU HATE ALL POOR PEOPLE AND WISH THEY WERE STUFFED DOWN GARBAGE DISPOSALS???"). If you EVER approached a situation rationally and calmly, you might get something done, but instead you come at every issue, every argument, especially those that have nothing to do with you, with a sledghammer. When people don't stand in place for the hammer to hit them, you accuse them of hiding, of not answering the will of the almighty Norse. This is why you still are the least effective activist I have ever, ever heard of or seen in action. Name ONE thing you have accomplished- can you?

So why does this tie into the issue of Shane on the sidewalk? Other than the fact that I couldn't resist adding to the criticism of the perpetual criticizer, I mean. Well, the fact is that while Mr. Srinath doesn't own the sidewalk, neither does Shane. Yes, everyone has a right to utilize the public right of way, but like all things there needs to be a balance. I didn't see the interaction (which, it should be noted, no one else in this discussion other than Mr. Srinath has either) but unlike all of you I'm not ready to conclude that Shane was completely innocent and Mr. Srinath was the devil incarnate. That's how folks like Norse like to paint things, but the reality is always more complicated than that and there is ALWAYS blame to share.

Part of my hesitency to damn Mr. Srinath without knowing what happened (besides the fact that I take anything Norse, Argue or Johnson say with an ocean's-worth of salt) is that my wife used to work downtown, at a coffee shop in fact (NOT Lulu's). It is one of the smaller places, and the stories she brought home of how homeless people in downtown took absolute advantage of the store is unbelievable. For instance, if a plate of samples was left out, there were certain people who made the rounds of all downtown shops with bags, go into stores, cut through the line, grab the plate and dump the samples in the bag, and then move on. Others came in and DEMANDED free items like hot water, utensils, day-olds, etc, usually without waiting in line either. These were some of the regular ocurrances, but not the only ones, and while they aren't as bad as say committing murder, it highlights the sense of entitlement that some homeless downtown have.

Now imagine that you're a small business owner trying to make payroll and increased overhead costs. You work hard to make the business work, but every day people who have, either by choice or circumstances, don't work, don't contribute, don't care, coming in and demanding that the business give him or her what they want. You honestly won't believe the stories of people coming in and demanding that since it couldn't possibly cost $4 for a food item they should be able to buy it for the $1 in raw materials it took to make. These are obviously people who don't know how a business works, but want to leach off of that very business at the same time.

So, you put it in context and maybe, just maybe, you can understand Mr. Srinath's frustration. For Norse and his tiny band of players to then jump on the bandwagon and spend all of their non-working time defaming the business owner then just adds to the frustration. If perhaps people were reasonable, not demanding, things might actually get accomplished. But, no, then Norse wouldn't be able to have something to write about and talk about on his radio station that's listened to about 10 people.

And Becky, it DOES matter that Norse and others don't work for a living, because it sure is easy to criticize others who DO need to work for a living while you're sitting at home all day. I don't care how much "research" he does into his rinky-dink radio program- the fact of the matter is that no one can relate to him, either a business owner, a worker, or a homeless person.

Now watch this get deleted like so many other posts for no reason...
by Local Activist
Friday Nov 17th, 2006 8:53 AM
One more thing Robert. I REALLY want to know why you don't spend your money on something like Srinath's idea for redistributing waste food from restaurants downtown. It is not difficult to understand what he's saying. Will you commit to spending your money to buy a van, which is much cheaper than a yacht, and hire one person (or maybe this could be your new job) to collect and redistribute this food? This would change my mind about you.
by I saw that incident too
Friday Nov 17th, 2006 9:17 AM
Those "anti-war protesters" got so worked up about LuLu's in 2003 that they just ganged up on the owner and completely forgot about both wars they were protesting against. Way to prioritize, people!
by Steven Argue
Friday Nov 17th, 2006 11:21 AM
Shane is sick with AIDS. He was unjustly evicted from his home. As a result he is now homeless and living on the street. A decent society would take care of Shane, but instead he’s been forced out on the street where he not only has to face the weather and find the means for survival, he also has to face the wrath of the likes of Manthri Srinath and the local anti-homeless government’s police.

In regards to his harassment of Shane, Manthri Srinath says, “I'm mean to ALL panhandlers on the mall. Never thought you'd hear a merchant put that in writing, did you?! I don't like panhandlers, and I told Shane this. Of course, I'm only admitting to what all merchants feel at some level in all communities. I'm just not very nice about it.”.

Obviously the anti-war / anti-bigotry protester that Manthri Srinath assaulted with hot coffee in 2003 was right to have been protesting and boycotting LuLu Carpenter’s then, and I encourage people to attend the protest today.
by Becky Johnson
Friday Nov 17th, 2006 4:21 PM
LOCAL ACTIVIST WRITES: "Will you commit to spending your money to buy a van, which is much cheaper than a yacht, and hire one person (or maybe this could be your new job) to collect and redistribute this food? This would change my mind about you."

BECKY: I've been involved in dozens of events where HUFF served hot soup and other free food to anyone who wanted it. I understand that HUFF is giving away free coffee and lattes this afternoon on the public sidewalk near LuLu Carpenters. If you are really a "local activist" why is it you never saw the free soup at many HUFF events?

HUFF has fed hundreds if not thousands of people in the past 12 years.
We gave away brownies in front of the Pacifc Trading Company. The City Hall Koffee Klatch and Tag Team Teach-in served coffee and croissants to all demonstraters every business day for 17 days in a row. The SAFE feeding on Wed. nights in front of New Leaf Market were originally HUFF feedings. SAFE still feeds once a week along with some cool, sidewalk music!

Robert went to jail in the summer of 1996 for feeding with Food Not Bombs in San Francisco. Since his conviction for serving free food to homeless people, San Francisco ceased enforcing IT's injunction against Food Not Bombs.

Since SF FNB's feeds twice a week, between 75 - 150 people, and the SF cops and DA stopped arresting people for giving away free food ten years ago---thats 117,000 meals a year!! Over 10 years its over a million served. Thanks to Robert, Keith McHenry, and a hundred other Food Not Bomber on the San Franciso scene.

But I bet it still doesn't change your opinion about him. Robert is far from perfect. Hey, who doesn't have some kind of huge character flaw? You have to work with the people who show up. Robert is neither tempermentally suited to being a service provider nor trained for that. But he IS a seasoned activist and continues to advocate for homeless or poor people who are entangled is some kind of government or legal problems. Homeless civil rights such as opposition to the sleeping ban, the sitting ban, the begging ban, is the main course for HUFF.

The issue is far bigger than Robert Norse's ego. Sleeping bans have been instituted across the country, with some cities ---such as Palo Alto and their sitting ban---have actually cited our Santa Cruz ordinance as proof that since such a liberal town as Santa Cruz could pass such a punitive ordinance against the crime of sitting down, how bad could it be?

Sleeping bans are cruel and unusual punishment, especially at night---the times normal people sleep. I've never heard Manifre Srinath's take on MC 6.36.010 a, b, & c . But in a way the priviledge of being able to call the police if "the wrong kind of people" are on the sidewalk outside his business, is the same as anyone at all can call the police if "the wrong kind of people" are sleeping at night.

by Tim Rumford
Saturday Nov 18th, 2006 10:40 AM
The Second Protest of LuLu Carpenters


I will say. Mr. Srinath learned a lesson about the 1st amendment at the second protest. He was there as well as several officers of the law. We were able to protest from 4:40 until 7:30, despite the move along law. Mr. Srinath was none to happy about it. Near the end of the evening, he was asking downtown hosts and the police about the downtown ordinances of which we were in full compliance, frustrated we were still there. We received no tickets. Not one person took Mr. Srinath’s request to call Robert an “idiot” to get a free cup of Coffee as long as they were of the “elite” class he serves. People have much growing up to do.

I did find to my surprise, Mr. Srinath had come forward and made comments at my blog and here. Finally, I thought, he will tell his side of the story. I have never encountered anyone who refused so steadfastly to tell their side the story, yet alone three past incidents. It is always best to do so if you are innocent.

His comment about not speaking with a real reporter does not hold water with me. We are concerned citizens. I have heard from middle class people as far as Aptos about this man not returning letters of concern. I have heard from current and past employees. Even the people who had allot of bad things to say, had a few good things to say as well. I sign of a mature person. I will say Mr. Srinath was respectful during the evening and took the time to read the story and literature but had no comment. I am sure he will or has hit the posts already. He did make a few comments about me not having a job and my past of which he was wrong on all accounts. Assumptions are not generally a good thing when trying to have meaningful dialog.

I read posts from Mr. Srinath that the people I feed on Monday nights are “creatures camping out on public space” Shane is “an Aids patient with a bunny and a Screw loose”. I read from many, or maybe just a few people posing as many commenting “Robert Norse orchestrates all this”. I read accusations and name-calling. I see on my blog people posting as more then one person coming to Mr. Srinath’s defense. Someone two weeks ago some tried to get me to slander Mr. Srinath by adding to the flyer that he abuses his children and wife. I refused, nor do believe those allegations. I was supposed to believe that if I did, Mr. Srinath would give Shane a job and make everything better. Later there is a post that casts Robert as the person who posted this, or maybe me. Go back and read the 30 posts if its still there it is OBVIUOISLEY not Robert.


I hear people berating Norse and talking about people’s incomes. Are we that far gone? Have we dropped to the level that people cannot have dialog without diving to these depths of pure immaturity and assumption. Whether Becky works or where Robert gets his money to drive that “Porsche” around are malicious questions and not worthy answering. I do not ask anyone these questions. I do not judge people by, if, where and how they work or get money.

I work with Robert and Becky at times. All three of us disagree on issues. I answer to myself. If people want to blame someone, forget Robert and blame me. I am right here. I wrote the article. I voted to do the protest.

Mr. Srinath posted a deleted comment of which we saved. In this post he states he will gave a free cup of coffee to anyone who calls Robert an Idiot, provided they are of the "elite" class he accepts. This did not occur even though we handed the same comment out on our flyer for him.

For all of you that helped, thank you. For all of you who had healthy dialog, thank you too!

The rest of the web dialog was mostly planted garbage and I will not even speculate from where or whom it came.

At issue now is how the homeless and downtown can co-exist - and it can. I am afraid with our current City Council emergency shelters will close as more transitional housing opens, the funding will disappear, and more people than ever will suddenly have nowhere to sleep. Transitional housing and shelters will never end homelessness. Transitional housing works for those who just lost a house but not for the main population of the homeless. This "one solution for all" mentality has to end. We need programs as diverse as our homeless population.
by Tim Rumford
Saturday Nov 18th, 2006 10:46 AM
640_interviews.jpg
by Robert Norse
Saturday Nov 18th, 2006 1:17 PM
Pictured from left to right are Officer Jeffrey Aldridge (who gave Shane the original citation), myself (back to the camera), Lulu Carpenters owner Mantri Srinath, and Sgt. Dan Flippo (Aldridge's superior).

It was taken about 25' up the sidewalk from Lulu Carpenters.

The two officers were there to enforce a complaint from Srinath. Srinath complained we were violating the City's "Move Along" law.

This badly-written law MC 5.420.020(2) tries, rather clumsily, to prohibit political tablers, street performers, and panhandlers from spending more than an hour in any one spot.

"Progressive" Santa Cruz is one of the few cities that has this law, passed in 2002 under merchant pressure by the Rotkin-Mathews council, with a major boost from Councilmember "no marijuana, please" Ed Porter. It gave police wide powers to "move along" those they or the merchants disliked.

The relevant section of the law reads:

"No person shall allow a display device to remain in the same location on the sidewalk for a period of time exceeding one hour. After one hour the person who placed the display device on the sidewalk shall not place a display device on the sidewalk within 100 feet of the original display device location. After one hour the person who placed the display device shall not place a display device in the original display device location, or within 100 feet of the original display device location, for twenty-four hours."

It also has a warning requirement.

This requires those who want to stay for more than an hour have another person set up an entirely new display device, which is awkward, unnecessary, and often unknown to the people police false advise to move along.

The law is enforced at the discresion of the officer, or, recently, on merchant or resident complaint.

Much of the protest including this interview was captured on audio tape and will be played tomorrow on Bathrobespierre's Broadsides, my Free Radio Santa Cruz program 9:30 AM- 1 PM. I'll probably begin the protest coverage around 10 AM. It's at 101.1 FM or http://www.freakradio.org. And will hopefully be archived at http://www.huffsantacruz.org.
by Local Activist
Saturday Nov 18th, 2006 1:52 PM
Becky,

I know what HUFF does. I don't come to those meetings because I prefer to involve myself in productive activism. Tim is right, some people DO have some growing up to do, like himself and Robert. I hope Srinath learned his lesson, not to waste his time on you.
by Robert Norse
Saturday Nov 18th, 2006 2:23 PM
Pictured from left to right are Officer Jeffrey Aldridge (who gave Shane the original citation), myself (back to the camera), Lulu Carpenters owner Mantri Srinath, and Sgt. Dan Flippo (Aldridge's superior).

It was taken about 25' up the sidewalk from Lulu Carpenters.

The two officers were there to enforce a complaint from Srinath. Srinath complained we were violating the City's "Move Along" law.

This badly-written law MC 5.420.020(2) tries, rather clumsily, to prohibit political tablers, street performers, and panhandlers from spending more than an hour in any one spot.

"Progressive" Santa Cruz is one of the few cities that has this law, passed in 2002 under merchant pressure by the Rotkin-Mathews council, with a major boost from Councilmember "no marijuana, please" Ed Porter. It gave police wide powers to "move along" those they or the merchants disliked.

The relevant section of the law reads:

"No person shall allow a display device to remain in the same location on the sidewalk for a period of time exceeding one hour. After one hour the person who placed the display device on the sidewalk shall not place a display device on the sidewalk within 100 feet of the original display device location. After one hour the person who placed the display device shall not place a display device in the original display device location, or within 100 feet of the original display device location, for twenty-four hours."

It also has a warning requirement.

This requires those who want to stay for more than an hour have another person set up an entirely new display device, which is awkward, unnecessary, and often unknown to the people police false advise to move along.

The law is enforced at the discresion of the officer, or, recently, on merchant or resident complaint.

Much of the protest including this interview was captured on audio tape and will be played tomorrow on Bathrobespierre's Broadsides, my Free Radio Santa Cruz program 9:30 AM- 1 PM. I'll probably begin the protest coverage around 10 AM. It's at 101.1 FM or http://www.freakradio.org. And will hopefully be archived at http://www.huffsantacruz.org.
by a survivor
Sunday Nov 19th, 2006 9:27 PM
Not sure what the point of this photo above is, but I would like to assert that I think Officer Flippo is a decent person. I've seen him in a variety of situations and he has always been kind and respectful to activists.

Perhaps his picture is here out of coincidence, I don't know. I do think that his style of policing (that I've seen) is generally helpful and positive, rather than antagonistic and alienating. I think that the City of Santa Cruz needs more of that kind of interaction.
by Robert Norse
Monday Nov 20th, 2006 12:01 AM
At City Council meetings, I've often had friendly chats with Sgt. Flippo. I haven't had much contact with Aldridge, but I never seen either of these guys acting violently.

However their behavior in this matter hasn't been good. Sgt. Flippo was Officer Aldridge's superior.

On September 26th Aldridge took Srinath's bogus "panhandling with abusive language" complaint and dignified it with a citation. He could have told correctly advised Srinath that the public sidewalks are open to everyone, that Shane was legally placed with his sign, and perhaps that Srinath would be well-advised not to harass him with "fighting words" which can constitute disturbing the peace.

If Srinath persisted, he could have advised the Lulu Carpenters owner to take his concerns to the City Attorney or the D.A. Instead he empowered Srinath and, in essence, acted as let the SCPD used as a private goon squad for Lulu Carpenter's (actually for the private prejudice of Srinath, since Shane wasn't even in front of, much less inside Lulu Carpenter's).

Aldridge also refused to act on Shane's 911 call for help after Srinath gave him they "I will ruin your life" harassment treatment on September 26th.

Flippo is Aldridge's superior. He is responsible for correcting these matters. When I first spoke to him about it at City Council several weeks ago, he insisted that Shane had no valid 911 call because his life and limb were not under imminent threat. It was a "first amendment issue", you see.

Of course, Shane's "you fucker" response to Srinath's abuse was apparently not First Amendment protected because Shane got written a citation for it and put in fear of the whole power of the court system.

This was absurd, of course, since Shane's comment was obviously First Amendment-protected. It's just that, in the eyes of the SCPD, the First Amendment is differently applied depending on whether you're poor or propertied.

Also, Flippo repeatedly declined to determine if the Shane's September 26th citation was initiated by Aldridge or by Srinath. Aldridge, to his credit, immediately volunteered that it wasn't as his initiative that he issued the ticket, but based on a citizen's arrest by Srinath.
Of course, Aldridge had the power to decline to take the citation as mentioned before, or to refer the matter to Flippo.

As mentioned before, either of these officers should have advised Srinath that saying "you fucker" is protected speech, particularly when being threatened. They were also doubly negligent in not protecting a terminally ill AIDS patient.

Additionally their willingness to rush in and use the Move Along law to get rid of the protest was not obligatory. They could have advised Srinath on November 17th that there were better uses for four squad cars than converging on a peaceful protest and harassing the protesters under a bogus law cooked up for the comfort of merchants facing political protest.

As with the original citation against Shane, the choice to threaten to cite the November 17th protesters under the Move Along was ultimately discretionary. Cops allow folks to remain at locations all day without moving them along.

The claim that they have to respond to a complaint does not hold water either. Police are under no obligation to take a citizens arrest unless they chose to. They can instead take a report and direct the complainants to go to the city attorney and ask for prosecution. They are not obliged to return and police the time span for the Move Along.

The police instead chose to involve themselves (in some numbers) and follow up the original threatening citation against Shane with threats of citations for those trying to publicize his story and hold the abuser responsible.

You can hear the whole discussion with Flippo and Aldridge on tape at http://www.huffsantacruz.org/brb.html at 6-11-20 (towards the end of the program)--which should be archived in a few days.

Flippo and Aldridge seem nice enough guys as people. However nice people once put into uniforms may end up acting abusively--particularly if there's a double standard for enforcement of these laws, as there is in Santa Cruz. Especially under merchant pressure. Those who get into positions of power with a badge and a gun are under constant temptation to abuse it.

We can't let our positive feelings towards particular officers lessen our vigilance against these kinds of abuses.
by Avid Listener
Monday Nov 20th, 2006 10:02 AM
Hi Robert and Tim. I loved your show yesterday. I just wanted to correct two misstatements. One was the coffee offer from Manifre. It was if someone asked for some of your trust fund money, not for calling you stupid. It sounded like Tim didn't want to say that on the air, but I don't know why. Also, when Tim walked up to Manifre, I was sitting behind him and he didn't blow him off, he told him not to sit on his bench. So there. It's important to be factually accurate or else you'll make Manifres claims about you true. Keep up the good work!
by a survivor
Monday Nov 20th, 2006 1:47 PM
It seems clear to me that many "decent" cops do not necessarily put first priority on enforcing the ridiculous downtown ordinances -- and I'm glad they don't -- but it seems like they have to enforce them when someone complains and wants them enforced. (That or risk their job, which I wish more people would consider.)

I don't think that Norse or Srinath are saints by any means. Robert Norse is abusive in his manner and is strangely resistant to answering any questions about his life, background and income source, despite the fact that he demands total openess of those he interviews/harrasses. Mr. Srinath sounds like a jerk in his responses about homeless people ----> Sorry, dude. The sidewalk is NOT your property. Get used to it or get out. It's that simple. I also strongly encourage you to GET TO KNOW someone who is homeless. Find out what happened to that person. Perhaps you can get in touch with your own fears of being weak and helpless and start trying to act in a proactive rather reactive manner to the homeless and others you deign to be beneath yourself.

Which leads me to the source of the problem: once again it is our elected officials. In regards to policies such as the Downtown Ordinances they say, "This is temporary. If it doesn't work, we can always go back."

Go back my ass. Who would the business owners give $25,000 and $19,000 of campaign donations to if they went back to how things used to be?

Equally, state and federal officials are also to blame. People are sleeping in the streets at night while nonliving "stuff" sits safely inside heated, protected *EMPTY* buildings. How fucked up is that? I do agree that people need to make an effort to help themselves, but I also think that we have to give them a handup, and right now there is so very little available to people. And that includes WORKING people here in our community and elsewhere. Remember, the businesses community in Santa Cruz just spent tens of thousands to DEFEAT the little "handup" that could have helped people!

That reminds me..... PLEASE BE SURE TO BOYCOTT ALL THE BUSINESSES THAT FOUGHT 'MEASURE G' (By the way, I see that Mr. Srinath is not listed as a supporter, as he indicated. To this I say, "Bravo." We are all on the path to enlightenment or whatever you want to call it. I hope you can begin to see homeless people as people who have human rights, too.)

Local Businesses to Boycott (pardon the duplications)

-Kianti's

-Hoffman's Bakery Cafe

-Fresh Prep Kitchen (on Front Street)

-Bad Ass Coffee Company

-Pacific Cookie Company

-Rosie McCann's

-The Hat Company

-Rogue

-Zoccoli's Deli

-Bookshop Santa Cruz

-Marini's

Beachview Inn
Caffe Bene
Coast Paper & Supply
Connor Plumbing
Crow’s Nest
Gigi’s Bakery & Café
Goodwill Industries
Hoffman’s Bakery Café
Hutton Sherer
Kelly’s French Bakery
Ledyard Company
Marianne’s Ice Cream
Pacific Cookie Company
Pfyffer Associates
Prindle Management Company
Ristorante Italiano
Rollins Fire Sprinklers
Santa Cruz Chamber of Commerce
Santa Cruz County CVC
Santa Cruz Seaside Company
Soif Wine Bar & Retail
Supercuts
Surf City Grill
Sylvan Music
Twisselman Enterprises
Vapor Cleaners
Vida & Costa Brava
Zachary’s Restaurant

Bad Ass Coffee
Westside Animal Hospital
Bogner Sheet Metal
Pacific Dry Cleaners
Full Janitorial Service
Brasskey Locksmith
Acapulco Restaurant
Santa Cruz County Bank
Whitings Foods
Marini's at the Beach
Pacific Espresso

Zoccoli's Deli
Carpos Westside Restaurant
Walnut Avenue Cafe
Palace Art & Office Supply
Santa Cruz Fire Equipment Company
Artisan's GalleryRistorante Avanti
Plaza Lane Optometry
The Hat Company of Santa Cruz
Cafe La Vie
Tonic Salon & Spa
Sock Shop Santa Cruz
Old School Shoes
Whiting's Games

Partial list

list from:
http://noonmeasureg.org/endorsements.htm
by Former Employee
Monday Nov 20th, 2006 2:16 PM
It seems at least some of the participants in this discussion are willing to look at both sides of this issue. I have worked for LuLu's (a long time ago) and I'm not one of the people who have posted here yet. It is unfortunate that Mr. Srinath will not explain himself better here. If I understand the way he thinks, I would say it is because he doesn't feel that these people who are attacking him deserve an explanation. He is a very decent human being. Anyone who knows him would tell you this, so to those who are forming an opinion of him based on this silly business with Robert Norse, whoever he is, I suggest going to LuLu's and saying hello to the owner. The idea that he is anti-homeless is ridiculous.

I believe all of this because he allowed me to live on his couch and gave me a job in the mid-90's for six months because I had a lot of debt and couldn't afford rent. And I know he has done something like this for at least one other person. Give the guy a break.
by Fed Up
Monday Nov 20th, 2006 2:47 PM
The Downtown Ordinances exist because of people like Robert Norse. I've lived in a lot of places with far fewer ridiculous ordinances, but in not one of those places lived anyone even close to being like Robert Norse. It is not necessary to do what he does to people to prove a point. Unfortunately, no amount of legislation can cure being a mean person.
by Tim Rumford
Monday Nov 20th, 2006 3:01 PM
When the owner asked me not sit on the bench was one of the two times we spoke at that spot. The one your speaking of was when he invited me to take his picture. The second time was when he simply waved my away after a few words. Sorry if I was not clearer. You are correct I could have been clearer. He was wanting to speak but changed his mmind when he began a conversation
with somoene else.

Tim Rumford
by Scott P
Monday Nov 20th, 2006 3:36 PM
I worked for Manthri in 1989 in Ann Arbor at one of his coffeehouses when it first opened. He always had a fierce personality. But he was pretty fair, worked really hard and was a really good business person. And guess what? I made $10.50 an hour plus tips. Not bad for a midwestern college town almost 20 years ago. Of course, it was hard work, so I felt the pay was fair, but everyone else working down on State Street was making $5 or whatever, so we felt pretty well-off.
I'm an artist in San Francisco now, but I wanted to let you all know this since I saw this thread looking through indybay. It brings back memories...
by Avid Listener
Monday Nov 20th, 2006 5:18 PM
Thanks for the reply Tim. That makes it clearer. I hope you are not afraid to talk about this issue of Robert and his trust fund or whatever it is also. With these posts from this guys happy ex-employees, I think that your message will be ignored if the public doesn't feel like it's getting the answers from both sides. By refusing to answer us, Srinath looks bad, and so now when Robert answers, and I'm sure he doesn't have anything to hide, it will prove that he is a regular person just like all of us and a great advocate for the homeless. Peace out!
by Curious Passerby
Monday Nov 20th, 2006 5:28 PM
I don't know this Norse, but I do go to LuLu's a lot. I was moving across my radio dial yesterday and I heard this show about this affair. Here's my opinion. The hosts of the show were saying that you are not welcome at LuLu's if you have a backpack and/or long hair. I have both and they are extremely polite and friendly with me all the time, the owner (he's the Indian guy, right?) included. I also see lots of other apparently happy customers there who fit that description. So that's just not true and it's probably libelous to say it.

Also, reading through this unbearably long thread - I know I'm making it longer - it's obvious that this man cares about homeless issues and is a decent person. He just sounds like a business person used to solving problems. And it sounds like everyone else is upset because he won't play the martyr and tell everyone how unjust the world is. Has anyone taken him up on the offer he made to meet about starting a redistribution group for his food?
by Corrector
Monday Nov 20th, 2006 10:54 PM
Actually the long hair and backpack story was started by a caller named 'Ray' who said he was a 'freelance' hairdresser and who claimed that this owner had kicked him out of LuLu's for having a backpack and long hair. This sounds incredible, and I find the story suspect, but what was offensive was that the caller was doing a very poor impression of a foreign (I guess Indian) accent when supposedly quoting the owner. And Robert Norse all the while is doing his Jim Lehrer 'I'm so profound and reasonable' impression. I don't know if the owner has some accent, but this smells like a good ol' fashioned racial lynching, with Norse right in the middle of it. Apparently the quotes are archived somewhere. Go listen to them, before Norse pulls them down. Norse, you are crossing a line here that is unacceptable, even from you.
by Robert Norse
Tuesday Nov 21st, 2006 7:47 AM
With all due respect to those who've had positive experiences with Manthri Srinath, the issues for me are clear:

1. Are the facts alleging harassment and ticketing of the homeless disabled man Shane Maxfield on September 26th accurately stated? That is, did Srinath repeatedly abuse and attempt to drive away Maxfield with threats and then get the police to issue him a false citation?

Answer: Yes, there is no dispute in this threat about what happened. Srinath refuses to even give an alternate account.


2. Did the police collude in this effort?

Answer: Yes, the citation itself on its face was false and shouldn't have been taken, except as an inappropriate favor to a merchant or as an honest mistake. Police have subsequently refused to apologize or clarify.


3. Does Srinath intend to alter his behavior in the future?

Answer: Apparently not. "I don't like panhandlers" is Srinath's explanation, response, and apparent standard for future conduct. In his own words. In this thread.


4. Do we want to patronize a business that treats the public this way?

Answer: I don't. Make up your own mind. Talk with him privately. Perhaps he will give you more details and a different understanding of what happened. While I'm sympathetic with Scott P.'s argument, I prefer fo focus on the few particularly intransigent ones sends the right message.


5. What do we want to do about the more fundamental and persistent problem of merchant/police collusion to discriminate against the poor?

Answer: I don't know. With the wretched new City Council coming in, it's bound to get worse. My response is to publicize it when it happens and appeal to the consicence of the community.


Folks raise lots of other interesting issues here and make revaling observations (Manthri Srinath included). My focus is on discouraging the kind of regularly abusive police-merchant
collusion that happens on Pacific Avenue. It's enshrined in the Downtown Ordinances. In this case, I believe we see an extra-legal expansion of enforcement even beyond the sweeping scope of those ordinances. This could be an ominous sign--in 2002 it preceeded an expansion of the Downtown Ordinances to legalize, after the fact, the kind of "social cleansing", selective enforcement, and class profiling the cops were doing.

I encourage people to download flyers and distribute them about the Lulu Carpenters case. I believe it will have a deterrent effect on discriminatory treatment of homeless people downtown.

"Boycott Bigotry" buttons will soon be available.

Thanks to everyone, including critics, for contributing to this discussion.

I will be posting all further comments on this issue at "LULU Carpenters Protest / Boycott" [http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2006/11/16/18330266.php] or at a new thread when the latest flyer is available.
by Becky Johnson
Tuesday Nov 21st, 2006 8:04 AM
ANNA BONDOC WRITES: "I saw the incident in 2003. The woman at the front of the line ordered almost $100 worth of food and coffee. There was a sign at the cash register that said "We accept Cash, Visa and Mastercard" or something like that. When she realized they wouldn't take her check, she said she had called in and a manager had approved it. It turned out there was no manager there. Also the protester Srinath is talking about had a sign that said "Boycott LuLu's". How is that an anti-war sign?"

BECKY: I interviewed the 2003 anti-war protesters right after the incident where Manthri Srinath came across the street and threw hot coffee on one of our protesters. First, she said she ordered $50 worth of food and beverages. Second, she had acertained that LuLu's would take her check before she ordered, only to find that they would NOT take the check AFTER she had placed the order. The "Boycott LuLu Carpenters" sign went up AFTER the coffee was thrown.

How you can justify the owner throwing hot coffee on anyone is a mystery. Why the DA opted to not prosecute Mr. Srinath is another mystery----except if we consider that there is one level of justice for shop owners and another for poor and homeless people.

BTW I did not get ANY video of Manthri Srinath in 2003. There is no way I could have "shoved a camera in his face" from the public sidewalk over the front of building, a distance of some 10 or 12 feet.

But if I am "banned for Life" from LuLu's, well, I am in good company at least.

REPLY TO LOCAL ACTIVIST: So you hide behind a pseudonym claiming that HUFF has never accomplished any real activism but that you have? And we are supposed to believe you? Your LAST gripe was that Norse doesn't feed people. When I pointed out the error of your statement, you didn't apologize or withdraw your statement. You should be ignored by Indymedia readers for your cowardice, your false statements, and your rude attitude.

When the City Council stupidly cut out the backyard camping exception from the Camping Ordinance, it was the hew and cry of HUFF that had it reinstated. When the 15-min law was proposed for all surface parking lots, one of HUFF's homeless members persuaded the council to apply it only to the parking garages. We ALMOST got safe sleeping zones established in Santa Cruz in 2000--except that Katherine Beiers defected and Rotkin launched his mis-information campaign to scuttle all attempts. HUFF lobbied against the "no leaning law" successfully. HUFF opposed the "move-along law" and due to civil disobedience by some members and supporters were able to get parts of it declared unconstitutional. HUFF lobbied the courts in Santa Cruz to impose only 8 hours of community service on homeless campers rather than the 15 they were unlawfully imposing. HUFF members were among the first to blow the whistle on the Coast Hotel Project and alerted SCRAP activists to the project which in turn prompted a citizen initiative which stopped the project.

These are but a few of HUFF's accomplishments over the years. Too bad you are so caught up in your own superiority to even acknowledge the accomplishments of HUFF and Robert Norse. Keep hiding. Keep patting yourself on the back and lobbing insults at others who are out there putting their bodies on the line. You show everyone what kind of person you are.


by Local Activist
Tuesday Nov 21st, 2006 2:01 PM
Becky, I'm not putting my true identity up because of the regular pattern of character assassination that you and Robert engage in. Believe me, we've met, and I don't think you could argue that I've not been active in the local activist community. This is no different and probably much more justified than, Robert refusing to answer questions about him.

With regard to Robert, I never said that you people are not feeding the homeless and so on. What I said is that you are not engaging in constructive behavior. You are infact immensely destructive to relationships with other people such as merchants who do matter in this community. I'd like to hear you or Robert list your five favorite things about the merchant community. I bet you couldn't list one. This anti-social behavior is what creates the attitude that LuLu's owner has towards the activist community.

Lastly, you and Robert are thoroughly discredited by your lack of candor and downright deceptiveness of some of your statements. About the 'coffee throwing' incident, the owner of LuLu's said that the liquid wasn't coffee and it wasn't hot. Was the protester treated for burns? No. The DA probably didn't prosecute because there was no case. If there was, why didn't Robert go chasing after them? That seems WAY out of character, don't you think? Was he too busy? I don't condone throwing anything at anyone, but I will certainly credit his account before I will yours. So would anybody who has watched you in action over the years.
by Becky Johnson
Wednesday Nov 29th, 2006 8:33 AM
LOCAL ACTIVIST WRITES: "I'm not putting my true identity up because of the regular pattern of character assassination that you and Robert engage in."

BECKY: Character assassination? First, you seem to be engaging in that yourself here---against Robert and myself. HUFF often publicizes the records of public officials, merchants, and those in authority to inform the public of their doings. Since neither of us has ever been sued by any of these parties, that is a testiment that what we are writing, speaking, broadcasting is most likely the truth. We provide a much needed check on those in power to not abuse poor and homeless people. In the activist world, this is a public service. As for your self-reported activism, well, its hard to be an activist if you are hiding behind a rock.

Even worse, you are lobbing insults and accusations from behind that rock. Readers should ignore you completely.

The question you should be asking is why did the police take Manthri Srinath's citizen complaint against Shane Maxfield and NOT take Shane's citizen complaint against Srinath for harassment? This is what happened. The facts are not in dispute. Srinath walked two full business fronts away from his own business to assail a terminally-ill homeless man who had a sign seeking employment. And now HE is the injured party?

The boycott of Lulu Carpenters is entirely justified until Srinath apologizes to Shane and drops all charges. How much money Robert Norse gets from his trust fund has absolutely nothing to do with anything.



by local activist
Wednesday Nov 29th, 2006 9:54 PM
Well Becky, we are not going to agree here, so I'll let you keep up the good work. I will say that it really doesn't look to me like the LuLu's owner guy cares too much about your boycott, though. Good luck anyway.
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