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From the Open-Publishing Calendar
From the Open-Publishing Newswire
Indybay Feature

Sir! No Sir! and Sleeping Ban Protest at City Hall

by ~Bradley (bradley [at]
Santa Cruz City Hall was the most recent location to be transformed into an outdoor movie theater by the Santa Cruz Guerilla Drive-In collective and guests. On August 12th, the Santa Cruz Guerilla Drive-In and Homeless United for Friendship and Freedom (HUFF) presented a special screening of Sir! No Sir!, David Zeiger's documentary chronicling the largely forgotten anti-war activities of American GIs and other members of the military during the Vietnam era. The screening was one of many activities which took place on August 12th in Santa Cruz as part of an organizing effort for a federal lawsuit against Santa Cruz's cruel sleeping ban.
Know Your Rights, Homies for the Homeless and Santa Cruz GDI
Efforts to Turn the Tide of the Downtown Police State

For more information on some of the repressive laws in Santa Cruz, see Santa Cruz Genetrification Laws compiled on Santa Cruz IMC by Thomas Leavitt.


No person shall camp anywhere in the city of Santa Cruz, whether on public or private property, except as hereinafter expressly permitted. "To camp" means to do any of the following:


(a) Sleeping -- 11 p.m. to 8:30 a.m. To sleep at any time between the hours of 11 p.m. to 8:30 a.m. in any of the following places:

(1) Outdoors with or without bedding, tent, hammock or other similar protection or equipment;

(2) In, on or under any structure not intended for human occupancy, whether with or without bedding, tent, hammock or other similar protection or equipment;

(3) In, on or under any parked vehicle, including an automobile, bus, truck, camper, trailer or recreational vehicle.


(b) Setting-up Bedding -- 11 p.m. to 8:30 a.m. To establish or maintain outdoors or in, on or under any structure not intended for human occupancy, at any time between the hours of 11 p.m. to 8:30 a.m., a temporary or permanent place for sleeping, by setting up any bedding, sleeping bag, blanket, mattress, tent, hammock or other sleeping equipment in such a manner as to be immediately usable for sleeping purposes.


(c)Setting-up Campsite -- Anytime. To establish or maintain outdoors or in, on, or under any structure not intended for human occupancy, at any time during the day or night, a temporary or permanent place for cooking or sleeping, by setting up any bedding, sleeping bag, blanket, mattress, tent, hammock or other sleeping equipment or by setting up any cooking equipment, with the intent to remain in that location overnight.

(Ord. 99-01 § 1, 1999: Ord. 78-29, § 2, 1978).

§City Hall, an outdoor movie theater under the stars
by ~Bradley
by ~Bradley
§Code 4
by ~Bradley
§Street Spirit
by ~Bradley
§In Bags on Cardboard and Bricks
by ~Bradley
§A Tent on the Lawn at City Hall
by ~Bradley
by ~Bradley
by ~Bradley
§Santa Cruz City Hall
by ~Bradley
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by Robert Norse
These are superior photos, Bradley. Thoughtfully composed, well-executed, nicely titled. A bow and a thank you! They tell the tale and resonate with meaning.
by Robert Norse
Last night about 30-40 folks slept out on the City Hall grounds after watching some fine movies (Sir!, No Sir! and a history of homeless struggle in Los Angeles).

Mayor Reilly, though she initially responded with some questions to Human Rights Organization Klitzner's "please open the bathrooms", ended up following the fine old tradition of "crap, but no crappers for the poor".

Homeless folks responded by using a bedside commode, a nearby van, and some disposable poo-bags, to create their own sanitation facilities. What with the merchants vetoing 24-hour bathrooms downtown ( local.htm).

Anonymous doners provided pizza; the Monday evening meal-a-teers came up with garlic bread, steak slices, and other delicacies. India Joe Schultz kicked down a big bucket of his usual tasty vegan soup.

A late night video showing of the classic examination of police abuse in Santa Cruz "To Serve and Protect" stirred some memories.

Sgt. Harms and a fellow sleepsnatcher arrived at 6:10 AM to roust the protesters. Several responded by asking "Please direct me to a legal place to sleep" and the police had no answer. After giving two tickets and calling for back-up (Officer Brandt and two others), Harms adopted a posture of "friendly cooperation" with the protesters, while his companion videoed the whole area and everyone in it.

About 15-20 protesters rallied around 7 AM and voted to return that night with more support and possibly move their protest onto Pacific Avenue to raise its profile when they had greater numbers. They announced at 7 PM meeting tonight.

This is the largest group of people sleeping out since March 1996 (when Sean Alemi and Dan Hopkins began an 8 1/2 month vigil at the City Hall). There seemed to be a lot of determination, energy, and independence in the group.

Under rotating leadership (Amanda and Brandon), the group decided to sign up for "meetings with the Mayor" and 4 or 5 of them reserved fifteen minute chattimes with "Smiley Reilly" (as I call her).

Check out what they're up to at 809 Center St. tonight.

Bring down your bag and join them.

I'll be there tonight.
by Sol. Sister
... I'd really hate to see what these pompous antihomeless jerks have in store for them.

I've said it before and I'll say it again: aren't human beings as worthy as animals? And yet, a homeless person is ARRESTED for trying to take care of his bodily needs (i.e. regarding the lack of bathroom facilities) while the squirrels, birds, etc. live free (though not entirely unharrased, either). What the hell is wrong with this picture? An animal will FIGHT until it is freed when it has been captured. I'm glad to see that you are keeping up the FIGHT. Your cause is indeed a just one and I think the premise behind the lawsuit is legitimate.

by Thomas Leavitt (thomas [at]
I fed a hardy band of campers tonight, who spent the day tabling (as it was reported to me). Well over a dozen people remained awake and gathered around the table at the entrance to City Hall when I made it down there at 10:30 p.m. with the makings for baloney and cheese sandwiches (I heard someone else brought PBJ), and catalopes ($1 apiece at Safeway tonight) for breakfast in the morning (rumor has it that someone has volunteered to bring coffee). Many more were already asleep or sitting tucked in corners. Earlier, around 9 p.m., Damone (one of the homeless organizers) reported that around thirty people were present. The indominable Valerie Christy reports she fed about fifteen of the campers at her nightly feeding earlier that night.

Folks were lining up to share and share alike as I drove off.

I encourage the community to continue to support these folks in whatever way you can - go out and join their sleep out, donate food and encourage local merchants and restauranters that you have a relationship to do the same. Also, apparently, the Food Bank needs a sponsoring organization to accept food on the behalf of the campers (perhaps a 501(c)3?), so if there are any organizations who'd like to do that, it could be helpful.

... and of course, call City Hall and demand an end to the sleeping/blanket ban, and ask that they make a serious effort to ensure that EVERYONE has a SAFE and LEGAL place to sleep at night. Period.
by Thomas Leavitt (thomas [at]
This video is in 3GP format (cellphone). Low resolution, unfortunately, but you can get an idea of how many people were there and what was going on. 3GP files can be viewed with the free (as in beer) Apple QuickTime player software, which is already installed on most computers (you may need to update to a more current version).
by Thomas Leavitt (thomas [at]
Trying on the video again. Also, I meant "Valerie Christy's WEEKLY feeding", not nightly...
by Robert Norse
For those who can't download, here's the text of the flier:

Homies for the Homeless Wants You !

Join us as to fight the City’s anti-homeless Sleeping Ban law at City Hall !

We have slept out every night since Sunday August 12th at 809 Center St.

We have had enough hiding from police and rangers.
We have had enough $95 tickets for innocent sleeping.

If Los Angeles and San Diego must let its homeless sleep at night,
then Santa Cruz must do the same--the Constitution protects us all!


Call Mayor Reilly and Vice-Mayor Coonerty at 420-5020 and demand they follow the Jones decision and let the homeless sleep legally somewhere.

Call City Attorney John Barisone at 420-6200 and demand he release his secret legal briefing to the City Council, which apparently advises the Council to ignore the 9th Circuit Court opinion

Call City Manager Dick Wilson at 420-5010 and demand he open the City Hall bathrooms at night so we can be treated like humans not animals.

Come down to City Hall to talk, share food, & spread the word.


Come down at night and sleep with us at City Hall. If you do, please respect the peace and dignity of others. Please use drugs and alcohol elsewhere. If you have feel angry, please leave until you’ve calmed down.

Challenge police and private security harassment. Educate yourself on how to resist peacefully and legally, using the Jones decision. Talk to the folks at the protest to find out how.

Join the lawsuit against the Sleeping Ban by contacting the Human Rights Organization; sign up with us, or call them - 425-4467. Together, we win!

Contact Homies for the Homeless at 423-4833. 8-15-07
by asleep
a blanket ban - urban wasteland scam -
fill'em with smallpox so as you're coughin'n'hackin your way out -
I can show you just Who. The. Man. Is.
fill'em with smallpox so you can't raise your kids -
fill'em with smallpox if you aren't ready to jump n' run @ the sound of a gun
the sound of the whip - earn & pay - earn & pay
"naw, you ain't gettin gypped - that's just the way.." sorta day to day
that sort of Day to Day keeps my head spun
this sort of lie by lie hemmoraghes & blocks up my heart
locks up my imagination in attempts to keep it to, just one.
just another -
1 smart rat turned dumb, numb, and squashed by It's thumb
1984 shine no more - no need indeed to squash out greed
impossible it seems as we're in a state of seething, grunting, &
gasping desperation
a u.s. nation who's bowels stick.  constipation of the soul.
wholesale enemas may be the goal but that won't save mine -
I've been eating pickateer's signs'n'flossing with land mines &
munching on diner food
ain't shit that can keep my colon a'flowin -
I am the Beast - Now I am your nightmare - immune to smallpox & beyond a stare
because I could care less -
I can stare back eternally you know why??
these eye's lids are no more - my stomach no longer gets sore either-
it's been stoned to death by commersive'ether, and either it's that or
it's robotic
robotoxic ambiotonic, quaff quick.  lessons aren't immune to sterilization
not in this nation- not in this world.  quaff quick or be another lost
man-child, boy or girl
red or blue whatever - take a pill and sever your connection to real,
sever, slice, cut & peel away
any of that _good_ skin

culture rot.
nothing a li'l blanket can't fix - cover it up, here'take mine
don't worry - you'll be immune to the pox in no time.
by Donna Yovino (via (spiritdancerocean [at]
From the open-publishing newswire

Santa Cruz Sleeping Ban Tickets Spark Endless Protest

Santa Cruz Homeless activists initiated a homeless protest at City Hall on August 13, 2007 [August 12, 2007]. The peaceful protest included watching documentaries on the civil rights movement, police violence and injustice in Santa Cruz and a video of the demolishing of homeless sleeping bags, backpacks after an illegal eviction after an illegal eviction from the last cheap hotel in the area. Two protestors sleeping on the lawn of City Hall were given tickets when still asleep at 7 AM sparking an endless protest at City Hall and on Pacific Avenue.

The Santa Cruz sleeping ban law, which makes sleeping outside or in a vehicle from 11 PM to 8 AM illegal and subject to a ninety dollar fine when shelter space or any legal sleeping area in the city is unavailable. Documentaries of the civil rights movement, police violence and the bulldozing of Skid Row sleeping bags in LA were shown. The very peaceful protest allowed homeless people to meet and share cookies, coffee and stories. The morning of August 14 [August 13] two sleeping campers were given tickets when they refused to move along at 7 AM. This police action has homeless activists vowing to continue an endless protest against the sleeping ban in Santa Cruz. Those sleeping outside or in a vehicle are encouraged to join the protest and show solidarity and a willingness to free themselves from the oppression of being unable to sleep during normal nighttime hours, as well as tenants living in illegal and substandard housing and homeowners who support the right of people to sleep when no legal sleeping area has been designated by the city. Protestors have been clean, sober, quiet and self-regulated. A petition against the sleeping ban is available to sign. A second pod of protestors is also being set up on Pacific Avenue. Donations of warm blankets, hoodies, coffee and food are welcome as well as a kind word and validation of the need of all to sleep without fear.
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