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Indybay Feature
Sat Oct 6 2007 (Updated 10/21/07)
Ban on Public Assemblies in Public Parking Lots at City Council
Sat Oct 6 2007 (Updated 10/21/07)
Santa Cruz City Council to Consider Ban on Public Assembly in Parking Lots
Robert Norse writes:
Tuesday, October 23rd: Last Chance to Stop the Parking Lot Panic Law
"Vice-Mayor Ryan Coonerty's latest attack on the Constitution is a new local law. It will expand a bad law passed last year to ban lingering in a city parking garage. Coonerty's expansion will ban all those not parking a car or auto from all downtown city parking garages and now all downtown city parking lots. It will be coming to City Council for a first reading in the evening of October 9th, some time between 7:30 pm and 9 pm. No more Food Not Bombs or Drum Circles on Wednesday. Cars, yes. Human interaction, no.

Last year Ryan Coonerty's Downtown Association-pleasing "No Loitering in the Parking Lots" law got downsized to include only the parking garages. It was still a major seizure of public space (not only for the homeless--who it was really targeting for staying overnight in garages). This year's grab (in the name of giving the police "more tools") is even bigger.

For the last year it has been illegal to walk into a parking garage (or lot #9) unless walking directly through unless you have a car or bike parked there. Even in that case, you must leave within 15 minutes (cannot, for instance, sit in your car and read, chat with a friend, etc.). Testify against it by phone, e-mail, or snail mail, but I suspect only the very real possibility of massive civil disobedience and/or lawsuit will stop this freight train." Read More

see also: Mayor to Back Public Assembly Ban in Parking Lots | "No Loitering" & "Ban on Gatherings" in Public Downtown Parking Lots Update | Public Space for Public Use! | Zooming At You: Public Assembly Ban in City Parking Lots | Law Banning Public Meetings in Parking Lots on Downtown Commission Agenda | Parking Lot Panic Expansion Law Headed for Downtown Commission
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