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Indybay FeatureRelated Categories: Santa Cruz Indymedia | Police State and Prisons
Street Spirit Editor Denounces Mayor Coonerty As "Repulsive"
Street Spirit, a monthly newspaper sold by homeless newspaper,
recently published Humanity for Homeless activist Tim Rumford's
story about Mayor Ryan Coonerty and the Santa Cruz Sleeping Ban.
Editor Terry Messman gave me his permission to print his response
to Mayor Coonerty's subsequent e-mail on the subject.
Coonerty's response to our "Banish Bigotry" protest in front
of his family business earlier included banning activists from
his Bookshop Santa Cruz.
See "Vice-Mayor Bans Activists from Bookshop Santa Cruz" at
We now present complimentary "Not Yet Banned at the Bookshop
Santa Cruz" stickers for folks to wear who attend the Sunday 2 PM protest.
We also have the more highly-valued "Banned at the Bookshop"
stickers for those lucky few who have been banished by the
wrath of Coonerty.
To read Tim Rumford's article and subsequent correspondence
from Mayor Coonerty go to "Santa Cruz Sleeping Ban Struggle
(for Street Spirit newspaper)" at
For the latest update on the protest see ""Coonerty's Greatest Hits": On FRSC Sunday AM & In Front of His BookStore Sunday PM"
For the details of the local ACLU's attempt to ban HUFF activists
from attending one of their public meetings in August, go to
Activists ask ACLU to help end sleeping ban
STREET SPIRIT EDITOR'S RESPONSE TO MAYOR COONERTY
> Subject: RE: Reply to Mayor Coonerty
> Date: Sun, 2 Dec 2007 18:05:41 -0500
> From: TMessman [at] afsc.org
> To: rnorse3 [at] hotmail.com
> CC: thatoldbookstore [at] hotmail.com
> Robert and Tim,
I'm just letting you know that Tim's article will appear,
with no cuts, in the Dec. issue of Street Spirit....
I'm on severe deadline today, but I have to take a moment
to tell you that this is an absolutely excellent story.
Congratulations to you both. It is very clear and a compelling
indictment of the Santa Cruz City Council and Coonerty in
I read his response to your protests (in the e-mail
you just sent) and found it repulsive. He's a public official who
refuses to do justice to the homeless and he's acting like a
spoiled and petulant petty tyrant because someone had the
audacity to complain about massive human rights violations.
It's very clear to me from reading his letter that your bookstore
protests have been genuinely effective. That's the only reason
he's taking a leave of absence from his bookstore, because
your protests have created tremendous pressure on him.
He's trying to convicne you to leave his poor store alone, by
removing himself in name from it. I hope you continue the
protests because, without meaning to, he's totally telling you
how effective your protests are.
Of course, he's going try to persuade you that your protests
are ineffectual by saying the sales increased, but you can tell
he's in full "duck and cover" mode. What a duplicitous and
conscienceless mockery of a man.
Also, I had the same exact experience with the ACLU in the
Bay Area each and every time I tried to get them to take on
clear-cut violations of the rights of homeless peole back during
my Oakland Union of the Homeless days.
I found they didn't
understand discrimination based on class and poverty, didn't
give a damn about homelessness, and were really only
interested in cases that were headline-grabbers that could
serve the ACLU's insatiable need for publicity.
Their attitudes were sickeningly were elitist. The S.F. ACLU
office was limousine liberalism at its worst, and with
reactionaries like Rotkin guiding the Santa Cruz ACLU,
it's little wonder that these self-proclaimed defenders of
freedom won't lift a finger to protect the freedoms of
homeless people. What hypocrites.
Good story Tim!