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Victory at Parking Lot #4 -- The beat goes on!
by Tim Rumford/ Robert Norse (rnorse3 [at] hotmail.com)
Thursday Sep 11th, 2008 4:47 PM
Video of the Sept 10th protest to support the drummers circle with commentary by Tim Rumford & Robert Norse.
Victory -The Drum Circle re-claimed!
The Raging Grannies, the Trash Orchestra and throngs of community members came out to support The Drum Circle. Correction to the video which I edited. There were two tickets given out, one for smoking marijuana which is documented in this video and one for a car registration issue.

No tickets were given for drunk in public, littering, spitting, public nuisance, drug sales, urination or anything else.

Mainstream Media Reports can be found with video here -
KCBA Fox News local affiliate -
http://www.kcba.com/news/local/story.aspx?content_id=c812a08a-9034-4861-9ae4-45d30109ec09

The Santa Cruz Sentinel -
http://www.santacruzsentinel.com/ci_10435250

I think its important to note that the 15 minute panic law has yet to be used in this or last years protests. I begin to wonder if the City believes they may have passed an unconstitutional law that can only be selectivity enforced – time will tell.

I realize the police have their role and the protesters and people have theirs. Opinions differ within the community about the circle and everyone has a right to their opinion and the right to express dissent. Many people suggest it be moved to the Cliffs, but that simply moves it to someone else's neighborhood.

According to the Sentinel article
“As a result, police are launching what they call an education campaign, letting drummers and their associates know that blocking the parking lot driveways, congregating on the sidewalk and drinking alcohol in the parking lot at Cedar and Cathcart streets, next to the farmers market, will not be tolerated.”

Which is it, a crackdown or an education campaign?

In my humble opinion if they want to waste tax dollars using officers to spend hours upon hours playing hall monitor that's fine. The people can manage themselves and prove that police efforts are not needed if that is the true goal of the police and city. I do believe the drum circle is a peaceful event and the more the city continues to make an issue of it, the more trouble will ensue.

I do hope the drummers and others will make an effort not to block traffic and sustain their right to be there. The police statements are difficult to decipher. "We're not looking to point blame in the direction of the drummers," Clark said. "But some of it is the element that the drum circle attracts."

Is the liquor store responsible for the people it attracts to the area? Are the bars responsible for the fights, urine and car accidents that spawn from their alcohol sales? How many tickets for alcohol, hard drugs or violence has there ever been at the circle? Anyone can complain.

Although I appreciate the officers being approachable their looming presence was unneeded and a huge waste of City resources. The ticket for marijuana use was a good example of the uselessness of the Drug War, particularly marijuana.

The Sentinel also reported that the Drum Circle was simply trying to “Keep “Santa Cruz Weird”. Although no one person speaks for the circle and no name were given for who sated this. Remind me again who sells the “Keep Santa Cruz weird” bumper stickers & who profits the most from this slogan?

Santa Cruz use to have the Copper House where loud music and dancing in the street was not only permitted , but happened on a daily basis all day long everyday of the week. People like now lived nearby above this area.

There is a culture in Santa Cruz that is deeply embedded and will not simply disintegrate. People will have to learn how to get along on both sides of the issues. In my humble opinion I believe this is possible and obtainable and where the most energy should be spent and will require change from all sides.

Peace and thanks to all who supported the Drum Circle.

Tim Rumford

Robert Norse wrote -
REMOVING THE PUBLIC NUISANCE FENCES
About the time I reached Parking Lot #4, the Ragging Grannies were going through the Drummer Boy's Song, massed on the sidewalk with a crowd spilling out into the street around them next to the Farmer's Market. I moved my car to allow "Jumbogumbo" Joe Schultz to park his truck and unload his spine-stiffening soup. By the time I'd found a parking place, the crowd had moved back to the trees in the center of the lot where the Drummers have been playing for 10 years. The green mesh fences around two areas had been breached, and the Trash Orchestra was pounding away.

Eventually someone or ones toppled the third fence, and the community retook the public space.
Sgt. Harms, Officer Albert, and a new cop (my apologies for not having his name) roamed the lot , urging people to move out of the way--even when no moving vehicles were approaching.

TICKETING AN ACTIVIST
Rico of the Trash Orchestra got cited for expired registration that wasn't really expired (it was valid but his plates supposedly didn't reflect it). Becky of HUFF (Homeless United for Friendship & Freedom) and Valerie of SAFE (Society for Artistic Freedom and Expression/Streetperformers Against Foolish Enforcement) wielded video cameras.

I did some videoing and some audio recording, which I hope to play tomorrow night on Free Radio Santa Cruz around 6 PM. My in-studio guest will be PBJ, arrested two Saturdays ago by the infamous Sgt. LeMoss for talking back (the formal charge: public intoxication). It'll be archived a few days later on the http://www.huffsantacruz.website.

Flame fire juggling, dancing, soup slurping, petitioning (soon to be posted on line) and incessant drumming were the order of the day. One man got a citation for smoking marijuana. He said he had a back condition and no money to finance a doctor's letter and a medical marijuana card.

Sorry I missed the part where the three assembly-quelling fences got torn down by the people.

DISCUSSIONS WITH SGT. HARMS

Sgt. Michael Harms claimed that he and his officers had "driven away noone" the week before, contrary to all reports I've received from drummers. I even asked during a drumming break if anyone had "left voluntarily" as Sgt. Harms insisted had happened. No one said they had. All who discussed the matter at all said they'd been intimidated into leaving or reported being told that the drum circle had moved and the police and mental health worker were "having a meeting" on the Drum Circle spot.

Sgt. Harms claimed he had announced there would be no tickets under Coonerty's Parking Lot Panic law, and said he was on the lookout for more serious crimes like open container, marijuana possession and sales, and blocking traffic.

He repeatedly proposed that the Drummers move elsewhere because of the 30-40 complaints he'd received in the last month (I hope I have those figures right). He didn't give the stats on how many tickets he'd actually issued. He also said he'd never issued an infraction citation from a third party unless he subsequently saw the crime himself.

Sgt. Harms insisted all he wanted to do was guarantee everyone's safety and deal with problems at the Drum Circle the community had complained about (though he seemed to feel the drumming itself was a problem).

MARY'S QUESTION: CAN I DRUM NEXT WEEK?
Mary, a drummer who was carrying a guitar, was one of the last to leave. She asked Sgt. Harms whether she could play next week if she left every fifteen minutes and then returned to the property. First the Sgt. said "yes, that won't create a problem". Then when asked to commit himself, he said "no".

His suggestion: go back to city council or the voters to change the law. Yet apparently Sgt. Harms can "change the law" whenever he wants--since today scores of people visibly violated the same law and Harms did nothing (suggesting that it would provoke too much tumult).

The lesson is plain: if the people show up in force, absurd laws get momentarily set aside. Once the public presence is gone, the cops creep back to continue sabotaging public assemblies they consider inappropriate. A lesson to know next week.

The police were also taking extensive notes so it's not unlikely that there may be some long-distance tickets issued subsequently.

Good work, everyone! Next time, we need a few participant cars and/or bikes parked on the lot. Everyone else, can then walk off the lot every fifteen minutes, then walk back on. This method isn't foolproof, but does create enough lack of probable cause to hopefully inhibit the Temptation to Ticket.

If police ask questions, suggest they consult the library for a copy of the Constitution (i.e. don't answer questions about who you are, whether you have a car, etc.). Ask them questions about who ordered this crackdown, how many sleeping tickets they've issued late, how much the operation is costing, are they on overtime?, can you speak with their sergeant about the waste of public money.

If people do get ticketed before 3:45 PM (around the time the courts are likely to close), consider asking to be taken to a magistrate to determine if there's probable cause before you sign your citation (don't refuse to sign, simply say you want to talk with a magistrate first).

Comments  (Hide Comments)

by SF Grandmother
Thursday Sep 11th, 2008 4:58 PM
Kudos to the Santa Cruz Raging Grannies for supporting the Drum Circle Take Back and singing a song to "Little Drummer Boy" they wrote with new lyrics (wish I could hear them all) and boogie-ing as well!
by happy
Thursday Sep 11th, 2008 5:00 PM
Keep up the good fight.

by Allen
Thursday Sep 11th, 2008 5:03 PM
Excellent to hear that the support for freedom of assembly will never be taken away. Plus, as opposed to basically ANYTHING ELSE, drum circles are enriching and, of course, harmless... aren't they?... http://www.southparkstudios.com/clips/154832/
by Tim R
Thursday Sep 11th, 2008 5:51 PM
Thanks for all the support, all who worked to organize, who attended and did what they could to make this not about any one group, but about everyone who supports the right of the drummers. I apologize my heartbeat effect did not go over the stream very well, but works well if you download it. Anyone have a cheap copy of Adobe Premier! :) Stuck in MS Movie Maker Land...

I liked Tom Noddy's comment "It would have been sad if all it took was little green plastic fences stop this, only in Santa Cruz!"

V=victory
Peace Out!
Tim
by -
Thursday Sep 11th, 2008 6:24 PM
Tim asked "Is the liquor store responsible for the people it attracts to the area? Are the bars responsible for the fights, urine and car accidents that spawn from their alcohol sales? How many tickets for alcohol, hard drugs or violence has there ever been at the circle?"

The answer is: yes. Bars in this community have been fined, and shut down, for the disturbances caused by their patrons. Remember that club on Front St. that lost it's license for causing too much late night noise?

As for the question about alcohol busts at the circle? Well, they busted Mary last time, and everyone squealed about it.
by E=MC2
Thursday Sep 11th, 2008 8:40 PM
I think Tim's point was that even know there are laws for bars and liquor stores, they have a huge affect on the community & the mall and attract the kind of problems people are complaining about at the circle. Most people leaving a liquor store get drunk and get in trouble somewhere else. The mall, their car, their house.

There have been nothing but complaints at the circle. No violence in 15 years. No busts of any substance. Mary's bust was not for being drunk that moment. It was a warrant bust and one of the dumbest cop busts on camera I have seen in SC. He entered a hostile crowd during a protest, alone gun exposed. "please take my Gun!" for a stupid warrant they could have picked her up anytime for.

Yes there are issues. I agree. But this is SC not Carmel.

So now they erected green plastic fences...??? Who thought that would really work? 3-6 cops for the entire day! They watched as they tore them down! All it did was spread people out blocking more traffic than normal all for one marijuana ticket. The Sentinel article reads like a police promotional ad and like this was a success for the cops... I think the reporter is on worse drugs than the drummers.
I can see the same hard core meth dealers day after day dealing in the open as I drive by. I could bust them all in a week. What the hell are our officers doing?

Either the 15 min law applies or it doesn't. Its been a year and no tickets... So why did they spend our money and time drafting it? I have mixed feelings about the circle issue, but I am more concerned about the priorities of our city mangers, wasted time and resources on issues that are inflated by the very actions of the city and police.

I think he wrote a fair commentary despite my lack of concern for the circle itself.


by brent...
Thursday Sep 11th, 2008 9:16 PM
After 10 years in the same place.... drumming!! not drinking. not selling or doing heroin,meth,crack etc.. DRUMMING!!
It is what we've been doing for years without a break. I wouldn't even call it a protest. Its the cops who were protesting.
We were just maintaining the beat as we have been year in year out, summer and winter, rain or shine... the beat goes on.
The city & the cops & the news call it a nuisance. Everyone present was celebrating life, the moment and our freedoms.
Now they mean to take that away. But instead, .. they act now as though we are protesting.. in defiance. We are not.
We are just doing what we've been doing all along. Its the cops who are intimidating; fencing off freedom and killing a
community treasure. If you don't like it then don't participate, don't come near. Where we celebrate life they see a dangerous
mob that must be stopped. That is what the cops have always done. Don't stop drumming and dancing 'cuz once you've lost
that, you've lost the heart. What better way to support the arts? Don't worry the farmer's market is crowded and bustling.
by Tim
Friday Sep 12th, 2008 9:29 PM
I like what you say Brent. Thanks for the different perspective on it not being a "protest". I had not thought in those terms exactly and greatly appreciate hearing other peoples perceptions and opinions. ( when there on topic and not full of hate). I really appreciate your comment. I am sure it made many people think too.

peace
Tim
by Becky Johnson
(becky_johnson222 [at] hotmail.com) Saturday Sep 13th, 2008 10:42 AM
- WRITES: "Bars in this community have been fined, and shut down, for the disturbances caused by their patrons. Remember that club on Front St. that lost it's license for causing too much late night noise? As for the question about alcohol busts at the circle? Well, they busted Mary last time, and everyone squealed about it."

BECKY: The last bar that closed in this town went out of business due to economic problems, not because of urine, shouting, loud noise, violence, drunkeness, or drug dealing. The nightclub on Cathcart was closed due to violating the hours of their permit, not for acts committed by their drunken patrons.

Mary had been drinking. This is true. But she was not a danger to herself, to others, nor gravely disabled. She should not have been ticketed according to a strict reading of the law.

see: "Intoxicated in Public? What is the Law?" by Becky Johnson July 9, 2004

Excerpt:

The only laws which affect people who are intoxicated are state penal codes 647 and 853. A local Santa Cruz municipal code ordinance, MC 9.12 prohibits having an open container of alcohol in any public place. PC 853 says that a person can only be arrested for public intoxication "if the person arrested was so intoxicated that he or she could have been a danger to himself or herself or to others."

PC 647 is the public intoxication law. This law declares it illegal if an intoxicated person "interferes with or obstructs or prevents from free use of any public street, sidewalk, or other public way." Hence, the person must somehow obstruct movement on the sidewalk in order to be cited. In order to be cited for drunkeness or intoxication, the person must be "in such a condition that he or she is unable to care for his or her own personal safety or the safety of others." That means they must be so drunk that they are a danger to their own selves or to others. Just smelling of alcohol is not enough.
If the person is gravely disabled, the officer shall place him or her in civil protective custody under section 5170 of the Welfare and Institution code. This provides for a 72-hour hold for treatment and evaluation of inebriates. If the officer places the person in civil protective custody, they may not be charged for a criminal offense.

BECKY: Smearing the Drum Circle as attracting the wrong element is truly selective in its scope. If there were no drumming, police would still be trying to rid the area of the people who traditionally gather there. Police routinely attempt to disrupt any gathering that is not City or merchant-sanctioned. The City's mantra is "Shop, Shop, and Shop." There is no room for events that don't make money for merchants or the City. Spontaneous gatherings with a cultural focus providing creative outlets for music, poetry, and dance are smeared by police as drunks, drug dealers, and violence-ridden in order to justify their crackdown.

Calling it an "education campaign" is just out and out spooky. Is this 1984 finally???
by Sweet irony
Saturday Sep 13th, 2008 1:03 PM
Hearing a self-described teacher state that an educational campaign is a frightening thought....*lol*

And as you claim, you're a teacher. Not a cop, not a doctor, not a fortune teller. So please, keep opinion as such, and don't try to make it fact; you have no idea, or credible authority, to determine if drunk Mary was a threat to herself or others. Leave that to the professionals.
by Thomas Leavitt
(thomas [at] thomasleavitt.org) Sunday Sep 14th, 2008 8:15 AM
I'm in school at this time, at Cabrillo, but I wish to express my continued support, and encourage other folks to keep showing up.

I'm wondering how the marajuana arrest and the officer's description of possession as a "more serious crime" jibes with the "lowest priority for law enforcement"... I haven't re-read Measure K in a while.

Folks do understand that the goal is to not actually break up or shut down the drum circle (although that would be nice), but to score political points with certain classes and groups by demonstrating the city's resolve to maintain order and discourage (visible) micreants? From the perspective of those who ordered it, simply acting and being visible is a success.

They can, and will, be more patient than "our side". They have a mechanism for capturing the political "gains" to be made from this action (votes, donations, endorsements), and we don't.

We need a vehicle, in the form of explicitly political organizations not beholden to the City's existing establishment, and in the form of credible, articulate candidates who can run for political office and have the base of support to hold (mostly) true to the values they express when running.

We have to transform ourselves from a strictly reactive and oppositional movement, into a pro-active one capable of putting forth concrete proposals and mustering the organizational and political heft to translate them into law.

Otherwise, what we can expect is what we've seen: slow and steady erosion of the space (physical and otherwise) for our cultural and social values to be expressed, and a physical re-architecting of the City itself in a way that favors a vision other than our own for what the city should be.
by Sum Dim
Sunday Sep 14th, 2008 2:57 PM
It is so gratifying to see the city finally take firm action on this matter. I discussed my concerns about the drum circle with Ryan and other council members over wine at our favorite wine bar last year, and they assured me that the drum circle would be a thing of the past within a year. It appears they are keeping their word. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. People like Wes Mode showing up and making an even bigger din than normal seems to have hardened the resolve to shut these people down once and for all.

I'm glad however, that the police are approaching the matter cautiously and thoughtfully. Breaking limbs and cracking skulls, while a pleasant pastime for the police, and often justified, will simply delay the process. Robert is definitely going to try to file a lawsuit regarding this. It will definitely fail, as always, at least in accomplishing any real change in the situation. But we don't need the rest of the mob filing suits over broken limbs and whatnot. That would be a further waste of time and money. Look at Donna Deiss' nuisance suit, for example. Anyway, nice and easy does it SCPD. Good work.

Thanks Ryan.
by Becky Johnson
(becky_johnson222 [at] hotmail.com) Monday Sep 15th, 2008 8:21 AM
640_police_re-education_campaign_sept_4_2008.jpg
SUM DIM WRITES: "I discussed my concerns about the drum circle with Ryan and other council members over wine at our favorite wine bar last year, and they assured me that the drum circle would be a thing of the past within a year."

BECKY: Guess again!! Despite your schmooze session with fellow counter-culture haters like Ryan Coonerty, he was probably promising you that a 5-story parking garage would be located there effectively eliminating both the Drum Circle AND the Farmer's Market. And he's all ready to push it through but..... alas!! NONE of the NEW city council candidates are for it!! Beiers is against it. Fitzmaurice is against it. Madrigal is against it. And ALL the new City Council candidates like Craig Canada and Simba Kenyatta are against it. So where is Ryan going to get the votes, assuming he is even re-elected?

As for Norse filing a lawsuit, I am not aware of any such plans. Donna Deiss definitely IS suing and WILL win. That's because the SCPD can't just go around breaking arms because they don't like someone.

What WILL happen is that IF the SCPD starts to enforce Ryan's 15-min parking lot trespass law at the Drum Circle, LOTS of people will stay around and get ticketed. ALL of these people are going to fight it in court by pleading "not guilty" and challenging the unconstitutional law.

Whats so infuriating is that Ryan passes such a dumb law and then claims HE is a "Constitutional scholar." Oy! He doesn't know what a public forum is. He doesn't know what the first amendment protects. He claims the right to the "quiet enjoyment of (ones) premises" is enforceable as criminal law when its clearly civil, and that the City can just ignore the 9th circuit courts 2006 "Jones" decision, and likewise ignore the Brown Act by making the public BEG to be allowed to speak on Consent Agenda items.


Photo of the Police' re-education effort which prevented the Drum Circle from performing on Sept 4 2008 in parking lot #4 in Santa Cruz.
by Sum Dim
Monday Sep 15th, 2008 1:40 PM
Wow, Johnson! Settle down. Ryan didn't talk to me about a garage. I wouldn't really support one right now either. We were just talking about how to get rid of the drum circle and the stoner culture that it has fostered next to the Farmers Market. Actually, we all want the market there. It's just the stoners we want to get rid of.

Harvard thinks Ryan understands the law, Becks, and that, coupled with the fact that John Barisone has reviewed the ordinances on the books, is good enough for me. Certainly, I'll take those two over your night-school lawyer Kate Wells. Also remember, you didn't even take a degree in journalism and you parade around telling everyone you're a journalist. So really, I think your argument here is flimsy at best.

I know everyone is going to take their tickets and run off to the courthouse to play the victim. That's how the system works. And it does work.

So again, that drum circle is going away, as much as that infuriates you.
by Huff meetings
Tuesday Sep 16th, 2008 8:36 AM
Dang Becky, you're reminding me of the Republicans and their smear campaign, putting colorful adjectives and buzzy words to make everything sound neferious.

So is your meeting at the Cafe a schmooze circle too?
by Typical
Tuesday Sep 16th, 2008 9:36 AM
Dim, You, who advocates violence and even shooting the homeless ( See the Sentinel Forums) had a nice wine chat with the Mayor? And you also called to complain about the drummers, although its unclear if that complaint was even real since we don't know where you were or live, thank God. Does he know you advocate such things? Ill be sure to let him know for your next wine and cheese chat. I am sure it would look great for him that he hangs out with a man who has advocated violence on the homeless more times that I care to count. Ill have to ask him myself about you. I am sure he wouldn't want his election tainted by such things.


by Sum Dim
Tuesday Sep 16th, 2008 1:17 PM
Typical, you sound like a Republican spinmeister. I don't advocate violence against homeless people. Homelessness is a human tragedy that deserves to be taken very seriously. The homeless deserve our empathy and compassion. The problem is that Robert Norse and his cabal, to which you presumably belong, have co-opted the issue and are now hiding all your loser stoner friends and assorted tone-deaf, antisocial drummers behind the real issue. Wrapping yourselves in the mantle of social activism doesn't change the fact that this drum circle nonsense is a platform for a bunch of social misanthropes to foist their discredited worldviews upon the rest of the community. I'll admit to saying mean things about Robert and Friends sometimes, with no regrets. But don't confuse yourselves with homeless people.

You can play drums, however incompetently, in a lot of places, at a lot of times. Doing it at the Farmers Market, when you are not welcome, and getting stoned and dealing drugs to boot, just makes you jerks. Which is why you are being kicked out. Perhaps not next week. Perhaps not the one after that. But ultimately, you will be leaving.
I didn't call anyone about the drum circle. I didn't need to. Everyone knows how vexing it is. And Ryan and various other councillors are friends of mine, and we enjoy sharing a nice glass of Gevrey-Chambertin now and again. No cheese, though. That's for womens tea parties.
by DIM DUM
Tuesday Sep 16th, 2008 1:32 PM
So Dim Sum,
Here is what the Mayor has to say about your comments from you and your forum buddies at the Sentinel Topix Forum. Of course the expected services comment I disagree with, as it changes every time he mentions it. But my point is that you are full of it. Ryan, although I disagree with him, at least has some compassion left in him. I am not an activist, nor a circle person. However I do have a brother who was homeless and some people from there help him very much as he dies in a nursing home. I am worry about violence against the homeless, medical services etc. during these times more than the circle or the issues of that one spot. My concern is for the welfare and safety of everyone, poor, homeless and housed included.

The Mayor seems to be no fan of your comments at all. See his email below. Please enlighten us on this meeting he says never happened. I have some mixed feelings about the circle, but your comments are so hate filled and you seem to spend all your time spewing hate filed comments, calling for violence, agreeing with others calling for it. I really wanted to check on this statement. So until you can back up your so called involvement with the mayor, maybe stick to your normal bashing of the poor.

"Dear Katie,

"Thanks for writing. First, I have no idea who this person is and I have never said that the drum circle would be gone in a year. I never read the Sentinel forums because they are filled with a small number of hateful people (who are more often than not racist, homophobic, etc). I don't support the drum circle in that location (I think the other half dozen drum circles around town are great), but this one has gotten so many complaints from vendors, market goers and nearby neighbors that I just don't think it is a good fit.

As to the homeless, Santa Cruz provides more services per capita than any other city in California. I am proud of this and have voted to constantly increase funding, create new programs, housing etc. I don't support illegal activity (by homeless or any others -- many of whom prey on the homeless first with violence, rape, and drugs).

Hope this helps. Please let me know if you have any other questions.

Ryan"
Ryan Coonerty
Mayor
City of Santa Cruz
by Typical
Tuesday Sep 16th, 2008 1:39 PM
You did advocate shooting the drummers, and you did in the other forum say you personally called to complain, agreed with other comments not regarding HUFF or activists, but simply hate and violence. That for me makes you completely worthless as far as adding anything to the table as far as solutions. I think your credibility is about shot. I forwarded your comments to Ryan, if your are friends, I am sure he will have some words for you.

by Katie
Tuesday Sep 16th, 2008 1:51 PM
My last comment to you. Your constant babbling which included having the drummers shot and using there drum skins for SCPD target practice shows how much concern for the homeless you have. What you do have is an infatuation with HUFF enough to spend hours each day posting this crap on the most vile forum I have ever seen, the Sentinel Comments forum. If you want to date Robert call 423-HUFF. If you were serious about the issues facing homelessness you would do something else. Your ranting, thinking that one person or group could have enough power to cause all the problems the City faces regarding poverty is simply ignorant. 99.9% of your comments read like a someone with DEEP issues.
Thats all the energy I will give you.

by Sum Dim
Tuesday Sep 16th, 2008 2:24 PM
Ha. I did say the drummers should be shot and their drumskins used for target practice. Again though, you're conflating the drummers with the truly indigent. The same drummers mind you, who economized on their music lessons to purchase $600 designer African drums. And I must really make this clear. I have great empathy for the truly indigent. I never have, and never will, support anyone who makes light of the issue of homelessness. Robert Norse, Becky Johnson and apparently you, are cynically muddling the distinction between homelessness and dealing drugs and beating on expensive musical instruments that you have not been trained to operate. That's different.

As for Ryan, he said to me the other day, You know Summy (that's what my buddies call me), this will just be between the two of us". I guess I shouldn't have mentioned it. My bad. Sorry Ryan.

I'd love to date Robert, but I'm too shy to call him at his office number. Do you have his cell phone number?
by Katie
(Katelehne [at] hotmail.com) Tuesday Sep 16th, 2008 3:34 PM
Why delete the comment where Dim Sum admits to calling for violence against the drummers and his association to the Mayor? Albeit the association is unprovable and denied by the Mayor. Why censor that?
Katie Lehne

by Craig C
Tuesday Sep 16th, 2008 3:45 PM
The comments made by Becky Johnson concerning the Farmer's Market are out of line. The Farmer's Market is actually PRO the new garage. They are not worried about the garage as they have been working with the city on alternative locations and welcome the additional people the garage will bring downtown and to the Farmer's Market.
by Craig C
Tuesday Sep 16th, 2008 3:48 PM
Katie says " shows how much concern for the homeless you have."

I was not aware that the drum circle was a homeless event, but rather thought it is an event for all people that enjoy these things.
Surely most of the people involved do not present themselves as being part of a homeless group or organization.
by Sum Dim
Tuesday Sep 16th, 2008 3:50 PM
I'll try to be less offensive. I was talking about the drummers and not the indigent when I made the remarks alluded to earlier. I feel that folks who purchase $600 designer bongos and neglect to sign up for lessons at the same time, must really not be confused with the indigent in our society. Robert does this all the time, and in so doing has greatly damaged the cause of the truly indigent.

As for Ryan, I will have a glass or two of some nice Chateauneuf-du-Pape with him soon, and possibly I will even break out a couple of Cohiba Churchills, and I will apologize for bringing up our late-night conversations regarding the drum circle and our plans to make it disappear.

Please don't delete this Indybay. I feel it is an important endcap to this discussion.
by Katie
Tuesday Sep 16th, 2008 4:03 PM
You may be right Craig. My brother was Chronic homeless. The three people I know, who we have spoke about before are homeless and do community work at nursing homes and the stroke center and play at the circle. One lives in his car so he can support his wife in the same home and help his mentally ill son. He is a saint in my eyes. So I can only talk about what I know. I am not saying the Drum Circle is all about the homeless. I have said I have mixed feelings about it. I do not take Dims MANY comments about violence lightly, nor do I agree with Indybay deleting the one he admits to here. I have all his comments, many not mentioning activists at all but agree with other violent acts. Now he is backpedaling. We wrote them not me. I want to know if my Mayor is associating with this guy, which is fine and legal, but so is my asking. It is election time. So far, Ryan has been very accomdating and revealing in his answers. I will not post them here now. Advocating violence has zero to do with his constant blabbering about activists. There two separate issues.
Dim has said enough to show where he is at on violence.
Katie Lehne
by Katie
Tuesday Sep 16th, 2008 4:05 PM
He wrote them not me...
Thats it. I am not going to waste my time on a censored forum.
by Sum Dim
Tuesday Sep 16th, 2008 4:56 PM
Katie, I want to clarify that while I admit making the remarks alluded to above, and that while I stand by them as a figure of speech, I really don't think I am violent in my overall approach to my commentary. To the contrary, I really try to present reasoned arguments for my positions. I invite you to demonstrate where I routinely advocate violence or accept others' exhortations to violence.

The drum circle is awful. That's my opinion, and the opinion of most everyone else in the community. No, 100 activists don't constitute "the community" or "the public". I know Robert thinks otherwise, but he's wrong.

Hope this helps.
by patience
Tuesday Sep 16th, 2008 5:07 PM
"nor do I agree with Indybay deleting the one"

Either a volunteer thought (based on Indybay's POU) the comment(s) should be hidden (comments/posts are not deleted) or made a mistake (which happens, especially when hiding a lot of spam comments). Either way, the comment(s) (Tuesday Sep 16th, 2008 1:17 PM and Tuesday Sep 16th, 2008 2:24 PM) have been restored.
by Sum Dim
Tuesday Sep 16th, 2008 5:26 PM
Thanks Patience. That's the first time I've ever seen a comment restored on Indybay. I've often wondered where to go to read hidden comments, but I can't seem to figure it out. Any chance you could enlighten us on this?
by in the know
Tuesday Sep 16th, 2008 5:41 PM
Editorial volunteers can access and restore hidden comments. Indybay has an editorial policy and POU, but editorial volunteers can't possibly have the same interpretation all the time of the editorial policy, POU, and a specific comment. Moderation is a flexible and changing art, and not particularly enjoyable, btw. Hidden posts/comments are indeed hidden. There is no place for people that are not editorial volunteers to read them.
by Craig C
Tuesday Sep 16th, 2008 5:55 PM
I think whenever you read one of Sim's comments you have to assume that there is a bit of dry wit and sarcasm being injected.
His mention of being friendly with Ryan Coonerty is mostly a jab at Robert and Becky as the two of them despise Ryan. Making a comment about sharing thoughts over a glass of wine is again a jab at Becky, for various reasons.
by Craig C
Tuesday Sep 16th, 2008 5:56 PM
The comment above was for Katie. She wanted to know about the above mentioned friendship.
by Robert Norse
Tuesday Sep 16th, 2008 9:20 PM
Many homeless people gather at the drum circle, use the Food Not Bombs meal provided there, and share the public space.

Indeed the only spaces homeless people often have to gather in (given the cash shortage) are public spaces. So the Parking Lots and Garages Trespass Law (or the Parking Lot Panic Law, as I call it) significantly impacts homeless people by removing 10 square blocks of previously public space. The Drum Circle is one event that has, with community help, successfully resisted Coonerty's law and his armed enforcers.

The Homeless Services Center accommodates no more than 80 a night in the summer (combined with the ISSP), so homeless people face violating the 11 PM to 8:30 AM Sleeping Ban at night. Even though the federal courts have ruled similar laws and police practices illegal in Los Angeles and San Diego. And City Councils have enacted no Sleeping Bans in Richmond and Palo Alto. And Sacramento faces a powerful lawsuit from Mark Merin, the same attorney who successfully stopped the practice of stripsearching in Santa Cruz jails.

As for Pacific Avenue, gatherings are relentlessly and regularly dispersed by police and/or their snitchfriends the Hosts. Sitting on 95% of the Pacific Avenue on the sidewalk where buildings are present is forbidden. Performing with an open guitar case or tip hat or political tabling is forbidden on 75% of the Pacific Avenue sidewalks. Other sidewalks in business areas, since they are l0' wide or less are completely illegal to table or perform at.

Events where the homeless are welcome (such as the Drum Circle) are precious, even to those who aren't big fans of drumming.

Traditional events are harder to eliminate for political chameleon's like Coonerty (who masquerade as liberals but push a gentrification agenda and such things as his ridiculous Parking Lot Panic law). This traditional event--the Drum Circle--is so public and so well-attended and of so long tradition (10 years is a pretty long time for an event that isn't funded by government, non-profits, or private individuals). So police can't sneak in and intimidate folks when the community isn't looking--they have to do so in broad daylight.

Even when the city sneaks in the morning before to set up green mesh fences, the community apparently feels strongly enough to remove them physically.

Hence the Drum Circle is an important strategic event to defend when police use the new Coonerty Public Assembly Ban (i.e. the Parking Lot Panic law) to attack it.

Come on down tomorrow again and publicly support the right to assemble in public. And support the Drum Circle too, while you're at it.




A recent Sentinel letter is worth reprinting:


Tourists love the drum circle

Some claim the farmers market drumming frightens tourists and damages Santa Cruz's image. My experience tells quite a different story.

My very conservative and elderly parents were here in November to visit for only the second time. I took them to the farmers market to do some shopping. I love the drum circle. But knowing my parents' strong views, I tried to keep them from having to interact too closely with the drumming. But they heard it and asked to get closer so they could watch. To my surprise, they were absolutely fascinated. They stood there and watched for at least 45 minutes in complete awe, missing the ocean sunset we'd planned.

To this day, that moment is something they cherish and still constantly bring up. "Are those drummers still there every week?" They loved the community feeling it displayed and it gave them a positive perspective of Santa Cruz.

Dave Miller

Santa Cruz

[http://www.santacruzsentinel.com/ci_10455231?IADID=Search-www.santacruzsentinel.com-www.santacruzsentinel.com ]
by Katie
Tuesday Sep 16th, 2008 9:35 PM
Thats nice he has so much time to spread so much negativity. If you oppose someone, bringing attention to them only brings more attention to them. In other words, all advertising is good advertising. Satire rather than Sarcasm advocating violence would be better than advocating violence to a forum of some who really agree with such things. How does that kind of sarcasm better anything?

Also claiming the entire group are not true indigents is pure ignorance and ridicules. Yes one man made a comment about a bongo costing $600.00.

But there are as I have told you, people in that group who are homeless and do good in this community. Many are good people. Just like everywhere there are good and bad people. Many are doing the best they can. The remarks that are broadly defining a large group of people as undeserving non indigents is wrong and anyone with an ounce of sense, compassion or empathy understands that. And Craig, no the drum circle is not an organization nor attached to one. They invited no one to come to there aide. People just did. Many appreciated it, right or wrong. Others kept to the sidelines. It has nothing to do with the people themselves who should be judged by there individual actions. I have no problem with someone showing dissent against the noise or other issues. I can have a civil dialog with you. Anything else is a waste of time and energy which I have done with Dim, admittedly.

I can talk with you, if we agree or not. Dim Sum and his ilk spread only hate and generalizations about entire groups of human beings. Its paramount to racism. In this time of financial woes. The dividing line between the have and have nots is widening. His actions and words only escalate the hate and the generalizations he promotes. When the economy gets bad violence against the poor rises. This has always been true. When pushed to the hilt suddenly Dim becomes compassionate for the "Truly Indigent". Who gets to decide who is truly indigent? I hope not him. If it sounds like fascism to me.

I never thought he really knew Ryan. I could really care less. I do as someone who has a family member who went through homelessness for 20 years in SC care about people who are largely misunderstood. Its really about how we perceive things and people. Empathy will take you allot further than hate arrogance and sarcasm.
Thanks
Katie

by my name is Brent.
Tuesday Sep 16th, 2008 10:35 PM
The Farmer's Market Drum Circle LIVES!!!!
by Sum Dim
Wednesday Sep 17th, 2008 3:57 AM
It's worth noting that for years now, Robert Norse has threatened and attempted to put together a lawsuit over the camping ordinances. He and his pals even went so far as to incite a group of transients to camp out at City Hall and do considerable damage to the property. And what was the result? No lawsuit. Because there's no case.

As for the parking lots, Robert's position that they are public land, and must be made available to this weeks rabble from Portland for their amusement, is not tenable either. The real community (the 49,990 residents who don't subscribe to Robert's worldview), pay for those lots. In parking fees and parking tickets. Huffsters are no more entitled to 24-hour access to, and unrestricted use of, them than they are of the public library, city parks and beaches, or government buildings. All of these facilities have rules of use, codified in ordinance and enforced by law officers. Old Kate Wells can't change that, children. This is why that drum circle will be going away.

It's great that Dave Miller's folks think we're so quaint around here. It would perhaps support Robert's position better if they would move here and commit to attending the drum circle every Wednesday in perpetuity, the way we downtowners have had to for the last ten years.
by Coral Brune
Wednesday Sep 17th, 2008 1:38 PM
Why don't you use your real name? Who can tell if you're a downtowner or a downer?
by No Voilence
Wednesday Sep 17th, 2008 2:37 PM
I do think the rise of violence on the homeless is a big issue and concern , as threats and actual acts have risen since our economy has started to collapse. A quick check of popular forums where there is no censoring shows a huge rise in a call for these actions nationwide. Our City takes the grand prize though from what I saw. This is something nobody should support, make light of, or advocate regardless if your being sarcastic. I went to the Sentinel thread. Vile shit there for sure. I can see how someone would get wound up by it. I also see many comments by Dim advocating violence -- both sarcastically against HUFF, but also just against "Bums", etc. or agreeing with people who obviously truly believe such thing, as I believe Dim does. But its really a waste of time and energy. Dims comments here are enough proof for those who do not wish to wade through comments that are more than disturbing by a small group of misguided, uneducated racists seeking attention, which is what Dim seeks. Don't feed into them or him.

National stats on crimes against the homeless have risen 20+ percent over the last year. Regardless of your stance on the Drum Circle, calling for violence in this way is wrong no matter how you spin it.

I do appreciate the fact that this issue was raised. Thanks for that Katie.
KT
by KT
Wednesday Sep 17th, 2008 4:21 PM
Speaking of violence. I just heard violence broke out at the circle. In 15 years there has never been one documented act of violence there. Except by the occasional SCPD officer. I heard more cop cars then I would of liked headed that way all the way from Capitola. Any updates?

Thanks
KT
by Sum Dim
Wednesday Sep 17th, 2008 4:48 PM
Whatever, No Voilence. This city also takes the grand prize for tolerating misanthropes like the Huffsters and for providing services for the neverending stream of transients who parade through here. Try pulling this nonsense in places like Carmel or Los Gatos, or for that matter Capitola, and see how quickly they escort you to the city limits.

Speaking of vile shit (not my choice of language in a forum, but suit yourself), you people keep saying that I routinely advocate, and concur with others exhortations to, violence against the indigent. In another classic Huffie maneuver, you never cite actual quotes, citing a reluctance to "waste" your "time and energy". Of course, you manage to find the time and energy to level the accusation without too much trouble. As I said, whatever.

by Sum Dim
Wednesday Sep 17th, 2008 4:56 PM
Yeah. Apparently one of your buddies attempted to brain a cop, resulting in a melée.

So much for "No Voilence"

Feel free to dismount your high horse at your leisure there, friend.
by Craig C
Wednesday Sep 17th, 2008 5:51 PM
One of the drummers hit a policeman. Then all hell broke loose and cops were called in.

This was NOT started by a SCPD officer but rather one of the drummers. Like it was just said, so much for non-violence from the peaceful group.


by Robert Norse
Wednesday Sep 17th, 2008 9:56 PM
There are plenty of photos of the absurd, costly, and violent police presence in more recent threads.

Do Craig and his SCPD cheerleading friends have any evidence (other than the police press releases of the Sentinel) that "drummers" started took any aggressive action against the police? Not that I've heard.

I was there videoing and audio recording. Police, seeking a scapegoat for the absurd fencing around the previously public space, went after Jack, a Food Not Bombs volunteer. The drummers immediately followed the police drumming and demanding he be released. Police reacted with excessive, wasteful, and frightening force. Photos and video of Wes, the Trash Orchestra man charged with assault, show him drumming vigorously. I guess he must have set down his drum to do some assaulting.

End result: the drummers returned to drumming as they have for the last ten years in the space they've occupied. And the three cops stalking people showing up at the Drum Circle location (Sgt. Harms and his two officers) left along with the rest of the heavily armed goon squad. The final scene had the space returned to public use, with drummers returning, children dancing, and Food Not Bombs resuming its feeding (minus Jack).

And dozens of people crowded to denounce the police action, which escalated quickly. And for what?

A survey I made of each of the Farmer's Market merchants with stalls closest to the drummers today revealed several strong drummer advocates, some neutral, a few who wouldn't be unhappy if the drummers left, but none who wanted the police to remove them.

Some clips from the video may be available within the hour. I'll be playing the audio tomorrow during my radio show 6-8 PM at 101.1 FM.

by Craig
Thursday Sep 18th, 2008 12:01 PM
For once in my life, my name is actually quite popular! "Craig C." isn't the Craig (me) who posted on an earlier thread and responded to "Katie"s post on her friends who were helped via drumming. I can't keep up with how fast these posts are flying, but I haven't posted since then.

This happened awhile back, too, and I went by 'The Real Craig' for awhile... maybe I should just come up with a totally different handle!
by RAINBOW BEAR
Thursday Sep 18th, 2008 11:30 PM
BULLSHIT CRAIG!!!! I SAW THE WHOLE THING>> DIDNT HAPPEN!!!!!
by Tim Rumford
Sunday Sep 21st, 2008 11:27 AM
This is no longer simply an issue of drums, although I support them. This is an issue of being able to protest on public space and the right to free assembly without armed goon squads. Ryan Connerty directly lied in an email saying that an agreement could be worked out with the board of the farmers market, and that that was the source of the complaints. He even went as far as to suggest this avenue of agreement would work.

On Free Radio today Robert played interviews with nearly every merchant and board members from the Market that were available that day -- anyone were not for the police action, non had said they had complained and 99 % opposed the "Educational Campaign". He did allot of interviews. It concerns me when our mayor lies and then allows the police to come down with such heavy handed tactics, attempting to steal our rights of protest and public assembly. I urge someone who has any contact with the Board of The farmers Market to get a statement asking the City to stop the Crackdown and to drop all charges against Wes and other activists. I am fairly sure that the police presence is unwanted from both sides, drummers, market merchants and concerned citizens of this community.

People come to protect your right to protest and peacefully assemble.
Tim Rumford