Santa Cruz IMC
Santa Cruz IMC
Indybay Regions North Coast Central Valley North Bay East Bay South Bay San Francisco Peninsula Santa Cruz IMC - Independent Media Center for the Monterey Bay Area North Coast Central Valley North Bay East Bay South Bay San Francisco Peninsula Santa Cruz IMC - Independent Media Center for the Monterey Bay Area California United States International Americas Haiti Iraq Palestine Afghanistan
From the Open-Publishing Calendar
From the Open-Publishing Newswire
Indybay Feature

Copwatching Downtown

by Robert Norse
Our 2 1/2 hour Copwatch downtown went well today (Thursday). Folks flocked about the table fingering our limited literature, signed our "End the Parking Lot Ban" petition, sloshed down Joe Schultz's lipsmackin' good soup, and spoke up on tape about police problems they'd had or seen.
We may do it again tomorrow if folks get in touch who want to be supportive.
Our low-budget, limited-flier, three-person Copwatch earlier today (Thursday) took place in front of Borders. We set up a table, signs, and even placed some (erasable but criminal) sidewalk chalk on the table to tempt scofflaws. Nearby on the sidewalk were the faint images of a few chalked words left over from the Saturday night/Sunday morning Sleepout ("Sleep Deprivation is Torture").

Two women at O, My Sole shoe store (formerly Jackson's Shoes) claimed Sgt. Harms strongarmed one out of the store and refused to take a police report from the offended customer, siding with the merchant. Harms denied the report, saying he had repeatedly asked the angry customer to leave the store, and only pulled her out when she started back towards the store manager with a finger raised.

One old-timer ("Grampa" to his street friends) spoke of being assaulted up by the Asti some days ago, waking up in Dominican with serious injuries, and then being dumped back on the street after three days inside. He spoke of serious pain, broke down in tears,reportedly, when interviewed by several police officers, and got an ambulance ride back to Dominican.

Officer D. Forbus (don't ask me which one--Dan or Dave) challenged me to take him to Dominican myself and provide a shuttle service to Emeline for TB treatment. I commended Forbus and Inouye (the other officer) for taking Gramps seriously (though reportedly, only after he'd publicly cried for them), but suggested we all had our various jobs to do. Theirs was regular harassment patrols on Pacific (with the occasional referral to Dominican). Mine was to encourage folks to reassert their civil rights and restore rights to those whom police were targeting in the Holiday Sweeps.

Joe Schultz showed up belatedly with tasty vegetarian soup, very apologetic that it hadn't been available yesterday at the Drum Circle. It was completely consumed with repeated thanks from those who supped.

There seemed to be a lot of interest in continuing the Copwatch. If enough people contact me at 423-4833 before 11 AM tomorrow either wanting to volunteer to help (noon-2 PM) or be a part of an on-line Copwatch blog, I'll grudgingly trudge back to Pacific for a second day.

Watch on!
Add Your Comments
Listed below are the latest comments about this post.
These comments are submitted anonymously by website visitors.
R. Norse
Fri, Dec 12, 2008 1:36PM
Self imposed martyrdom
Fri, Dec 12, 2008 9:40AM
We are 100% volunteer and depend on your participation to sustain our efforts!


$55.00 donated
in the past month

Get Involved

If you'd like to help with maintaining or developing the website, contact us.


Publish your stories and upcoming events on Indybay.

IMC Network