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Copwatching For Dummies

Saturday, April 25, 2009
5:00 PM - 6:30 PM
Event Type:
Robert Norse
309 Cedar PMB #14B Santa Cruz 95060
Location Details:
In front of Borders Book Store on Pacific Ave. between Soquel and Walnut Sts. in downtown Santa Cruz

More cop and "host" watching in Downtown Saturday Santa Cruz, with a focus on police harassment of poor and homeless people under the Downtown Association-endorsed Downtown Ordinances--amended in February to make them even worse (

We've got music, cold drinks, and hot soup. If any uniformed "poverty police" show up, we will be pursuing them with camera and flier and can use all the help we can get.

Sometimes we're a few minutes late so, be patient.

This has been a regular weekly event (though we didn't announce it last week on indybay) and is likely to continue into the future. It's also a lot of fun and impromptu theater.

Final planning for the evening will happen at the Human Rights Organization meeting 3 PM at the Sub Rosa Cafe at 703 Pacific Ave. (next to People Power and the Bike Church).

Come on down if you want to get some advance info, have lots of questions, or want some preliminary discussion before participating.

The new Copwatch Santa Cruz Blog debuted on line at but we still need lots of help updating it. Give a call to HUFF at 423-4833 if you'd like to help or e-mail rnorse3 [at] .

Downtown, we'll be taking accounts of police behavior and videoing cops on the beat as they drive poor people away and give out tickets they can't pay, while ignoring identical behavior from well-dressed and well-funded tourists.

An earlier Copwatch Saturday report can be found at

Homeless vets are a significant proportion of the community without shelter outside. Please bring us any accounts of police harassment and ticketing of local vets--or discrimination at the local Vet's Building. Local Vets organizations seem powerless to be able or willing to deal with problems that seem to center around manager Tim B.

This is both a budget and civil liberties issue locally. Police must be discouraged from being a part of the local War on the Poor, and the merchant community that supports these outrages confronted. The Downtown Association's new offices are located at 903 Pacific Ave. Their phone number is 429-8433 if you wish to let them know how you feel about their new laws.

The new anti-homeless Downtown Ordinance public assembly constrictions are now being enforced by police. They criminalize more than one hour's sitting on a city bench, make 3 unpaid infractions a jailing misdemeanor, and expand the notorious "No Go" zones downtown for sitting, sparechanging, political tabling, and street performing.

$97 anti-homeless tickets for sleeping at night and shelter for less than 5% of the homeless community--the Armory Winter Shelter closed in mid-April

If a Tent City forms, we urge you to support it. This has already happened in Sacramento, Fresno, and Ontario CA.

We will also be gathering accounts of harassment in hopes of joining Santa Barbara and Sacramento in challenging anti-homeless Sleeping Bans. Successful lawsuits and political pressure have already ended Sleeping Bans in Fresno, San Diego, Los Angeles, Laguna Beach, Richmond, and Palo Alto.

We hope to encourage media to counter the City's persecution of those outside using massive police overkill and a new city attorney crackdown with a civil injunction.

PLEASE CONTACT attorney Jonathan Gettleman at 427-2658 if you have had positive experiences with Anna Richardson and Miguel deLeon, currently under City Attorney attack. They need supportive court testimony in early May.

We have video cameras and tape recorders; bring your own as well. We will also be volunteering to train Copwatchers on how to use them.

If you want to volunteer for Public Records Act request work and other behind-the-scenes Copwatching, call 423-4833.

To help plan future events, check out HRO (see above) or HUFF (Homeless United for Friendship & Freedom) at Sub Rosa Cafe Wednesdays 9:30 AM -11:30 AM.
Added to the calendar on Thu, Apr 23, 2009 1:50PM
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