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View other events for the week of 6/27/2009
Summer Heat Against The Sleeping Ban--Protest at Bunny's Shoes
Date Saturday June 27
Time 12:00 PM - 3:00 PM
Location Details
On the sidewalk near Bunny's Shoes in downtown Santa Cruz at 1350 Pacific Ave.and its sister store across the street
Event Type Protest
Organizer/AuthorRobert Norse
Emailrnorse3@hotmail. com
Address309 Cedar PMB #14B

Back to the blacktop in front of Bunny's Shoes to urge stores
to post and support the Pledge for Human Rights and Harmony. THIS PROTEST IS SCHEDULED REGULARLY EVERY SATURDAY.

The pledge reads: "This business does not discriminate. We support Human Rights for the homeless community. In particular, the right to sleep at night--not anywhere and everywhere--but somewhere." [See ]

HUFF (Homeless United for Friendship & Freedom) and HRO (Human Rights Organization) in concert with independent activists continue our picketing and protest, which we began a month ago.


The police crackdown against the poor was stepped up last week. Two musicians reported a violent incident by Officer Winston in front of Union Grove Music on Wednesday night.

The new out-of-town Proxy-Police Ambassadors group replaces the Downtown Hosts on July 1st. [See]

More benches are disappearing from downtown and Parks and Recreation boss Dannettee Shoemaker stonewalls Public Records Act requests to specify why benches are being removed and under pressure from whom.


Some of the stores that have posted the Pledge, which we urge the community to spend at:

Tacqueria Vallarta 1101A Pacific
Streetlight Records 939 Pacific
Santa Cruz City Soccer 717 Pacific
Starbucks 1335 Pacific
The Perfumer's Apprentice 1319A-B Pacific


Police continue to harass sleepers outside without shelter under the City's medieval MC 6.36.010a (the homeless Sleeping Ban) even though there is no legal shelter for them.

Please report such incidents to 423-4833; ask the officer who demands you move if he has a legal place for you to go specifically then and there.


Bunny's Shoes, Property managers at Borders and the Palomar, and Manthri Srinath, owner of Lulu Carpenters) all contributed to a discriminatory court Injunction, granted last month by Judge Paul Burdick against two homeless musicians, Anna Richardson and Miguel deLeon

This injunction bans Richardson and deLeon from sleeping anywhere in a park or on the sidewalk in the downtown area on pain of jail. City law additionally bans them from sleeping anywhere on public property in Santa Cruz after 11 PM.

It has nothing to do with any kind of real criminal conduct or nuisance behavior like littering, trespassing, disturbing the peace, urinating, defecating, etc. Simply sleeping outside downtown has become an immediate jailing offense for these two. So far police have not arrested them.

The impact of the decision expands far beyond these two performers, since there are 1500-2000 homeless in Santa Cruz of whom less than 10% have shelter throughout the summer.

Homeless people face $97 citations, police harassment, theft and destruction of their property, and discrimination.

It is piling absurdity upon cruelty to ban sleeping downtown on pain of jail, yet allow no legal place for homeless people to sleep. MC 6.36.010 makes all nighttime sleeping illegal outside on public property already; the Injunction adds a jail penalty to the downtown area for this homeless couple.

Activists will continue presenting their Pledge on Human Rights and Harmony for merchants to display in their windows or in their stores in soldarity if they choose. So far about about 1/2 of the businesses downtown have been approached.

Mediators have approached Bunny's asking them to post the Pledge and support a policy of non-discrimination. Bunny's is one of four stores signing Declarations used by the City Attorney to secure the Injunction against Richardson and deLeon.

While we respect the right of Bunny's to manage its own property, when it supports police action on public property against those that have no choice, it needs to hear from the community--as does every business that supports this kind of "get-out-of-town" bigotry.


In essence we ask downtown businesses to advise the community and their customers that they no longer favor--whatever position they may have taken in the past--turning homeless people into criminals for sleeping--something over which they have no control.

Businesses that have the clarity and courage to do this should be rewarded and those that don't should be questioned.


Flyers are downloadable at:

More info on this situation at
Added to the calendar on Saturday Jun 27th, 2009 11:07 AM

Comments  (Hide Comments)

by I checked
Sunday Jun 28th, 2009 1:55 PM
I was gonna boycott them if it were there, but it wasn't so I had 2 tacos.

That's sort of the deal, right? We draw up sides, support those who agree with us and boycott those who don't. So I'll keep shopping there until I see your poster go up, then I'll stop going and tell them why I'm boycotting them.
by Gary K
Monday Jun 29th, 2009 11:56 AM
I didn't see one this morning at Starbucks either. I made a point of looking for it.
by Midnight Puff
Tuesday Jun 30th, 2009 5:18 PM
I was just over at Starbucks and I looked all over for the sign. Didn't see anything. And I looked everywhere.
So I asked the girl behind the counter about it when I got my coffee and she just laughed. Didn't answer the question, just laughed.
by Shadow
Wednesday Jul 1st, 2009 1:15 PM
Robert says "While we respect the right of Bunny's to manage its own property, when it supports police action on public property against those that have no choice, it needs to hear from the community".

Could Robert please clarify if Bunny's contacted police about activity that was happening on public or private property. And since he is targeting Bunny's could he please enlighten everyone where exactly these incidents took place?
by end the ban
Wednesday Jul 1st, 2009 2:20 PM
Yeah, I couldn't find them at Streetlight or the Perfumed place either? Robert, are you sure these groups were sincere? They may have just said "yes" and tossed them in the recycling.
by Phil C
Wednesday Jul 1st, 2009 3:59 PM
Believe me, business owners downtown see this for what it is. This "pledge" is nothing more then extortion and a bullying tactic. Norse can't find any headway with the city so he has decided to go after the business owners and hit their revenue. The only thing is it's not working. No one is going to give in to these practices of fear and intimidation.

What is truly amazing is that there is a lot more back story in the details of the incident that sparked this protest. Norse and his friends at the HRO have not been entirely forthcoming when telling the complete story about Anna and Miguel. While the couple was cited for sleeping infractions, there were surrounding incidents of vandalism, breaking and entry, urination, defecation, trespassing, and refusal to leave private property. Norse, Johnson, et al have only told one side of this story. The other side of the story is well documented and could be enlightening if only they would ask.
by Robert Norse
Thursday Jul 2nd, 2009 9:42 AM
The issue is the downtown businesses' move to intensify criminalization of homelessness downtown under the cover of dealing with "bad behavior."

In January merchants showed up en masse to support making three "unattended" Sleeping Ban infractions a criminal misdemeanor punishable by up to 6 months in jail and $1000 fine. (Actually any three infractions--even if only one or two of them involve Sleeping).

Merchants and the Coonerty-Robinson-Mathews coalition at City Council, are all too willing to blame the depression on the presence of poor people hanging out downtown (having been driven out of the parks, off the beaches, and out of the Pogonip).

The "forbidden zones" for innocent behavior such as sitting, sparechanging, political tabling, and street performing now cover more than 90% of the Pacific Ave. sidewalks and 100% of sidewalks where there are businesses within 14' everywhere else in town.

It's illegal to sit down next to a closed or vacant storefront any time of the day or night. Do it three times, ignore the absurd tickets, and you get a jail sentence? I think tourists should be advised that this is the kind of crap merchants are letting their Downtown Association push through City Council.

The May Injunction against Anna Richardson and Miguel de Leon only covers sleeping and has nothing to do with "bad behavior." Lulu Carpenter's, Bunny's, the Palomar, and Borders--who all contributed declarations to support it--should repudiate it.

A new more militant set of Hosts (the "Ambassadors") appeared on the streets yesterday. We have yet to see how abusive they are, but folks should report what they see at 423-4833.

Portland, OR courts recently threw out a much more limited Sitting Ban (see ). Instead of piling on more repressive laws and wannabe cops, local merchants need to turn to better solutions like those proposed by the reconstituted Street Performers Guild.

The Sleeping Ban went down in L.A., San Diego, Fresno, Richmond, and Laguna Beach. It's only a matter of time (and money) before it happens here.

As mentioned above, if it's behavior on private property that worries businesses (a legitimate concern), then let them clearly state they support non-discrimination and an end to the Sleeping Ban, somewhere, not everywhere, in Santa Cruz. If not, then potential customers should know where their dollars are going.

Buy a cup of coffee at Starbucks. Their pledge is clearly visible.
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