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Independence Day Downtown: Protest at Bunny's Shoes on the 4th

Saturday, July 04, 2009
1:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Event Type:
Robert Norse
rnorse3@hotmail. com
309 Cedar PMB #14B Santa Cruz 95060
Location Details:
On the sidewalk near Bunny's Shoes in downtown Santa Cruz at 1350 Pacific Ave.and its sister store across the street

Celebrate Independence Day this year. Help us tol restore real human rights for real people this 4th of July. Join us on the sidewalk in front of Bunny's Shoes to urge stores to post and support the Pledge for Human Rights and Harmony.

This protest is scheduled to be held regularly every Saturday throughout the summer.


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

Councilmembers Lane and Beiers have not responded yet to concerns about disappearing benches downtown. Give them a call at 420-5020. Parks and Recreation boss Dannettee Shoemaker stonewalled Public Records Act requests to specify why benches are being removed and under pressure from whom.


Some of the stores that have agreed to post 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
\Pollo Loco 712 Front St.
More Music 512 Front St.
Alma Manger 521 Front St.
Vasilla 435 Front St.

We understand the 4 week long boycott and protest has had significant impact on some downtown stores. We hope that the pressure of the public conscience will help change a disgraceful situation.


Anna and Miguel report they were falsely ticketed for sleeping outside the Injunction zone on the levy during the daytime.

Miguel de Leon's noted "Just because you need a box to live in this beautiful home that God has given all of us doesn't mean that I do. To live in a box is a casket."

Even if he wanted shelter, Santa Cruz has none for 95% of its homeless population.

Police have historically expanded enforcement beyond the letter of the law and they and their merchant allies then go to city council to get after-the-fact expansion of the laws to cover their illegal harassment and selective enforcement.

The City's medieval MC 6.36.010a is a homeless Sleeping Ban). It now has jailing penalties restored (thanks to the February ordinance changes pushed by the Downtown Association and businesses on Pacific Avenue)

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. There are attorneys who are considering taking cases to challenge the ordinance once the financial backing is available


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.

More discussion of this issue at


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.


More flyers should shortly be available. We encourage folks to download them and distribute them widely as well as posting them on other websites.

Past flyers:

More info on this situation at
Added to the calendar on Thu, Jul 2, 2009 10:16AM
§4th of July BEAT BACK BIGOTRY Protest! at Bunny's
Join us this Saturday, July 4th at 1pm in front of Bunny's Shoes, 1350 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz for our weekly, ongoing protest demanding that merchants respect the rights of all, including the homeless!

Bunny's Shoes, 1350 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz showed their support for Bigotry when they supported a court action and condoned a court decision to arrest a "targeted" homeless couple if caught sleeping in the immediate downtown Santa Cruz area.
Join us this Saturday, July 4th at 1pm in front of Bunny's Shoes, 1350 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz for our ongoing protest which encourages shoppers to buy only from merchants who support Human Rights for all, including the homeless, and who support an end to the Santa Cruz Sleeping Ban.
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