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View other events for the week of 7/11/2009
Tolerance Not Bigotry: 6th Saturday Sidewalk Vigil at Bunny's Shoes
Date Saturday July 11
Time 1:00 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 Santa Cruz 95060
6th Saturday of Protest against anti-homeless laws and policies downtown.

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.


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 in early June.


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.
Bad Ass Coffee 1207 Pacific

Some photos of the posted pledge can be found agt

We received complaints last week from The Hat Company, whose store shares an entrance with Bunny's Shoes, that their business was being significantly impacted. They posted a copy of the pledge along with a denunciation of the protest, which they removed after we left.

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 and encourage shoppers to buy where the pledge is displayed.


There has been no movement by the City Attorney or the Downtown Association to rescind the one-act-of-sleeping-downtown-and-you-go-to-jail Injunction secured in May against homeless musicians Anna Richardson and Miguel de Leon.

Santa Cruz has no emergency walk-in shelter for 95% of its homeless population. It also enforces the medieval MC 6.36.010a--a homeless Sleeping Ban). This infraction law will now result in jailing penalties thanks to the February ordinance changes pushed by the Downtown Association and businesses on Pacific Avenue (three unattended infractions is an automatic misdemeanor for which you can be jailed).


Please report such incidents you observe or experience to HUFF at 423-4833. We are also interested in any video or audio of abusive police contacts.

If you are homeless and hassled, 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

Attorney Ed Frey is defending homeless vandweller Sharon Paight in a case that goes to court in mid-August in Dept. 1.


Michelle Chase, the manager of Bunny's Shoes, as well as the 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 Richardson and deLeon.

We respect the right of Bunny's and the Hat Company to manage their own properties. However, the Bunnys Declaration has been used to back up police action on public property against those that have no choice. The Hat Company apparently supports the Sleeping Ban, since it removed the statement it previous placed in its window.

We would prefer to place our petitioning table directly in front of Bunny's, but the new Downtown Ordinances, passed by the City Council at the urging of the Downtown Association has made that illegal (no tables within 10' of public benches).


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 throughout the night.

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--the overwhelming majority of which have no legal place to sleep at night.

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 3/4 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.

Businesses downtown need to hear from the community on this issue.

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 Friday Jul 10th, 2009 9:04 AM
Listed below are the latest comments about this post.
These comments are submitted anonymously by website visitors.
AnswersRobert NorseFriday Aug 21st, 2009 11:30 AM
Snarky RobVery SnarkyWednesday Jul 15th, 2009 4:59 PM
The Cost of ConscienceRobert NorseMonday Jul 13th, 2009 3:17 PM
Thank you RobertSilviaMonday Jul 13th, 2009 1:32 PM
exactlyTerryMonday Jul 13th, 2009 10:32 AM
this is tellingex-residentSunday Jul 12th, 2009 10:44 AM
Hat Company Posting and DisclaimerRobert Norse (photo/story by Becky Johnson)Saturday Jul 11th, 2009 10:39 PM
More Pledge Displayers...and the policeRobert NorseSaturday Jul 11th, 2009 7:39 PM
New Pledge BackersRobert NorseFriday Jul 10th, 2009 8:48 PM
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