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8th Weekly Sleeping Ban Protest at Bunny's Shoes
Friday Jul 31st, 2009 11:13 AM
17 minute video documenting the pulse of the street regarding the Santa Cruz sleeping ban...Standing up for the rights of homeless people...Conflict and dialog on the sidewalk...
17 minute video documenting the pulse of the street regarding the Santa Cruz sleeping ban...Standing up for the rights of homeless people...Conflict and dialog on the sidewalk...
As the federal government prohibition act of the 1930's brought us 'gangsters' and violence, so too does the Santa Cruz City Council's Sleeping Ban promote conflict, confusion, and chaos as seen in this video...
Contact HUFF (Homeless United for Friendship and Freedom) at 831-423-4833 to volunteer, or for more information...

Comments  (Hide Comments)

by Robert Norse
Friday Jul 31st, 2009 12:57 PM
The table next to our Protest Table in front of Bunny's Shoes pictured at 1:40 or so into the video is not Bunnys Shoes table, as I mistakenly state in the video. It is actually The Hat Company's table; Maria, the owner, who later debates us, is the woman in green at the table.

Great video--much thanks to videoeditor Rick as well as videomaestra Valerie.
by Thanks for the prompt
Friday Jul 31st, 2009 6:54 PM
I emailed the city council today to thank them for enacting the ordinance, and told them how I and most of my peers support it.

by Hilarious
Friday Jul 31st, 2009 6:58 PM
Tired rhetoric, no answers, just compliants...same old same old.

I do take one bit of Robert's advise to heart though. I'm boycotting any business that displays his banner, and I'm telling the owners as such, and I'm inviting my friends to do the same. Good for the goose, good for the gander, right?

No more purchasing at Taqueria Vallarta. I go to El Perico.

No money spending at Kyber Pass.

Etc, etc.

Let's go for it. Draw the line, and see which side wins. It's go time.
by The moment they snapped
Friday Jul 31st, 2009 7:04 PM
Robert and Becky have lost it. They're telling their versions of "truth" and demanding others obey it, while at the same time denigrating the "truth" of others. They're telling others to shut up "buddy" when they disagree with the others reality.'s over. Please keep the video online. There couldn't be a better endorsement to discredit them.
by "she's not listening, either..."
Friday Jul 31st, 2009 9:30 PM
I find myself verbally defending you a lot, Robert, on a fairly regular basis. I was homeless here for close to a decade before I decided to change my agenda and do something different. I began volunteering at the Drop In Center because I was tired of my friends getting sick from Hep C and HIV. My better half and I started an (albeit short-lived) outreach Sock Exchange---which is exactly what it sounds like, and we paid for the laundry of said socks out of pocket---because we heard too many people complaining of staph infections from blisters on their feet. In short, I've at least tried to make a difference.

I write this not as an attack, though you will inevitably assume it to be as such, but because I feel that you do the outreach community (it does exist for now, we'll see about the budget cuts) an enormous disservice by lumping all of us into the limited window of your cause. You are not winning these folks any friends by yelling at shopowners, harassing agenda-free tourists (like the one who made the comment "she's not listening either, and i don't really want to listen to you anymore" around minute 10), or assuming that the merchants who are willing to put up your pledge want to be set as an example of what the "right" version of downtown should look like.

I think your heart is in the right place Robert, as well as Becky's, and I wholly disagree with the backbiting involved on a website that's based on community input instead of personal attacks (note: the folks I'm referring to have already turned the Sentinel forum into a racist, classist free-for-all on the lesser-thans, which is not what indybay should be about), but perhaps a new strategy is due, one that could even shut your nay-sayers up. I'm not even pretending to tell you what that other strategy may be, but it's worth noting that this current one isn't working. As it stands, arguing with everybody who walks by (whether they agree with you or otherwise) falls into a category of preaching to the choir or slamming the doors in the faces of the non-believers.

We're all in this thing together, however begrudgingly. Working with the community, and hearing their demands, will be the first step in finding a place---not anywhere or everywhere, but somewhere----for these folks to sleep. HUFF's biggest obstacle at the moment is shaking off the ghost of its' reputation, and maybe even going so far as to stop participating in the nonsensical argument that is any online bulletin boards. "Who feels it, knows it," I've heard more than once; find a way to make them feel it.

But I digress. Now that everything except spending money is illegal downtown, maybe the cops will actually write the yuppies the "Dog on the Ave" ticket I see them ignoring every day. Maybe they'll actually bust one of the idiot wastoid UC kids skidding out of the Catalyst parking lot at 2am for drunk driving.

No. There's a kid sitting on a planter box somewhere, and goddamnit they're gonna get him. And we've landed exactly where we started.
by Robert Norse
Saturday Aug 1st, 2009 12:08 PM
Thanks for the thoughtful comments by the previous poster.

HUFF and I don't represent homeless people generally or the "outreach community" (by which I assume you mean groups that provide limited social services and at this time zero walk-in shelter).

I actually think you're mistaken about HUFF's hurting the outreach community. Pressing for basic human rights, however politically unpopular (even with social service providers who are justifiably nervous about their budgets) actually provides the space for so-called "moderates" present their proposals. Although, it's true, institutionalized liberals are always nervous about radicals tarnishing their image, "provoking" the police, and "creating" violence.

What some activists have found and written about in historical civil rights struggles is that protests actually uncover existing violence in the system that is currently being ignored. And that's what police enforcement of these anti-homeless laws is--as well as merchant-involvement in that process.

What HUFF has been asking for for years is pretty simple: an end to anti-homeless laws, particularly the clearly discriminatory and absurd Sleeping Ban.

Breaking the silence loudly enough for folks to notice does provoke polarization to some extent and reveals the dimensions of the problem.

Mobilizing power is what is needed to win these rights, and that, I agree, won't happen tomorrow.

But it has to start today.
by Robert Norse
Saturday Aug 1st, 2009 12:36 PM
by Robert Norse
Saturday Aug 1st, 2009 10:27 PM
Check out Free Radio Santa Cruz at 101.1 FM and Call in at 427-3772 if you wish to comment.

Video should be forthcoming soon.'

At the latest protest today, master chef Joe Schultz provided tasty lentil soup--much appreciated by hungry passersby. Homeless Service Center director Doug Loisel stopped by and discussed forthcoming changes at the HSC.

Perhaps disturbed at shouts of "Boycott Bunny's, Bunny's called the police to demand Santa Cruz's special First Amendment suspension be invoked--the "Move Along" law. Officer Warren told us we only had an hour and would be cited at 4:30 p.m. Volunter Jen offered to take a ticket and asked what would happen if she still refused to move the table. "Then I'll cite you again," said Warren. "And then if I refuse to move?" "I'll recommend a warrent be issued for your arrest," he concluded.

Though Jen was ready and willing to stay and face the consequences, we had only planned to be there from 2 to 4; we had a farewell party planned for a long-term HUFF member moving out of town. So, we left at 4:15p.m.

We are planning to distribute placards and lists of shops that post and those that don't to street performers and homeless regulars on the street to encourage tourists to patronize shops that support human rights.
by one can wish
Saturday Aug 1st, 2009 11:27 PM
Hopefully it's Becky!
by Sarah Wilson
Friday Aug 7th, 2009 2:34 PM
Thanks for posting that Robert. Not sure who is the bigger jerk is, you or Becky Johnson. Nice to see the majority of Santa Cruz residents aren't like you.
by Couldn't agree more
Saturday Aug 8th, 2009 7:10 PM
We can only be thankful that the disproportionate presence of Huff in assorted media and street protests isn't indicative of their actual influence.

The reality is that, though they post endlessly, the majority of Santa Cruzans don't agree with them. More tellingingly, the fact that they protest and post endlessly means that the majority of Santa Cruzan's know of their agenda but don't agree with them.

IMO, the primary goal of huff is the ego masturbation of its members and their endless need to be noticed. The reality is that in 20 years of existance, they've never once convinced what is arguably one of the 5 most liberal communities in America to endorse their agenda. It's telling, and sadly humorous. To hear them describe it, Santa Cruz is a right wing fascist stronghold of intolerance. Makes me laugh when I hear them.
by Robert Norse
Friday Aug 21st, 2009 11:22 AM
See "In Response".

Also check out the 8-21 tabling/protest in front of Lulu Carpenter's on Pacific Avenue at noon.