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|Still No Relief--Sleeping Ban Protest #9 at Bunny's Shoes|
|Date||Saturday August 01|
|Time||2:00 PM - 4:00 PM|
|Import this event into your personal calendar.|
|On the sidewalk in front of Bunny's two stores on Pacific Ave. at 1349 and 1350 Pacific Ave. in downtown Santa Cruz|
|Address||309 Cedar PMB #14B Santa Cruz 95060|
Hot vegan food will be available, courtesy of India Joe Schultz.
Come on down and be a part of change in Santa Cruz!
BACKGROUND OF THE PROTEST
The Santa Cruz "No Homeless Sleeping" Law (MC 6.36.010a) is still in full force. There is no emergency walk-in shelter, no legal campgrounds, and no legal parking spaces where one can sleep overnight in the City limits. The fine is $97. Three unattended tickets result in a misdemeanor crime--up to $1000 fine and 1 year in jail.
Merchants pressuring City Council recently created this "three tickets and you're jailed" law. They have also pressed Council to fund increased police harassment of poor people downtown.
Two street performers, at the initiative of the SCPD and City Attorney, face immediate jail if they sleep at night anywhere on public property in the downtown area. Bunnys Shoes is one of four stores whose Declarations helped the anti-homeless Santa Cruz City Council get this Injunction.
In response, we have prepared a pledge, which we have asked downtown businesses to post in their windows or in their stores.
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 http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2009/06/12/18601539.php ]
We encourage you to pick up a few copies of the pledge and encourage business owners you know to post them.
ESCALATING POLICE RESPONSE
Our protest last week in front of Bunny's stirred the ire of the Hat Company manager as well as other anonymous critics, who denounced us in a sidewalk debate (see video at http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2009/07/31/18613467.php)
Officer Winston without any prior warning arrived within an hour after the table was set up and demanded we take it down on pain of citation (and subsequent arrest if the table stayed up).
A volunteer came out of the crowd to offer to staff a second table if one were provided and to take a ticket, even an arrest, if it came to that. Activists provided a second table, and continued their petitioning and leafleting, encouraging the community to shop at stores that post the pledge and educate those that don't.
We expect further harassment this week and encourage supporters to bring cameras, camcorders, and cell phones. When police act as agents of merchants to privatize and gentrify public spaces, it's important for the community to fight back.
Winston was using the selectively enforced Move-Along law, MC 5.43.020(2):
"No person shall allow a display device to remain in the same location on the sidewalk for a period of time exceeding one hour. After one hour the person who placed the display device on the sidewalk shall not place a display device on the sidewalk within one hundred feet of the original display device location. After one hour the person who placed the display device shall not place a display device in the original display device location, or within one hundred feet of the original display device location, for twenty-four hours.
(3) No person shall be cited under this section unless he or she has first been notified by a police officer, public officer or downtown host that he or she is in violation of the prohibition in this section, and thereafter continues the violation.
(4) As used in this section the term “person” shall refer to any individual person, group of persons or organization.(http://www.huffsantacruz.org/code/5.43.pdf)"
The law is used mainly against street performers and homeless panhandlers but also against political protesters.
A video of the July 18th protest and police tripping over themselves to warn and intimidate protesters can be found at http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2009/07/20/18609836.php).
STORES THAT STAND UP FOR HUMAN RIGHTS
Some of the stores that have posted the Pledge, which we urge the community to spend at:
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.
Vasili's 435 Front St.
Bad Ass Coffee 1207 Pacific
Khyber Pass 810 Pacific
Firefly Cafe 131 Front St.
Godmoma's Forge, LLC 916B Soquel Ave.
Felix Kulpa Gallery 107 Elm
Cafe Bene 1101 Cedar St.
Sub Rosa Cafe 703 Pacific
Camouflage 1329 Pacific
Some photos of the posted pledge can be found agt http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2009/07/03/18605574.php
SANTA CRUZ SLEEPING BAN THE FOCUS
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.
Nor have Palomar, Borders, Lulu Carpenters, or Bunny's publicly repudiated the "jail for sleep" Injunction.
Santa Cruz has a profound shelter crisis with literally NO shelter for those not on a waiting list. This according to the authoritative head of the Homeless Services Center, Doug Loisel (radio http://www.radiolibre.org/brb/brb090723.mp3interview) Santa Cruz has 1500-2000 homeless people of whom the overwhelming majority have no shelter.
Instead the City Police and Rangers enforce the medieval MC 6.36.010a--a homeless Sleeping Ban. State Rangers enforce similar laws on the beaches and in the Lighthouse Field area.
Those sleeping outside along the San Lorenzo Riverbank levy report Chief Ranger John Wallace will be seeking "stay-away-from-Santa-Cruz" orders for criminal sleepers.
OTHER CITIES LEAD SANTA CRUZ; SLEEPING AREAS COULD BE FOUND IN SANTA CRUZ
Los Angeles, San Diego, Fresno, Richmond, & Laguna Beach have overturned their homeless Sleeping Bans.
Palo Alto allows homeless people to sleep in their vehicles.
Santa Monica, Santa Barbara, and Sacramento currently face legal challenges against their Sleeping bans.
Santa Cruz is surrounded by greenbelt area, has a huge Pogonip area, and numerous parking lots and garages that could easily be used for overnight sleeping purposes. NIMBY bigotry and political cowardice are the primary obstacles.
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.
New cops and "Hosts" are sharpening their claws on poor people downtown who are engaging in innocent behavior in public places (sitting, sleeping, performing, political tabling)
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 van-dweller Sharon Paight in a case that goes to court in mid-August in Dept. 1.
WHY PROTEST BUNNY'S SHOES?
For a longer explanation: http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2009/07/20/18609836.php
For the Injunction: http://www.indybay.org/uploads/2009/07/02/richardson_injunction.pdf
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.
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.
PLEDGE DRIVE CONTINUES
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.
We need volunteers to distribute the Pledge more widely. Call us at 423-4833.
Tune in for updates on Free Radio Santa Cruz at 101.1 FM and http://www.freakradio.org Sundays 9:30 AM to 1 PM, Thursdays 6-8 PM.
Businesses downtown need to hear from the community on this issue.
More discussion of this issue at http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2009/06/27/18604210.php?show_comments=1#18605109
SUPPORT HUMAN RIGHTS LOCALLY WITH YOUR DOLLARS
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.
More info on this situation at