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Last Night Celebrates Five Years of DIY Organizing
by Last Night Santa Cruz (info [at]
Wednesday Dec 16th, 2009 11:48 PM
In the face of spiraling civic budgets, decentralized celebration is more relevant than ever

Last Night Celebrates Five Years of Do-It-Yourself Community Organizing

In the face of spiraling civic budgets, decentralized celebration is more relevant than ever

Five years after police attempted to shut it down, the Last Night DIY celebration still refuses permission to bring a homespun tradition to Santa Cruz streets. In it's fifth year, the do-it-yourself, grassroots celebration with a family-friendly parade, street party, entertainment, and performers to take over downtown for a evening of DIY adventure and entertainment.

More than an evening's entertainment, this is a parade with a purpose. The message is simple: We can do it ourselves. From its beginnings in 2004, the parade is not about merely celebrating, but celebrating what we as a community can do outside of governments, corporations, and institutions. It is a celebration of both our autonomy and the support we bring to each other.

In this historic moment, when the economy is spirally into the ground and the local community is plagued with violence, we have an opportunity to create something good and sustainable and compassionate -- the polar opposite approach of law enforcement.

The spontaneous, open Last Night celebration is an antidote to recent reactionary groups who wish to take back Santa Cruz from "undesirable elements," a fear-mongering movement largely pushed by well-heeled white residents. This celebration has always been about taking back our streets and town -- but the people already at the bottom of the socio-economic ladder are not our enemy.

This year, organizers asked themselves, how can we talk about families, and real people on the streets, and about controlling how these streets feel to us? This celebration includes a broad diversity of people including young and old, rich and poor, white and brown, English and Spanish speaking, housed and homeless.

The Last Night website ( states, "We are not asking for permits and permission, nor are there any limits on participation. Our entire community is invited to participate and celebrate together."

This year on New Year's Eve, the celebration will meet at 5pm near the Saturn Cafe parking lot on Pacific Ave and Spruce Street.

Comments  (Hide Comments)

by AG
Thursday Dec 17th, 2009 11:04 AM
Hey this is a good party and a good thing. Thanks. I've been there almost every year. I think however that sending out an e-mail to [the progressive community] saying that there has been "a fear-mongering movement largely pushed by well-heeled white residents" is the wrong tone to take, and the wrong words to use, in a town that is 3/4 white and has many, many good people of all descriptions.
by R
Thursday Dec 17th, 2009 11:07 AM
Just referring to the well publicized Take Back Santa Cruz which has explicitly stated that it wants to remove take back the town from "undesirable elements." Community forums after the murder of the Santa Cruz High Student had a distinctly racist and classist tone. So whether you think it is the right tone to take or not, this is the reality of this town at this time.
by Pees Tof
Thursday Dec 17th, 2009 11:25 AM
Why is there no mention of anarchy and anarchists in this post? Are you hiding something?
by its all fun and games
Thursday Dec 17th, 2009 11:40 AM
this parade and festivities might have been the idea of anarchists but it is all about having fun. the city belongs to the people and we just want to have fun and feel safe on our own streets.
by Better to be Pees Tov Than Pees Tawn
Friday Dec 18th, 2009 9:26 AM
Yes. It is a great Anarchist Conspiracy to take over town through providing family-friendly entertainment, free schools, and coffeeshops. We've moved on from bombs to something more insidious.
by Real A
Saturday Dec 19th, 2009 12:10 PM
It's intresting to think you all are sticking it to the man or think you are for a DIY parade once a year but taking over the street at the citys expense is foolish and not being responsible the city has to pay thousands of dollars so you all can be the cool anarchists you think you are when other groups have to pay for parades its unfair and foolish.
To think a parade once a year is your one time to practice your Anarchy is pathetic and as lame as once a year christians.
Pay your dues like everyone else thats personal responsibility.
by Robert Norse
Saturday Dec 19th, 2009 4:23 PM
In a rather unusual convergence lefties and rightists come together to denounce Mayor Rotkin's critique of the DIY Parade--see and the comments that follow. Funny stuff.

I'm inviting both Wes and Rotkin to speak on Free Radio tomorrow 10 AM (neither have accepted yet). Tune in to 101.1 FM ( and/or call in at 831-427-3772.
by like, uh
Saturday Dec 19th, 2009 5:53 PM
Pay for the parade like how? Participants have taken care of security, traffic, clean up, conflict resolution, etc for the past five years. Oh, maybe you are just peeved that we are not jumping through the authoritarian hoops like the rest of the suckas.
by Robert Norse
Saturday Dec 19th, 2009 7:21 PM
Whitney Wilde, an "un-"organizer of the DIY New Year's Parade, quoted in today's Sentinel article will be in the studio ready to educate Mayor Mike Rotkin, who has also been invited to call in.

Members of the public are invited to express their views at 427-3772.
by Dave
(trackintracks [at] Saturday Dec 19th, 2009 11:13 PM
On new years 2009 we all may need to dress like clowns,
If this is what the city is against then lets shove free speech down there rancid throats!!!!
Peace santa cruz!!!!!!

Wavey Gravey after being assaulted and crippled by a cop.
Took up Dressing like a clown to thwart police assault .
I think it is a great idea for those that do not want to be assaulted
on new years DIY 2009.
by Becky Johnson
Sunday Dec 20th, 2009 9:35 AM
Mayor Mike Rotkin called parade participants "freeloaders" for using public spaces for peaceable public assembly. He says the DIY people need to pay $4000 to the police in order to do so.
by whoukidding
Monday Dec 21st, 2009 7:26 PM
"Participants have taken care of security, traffic, clean up, conflict resolution, etc for the past five years. "

Your trying to make a funny right? You can't seriously claim to have done all the above for the past five years, right?! I guess it was "You" who picked up and emptied all the trash and trash cans, drove the street sweepers to clean the mess off the public streets and hauled it away to the dump, right? It was "You" who controlled the drunks from grabbing women and kept them from fighting in the streets, right? It was "You" who set up the traffic patterns to keep traffic out of the downtown area and provided traffic control to assist motorists who were just trying to get home, right? And you did all this at without a single penny of taxpayer money being spent because "You" paid for it all out of your own pocket, right? Seriously? Who are you kidding but yourself!!
by you asshat
Wednesday Dec 23rd, 2009 12:14 AM
Yes, the parade is at most an hour early in the evening. The parade has cleaned up after itself every year, blocked traffic without the help of police, and had zero conflicts with paraders or spectators. The mess you may be thinking of is the result of tens of thousands of drunk ass fools later in the evening. Maybe next time, know the facts before you speak.
by writing on the wall
Thursday Dec 24th, 2009 3:17 PM
Permits are basically a scam by which the powers that be charge you for your right to freedom of assembly, enlisting you in the process to inform them of what to expect and when to expect it — and also to monitor what happens on their behalf, since they now have you as a hostage. Indeed, it is typical of the permitted march organizer that he develops an authoritarian obsession with regulating the behavior of everyone in "his" march, since he can be held responsible for whatever happens by the next people up the chain of command. The permit system also helps the powers that be limit the option of engaging in public activity to those privileged enough to speak the language of bureaucracy. All the more reason for us to build up enough social power to march whenever we want, permits be damned.

-- from Recipes of Disaster, CrimethInc Publications
by Robert Norse
Thursday Dec 31st, 2009 5:31 AM
I'll be broadcasting my show live from the parade 6-8 PM tonight (12-31) inviting folks to participate, reporting on the latest police fashions and foibles, and generally passing on party favors to the listening audience. Call in at 831-427-3772 to comment or participate.

My show "Bathrobespierre's Broadsides" specializes in local civil rights issues, particuarly around poor and homeless people.

Free Radio broadcasts at 101.1 FM and streams at

Anchorguy in the studio will be the irascible and fun-loving Uncle Dennis.

Happy Last Night of the Old Year!
by Robert Norse
Thursday Dec 31st, 2009 1:43 PM
I'll be on the streets examining the up's and down's of the DIY last night from 6-8 PM tonight. Look for the guy in the bathrobe with the Santa hat and the Copwatch sign.

See also

There will also be someone in the studio until midnight in case folks want to call in reports or salutations from the festivities. Call 831-427-3772.
by Parade goer
Friday Jan 1st, 2010 7:03 PM
So last night at the parade... the only traffic "problem" during the parade was Sgt. Harms driving his squad car thru hundreds of people in the street. He put people and children needlessly at risk and there was no reason for him to drive thru there.

No other vehicles tried to drive thru the parade, there was no impediment to traffic at this point since they could turn onto Church Street.

Sgt. Harms turned from Church Street onto Pacific Avenue so he could drive half a block to Locust Street through almost 1,000 people.

Shame on you, Smarmy Harms!

And who can we complain to? Not the city. Not the police department.

Next year, we need to put up street barriers ourselves to stop stupid drivers from driving into the crowd.
by Happy New Year
Saturday Jan 2nd, 2010 8:56 AM
Sgt "the grinch" Harms is da Man!!
by Happy New Year
Saturday Jan 2nd, 2010 9:00 AM
Sgt "the grinch" Harms is da Man!
by Happy New Year
Saturday Jan 2nd, 2010 9:02 AM
Sgt "the grinch" Harms is da Man!
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