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|Restoring Community in Santa Cruz: Polling Against Repression|
|Date||Wednesday June 02|
|Time||1:30 PM - 3:00 PM|
|Import this event into your personal calendar.|
|On the sidewalk in front of the Bookshop Santa Cruz at 1520 Pacific Ave.|
|rnorse3 [at] hotmail.com|
|Address||309 Cedar PMB #14B, Santa Cruz, CA 95060|
Recent smearjobs by the Sentinel, the SCPD, City Council, and the DTA have resulted in serious attacks on the Sub Rosa Cafe, Wes Modes, DIY Last Night, the Drum Circle, & the Guerrilla Drive-In Theater as well as the harassment of street performers downtown. Though there have been "Downtown Dialogues", there hasn't been much high visibility community organizing to resist the repression.
Homeless people continue to suffer punishment for being in public spaces or survival sleeping at night.
Street performers, in spite of the resurgence of the Street Performers Guild (reestablished May 22nd), face continued harassment and ticketing downtown.
DRUMMING JUSTICE OUT OF TOWN
"Big Drum" Brent Adams received a ticket on 5-30, even after he'd stopped playing during the day in front of New Leaf Market downtown.
Officer Winston ticketed him in spite of an approving audience of 30 (including children and families) who wanted him to continue, denying the claim of one distant malcontent that his music (with the group Love Gutter) was "unreasonable noise".
Winston has confided to Adams that he "doesn't care" about the ordinance (which Adams was not violating), but if he receives a complaint, he'll "find something" such as "disturbing the peace" or some other ordinance to enforce the "heckler's veto".
Meanwhile a long-standing tradition--the Wednesday Drum Circle has been driven away from its traditional venue next to the Farmer's Market without notice or consultation. Its attempts to find a new location were rigorously resisted by the SCPD, driving them to four different locations. They currently play near the Soquel Bridge on Wednesday afternoons--but have been given no assurance their rights will be respected.
SINISTER SIDEWALK SINGING
I and Robert "Blindbear" Facer face a $450 fine at a court trial on July 20th in Dept. 10 for singing "Downtown"--the homeless version--in front of the Bookshop at the same spot. I will be repeating the song at the same legal volume and encourage listeners to judge for themselves whether it violates the law.
Attorney Ed Frey--who's also running for Congress---is appealing homeless activist Becky Johnson's conviction of singing in the same group because it woke up a man sleeping on the floor above through an open window. Judge Almquist, who refused to allow a record to be made of the "trial" is
responsible for convicting Johnson in this travesty. See
The protest song, satirizing laws that criminalize the homeless, can be found at http://beckyjohnsononewomantalking.blogspot.com/2010/01/downtown-music-by-petula-clark-lyrics.html .
PARANOID EMPOWERMENT OF THE POLICE
We're also concerned about excessive police force and selective police enforcement. Several weeks ago, they reportedly shut down an MDC concert several weeks ago on Beach St. with a massive display of force--calling in other agencies.
The homeless traveller Synthia Kennedy reported being physically assaulted by Officer Azua in late April or early May, having the hair torn out of her head, jailed for three days, and then told she was only being charged with "resisting arrest".
Azua recently insisted he "couldn't remember" the incident.
The City Council's secret meetings with select Downtown Association bigwigs resulting in the no-debate not-agenda-ized $1 million appropriation for 8 cops--4 of them to stalk the downtown area--should upset those of us concerned with non-violent solutions to the city's growing tensions.
POLICE PREVARICATION: NO SLEEP FOR THE POOR
In March, Sgt. Harms, Officer Forbus, and Officer Winston falsely cited the homeless musicians Anna Richardson and Miguel de Leon for "setting up a campsite" because they slept during the day downtown with their possessions nearby.
The City Attorney negligently or dishonestly backed this prosecution--part of an unprecedented and costly Injunction against two poor people--never charged much less convicted of any crimes of violence. Even Judge Volkman who supported the unconstitutional Injunction banning the two from Sleeping at Night downtown declined to find them guilty of camping for sleeping during the day with their possessions
Richardson and de Leon face an Injunction Trial in June--date TBA. The three cops behind these bogus charges are still on the beat.
HUFF (Homeless United for Friendship & Freedom) will be distributing questionnaires to determine true street sentiment and extent of recent harassment as well as to organize to resist the attacks on community.
HUFF supports activists under attack—
WES MODES on trial for attending a parade, and a series of infraction citations the City took two years to file.
WHITNEY WILD and CURTIS RELIFORD accused of having attended a parade.
MICAH POSNER , ticketed 3 months after a bike march on King St. by the Santa Cruz City Police for “an unpermitted march of over 100 people”.
ANNA RICHARDSON and MIGUEL DeLEON, subjects of a bizarre injunction forbidding them from sleeping downtown on threat of arrest, huge fines, and jailing.
BRENT ADAMS & Other street performers falsely muzzled by police using private complaint cover and the vague Unreasonably Disturbing Noises ordinance (MC 9.36.020)
COME BY THE HUFF TABLE In the so-called "Free Speech Zone" in front of Bookshop Santa Cruz and help organize for action.
We encourage people to volunteer for copwatching, courtwatching, and helping to secure public records.
Support the Street Performers Guild, Sub Rosa Cafe, the Guerrilla Theater, the Drum Circle, and other community organizing efforts. Without active support, the current climate of hysteria may damage or destroy these projects.