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5 Citations and New "No Trespassing" Zone Closes City Hall Grounds at Night 10 PM to 6 AM
by Robert Norse (rnorse3 [at] hotmail.com)
Sunday Aug 22nd, 2010 5:42 AM
In another move clamping down on public use of previously public space, the city posted "closing hours" on the City Hall grounds for the first time, without any kind of public hearing, announcement, or rationale. Last night homeless activists reported five more false citations being given for sleeping or lodging, unconstitutional because the Homeless Services Center has acknowledged and KION reported, that all available shelter has a waiting list of weeks. Hence police know such citations will be thrown out by courts on a "necessity" defense (or just a letter from HSC).
In front of City Hall a $100/night generator was still chugging and growling through the night tonight to fuel the burning glare of 4 15' high klieg lights turned on at 10 PM to protect the public from the menace of homeless sleepers.

On Saturday morning, police gave out 5 more citations (and perhaps one arrest, reports were unclear). Those\ who slept in front of City Hall, reported one nocturnal newsnoser got the more serious 647e misdemeanor "lodging" tickets; those who slept across the street at the library got MC 6.36.010a infraction citations.

Curbhugger Chris Doyan, who left the protest on Tuesday, came by to visit in the afternoon and saw no one there, thinking the protest had been crushed. But by 8:15 p.m. more than a dozen activists gathered in the soon-to-be-forbidden courtyard area, to discuss strategy for the night and for the nights to come.

There was talk of setting up a Tent City, debate over who should speak for the protest and concern about making new signs (to replace those snatched by the police, along with the Peacecamp2010 table, which was removed a few days before). The group touched on broader issues of public accountability and transparency, welcomed a few new members, and determined it would meet nightly in hopes of growing stronger and getting the message "End the Sleeping Ban" out to the broader community.

By midnight Frank Lopez was sleeping under an American flag blanket on what the security guard told him was a "forbidden spot". Ed Frey scoffed at the new posted sign, noting "it doesn't say where the courtyard begins and the entrance ends; let's see a diagram or a copy of the ordinance."

When then-Mayor Mike Rotkin tried to close down City Hall in 1996 to end another homeless protest against the Sleeping Ban, the City Council declined to back him and Judge Samuel Stevens ended up granting a very limited injunction requiring that folks there "obey all laws". This time, in what appears to be a very slippery legal maneuver, Parks and Recreation, which controls virtually all the public space around public buildings, simply issued an edict closing the area without a hearing. Naturally, there were no statistics presented showing any increased crime rate.

" Doesn't Santa Cruz have one of the highest rates of rape and the lowest rates of rapist apprehension?" asked one protester (See "Rape Cover-Up in Santa Cruz? Greensite v. Rotkin on FRSC" at http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2007/07/03/18433006.php

"Who owns this area?" asked one protester . "I thought the public spaces belonged to the public." Not in Santa Cruz apparently. Public areas can be closed at the whim of Dannettee Shoemaker, the Parks and Rec czarina.

"Homeless sleepers" (ominously painted as "homeless camps") have been the pretext for a recent push to open up a police path through the Pogonip, shut down the Town Clock at night in 1991, closed the parks (and their bathrooms) at night in 1984, criminalized being on the levee at night in the late 90's, closed the Pogonip at night, and made sitting down on 95% of the downtown sidewalks criminal activity.

Police Chief Kevin Vogel, trumpeted the bogus "menace" of "child molesters" and other "public safety" threats among the small band of principled and sleeplogged protesters at City Hall. See "Sentinel Misinformation Allows Police to Install "Don't Sleep Here" Klieg Lights" at http://peacecamp2010.blogspot.com/2010/08/santa-cruz-homeless-protest-brightened.html . Vogel himself was exposed as a "constitution molester" by his illegal political surveillance activities of late 2005 when he ordered his officers to spy on a peaceful DIY New Year's celebration prep (See "Police Auditor's Report Reportedly Available In Main Library" at http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2006/03/21/18097021.php Police, City Attorney, and Judiciary jointly engaged in target practice using Modes as the bulls-eye when he was convicted of "walking" in last year's New Year's parade without a permit.

Spirits at Peacecamp2010 were still high when I left the protest at midnight--72-year old Collette Connolly had laid out her sleeping bag on the sidewalk--so as to be "legal" following the new edict eliminating homeless sleepers from the city hall grounds.

"Since they won't listen to us during the day at the seat of government and arrest us at night when we try to sleep her, perhaps we should simply go visit those in real power--the business owners, and start sleeping and picketing in front of their businesses during the day," said one protesters, who asked not to be named. "City Hall is pretty isolated; perhaps the community and the tourists need to see what Santa Cruz police are doing to homeless people in the broad light of day. That'll also save them money on those big fancy klieg lights."
§Peace Camp 2010
by ~Bradley (bradley [at] riseup.net) Sunday Aug 22nd, 2010 12:36 PM
peace-camp_8-22-10.jpg
Sunday morning, August 22.
§Ed sleeps
by ~Bradley Sunday Aug 22nd, 2010 12:41 PM
ed_8-22-10.jpg
Ed sleeps on the wall
at city hall with his bike
covered by a flag
§Courtyard Closed
by ~Bradley Sunday Aug 22nd, 2010 12:53 PM
couretyard-closed_8-22-10.jpg
S.C.M.C. 13.04.011
http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2010/07/07/18652972.php#18656569
§Support PeaceCamp2010
by ~Bradley Sunday Aug 22nd, 2010 12:59 PM
640_support-peacecamp2010_8-22-10.jpg
A flyer with more information about Peace Camp is displayed on the bricks outside Santa Cruz City Hall.
§Update
by Robert Norse Sunday Aug 22nd, 2010 3:55 PM
This morning, police came and issued more citations to Frank Lopez, Ed Frey, Gary Johnson, and Collette Connolly. Gary and Collette were sleeping on the sidewalk in front of City Hall.

Collette refused to sign the citation. Perhaps she felt she'd been given too many already (possibly 4 647e citations now). She was taken to jail.

Ed and Frank were sleeping on the red brick area used for the last week by protest sleepers but supposedly "closed" now after 10 PM. Police said nothing about the new "No Trespassing" law, but gave out misdemeanor 647e citations.

Two pregnant women were sleeping on the other side of the street up against the library on the benches there. Four men apparently were keeping watch and woke them before the police were able to cite them.

Meeting tonight at 8:15 p.m. Bring coffee and doughnuts.

The Rotkin debate and the HSC "no shelter at the inn" Board Meeting discussion were played on the Free Radio stream today and should be archived as noted above by tomorrow.

http://www.radiolibre.org/brb/brb100822.mp3 (fast forward to about half way through the audio file).
§Support PeaceCamp2010
by HUFF (rnorse3 [at] hotmail.com) Sunday Aug 22nd, 2010 8:00 PM
peacecamp1.pdf_600_.jpg
Where? On Center St. Between Church and Locust St.
When? Protest by Day, Sleep or Vigil at Night until the Ban is lifted
Why? Restore the Right to Sleep—Not Anywhere & Everywhere, but Somewhere

Santa Cruz is a City where the government has declared war on poor and homeless people. 
City Council authorizes police to harass them for survival behavior: sitting down, begging, or sleeping at night.  This is a costly and futile effort in a time of budget shortfalls.
City police are giving out harassment tickets they know will be dismissed in court because of the lack of shelter space. Cracking down, police have issued many misdemeanor 647e “lodging” tickets for the same sleepcrime which will require costly misdemeanor trials.
In the last week city officials have put up high-powered concentration-camp style klieg lights at night on high poles to “shine away” the protest, seized homeless property and signs, jailed protesters requiring them to stop protesting prior to any conviction, and declared the entire City Hall plaza area a “forbidden zone” after 10 PM at night.
§Support PeaceCamp 2010
by HUFF (rnorse3 [at] hotmail.com) Sunday Aug 22nd, 2010 8:02 PM
peacecamp2.pdf_600_.jpg
Support PeaceCamp 2010 Where? On Center St. Between Church and Locust St.
When? Protest by Day, Sleep or Vigil at Night until the Ban is lifted
Why? Restore the Right to Sleep-Not Anywhere & Everywhere, but Somewhere

Comments  (Hide Comments)

by Rodent
Sunday Aug 22nd, 2010 10:03 AM
Robert it is very sad that you left a 72 year old lady out on the ground at night. Bring her home with you. Give her a hot meal and a warm place to sleep. What is wrong with you?
by Are You Serious?
Sunday Aug 22nd, 2010 12:12 PM
So Robert, you feel the City closed the grounds "without rationale"? Really? Are you mentally ill?

The City didn't get Robert's approval before kicking squatters off public property. And now Robert has his floral print panties in tight bunch about it. Imagine that.
by circle that a
Sunday Aug 22nd, 2010 1:35 PM
I don't think asking for Robert's permission has anything to do with the on-a-whim closure of public places that has been happening lately. Much like the "Demonstration Garden" signs on the levee where the drum circle migrated, or the "Habitat Restoration" signs that were on the levee (both of which are "protecting" areas the city recently removed ALL plant life from), there has been no warning or openly public decision regarding the signs---one day they aren't there, and the next day they are. Or how about so many benches being removed from downtown that there isn't a single one all the way from the Catalyst to the entrance to the wharf, all of them removed in the middle of the night without warning, and the subsequent stonewalling from the city who claim that there is in fact no record of any of the benches being ordered to be removed. It's all a shameful, desperate move by the powers-that-be attempting to make it illegal to do anything except spend money within city limits. It's childish that your dislike of Robert Norse is all you can add to the conversation, especially in regards to quickly vanishing public space. You do realize it's now illegal for you, as well, to set foot on City Hall at night---not just homeless people?
by Amazed Still
Sunday Aug 22nd, 2010 2:08 PM
And you do realize, do you not, that I'm okay with not going to City Hall in the middle of the night? That's why they have business hours, during which those of us with business to transact there go and conduct said business.

Public space is for the public, defined as everybody, not just for two dozen lazy people who can't even be bothered to sign up on a wait list for free stuff like beds and meals, and who then jump up and down like three year olds who can't get mommy to buy them exactly the kind of peanut butter they want.

I mean, speaking of childishness and all...
by Glenn
Sunday Aug 22nd, 2010 4:02 PM
As is becoming all to common, Robert and his crew have inserted themselves into a situation and everyone ends up the loser. Homeless folks have been in Santa Cruz for years. Many have even stayed on City Hall grounds. But in all those years the city never felt the need to post public hours on that property and make it a trespass zone. Robert, Becky, Ed, and HUFF are continuing their personal agenda using homeless folks as tools, without any regard to how the results will effect that group. Let's all be clear, Peace Camp was the brainchild of this motley trio. They put it together and recruited participants. And in the protest's wake the homeless have ended up worse than where they were before.

Homeless folks could sleep at the county building, but now they can't.
Homeless folks could sleep at City Hall, but now they can't.

What's next? What new piece of public land will HUFF take their protest to and have added to the list of prohibited areas? HUFF will try and say that the city and county are the ones to blame. But the truth is these actions were only a reaction to what HUFF did. The end result is that nothing was achieved, and everyone had something taken away.
I sent Dannettee Shoemaker, the Head of the City's Parks and Recreation Dept., the following letter yesterday, which she acknowledged today in an e-mail.

I intend to request in a follow-up letter all areas closed by her edict in the last three years since the City Council passed the vast expansion of power given to her to bypass the City's Parks and Recreation Commission--which had previously been required to hold hearings on such closures.

There is still a requirement in the law that she consult with that commission--which I'm not aware she did--before closing down a traditional Free Speech zone, the zone nearest to the City's legislative body.

In a way it's quite a telling symbolic action and aptly reflects both the police state-ish and unaccountable aspects of the New Santa Cruz regime.

Folks can contact the Mayor or City Council at 420-5020, but it might be more relevant to go to the real Executive in the City--the new City Manager, Martin (pronounced "Marteen") Bernal--at 420-5030 to demand restoration of public spaces and an end to this costly war on the homeless and poor.

All of the public is denied access in order to facilitate the crackdown.

For those who find these particular closures politically satisfying because they think it can't happen to their group, think again. Consider the new rental inspection ordinance that was rammed through at a special council session in early August over majority opposition.







309 Cedar PMB #14B
Santa Cruz CA 95060

Dannettee Shoemaker
Department of Parks and Recreation
City of Santa Cruz

Dear Dannettee:

Pursuant to my rights under the California Public Records Act (Government Code Section 6250 et seq.), I ask to inspect the following, which I understand to be held by your agency:

1. Any and all documents, e-mails, memos, audio files, photos, films, videos, and other material regarding the placing of the "No Trespassing" signage at the City Hall courtyard. This would include the minutes of any meetings where this issue was discussed or implemented, any information exchanged between your agency and other agencies (such as the SCPD), any correspondence from the public regarding this matter, any record of communications with city council members or anyone else on the city staff, any work orders. Please be as specific as you can regarding the time frame (when the issue was first discussed, what administrative orders were issued when) and the people involved.

Informally, I would ask you when you the decision was made, who made it, after input from whom, and why. If I receive a satisfactory response to this inquiry within three business days, the more extensive documentation may not be necessary.

2. Any and all documents, e-mails, memos, audio files, photos, films, videos, and other material regarding the placing of the removal of trees, vegetation, and plantlife at the intersection of Soquel Ave. and the levee walkway near the stoplight across from CVS Pharmacy. Additionally I am interested in any documents referencing any discussion of measures designed to deal with concerns created by congregations of people there.

This would include the minutes of any meetings where this issue was discussed or implemented, any information exchanged between your agency and other agencies (such as the SCPD), any correspondence from the public regarding this matter, any record of communications with city council members or anyone else on the city staff, any work orders. Please be as specific as you can regarding the time frame (when the issue was first discussed, what administrative orders were issued when) and the people involved.

I ask for a determination on this request within 10 days of your receipt of it, and an even prompter reply if you can make that determination without having to review the record[s] in question.

If I can provide any clarification that will help expedite your attention to my request, please contact me at 423-4833.

I am sending a copy of this letter to your legal advisor to help encourage a speedy determination, and I would likewise be happy to discuss my request with [him/her] at any time.

Thank you for your time and attention to this matter.

Please acknowledge receipt of this letter as I'm concerned I may have an old e-mail for you.

Sincerely,
Robert Norse
support_peacecamp2010_short.pdf_600_.jpg
Support Peace Camp 2010 at City Hall
Cedar St. between Church and Locust Sts. Meetings Nightly 8:15 PM
Wanted: Food, Blankets, Activists, Volunteers, Legal Help, Computer and Website Workers, & Supporters

Contact Information for Peace Camp 2010:
Go to http://www.peacecamp2010.blogspot.com/ for background and breaking news.
Peace Camp 2010 Official E-Mail Address: SCPeaceCamp2010 [at] gmail.com .
Peace Camp 2010 Official Public Mobile Phone Number: 831-675-6096 .
Peace Camp 2010 Official Twitter Account: SCPeaceCamp2010 .
Peace Camp 2010 Official YouTube Channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/PeaceCamp2010
by Amazed
Monday Aug 23rd, 2010 12:59 PM
Robert, "condensed version" means saying it more briefly. Not shrinking the font

Also, that letter to Danettee is exactly why public officials have to be paid so much money to stay here. What a bloody nuisance you are. And all for nothing. Sheesh
by revolution2010
Monday Aug 23rd, 2010 4:37 PM
“First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.” -- Gandhi

We're up to stage 3 now. Hang in there...

by Amazed Grace
Monday Aug 23rd, 2010 5:49 PM
No we're not, Revolution 2010. We're still in the "laughing at you" stage.

Trust me.
by revolution2010
Tuesday Aug 24th, 2010 11:14 AM
How are the actions of the Santa Cruz police, merchants and city government not a fight? One attack after another on the increasingly large homeless population - even as the economy fails, more and more jobs are sent overseas and more people lose their homes. Now, they're enacting bogus no-trespass rules on public property without any approval process.

I will laugh heartily as some of the "Take Back Santa Cruz" crowd lose their jobs and end up in the same position as the people they've been attacking. I guess that puts me in the "laughing at you" stage after all.

by Amuse Bouche
Tuesday Aug 24th, 2010 11:54 AM
It's not a fight, 2010. It's a blowout. The drum circle and activist wannabes just keep getting moved along and all the townspeople point and laugh as Robert Huffs and Puffs, gathering up his bathrobe and tape recorder and heading to the next spot to annoy people, and further erode support for his causes.

Rinse, lather, repeat. Funny stuff.
by Michael T
Tuesday Aug 24th, 2010 6:28 PM
"It's not a fight, 2010. It's a blowout. The drum circle and activist wannabes just keep getting moved along and all the townspeople point and laugh as Robert Huffs and Puffs, gathering up his bathrobe and tape recorder and heading to the next spot to annoy people, and further erode support for his causes. "

Robert can't see that this protest has reached the point where he is turning more people against the homeless than gaining support for them. And the comment above is spot on. He'll just move along to somewhere else and destroy any feeling of goodwill towards the homeless in another place. What does he care. It's not as if it effects him.

How I wish there was another voice for these poor people. Robert has failed and damaged them.
by revolution2010
Wednesday Aug 25th, 2010 12:53 PM
Amused/Michael T. My only hope is that you end up in the same position as those people who cannot legally find a place to fulfill a biological necessity and SLEEP. Perhaps your tone will change when it is YOU on the receiving end.

And then... *then* I will laugh.

by revolution2010
Wednesday Aug 25th, 2010 12:57 PM
I'm going to guess that the naysayers out here are probably also just a few paychecks away from ending up in poverty just like so many others in this sinking ship of a country. Just keep that thought in mind when you get sucked into the next round of layoffs and can't find work...

*still laughing*
by Amazon Gorilla
Thursday Aug 26th, 2010 5:42 PM
Rev10, they CAN find a place to legally sleep. They simply get on a waitlist at the shelter and voilà, six weeks later, they're in. Even Robert acknowledges this. The problem appears to be that there are strings attached, such as waiting six weeks, behaving oneself, being sober and so on. Apparently these "travelers" with bongos, guitars and cardboard signs feel that they alone amongst the world's 6 billion people, should not have to wait for their freebies and should not be encumbered in any way when they receive them. No, that would cramp their style and give them writers block when they stand outside New Leaf, smoking joints and panhandling, whilst beating on trash cans.

Do you really not see why we're all laughing at you and cracking jokes about how Robert and Becky break every bathroom scale they step on?
by Robert Norse
(rnorse3 [at] hotmail.com) Thursday May 11th, 2017 8:18 PM
The audio of the Debate of Attorney Ed Frey vs. Mayor Mike Rotkin on July 11th is at
http://radiolibre.org/brb/brb100711.mp3 2 hours and 36 minutes into the file--not at the address posted on the flyer above .

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