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View other events for the week of 9/ 9/2010
Sinister Singsong Two Trial: The Defense Case
Date Thursday September 09
Time 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Location Details
701 Ocean St. in the basement of the 5-story County Building in Department 10, the court of Commissioner Kim Baskett
Event Type Court Date
Organizer/AuthorRobert Norse
Emailrnorse3 [at] hotmail.com
Phone831-423-4833
Address309 Cedar PMB #14B Santa Cruz, CA 95060
Conclusion of the Trial of Robert Norse and Robert 'Blindbear' Facer which began on September 2nd.

For more info see "Sour Song of Suppression: Snuffing Out Political Music on Pacific Avenue" at http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2010/08/30/18657154.php

&;

"Drop the Charges Against Robert Norse and Robert Facer!" at http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2010/09/02/18657434.php


REILLY'S TESTIMONY
Sean Reilly--a day sleeper on the second floor of the St.. George Hotel above the Bookshop Santa Cruz on Pacific Avenue is making the complaint.

He claimed that the occasional songs from a homeless demonstration on the sidewalk prevented him from going to sleep between 11 AM and 3 PM. Since we actually arrived at 1:30 PM, and the singing was not particularly loud or unusual, we found his and the City's claim that we were doing something illegal unpersuasive.

Additionally, Reilly did not at any time personally warn us that he had any problem with the music or speech below. When Officer Schonfield arrived, those who were singing stopped singing and didn't start again (not necessarily a good thing) because Schonfield refused to say how loud was too loud.

A second citation within 48 hours is a misdemeanor punishable by up to 1 year in jail and/or $1000 fine. The first citation has a $445 bail

Reilly testified that though he would sometimes wear earplugs to keep out the noises of the street, he declined to do so on this occasion. They would seem to be standard equipment for day sleeper against the frequent noise on Pacific Avenue.


SCHONFIELD'S TESTIMONY
The only other witness was Officer Laurel Schonfield, who heard us for a period of five minutes. When she first passed by, Officer Schonfield declined to ticket or even warn.

Her reason for this was that she had "other priorities".

However five minutes later, on complaint from Reilly, she came up, and spent 20 minutes giving out citations. She also refused to tell us whether she found the singing there too loud, and wouldn't say what volume level would be legal.

Instead she "conveyed" Reilly's citation and refused to take my citation against Reilly for "making a false police report."

The SCPD Policy Manual requires "reasonable cause" before writing a citation based on a citizen's arrest/complaint.


THE CITY PUTS ITS THUMB ON THE SCALES
Reilly had the official help of the City Attorney's office, though there were no other complaints from nearby businesses, passersby, residents, etc. A woman in Sean Reilly's room, Ann Funk, did engage in a shouting match denouncing us from her window, however.

The HUFF demonstration was to gather signatures and pass on information as well as publicly raise the issue of the city's anti-homeless laws and high homeless death rate.

We were also concerned about police using the Unreasonably Disturbing Noise ordinance to silence performers on Pacific Avenue in violation of constitutional rights.

Only a cop and a day sleeper claiming that the occasional political song was "unreasonably disturbing."


THE JUDGE LEANS TOWARDS GUILTY
Nonetheless, Commissioner Kim Basket refused to accept a standard mid-trial written motion that charges be dismissed for failure to prove the elements of the crime, vagueness in the ordinance, and other defects.

Instead she berated attorney Frey and required attorney him to spend half an hour reading the entire motion aloud before dismissing it summarily.

So apparently Baskett felt the case was proved, unless the defense can show otherwise.

So we will be presenting our defense by cross-examining Reilly and Schonfield, presenting our own witnesses, and playing some audio tape selections showing bias by the two, the reasonable volume of the music, and the absurdity of the prosecution.


THE BOTTOM LINE
We believe this is a political prosecution supporting the City, the SCPD, and the Downtown Association's policy of misusing local laws and ignoring the state and federal constitutions to give any resident or merchant a "heckler's veto" on the behavior of performers, poor people, and political activists on the street.

Come and watch. Help stand up to the fear and silence that this police activity and subsequent city attorney collusion produce.
Added to the calendar on Tuesday Sep 7th, 2010 5:43 PM

Comments  (Hide Comments)

by Passerby
Thursday Sep 9th, 2010 9:00 PM
"Only a cop and a day sleeper (claim) that the occasional political song was "unreasonably disturbing.""

And only a couple of fruit loops at HUFF think that anyone besides themselves gives a flying elephants ass about any of this. I heard Becky Johnson singing. You people should consider yourselves lucky the City of Santa Cruz merely wants $445 from you. If I was running the joint, there'd be a death penalty clause in the city charter for such aural offenses and you'd be on the shortlist for it.

Now fuck off. Indybay has far more important matters to cover for its readers.
by revolution2010
Friday Sep 10th, 2010 3:07 PM
Sure sounds like it.

Give it up.
by Passerby
Friday Sep 10th, 2010 3:44 PM
No. I'm Passerby. Having trouble reading?
by Robert Norse
Friday Sep 10th, 2010 6:58 PM
Increased police harassment (8 new cops slated at $1,000,000 cost), a Pacific Avenue security guard, continued harassment of the Drum Circle, and the resources of the City Attorney's office to back up a heckler's veto of the January 6th protest--suggest folks should be concerned. Not to mention the recent expanded injunction against Anna Richardson and Miguel de Leon, the closing of City Hall and the Library grounds, the prosecution and persecution of Wes Modes.

Street Performers Guild members are also concerned about the misuse of the Unreasonably Disturbing Noise law against musicians, using the heckler's veto (i.e. if one resident says they don't like the music, cop threatens to cite).

The trial included the testimony of Robert "Blindbear" Facer & India Joze restaurant owner and homeless protest supporter Joe Schultz contradicting complainant Reilly's claim that we'd been there 4 hours and the level of political singing was "unreasonably disturbing".

The trial resumes Tuesday 9-14 at 10 AM in Dept. 10 in the basement of the County Building with testimony from more defense witnesses.

I'll be playing some it Sunday on the Free Radio Santa Cruz stream at http://www.freakradio.org (archived at http://www.radiolibre.org/brb/brb100912.mp3) .

Please post any accounts of SCPD or First Alarm harassment on Pacific Avenue on indybay.

Meanwhile Peace Camp 2010 reports an upsurge of sidewalk sleepers. More on that later. Meetings every night in front of City Hall, either on the Center St. sidewalk or next to City Council chambers, usually starting around 8:15 PM.
by Really, I swear
Friday Sep 10th, 2010 8:53 PM
Robert, I can't tell if you're deliberately playing stupid, or if you really don't get it.

That litany of issues is completely meaningless to almost everyone in town. I mean 99.94% of people. You might as well tell us about your flat tire today, how you were first constipated and then later in the day, incontinent because of some ExLax you took, and how many loads of laundry you did in the middle of the night whilst chewing on your toenails. We don't care.

Those are your problems, and to the extent they trouble you, you have our sympathy. Or derision, depending upon whether you're Revolution 2010 or Sum Dim.

But for fucks sake, give it a rest dude. This is sooooo played out. Save some bandwidth for other Indybay users already. Sheesh.
by Seriously
Saturday Sep 11th, 2010 10:32 PM
1) He's Don Quiote on a mission. Yer not gonna stop him or convince him that his cause is a farce or his efforts futile.

2) It's all he has.

3) After having to listen and watch him pontificate and monopolize local govt. issues for too many years, I'm enjoying watching his charade fall apart.

P.S. to Robert: By your post, its fair to assume that you consider all police enforcement "harassment", right? Because you very clearly equated the hiring of any cop with harassment in your post. So, tell me; why is it that you and Becky are happy to be "harassed" by cops when you call them for help when your car is stolen, or her car "vandalized" by a pear stuffed up her exhaust pipe"? Double standard bro.
by revolution2010
Monday Sep 13th, 2010 7:23 PM
All they are doing is trying to demoralize those of us who DO care (it didn't work for Tokyo Rose, it won't work for you, Passerby/Nightwing/whoever else).

Anyway, bullshit aside...

Robert, do you mean a *private security guard* is going to be patrolling a *public* street? Can you please provide more details on this? What "enforcement authority" will this private goon have?

Also, to those who do not hate freedom, if you see any police harassment/violence, if at all possible, please videotape it and get it to both indymedia AND youtube. Make it as public as possible and start getting some media attention on the civil rights abuses by SCPD.
by S.R.
Sunday Jan 23rd, 2011 9:51 AM
"Right Wing Brigade"? Really?! So if we disagree with R.Norse, B.J. Or any HUFFers then we're "right wing"? You guys are un-freakin-believable!! Just cuz someone calls Animal Control on ppl who sound like they're strangling cats doesn't make them anything other than annoyed.
More like the "Common Sense Brigade".

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