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Indybay Feature

Political Prosecution of Sinister Singsong Two Continues

Tuesday, September 14, 2010
10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Event Type:
Court Date
Robert Norse
309 Cedar PMB #14B Santa Cruz, CA 95060
Location Details:
Dept. 10 in the basement of the County Building at 701 Ocean St. next to the Courthouse

Defense witnesses continue their testimony in the City's apparent attempt to harass two homeless activists.

Robert "Blindbear" Facer is a 63-year old homeless man, an Amish minister, who is a regular sleeper at the Peacecamp2010 demonstration at City Hall. City authorities have been using an extraordinary series of measures to crack down on the protest (See

Robert Norse, is a 63-year old writer activist with HUFF (Homeless United for Friendship & Freedom) who writes regularly on .

63-year old's Unite!

Actually, what's at stake is the City's knee-jerk crackdown on Pacific Avenue against the street scene there, specifically musicians and community activists using the Unreasonably Disturbing Noise law.

Commissioner Kim Baskett, who's been running the trial, has been sidelining or excluding key issues in the case. She has not allowed the defense to investigate in any depth why the citing officer didn't cite the defendants for herself if it and if so, why she didn't cite them herself if it was "unreasonably disturbing noise".

Baskett has also silenced questions about Officer Schonfield's selective enforcement and abuse of discretion in taking Sean Reilly's "citizen's arrest" against the singers, but not taking Norse's complaint against resident Sean Reilly that he was making a false police report (in claiming the singers were there for 4 hours).

Reilly is the original complainant who claims that sidewalk singers must shut down or quiet down so he can sleep during the day on the second floor.

Restaurant owner Joe Schultz was one witness who testified last week, challenging Reilly's claim that this group was even there at 1:30 PM.

The case is being professionally prosecuted without charge to Reilly by the City Attorney's office, which is highly unusual and shows official interest in the escalating repression.

This and other prosecutions (like that against Wes Modes for the DIY New Year's Eve parade) has lead many to regard this as clearly political since such infraction complaints like Reilly's are usually handled by the "citizen" who makes the complaint, not high-powered high-paid legal muscle from City Hall.

Activist Becky Johnson, who was convicted of sinister sidewalk songsinging in April, in a psuedotrial in Judge Almquist's court (see "Confessions of a Song Criminal" at is the next scheduled defense witness.

For more info see also: "Sinister Singsong Two Trial: The Defense Case" at . Follow the links for further background.

Supporters are urged to pack the courtroom and tune up their instruments.
Added to the calendar on Sat, Sep 11, 2010 7:21AM
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