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Indybay Feature
Drum Circle Approached by Police Yesterday on the Levee
by Robert Norse (rnorse3 [at]
Thursday Dec 2nd, 2010 1:17 AM
Drum Circle Dave sent me a report of police action against the Drum Circle yesterday in the early evening.
Here's the gist of it.
Hey Rob!

It was about 7:15 pm Wednesday night behind India Joze on the levee,

15 or so drummers or so and a crowd of at least 25 people were accosted by an SCPD squad car.

It stopped about 50 feet from the drummers and crowd and shined its spotlight on the crowd. Police then advanced on foot towards the crowd.

I had already loaded drums on my bicycle, and was ready to roll away down towards Broadway bridge along the levee path.

Some minutes later, I saw an "unmarked car with its lightbar going" parked in a slanted position, blocking the driveay of the India Joze parking lot.

It looked like more than two cars were confronting the car. Not wishing to be harassed and ticketed, I left.

Peace... Dave

If anyone has more details, please post them.

The Drum Circle has been relentlessly harassed by downtown merchants and police in the last six months.

When I last visited the Wednesday Farmer's Market Manthri Srinath's Lulu Carpenter's coffee stand was sitting on the ground previously used by the community and the drum circle for their weekly festival and feeding. The gentrification and exclusion of poor people and community activity has nothing to do with traditional Farmer's Market activity and sales.

Previous stories:

"City runs off Drum Circle again, cuts down trees and cements AREA CLOSED signs along levee" at
"Street Performers Guild Meeting" at
"Sing a Song? Go to Jail" at

Comments  (Hide Comments)

by (A) Ewok
Thursday Dec 2nd, 2010 12:21 PM
without actually doing anything to alleviate it.

a prayer then for the future...
may the buildings used to legislate and punish
be used for shelter
may the black n' white cars with disco lights
be used for dancing
may those who wear uniforms and batons
be disarmed and stripped naked
may those who claim to represent us
be ignored and ridiculed
may every space
belong to no one and everyone
as it once was
as it will be
by c
Thursday Dec 2nd, 2010 4:28 PM
I can't believe they are trying to drive you from the levee. They already left the farmer's market area, and there are essentially no businesses or houses near the levee to be bothered. In other areas, people are able to bring groups of 20+ people to a park to have a barbecue, sports, or other ordinary self-organized activities. That is very heavy handed
by b
Thursday Dec 2nd, 2010 4:58 PM
Wait. Is this the same Lulu Carpenter's Manthri that kicked you out of his stores for life? Man, it must really stick in your craw that he's selling coffee right on the spot where the drummers were. I mean, it must really fucking piss you off. I'm sorry about this, man.
by brent (A)
Thursday Dec 2nd, 2010 5:26 PM
Sometime before 8pm I saw a cop car on the levee with spotlight blowing up the drum circle there.
The drummers had played all day and I heard reports many times about how good they sounded.
I quickly approached the scene. The drummers were lined up neatly off the levee to allow easy passage to those using the walkway. The police were in contact with a man who was on the ground and apparently very drunk. The drummers played on 20' away. Damn those drummers are a beautiful and defiant lot!!
I stood 8' behind the officers as they interviewed the drunk gentleman.
One officer whipped around and told me to leave because he didn't like people standing behind him. I told him I was far enough away yet I wanted to witness their activity there with the man. He asked officer Peabody what the ordinance number for being on the levee after dark is and began to write me a ticket. I told him that his aggressive behavior and selective enforcement are just the types of SCPD behaviors that frustrate me and obviously are meant to drive certain folks away.
I left the levee and he ceased writing me the ticket.. I could hear the drumming several minutes later so I assume and hope that he didn't write them this bullshit ticket. What pricks cops are. Hey PIG!, and I know y'all read this here blather, it is exactly that type of thing that activates me into activism. You try to intimidate and harass but really you're inspiring an army of angry citizens. This sleeping giant will soon arise and kick your piggy asses back to the hole you obviously crawled out of.
by d
Thursday Dec 2nd, 2010 6:33 PM
brent (A), you've got a lot of anger, man. The policeman was doing what the citizens want him to do. I know this. They told me so. I hope you can take a deep breath and feel the healing power of our Goddess Mother. Breathe, brent (A), breathe deep. Peace.
by bubba
Thursday Dec 2nd, 2010 10:56 PM
two things: 1. for every citizen who wants the drummers to be harassed by the police, there's likely two citizens who don't want them to; 2. the next time you see a police officer getting angry try asking them to calm down and breathe and see what happens...
by e
Friday Dec 3rd, 2010 2:28 AM
For every citizen who thinks the drumming sounds great, there are likely two dozen who don't. And the cops don't sit around on Indybay calling people pigs and other unsavory epithets. brent (A) obviously needs to take a deep breath and step back a bit. He's got a lot of anger and rage. It'll go away (I hope) as he grows up, but it's still good for him to try and get grounded and centered now. The earlier, the better, I say.
by more of the same
Friday Dec 3rd, 2010 5:55 AM
1) They weren't busting drummers, they were busting a drunk.

2) Brent wasn't drumming, but rather hurrying down to instigate and make his combative presence felt.

Conclusion: Yer both looking for a fight that didn't happen.
by fuck the pigs
Friday Dec 3rd, 2010 9:02 AM
really SCPD, I know you read this, and I imagine you post on this under false names. so please, go fuck yourselves.

and while i'm at it, fuck the Sentinel, the Pentagon, the State Department, and every lying authoritarian sack of shit institution taking up space on this planet.

whew...that felt better...
by brent (A)
Friday Dec 3rd, 2010 12:29 PM
Gee, thanks for the vibes watch.
Give me a break, please.
I was harassed and threatened with a ticket for standing nearby..
So I used the word "pig" in reference to a police officer.
My attitude and personal well being are just fine. Thanks for the care.
But why focus on my little emotional steam release anyway?
You obviously are cops cruising our little free speech site here, otherwise
you wouldn't give a shit.
Cops are pigs.. straight up.
They are not here to help us or facilitate peace, they only protect property and facilitate the status quo
so that business as usual continues unimpeded in spite of the cruelty they deal out to the homeless, scruffy,
and everyone else.
This isn't the topix but I will say what I like. Thanks for the care, now pull your heads out of your asses.
by f
Friday Dec 3rd, 2010 12:46 PM
Well, brent (A), I'm no cop. Just a concerned friend. I feel that you've got a lot of rage and I just want to help you find the true way. I love you, brother and I hope you can find some inner peace, man.
by Get over yourself
Friday Dec 3rd, 2010 5:11 PM
Have you really massaged your ego to the point where you believe that anybody who posts here and disagrees with you must be a cop? Get over yourself.

And secondly, you weren't harassed for standing near by. By your own account, you went scurrying out there hoping to get an interaction if not an altercation, and you got one. Congrats! But take the package boy; you don't get the bull without the horns. You wanna run up to a cop and give him attitude while he's doing his job, you'd best be prepared to become the focus of attention yourself.

If this is your idea of oppression, or activism...I gotta say you lead a pretty meager life.
by joshua
Saturday Dec 4th, 2010 1:02 AM
drum for your rights.

drum where you walk.
drum when they talk.

drum for your rights.

drum more ways.
drum more days.

drum for your rights.
by Levee Merchant
Saturday Dec 4th, 2010 9:29 AM
Brent, this is retarded. Sorry. The drum circle sucks. It's a gathering of good-for-nothing holdout hippies and wannabe rebel figures with no rhythm, no jobs and no prospects. It doesn't matter where they play. They just plain suck. The cops know this because they too have ears, and they therefore quell the cacophony at the earliest opportunity. And if they can squeeze in a drug bust while they're at it, well, that's just icing on the cake.

So chill, Brent. Cops aren't necessarily pigs. They're our friends, protecting our property and eardrums, as we hired them to do.

Peace, brother.
by brent (A)
Saturday Dec 4th, 2010 1:26 PM
cops are not our friends.
this is a citizen content provided website which provides me quite a large amount of freedom of speech.
if i want to call cops "Pigs" here, I will do so.
Society isn't getting increasingly free, it is getting less free by the moment.
To be an apologist for the SCPD and to establish some code of behavior that I should adhere to
and to do this on an indybay post strikes me as completely ludicrous.
EAT ME!! ... or suck me or whatever but feel free to continue to blather on.
by g
Saturday Dec 4th, 2010 1:49 PM
It's very sad to hear so much rage in your heart, brent (A). I hope you will learn to love all people, including your local constabulary, and that you will find some inner peace and good karma when you grow into adulthood. Peace out man.
by Friend of Friend
Saturday Dec 4th, 2010 2:02 PM
Brent, even Robert Norse doesn't think the cops are all bad. Why, when his car was broken into by a transient, and we found the perp, he said he would be eternally grateful for returning his belongings. He also prosecuted the poor traveler to the fullest extent possible, I think. So cut the police some slack, Brent. They're not all bad. Really.
by brent (A)
Sunday Dec 5th, 2010 1:37 AM
Much love, happiness and health to all y'alls.
by David
Sunday Dec 5th, 2010 12:32 PM
Friend of Friend is lying!! Robert and Becky are unified in their distrust and hatred for the SCPD. Neither of them would EVER call the police to help them. For any reason! I hope you have proof of this becase if you don't we have no other option but to call you out as a liar.
by h
Sunday Dec 5th, 2010 2:22 PM
Now, now, David. That's not correct at all. Why, at the recent PeaceCamp, Becks and her friends called the cops to forcibly remove a homeless man from the Camp because he was just a bit too homeless for their taste. She also indicated that the PeaceCampers "cheered" wildly when the sheriff came and took all of his belongings away and kicked him out. So no, she's not unified with anyone in her distrust and hatred for the cops. To the contrary, she loudly cheers them on sometimes.

As for Robert, I was told this by a source that I trust. Since you can't prove me wrong, but only call me names, I can safely claim victory in this short debate with you.

What the hell kind of logic is that, you ask? Those are the rules I learned from Becks' Classical Debate Rule Book, which she accidentally dropped at Peace Camp, and I found, along with a one-time Venona code to decipher it.

by Pear Defense
Sunday Dec 5th, 2010 2:37 PM
And let's not forget that Becky was quick to call the cops when some dastardly hooligan violated the exhaust pipe of her car with a pear. The cops were quickly called to deal with that case of vandalism.
by i
Sunday Dec 5th, 2010 3:11 PM
That's right. In fact, in the Strange Case of the Organic Bosc Pear, Becks called the FBI to wiretap her exhaust pipe and the entire Delaveaga neighborhood to find the perp. She felt that the Patriot Act warranted this sort of response to the horrific act of near-vandalism she almost suffered. The only reason they declined to get involved was that Becks poured Salted Caramel sauce on the evidence and ate it before they arrived. That, and the fact that they were tied up with chasing Donna Deiss and Shane Maxfield down Highway 17 for suddenly throwing random glass pipes out their window, striking the Police Interceptor that, until that moment, was just making its way down to Ferrell's Donuts on Ocean Street.
by Observer
Monday Dec 6th, 2010 1:08 PM
"The drummers had played all day and..."

See. there's a problem in and of itself. The drum circle can get pretty loud and after a while, if you aren't into it, the noise becomes invasive. If the drummers don't want to get chased out of places, they need to show some judgment and restraint about how long they play at any given spot, and then voluntarily re-locate.
by Cyrus
Tuesday Dec 7th, 2010 4:41 AM
You must be new to the HUFF arguments. Basically, even though 98% of the complaints against the people and groups they claim to represent have to do with their behavior, NOT who/what they are, Becks and Bob never address those issues (see Robert's ongoing defense of his meth-head friends Manuel and Anna). Your rational compromise won't fly in their eyes. If anyone they claim to support is not allowed to do whatever they want, wherever they want, then ipso facto Santa Cruz is a despotic realm of the Coonertys, QED.

by Robert Norse
Tuesday Dec 7th, 2010 11:27 AM
Folks concerned about this issue (or who doubt its seriousness and want to document their criticism) can always show up at the Drum Circle with some video equipment or a cell phone that has that capability tomorrow.

Then folks could see more clearly whether police behavior seemed to be justified.
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