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City Threatens Arrests in DIY Parade
by Robert Norse (rnorse3 [at]
Friday Dec 17th, 2010 2:32 PM
The Sentinel story by J.M. Brown of December 15th ( ) suggests Vogel's SCPD will not 'disrupt' the New Year's Eve do-it-yourself parade. But an e-mail from Kathy Agnone, Special Events Co-Ordinator, to Elizabeth Burchfield, parade supporter suggests otherwise., Agnone's e-mail to Burchield, which followed the Sentinel story in the comment section seems to suggest there'll be Delayed Disruption by the SCPD and City Attorney, as there was this last year in the prosecution of Wes Modes.

The DIY Last Night Parade has been a traditional event in Santa Cruz involving no violence or property damage that I've heard of since 2005.

On the eve of the first parade, SCPD Chief Vogel (then a Deputy Chief) ordered illegal infiltration and political surveillance of the group planning the parade. (See "Police Infiltrate Peaceful Parade Organizers" at

After a cover-up internal SCPD investigation "clearing" Vogel of improprieties (done by, none other than Vogel himself and approved by the Mayor and City Manager), the independent police auditor issued a contrary report: "Investigation Reveals More SCPD Spying!" at

Activist Wes Modes, whose Public Records Act request via the Northern California ACLU (as distinguished from the police-friendly local ACLU) revealed the surveillance, explained in detail how city officials were subverting proposed meaningful restraints on police First Amendment violations:
City officials refused to change their policy policies nor hold the offending officers accountable:
Modes discussed the futility of a "dialogue" with the City:
Modes convicted of "Marching in a Parade Without a Permit"
Modes's sentence for his Paradecrime:

The attack on Modes followed his organizing of other peaceful but powerful community events such as the Free Skool, the Sub Rosa Cafe, the Guerrilla Drive-In, and the Trash Orchestra.


Ms. Burchfield:

In response to your email below, I am writing to ensure that you understand that you are subject to a citation for knowingly participating in an unpermitted special event such as the type described in your press release.

Today is the last opportunity to obtain a permit from my office. I am available by email (Kagnone [at] until 5 pm.

If you need to contact the City regarding this event after today, you should contact the Santa Cruz Police Department: Lt.Colleen McMahon (420-5857 cmcmahon [at]

Kathy Agnone, Special Event Coordinator
City of Santa Cruz


This "warning", of course, is a form of preemptive disruption to anyone who wants to participate in the parade. So now the police can subsequently and selectively harass and prosecute anyone they observe walking in the parade, especially if a city official (or a prankster) holds up a sign saying "this is not a permitted parade."

The trick is that they do it days or weeks later when supporters have dispersed--as they did with Wes Modes, Whitney Wilde, and Curtis Reliford (the only three activists ticketed in the parade).

The argument can then be made in court, as it was in the case of Modes, that anyone participating "knowingly" "strolled without a permit." They saw the sign. They "knew".

Or course, the police won't dare to face down a crowd of hundreds (or thousands) of people. They'll send in a cowardly (and well-paid) city attorney's office to do the dirty work afterward.


Suggestion: after some polite requests get ignored, a crowd should march on Mayor Coonerty's office, or await him outside his family business at the Bookshop Santa Cruz. They should clearly and crisply demand he restore traditional and constitutional rights in Santa Cruz or explain the "emergency conditions" that require the "new order".

Demand he direct Agone, the SCPD, and the City Attorney's office to apologize and restore the previous "hands off" policy. If he refuses, folks can decide what actions to take next--either legal or political. (For those with money there are the courts and a recall process; for those without, there are the streets downtown where voices can be raised and organizing done.)

It's amusing to read Coonerty denouncing the DIY parade people as "ideological", In fact, we now face Coonerty's creeping "clear everything with city bureaucrats" ideology--based on no problems whatsoever year after year.


I suggest people bring video cameras and pay video police officers at or near the parade, in and out of uniform.

If videocamsters see numerous people walking by cops without their being ticketed--then the police or city attorney selectively tickets others later, this could be the basis for another lawsuit against the City.

Having already spent more than $100,000 on arresting me at City Council for a 2-second silent mock-Nazi salute, perhaps they'll be less enthusiastic about a second round. (Though that's always a question as City Council cuts back social services, but put more cops and security guards on patrol downtown to enforce the No Sitting on the Sidewalk and No Singing Disturbing Political Songs ordinances and funds massive raids on local bars for "warrants, drug use, & public intoxication").

Other measures to be considered:
+++ having a sign-up list "I Marched in the DIY 2010-11 Parade...Without a Permit!" to be presented to the City Attorney's office.
+++ buttons saying "Illegal Walker--Exercising the First Amendment Without a Permit".
+++ carrying a sign with your name in bold letters so that police officers watching can be videoed seeing the signs and doing nothing. Again to be used later if authorities do their day-after ticketing.
+++ traditional calls to Mayor Coonerty (831-420-5020) asking to know if you and your children will be ticketed and arrested for walking down Pacific Avenue on December 31st.

Comments  (Hide Comments)

by Sacerdotti
Friday Dec 17th, 2010 7:55 PM
What did you mean by pay video officers? You want us to bribe the cops? You know it is "Offensive" to bribe a cop????? ;-)
by Robert Norse
Saturday Dec 18th, 2010 12:07 AM
Though hundreds if not thousands walked in the 2009 DIY parade, only three were ticketed. The point of videoing police officers who are observing and not ticketing, is to challenge later citations as done selectively. Since many were doing the same "crime"--the police decision to ticket only a few is a form of curbside punishment for those the police perceive as leaders.

This can be overcome by a strategy of solidarity and documentation.

by Simon
Monday Dec 20th, 2010 5:57 PM
Holy schneikes!!! I just looked at the UCSC salary database in The Sentinel and saw that Wes makes $55K a year from the government! That's a lot of money for a self proclaimed anarchist. And one that's working for the government no less. I'm flabbergasted.
by (A)
Thursday Dec 23rd, 2010 8:49 AM
dude, $55K is chump change. it ain't shit. if the government wanted to give me $55k a year, i'd take it.
by miles
Friday Dec 24th, 2010 10:09 AM
UCSC is only partly funded by the government.
Thursday Dec 30th, 2010 4:28 AM
Photobucket I will be there and I hope there will be thousands of people down town ringing in the new year.
by disaffected youths
Friday Dec 31st, 2010 11:02 AM
Flames engulf a burning car outside council housing flats on New Year's Eve in Strasbourg's western suburb of Hautepierre December 31, 2008.
Credit: Reuters/Jean Marc Loos

PARIS | Fri Dec 31, 2010 5:52am EST

PARIS (Reuters) - France will deploy extra police and keep vandalism statistics under wraps on New Year's Eve to fight what authorities say has become an annual "sweepstakes" of disaffected youths competing to see who can burn the most cars.

Youths in depressed suburbs of French cities have been torching hundreds of vehicles on New Year's Eve and Bastille Day since the early 1990s. Police say the annual rite has turned competitive, with youths tracking the news in the first days of the new year to see which neighborhood did the most damage.

"I have decided to put an end to the competition, the sweepstakes, and will longer publish the number of burned vehicles," Interior Minister Brice Hortefeux said this week, adding that publishing statistics encouraged vandalism.

Opposition politicians described the move as an attempt by President Nicolas Sarkozy's conservative government to cover up the violence.

"The government tends to eliminate unfavorable indicators. The interior minister has been publishing trumped-up statistics for years, and now Hortefeux is going even further," Socialist deputy Delphine Batho, a security specialist, told Reuters.

Last year, the Interior Ministry said 1,137 cars had been torched, a 30 percent rise on 2008. French media reported at the time that several thousand cars had been burned.

Nearly 54,000 police officers will be deployed across France, a rise of some 6,000 compared to normal New Year's Eve staffing levels, and additional command posts set up in several cities, Hortefeux said on Friday.

The image of burning cars remains particularly evocative in France in the wake of urban riots in December 2005. Sarkozy came to power in 2007 promising to quell violence, but crime and vandalism have inched up in the past year.

Arson in France's "sensitive urban areas" rose by 17.2 percent between 2008 and 2009, according to a 2010 study by the Observatory of Sensitive Urban Zones. In 2009 a total of 12,874 cars were burned, it reported.

(Reporting by Thierry Leveque and Nick Vinocur; Editing by Peter Graff)
by Wes
Friday Dec 31st, 2010 7:30 PM
Dear people who read public info and see my alleged salary at UCSC:

Actually, I only work 3/4 time, so reduce that number by 25%. I wish I made that much. It is still hard to afford to live in Santa Cruz.