Come to the Trial Readiness Hearing for Linda Lemaster, homeless researcher and activist. Linda was cited last August for sleeping out at a political protest in front of the Courthouse.
PeaceCamp2010 was a protest against the City's Sleeping Ban which forced to the City to make significant changes in the law. See "Camping Ordinance Revisions Pass at City Council" at http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2010/09/16/18658837.php
Two protesters have already been sentenced to six months in jail and served several weeks (currently out on appeal, but due to be caged again if the appeal is denied as anticipated). See "Frey Released from Jail on Bail Pending Appeal;..." at http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2011/06/26/18682897.php
Linda Lemaster's own viewpoint is set down in the latest issue of Street Spirit--"Arrested for ‘Sleepcrimes’ at Peace Camp in Santa Cruz" at http://www.thestreetspirit.org/arrested-for-%E2%80%98sleepcrimes%E2%80%99-at-peace-camp-in-santa-cruz/
Recent correspondence and court motions in the related Frey and Johnson cases (both charged with the same "Illegal Lodging" crime--PC 647e--that Linda is charged with) can be found at http://www.fullspectrumdemocracy.org/p/peacecamp2010.html
Linda advises me that the Trial Readiness hearing may also rule on a Writ of Habeas Corpus motion filed by her pro bono attorney Jonathan Gettleman.
Gettleman's brief argues that Linda cannot be held on a charge of "lodging" when what D.A. Bob Lee is really doing is trying to punish Linda for engaging in peaceful political protest that involved falling asleep. This violates the First Amendment guaranteeing the right to assemble freely and petition for a redress of grievances.
Ironically, authorities have declined to charge Linda with the "crime" of sleeping (illegal under MC 6.36.010a), perhaps because this is exactly what the protesters were publicizing.
Santa Cruz has less than a handful of walk-in shelter beds each night, waiting lists of 2-6 weeks for the Paul Lee Loft at the Homeless Services Center, and aggressive police harassment of homeless people sleeping at City Hall, near the library, in the pogonip, and along the riverbank--under additional ordinances.
In the last two years, the Santa Cruz City Council has made unaddressed Sleeping Ban tickets a misdemeanor. See "Nasty new ordinance making Sleeping Ban Tickets misdemeanors" at http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2010/06/19/18651270.php
Come at 9 AM and watch Gettleman in action. He previously fought city persecution of the two homeless musicians Anna Richardson and MIguel de Leon. See " "Jail for Sleep" Permanent Injunction Trial Resumes" at http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2010/08/12/18655926.php
More info on the struggle for the homeless right to sleep at night--not anywhere and everywhere, but somewhere, see many stories at: http://www.beckyjohnsononewomantalking.blogspot.com/ http://hearthbylinda.blogspot.com/ http://www.fullspectrumdemocracy.org/ http://www.peacecamp2010.blogspot.com/