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Two Courts Cream the Constitution: Justice Santa Cruz Style Rides Again!

Thursday, March 29, 2012
8:15 AM - 9:15 AM
Event Type:
Court Date
Robert Norse
309 Cedar PMB #14B Santa Cruz, CA 95060
Location Details:
701 Ocean St. County Courthouse Free Parking (but watch your car, the meterman can be vicious with his ticketing book after 2 hours)

Event #1: Probably Dept. 3 at 8:15 AM (though check the calendar under Alex Darocy and/or Bradley Stuart Allen for the exact courtroom) (Felony arraignment) They face multiple years in jail for "trespass" during a political protest where hundreds of others did the same

Event #2 Department 2 (Sentencing Hearing for Gary Johnson)
at 8:30 PM before Judge "Grim Gavel" Gallagher Johnson faces up to 3 1/2 years in jail for four acts of peaceful protest sleeping outside the courthouse.

Initial disclaimer: I don't speak for or claim to represent either of these three individuals. I am writing as a civil libertarian, homeless advocate, & independent journalist.

Full disclosure: I (and others) are also charged with two "conspiracy" felony and "trespass" misdemeanor for walking into, reporting on, and walking out of the 75 River St. vacant bank.

Alex and Bradley are facing trumped up charges that stem from police anger at the peaceful 3-day occupation of the vacant bank at 75 River St. last year owned by the predatory Wells Fargo Bank.

Wells Fargo continues to suck huge sums from the government, pay its executives astronomical salaries, and rip off its customers and those suffering from their loan policies--but this doesn't interest local authorities or D.A. Bob Lee. Only those reporting on and protesting this criminal behavior are in his crosshairs.

The 75 River St. Property, formerly leased by Coast Commercial Bank, is reportedly owned by Barry Swenson, local developer through Associates One in S.F.

As described extensively on indybay (See "Indybay Journalists Charged with Felony: Conspiracy to Make Media at , Bradley and Alex are reporters who were selectively targeted by police and are now being selectively prosecuted by the D.A.

I give my take on their Preliminary Hearing at "Day 3 of 'Conspiracy" Frame-Up Hearing" at .

There's currently a call-in campaign which I recommend people support urging the D.A. to drop charges. See .

Steve Pleich, local ACLU Board Member, Homeless Legal Assistance Project Founder, HUFF member, and Occupy Santa Cruz activist will be speaking about "Occupy Santa Cruz" and presumably broader crackdown against Occupy activists here and around the country.

He will be on KZSC's "Talkabout" radio show (I think that's what it's still called) with John Sanditch 7:45 to 8:30 AM Wednesday March 28th. at 88.1 FM (or on line).


At 8:30 AM Gary Johnson, four-time Snooze-Criminal, will face "you'll sleep in jail" "Gouge the Grubby" Gallagher, gaunt-faced guardian of Department 2 decorum.

Johnson's attorney, Ed Frey, faces a contempt-of-court hearing for not wearing a jacket and tie during the "sleep is a crime" trial last week against Judicial Orders.''

Johnson sat through the trial in jail clothing, refused to say anything to the judge and jury, and generally seemed to regard the proceedings with the disbelief and disgust which many of us in the courtroom felt.

I wrote some of my thoughts on the trial at ("SleepCrime Case Goes to Jury") and
("SleepCrime Defendant Denied Necessity Defense").

Johnson has been held in jail in Watsonville since early January on $5000 bail. His is the latest in a string of attacks on homeless protesters taking peaceful direction action to challenge the city and county anti-homeless laws and policies.

Johnson's attorney may appeal the case.

That may be complicated (or simplified!) by the fact that both attorney (Ed Frey) and Johnson himself are in the middle of an earlier appeal on an identical 647e lodging charge. (See "Homelessness in California is now punishable by a year in jail." at ),
Added to the calendar on Tue, Mar 27, 2012 5:14PM
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