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Court Merry-Go-Round Whirls On for Santa Cruz Eleven

Friday, June 01, 2012
8:15 AM - 9:45 AM
Event Type:
Court Date
Robert Norse
Location Details:
701 Ocean St. Santa Cruz CA County Courthouse Dept. 6 or 7

Parking available for 2 hours in the public lots--if you get there early.

The Santa Cruz Eleven (actually seven of them--Becky Johnson, Desiree Foster, Cameron Laurendeau, Robert Norse, Brent Adams, Angel Alcantara, & Gabriella Ripplyphelps) will go before Judge Sillman.

Sillman is visiting in Burdick's absence, though Burdick is expected to return next week.

Since prosecutor D.A. Young has repeatedly failed to provide the evidence ("discovery") promised, Preliminary Hearings (at which all charges have been dismissed against four of the eleven) have had to be postponed.

This hearing will determine if the discovery has finally been provided. It will also confirm appointment of Brent Adams new attorney--which may finally provide him with some real representation. Sillman is also expected to set a date for a Preliminary Hearing for all seven.

Similar repression against other nearby Occupy-related groups is being successfully fought.

See for the Sproul 13, for the Davis Dozen, and for Occupy the Farm .

For more of my personal analysis, opinion, and background go to .

To view a broader background of the issues, see . Support the Eleven at this website.
Added to the calendar on Thu, May 31, 2012 5:55AM
§Outcome Again Delayed: the Steamroller Slouches Into Summer.
by Robert Norse
Thanks to 15 or 20 supporters who showed up for what turned to be almost entirely a postponement hearing. The loyalty and patience of these supporters, who take time out from work, family, school, and life, is heart-sustaining.

Brent's prospective attorney apparently couldn't or wouldn't take his case, so there was another week's postponement until Friday June 8th 8:15 AM in Dept. 6 for a new attorney prospect. In the meantime Brent is representing himself, but also in closer communication with a few of the other attorneys, looks like/ He seemed pretty upbeat after the hearing, though Brent almost always does.

I'd thought the hearing was for all seven of us, but only five were on the calendar ((Becky, Gabriella, Brent, me, and Desiree). Four of the original Eleven (Alex, Bradley, Ed, and Grant) haven't had their charges refiled and, I think, are unlikely to. However Cameron Laurendau and Angel Alcantara, two of the seven of us still charged weren't on the court calendar (though I think Angel showed up).

No date was set for a Preliminary Hearing, but we were all ordered to appear (again!) on Friday, June 8th 8:15 AM in Dept. 6--this time probably before Judge Burdick, the main judge on the case (and the one who's dismissed charges against six of the defendants).

Attorneys seemed interested in having a Preliminary Hearing in July. One defendant may go for an early Preliminary Hearing.

A sympathetic portrait maker took photos of the five of us who were actually on the court calender with an eye to making a poster to put the word out more broadly about this sustained smear campaign against long-time activists.

Judge Sillman, after denying the Motion a week ago, agreed to lift the condition that I stay in the state, but refused to allow me to walk on the sidewalk next to 75 River St., where the occupation happened. This "guilty until proven innocent" requirement, has required all the defendants (except Bradley and Alex, whose attorneys got the requirement lifted) to walk into the street if a protest march goes past that building at the corner of River and Water. Presumably they can then arrest us for "jaywalking" and not "obeying all laws". Kind of creepy. No other attorneys joined in my motion--hopefully more will reclaim their rights,

This strange energy-consuming mini-circus has now gone on for 3 1/2 months and looks like it's going to continue.

Remember we're talking about what seems a unique prosecution for Santa Cruz--where months later--reporters, supporters, and observers were arrested. We were not even explicitly charged with organizing the occupation ("aiding and abetting" is the catch-phrase used by D..A. Rebekah Young to describe the "conspiracy").

We were simply targeted out of hundreds of people who came and went from the vacant Wells-Fargo leased building (now one of three empty bank properties downtown). The majority of us had been writing, photographing, and/or supporting the broader local Occupy Santa Cruz movement before it was crushed in early December for empowering the homeless.

It's been both exhausting, frightening, and numbing--as one shuffles between court and attorneys in the jaws of an oblivious mechanical juggernaut.

The disinterest and low priority D.A. Bob Lee seems to place on this case can be shown by the quality and quantity of legal force he's assigned--the sole attorney visibly on the case is the inexperienced and fanciful Young. Every defendant she's brought to D.A. has had charges dismissed, yet she shows no signs of apologizing, relenting, or rethinking. Her principal witness has been impeached. She always appears late and seems to be making it up as she goes. Her record of withholding discovery has become notorious.

However, attorneys seem to think that much if not all of the previously withheld video, photos, and documents held by police and D.A.'s is now piled high and ready for the weary task of reviewing.

Coming up: Motions for Selective Prosecution and Enforcement, Pitchess Motions (attacking the credibility of the remaining witnesses), and more treks to and from the courthouse as the attorneys and courtroom bureaucrats get paid while defendants struggle to pay rent, find new jobs, and struggle with health problems.

But, it has to be said, the eleven haven't been doing lots of high-profile demonstrating lately. So perhaps the objective of these prosecutions has been met--whatever the outcome.

For those interested in following a similar frame-up, check out

As usual, I speak for myself and no one else in these comments--though, I suspect, others share these views.

To check out more on the Santa Cruz Eleven, go to .
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Sylvia Caras
Sat, Jun 2, 2012 2:32PM
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