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Benefit at India Joze Held for Desiree Foster of the Santa Cruz Eleven
On July 1st, a benefit for Desiree Foster of the Santa Cruz Eleven was held at India Joze restaurant. Foster and ten other people were charged with two felonies each in relation to the occupation of a vacant bank building located at 75 River Street in Santa Cruz in the Fall of 2011. Foster, a 19 year old woman, has been undergoing financial difficulties due in part to her mother's cancer diagnosis, and she attempted to commit suicide. The benefit featured food cooked and served by India Joze owner Jozseph Schultz, who has been a strong supporter of Occupy Santa Cruz since its beginnings, and performances by several of Santa Cruz's biggest names in music and entertainment, including Bill Walker, Tom Noddy, and Rick Walker.
Eight of the Santa Cruz Eleven were present at the event. Foster spoke only briefly, thanking everyone for their generosity. After she spoke, words were also heard from four other members of the Santa Cruz Eleven: Becky Johnson, Franklin "Angel" Alacantara, Brent Adams, and Robert Norse. In addition, Linda Lemaster spoke about her upcoming hearing in court over the lodging citation she received for her part in the Peacecamp2010 protests.
Four of the Santa Cruz Eleven have had the charges against them dismissed by Santa Cruz judge Paul Burdick in pre-trial hearings, and many community members believe that District Attorney Bob Lee seriously overcharged the defendants in the case. Support for the Santa Cruz Eleven has come from organizations such as the ACLU Santa Cruz County, National Lawyer's Guild of the Monterey Bay Area, People’s Democratic Club, Resource Center for Nonviolence, Santa Cruz County Community Coalition to Overcome Racism, Watsonville Brown Berets, Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, and the Women in Black.
In a recent column, Bruce Bratton responded to the news of Foster's suicide attempt: "It makes me deeply question the ethics and motives of District Attorney Bob Lee. You would think that a good District Attorney, anywhere in the country, would be focused on confronting and reducing suffering and crime in their community. But, in this situation, it seems as though there’s a serious miscarriage of justice. Our DA is, in fact, causing suffering!"
At the conclusion of the afternoon benefit's performances, musician Rick Walker wished , "The best of luck to all the people in the SC Eleven," and he added, "let us hope and pray that the D.A. has a change of heart and drops this madness, and if not we'll be there in court with you guys."
Another benefit for the Santa Cruz Eleven, which is also intended to be an anniversary party for India Joze, is planned for July 4 from 2-8pm at 535 Spring Street in Santa Cruz. The suggested donation is $20, which includes food provided by Jozseph Schultz. For more information, see:
For more information about the Santa Cruz Eleven, see:
I am also one of the "Santa Cruz Eleven", but the charges against me were dismissed in May. I have not received any money or donations in association with the Santa Cruz Eleven, and I have nothing to do with the organization of the support group for the Santa Cruz Eleven or the website.
Robert Norse, Nasreen, Tom Noddy, Linda Lemaster
Robert Norse, Steve Pleich