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Occupy Santa Cruz Returns with Tent Mob, So Do Police
by Alex Darocy (alex [at]
Friday Jul 13th, 2012 6:06 PM
On July 6th, community members involved with Occupy Santa Cruz carried tents, snacks, and balloons downtown for a roving "Tent Mob" street party. According to the event announcement, the group wouldn't be, "re-camping in the park for a month," or, "occupying a bank building." They planned instead to claim the Public Commons temporarily, because they feel as private space increases, access to public space is decreasing and, "there are no places outside for houseless folks to sleep legally." After spending some time together in Laurel Park, the location of the first Occupy Santa Cruz general assembly, they took the roving Tent Mob to Pacific Avenue and spent time among the street musicians, movie goers, and assorted other Friday evening revelers, where they hoped to, "demonstrate our inalienable rights.. and have some fun doing it."
Approximately two dozen people participated, and the group switched off carrying four or five compact tents that were fully constructed, some of which were decorated with purple, helium filled balloons. Curious members of the public asked the group a variety of occupy-related questions and took pictures of the tents and of the Occupy Santa Cruz banner. Some of the kids passing by asked to play in the tents, and they were happily obliged.

At the corner of Cooper Street and Pacific Avenue the Tent Mob stationed itself near another large group of people, the band Kuzanga Marimba, who were playing marimbas whose sizes were comparable to those of the tents. When the Tent Mob decided to leave that location and return to Laurel Park for a discussion about their day, they handed out the balloons they had been displaying to children who were nearby.

The Tent Mob event announcement was fairly straight forward in its language that the occupation would be temporary, stating, "wherever we stop, that's where the tent party is. We'll occupy that spot for a time and then move on."

The Santa Cruz Police Department, however, kept tabs on the street occupiers, who reported interactions with an officer on Pacific Avenue who spoke with them on multiple occasions to confirm that the tents were not blocking pedestrian traffic.

The officer made contact with the group one last time as the Tent Mob returned to Laurel Park at about 8pm. He warned them that they would have to deal with security guards from First Alarm at some point if they were still there after the park's closing.

This was the second Tent Mob event for Occupy Santa Cruz where the intention to participate in a "lite" occupation was met with a police presence. For more information about the previous Tent Mob event on May 25th, see:

Occupy Santa Cruz Celebrates Past Successes with TENT MOB at Court House

For more information about Occupy Santa Cruz, see:

Alex Darocy
§Corner of Pacific Avenue and Cooper Street
by Alex Darocy Friday Jul 13th, 2012 6:06 PM
by Alex Darocy Friday Jul 13th, 2012 6:06 PM
by Alex Darocy Friday Jul 13th, 2012 6:06 PM
§OSC - Camping About Banking
by Alex Darocy Friday Jul 13th, 2012 6:06 PM
by Alex Darocy Friday Jul 13th, 2012 6:06 PM
by Alex Darocy Friday Jul 13th, 2012 6:06 PM
by Alex Darocy Friday Jul 13th, 2012 6:06 PM
§Taking Pictures
by Alex Darocy Friday Jul 13th, 2012 6:06 PM
§Handing out balloons
by Alex Darocy Friday Jul 13th, 2012 6:06 PM
by Alex Darocy Friday Jul 13th, 2012 6:06 PM
§Kuzanga Marimba
by Alex Darocy Friday Jul 13th, 2012 6:06 PM
by Alex Darocy Friday Jul 13th, 2012 6:06 PM
by Alex Darocy Friday Jul 13th, 2012 6:06 PM
by Alex Darocy Friday Jul 13th, 2012 6:06 PM
by Alex Darocy Friday Jul 13th, 2012 6:06 PM
by Alex Darocy Friday Jul 13th, 2012 6:06 PM
by Alex Darocy Friday Jul 13th, 2012 6:06 PM
by Alex Darocy Friday Jul 13th, 2012 6:06 PM
by Alex Darocy Friday Jul 13th, 2012 6:06 PM
§Returning to Laurel Park
by Alex Darocy Friday Jul 13th, 2012 6:07 PM
Returning to Laurel Park
§SCPD, OSC, Laurel Park
by Alex Darocy Friday Jul 13th, 2012 6:08 PM
SCPD, OSC, Laurel Park
§SCPD, Laurel Park
by Alex Darocy Friday Jul 13th, 2012 6:09 PM
SCPD, Laurel Park

Comments  (Hide Comments)

by You ARE the 1%
Friday Jul 13th, 2012 7:08 PM
Keep it real...that is all. You're welcome to your viewpoint and opinion, but don't couch it as representing the majority. That is a farce. You are as much the 1% as are the superrich you rail against.

by L.
Friday Jul 13th, 2012 8:14 PM
to be among the top one percent of passionately angry and yet compassionate, politically active humanity! We are in the process of learning how to deal with political disagreements directly--not just at the polls in November, not merely writing polarizing letters to the editor, nor barely outwardly signifying how we feel by having endless, pointless conversations amongst ourselves as articulate yet passive intellectual critics of the political economy. No, we have chosen to meet potentially like-minded people out in public, take direct action, and plow a field for radical thought to blossom on the American scene.

Granted, we have a lot of good, organic fertilizer to get through first (our own shit)!

Peace and love to all.
by G
Friday Jul 13th, 2012 9:45 PM
by Robert Norse
Saturday Jul 14th, 2012 3:39 PM
Definitely great photos--of the quality we've come to expect from Alex.

And thanks to the Tent Mobsters who combined education and entertainment downtown Friday before last.

The Santa Cruz Eleven still face a potential seven years in jail for reporting on and supporting the educational vacant bank occupation of last year.

The next hearing dates for Cameron Laurendau and Franklin ("Angel") Alcantero is July 20th (readiness for a Preliminary Hearing on July 23rd). It's not clear to me whether the hearing is at 8:15 AM or 9 AM. (If anyone knows, please post). However I hear from Alexis Briggs that they are seeking a postponement of the Preliminary Hearing--which will likely be argued on the 20th in Dept. 6.

To hear a stimulating discussion (the audio portion of a recent Community TV video forum on the SC-11) go to (fast forward to 2 hours and forty minutes into the file).

Please check out for more background and updates.
by Nellie Bly
Saturday Jul 14th, 2012 8:09 PM
BACK TO US TENT MOBSTERS,,,,,,,,,,,ROBERT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
by Becky Johnson
Sunday Jul 15th, 2012 10:35 AM
Putting up a tent in Santa Cruz is like waving a red flag in front of a bull. Cops get INSANE when you put up a tent! Why? A tent can be put up for a minute, an hour, or a week. It doesn't necessarily damage the environment (it usually DOESN'T!) And once put up, a tent provides only a modicum of privacy and a smidgeon of shelter. Who is harmed?

Yet in Santa Cruz we have 3 different ways to criminalize pitching a tent.

Section "a" of MC 6.36.010 outlaws the act of sleeping between 11PM and 8:30AM. A person inside a tent or in a vehicle past 11PM is presumed to be sleeping. And sleeping is a crime in LIBERAL Santa Cruz!

Section "b" outlaws the use of bedding. Even DON LANE claimed to be offended by this section of the law which makes it ILLEGAL to use a blanket between 11PM and 8:30AM whether the person is lying down, sleeping, or wide awake.

Section "c" outlaws setting up a campsite which could be defined as sitting too long on a piece of cardboard. This is enforced 24/7. However, this section requires that the person setting up the tent "intend to spend the night." Protesters should explicitly state to any law enforcement personnel that they do NOT "intend to spend the night" to avoid a citation.

Setting up a tent is highly political since our local homeless population far exceeds the available legal shelter. See:

--- 646 shelter spaces in Santa Cruz County (less now with the closing of the Watsonville shelters)

--- 9041 estimated # of people who experience homelessness during 2011

In 2010, the SCPD first used PC 647 (e) against protesters. This state code prohibits illegal "lodging" and is charged as a misdemeanor. PC 647 (e) was the code of choice used by Sheriff's and County administrators to use against Occupy Santa Cruz.

ALL actions by the County and the City to criminalize living, using a blanket, sleeping, or setting up a tent when no other shelter is available are inhumane and constitute a human rights abuse.