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Outspoken Homeless Sleepseeker Faces Six Months Jail...Again
Date Friday August 24
Time 8:30 AM - 9:00 AM
Location Details
701 Ocean St. County Courthouse Dept. 2 Judge John Gallagher
Event Type Court Date
Organizer/AuthorRobert Norse
Emailrnorse3 [at]
Address309 Cedar PMB #14B Santa Cruz, CA 95060
Support Gary Johnson in Judge "No right to sleep" Gallagher's court.

Johnson has already been sentenced to six months for "sleep crime" (PC 647e). He was one of the most undaunted and persistent activists asserting the rights of homeless people during PeaceCamp2010 from July to October of that year.

His attorney Ed Frey will be present representing him--though Ed is under House Arrest for his nightly support and presence at the protest.

Both have been sentenced to 6 months in jail.

Gary was again arrested, jailed, tried, and convicted for sleeping on a bench with a "Sleep is Not a Crime/Legacy of Cruelty" sign outside the courthouse in a protest this winter independent of Occupy Santa Cruz, for which he received a suspended 2 year sentence, also by Judge Gallagher. Gary doesn't know if Gallagher will take this opportunity to send Gary to jail for the full 2 1/2 years.

The Santa Cruz police blog reports that the second highest number of citations given out last week was for being in a "forbidden zone"--that is, areas where homeless people sleep such as the levee, the Pogonip, and the parks. To avoid the appearance of torturing the homeless population in Santa cruz (which has no legal shelter--95% of them), authorities have taken to using other ordinances to criminallize being asleep at night.

There will be coffee and cocoa available at 8 AM in front of the courthouse.

Gary himself has no particular interest in seeing people come to court--since he feels the whole process is illegitimate. However other activists feel that the ongoing harassment of homeless people requires a public protest.

Check for Gary's blog on the subject.

The public can donate money to Gary at the county jail as Gary is a vegetarian and needs $25 a week to buy beans and rice from the commissary.

Another Persecution Needs Community Support
Linda Lemaster is seeking funds to enable her attorney Jonathan Gettleman to take a writ to District Court to challenge the constitutionality of Santa Cruz deputies and prosecutors using the same "anti-lodging" law (647e) to crush political protest against the inhumane laws used against socio-economically challenged citizens (and Occupy Santa Cruz activists).

Linda covered the broader SleepCrime prosecutions against PeaceCamp2010 at .

Her current legal fight is chronicled at"Appeals Judge Upholds Anti-Homeless "Lodging" Law Against "Lighthouse" Linda Lemaster").

See also:
Added to the calendar on Thursday Aug 23rd, 2012 2:33 PM
§Johnson is One of Many Under Attack
by Robert Norse Thursday Aug 23rd, 2012 11:50 PM

Download PDF
Jail for Gary Johnson?

Homeless activist Johnson has been sentenced to 2 1/2 years in prison for peaceful political protest in front of the Santa Cruz courthouse in August 2010 and again last winter. He was shining a spotlight of shame on Santa Cruz's criminalization of homeless people and persecution of homeless activists. A vegetarian, Johnson needs money to pay for food there.

“Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also a prison.
--Henry David Thoreau

“It is the action, not the fruit of the action, that's important. You have to do the right thing. It may not be in your time that there will be any fruit, but that doesn't mean you stop doing the right thing. You may never know what results come from your action. But if you do nothing, there will be no result.”
-Mahatma Mohandas Gandhi

“When, in the course of human development, existing institutions prove inadequate to the needs of humanity, when they serve mainly to enslave, rob, and oppress humanity, the people have the right to rebel against and overthrow those institutions. The mere fact that these forces—inimical to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness—are legalized by statute laws...and enforced by political power in no way justifies their continued existence.”
“We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all human beings, irrespective of race, color, wealth, or sex, are born with the equal right to share at the table of life; that to secure this right, there must be established among us economic, social, and political freedom; we hold further that present government exists but to maintain special privilege and property rights; that it coerces us into submission and therefore robs us of dignity, self-respect, and life.”
“A vast country, rich enough to supply all her children with all possible comforts, and insure well-being to all, is in the hands of a few, while the nameless millions are at the mercy of ruthless wealth gatherers, unscrupulous lawmakers, and corrupt politicians.”
---with thanks and apologies to Emma Goldman

“Amid the debates about 'political prisoners' in the United States, one can distinguish between those engaged in civil disobedience who identify as 'loyal opposition'--and by their very 'dissent' affirm the institutions of the American plutocracy—and those so alienated by state violence and government betrayals of humanitarian and democratic ideals that their dissent chronicles their dissatisfaction, and at times insurrection. Such insurrection may at times become (proto-) revolutionary.”
--in the spirit and using many of the words of Joy James Imprisoned Intellectuals (2003)

The Santa Cruz Police Department is now bragging openly about the destruction of homeless camps and the creation of homeless refugees on its website . In its sixth week of open “search and destroy” operations the SCPD is using a “snitch line” encouraging community members to direct goon-squads to uproot homeless people with no shelter, It brags of 275 citations issued for survival camping, 108 arrests, 159 campsites tagged & 54 campsites destroyed.

Document and Post Any Abuses You Observe. Stand Up for Those Under Attack.
Act to Restore Regular Use of Public Spaces Arbitrarily Closed to Repress Protest.
Refuse to Cooperate With the Campaign to Scapegoat and Sweep Away the Poor.

Flier by Norse of HUFF (Homeless United for Friendship & Freedom) 423-4833 309 Cedar PMB #14B S.C 8-23-12
§Vigil for Gary Johnson at 1 PM Today
by Sleepless Friday Aug 24th, 2012 12:21 PM
Folks plan to gather at the Occudome Plaza aka Water Street Courthouse steps, from 1-3 today to continue the protest of anti-sleeping and anti-"lodging" laws as enforced in Santa Cruz and California.

I plan to nap in solidarity with Gary (I have a place to stay inside, so I'm not at risk of arrest for "lodging" at the Courthouse). Be careful out there, brothers and sisters. Good luck to you, G.
§Gary is to turn himself in to serve his jail sentence at 3 PM today
by Sleepless... Still Friday Aug 24th, 2012 12:26 PM
Folks may choose to accompany him across the street to jail at that time.
With Sleep Crime Activist Lawyer Ed Frey by his side, Gary Johnson is ordered by judge gallagher to jail at 3pm today.
While video taping Gary Johnson, Ed Frey and others in the hallway a deputy forced me (Brent Adams) to leave the courthouse with my camera insisting that I didn't have permission to videotape; while many other video cameras were rolling and exposed. I was threatened to have my camera taken.

The county jail refused to accept Gary, ordering him to return Monday 8am.
Gary was frustrated with this and returned to the Courthouse. I asked the deputy at the entrance for permission to follow Gary in with my camera and it was granted.

Gary Johnson was immediately arrested by a sheriff's deputy who shouted that my camera be confiscated.
I explained that I'd received permission at the entrance. The deputy rushed to me as I quickly back-stepped to the doorway.
I was allowed to exit with my camera.

The last visual report of Gary Johnson is that he was seen being handcuffed and led down the hallway.
It is unclear why he was being detained.

I left the building under threat of having my camera taken.
I'm still unaware of any rules prohibiting videoing or audioing in the corridors of the courthouse. That sounds concocted. Ed Frey was going to investigate that when some deputy tried to shut down audio recording 2 years ago, but the issue subsided.

A special salute to Brent Adams, whose documentation of these abuses, is done under threat of jailing--particularly since he faces false charges in the Santa Cruz Eleven case, which will be hanging over his head until January.

I'm hoping to see the video, and also salute Brent for posting the first full story on the Police "Snitch, Search, and Destroy" operations against homeless survival encampments at . I've added Don Lane's e-mail to me, and my response to him today, for those who want to keep updated.

Gary is a courageous guy, but what the people being persecuted that his case points to---both political activists and homeless people trying to sleep at night--is even more important.

Gary called me from jail a few hours ago from the holding cell. He noted that the jail hadn't known how much time to give him--but ended up--at his suggestion--giving him an out date of Saturday, November 17th. He seemed in his usual good spirits when he spoke with me.

To be able to receive collect calls from Gary, you need to get on a special account which I tried unsuccessfully to do earlier this year when Gary was in jail before. If anyone succeeds, let me know.
§Gary Johnson Denied Entrance to Santa Cruz County Jail
by Bradley Stuart Allen (bradley [at] Sunday Sep 2nd, 2012 12:12 AM
On August 24th, Gary Johnson was ordered by Judge Gallagher to report to the Santa Cruz County Jail at 3 p.m. The jail refused to accept Johnson, and ordered him to return on Monday at 8 a.m.

Without having a legal place to sleep, Johnson was frustrated and returned to the Santa Cruz Courthouse. Upon entering the courthouse, he was quickly arrested by a sheriff's deputy.
§Gary Johnson and Supporters at the Santa Cruz County Jail
by Bradley Stuart Allen Sunday Sep 2nd, 2012 12:15 AM
§Occupy the Commons Tent at the Santa Cruz County Jail
by Bradley Stuart Allen Sunday Sep 2nd, 2012 12:16 AM
§Linda Lemaster, Steven Argue and Gary Johnson at the Santa Cruz County Jail
by Bradley Stuart Allen Sunday Sep 2nd, 2012 12:18 AM
§No Jail For Sleep: David Silva and Becky Johnson at Santa Cruz Courthouse
by Bradley Stuart Allen Sunday Sep 2nd, 2012 12:21 AM

Comments  (Hide Comments)

(Note: I am not a Santa Cruz-area houseless advocate. I have spent quality time living beyond houses for more than 10 years, including on the california coast. And I feel that my experiences are an important addition to this article. Am reposting this, with some editing for this particular thread.)

The danger that all these "nice" liberals (which make up most of Santa Cruz) fear people they don't really understand at all, people that their trusted media lie about and take things out of context on. They will go to their liberal churches and give token aide to people down on their luck (or wanting to live FREE OF tyranny in its diverse forms), but beyond that is emptiness. We thank them for tolerating us, and their token gestures, but without more meaningful relations, without going out of your way to empathize and see us as equals (!) no matter how "little" formal education we could tolerate, the bottom line is that alienation persists in a most unhealthy direction.

Which means, I think, a most dangerous setting of precedents in the long run.

As things get worse (i.e. on the one hand, all our posessions are stolen by cops, and on the other, police continue to be less accessible to us as citizens --i.e. "not paying their salaries via taxes"-- on diverse grounds), we'll likely take it. (Do we have a choice??) ...For awhile.

But if some fascist group comes along saying they want to help us, and then wants us to do their ideological bidding?? Where do you think they get their recruits? (from the ranks of those MARGINALIZED by all manner of humanity, of course!!)

Look how popular fundamentalist/dogmatic church groups are becoming, filled with homeless people seeking to survive. Their ranks swell, and pretty soon, women don't have the choice to have an abortion even if they're raped, and such things. Maybe I'm wrong, but don't you see the likelihood that your alienation from us will only make things WORSE in the long run??!

Citizens living in towns and cities on the coast of Africa, say Sierra Leone, all would not and could not imagine that their towns and cities might be attacked by fascism, but that happened. It has happened systematically. I read a book about it (A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier by Ishmael Beah), about the child soldiers, which was quite popular in a liberal bookstore and in a liberal town's public library (a big waiting list to read it). They touched on what happened in coastal towns and larger cities when violence began to arise more and more, albeit the more organized variety.

Remember Yugoslavia? I recall hearing from Yugoslavians who said that such things could NEVER happen there!

Could it happen here?
Seems impossible, but look how taken by surprise so many 'modern' Africans were (along with their european aide workers!). But then I recall how many people were shooting guns off, quite randomly (on all days of the week, not just for new years'), and nearby public roads, along the coast of California and Oregon this last winter and spring. I was living in the woods. Such shootings were commonplace in Northern California, especially. Even in the fancy, liberal towns north of Eureka, though just outside of them. All the nice Unitarian Universalist liberals and their kind, didn't seem to know what was going on, or couldn't "deal with it", I guess.

They fed us well, but beyond that? What "business was it of theirs", after all? (plenty!)

Now, as things get more Rightwing, you think Rightwingers are going to continue to play nice? Call me off-my-rocker, but I'm sensing something developing in all of this hysteria mongering. They're being systematically hyped-up (read or listen to various marginal rightwing media), and the bottom line is that there's never any context or empathy allowed for people who have to (or choose to) live outside --or for any other "anti-social" group!

Yes, I'm over in SW Michigan right now (if you've looked up my IP), but that doesn't mean anything. I'm still seeking to speak up about a trend that I'm afraid is going to continue to get out of hand, and only make things worse for ALL (including duped rightwingers). Unless we all begin getting in touch with our informal powers to make meaningful community with each other!

(for basic, foundational info on such:

More and more shootings are happening. More and more people are willing to sacrifice themselves to "make their voices heard" in these last-ditch-seeming ways, in "any way" they possibly can--even by shooting people. You know the news, you've seen how things are going. You really think the police are going to protect you???

So, isn't it about time that all you "nice" liberals start to go out of your way to BE HUMAN BEINGS with we who are being treated so stupidly and evil-ly by "the powers that be"? WE ARE HUMAN BEINGS JUST LIKE YOU! It's just that being in survival mode (and being forced to deal with state authorities and their stupidized rules) takes a lot out of us. You try living with that sort of threat hanging over you all the time, for awhile, and see how you do, psychologically!

You show your humanity to us, and in no time, we'll show you ours right back!

Don't be deterred by the provocateurs and the few who are already so lost that they can only react with the pain they've gotten to know too well in their experiences! Invite us out to EAT with you (when I had money I used to do that, and wow, people couldn't believe I didn't have some ulterior agenda!), even if it's "just" a picnic in a public park! And as you get to know us, invite us to stay on your land or something like that! You'll be surprised! I bet you'll meet plenty of folks who know how to fix stuff, and such things! We'll end up saving you lots of money!! (you CAN'T AFFORD NOT to befriend us!!)

You'll have allies, that's for sure. And the more allies you make amongst we who know how to survive in bad situations, the more strength you'll bring to your efforts of community defense!

Think about it!

p.s. I used to be a regular vendor with Street Roots in Portland, OR before I left that town (it is always really "hairy" around big cities, mostly because the cops are especially volatile).
by artingmyself
Saturday Sep 8th, 2012 1:47 PM
When I tried to post my comment, blogspot kept reloading saying that I didn't put in the right text for its robot-blocking device...but after several attempts, when it continued to allege that I didn't type in the proper text, I gave up...Hell, I've seen this pattern from blogspot before (as well as other underhandedness), so at least I knew enough to copy my message! (have you tried wordpress? I'm not sure if it's any better, but I'm trying it for now)

post meant to be published on Gary's blog ( )

Hey, glad you're doing what you have to do, and not just silencing yourself like so many of us learn to do. I posted a comment on the indymedia site, as well as my blog:

Tho I haven't experienced Santa Cruz, I have experienced quite a few other 'liberal' towns and cities.

Btw, have you heard about the precedent set in Tempe, Arizona? I heard via a homeless activist space somewhere (never have been able to find out since, tho), that homeless people fought for and WON the 'right' to sleep publicly by defending themselves on 1st Ammendment grounds. Their very being was protected free speech!!

Myself, i advocate that houseless people begin "arting themselves", via their own or other people's art. Decorate their packs, their shop carts, whatever, with art. And become moving art galleries! And give an incentive for local artists to help support our humanity!

I'm an artist and I am still sometimes allowed to "make ends meet" selling my art on the street. But I've been unable to organize other artists (so far) to STAND UP for our rights on the issue, re: the 1998 little-known u.s. supreme court ruling that "artists have the right to sell their art on the street without a permit"! It was made in New York City.

If you look up on's wayback machine, you should be able to locate info. I have other links I've looked up, since, but don't have them on me right now. I don't have access to a law library (yet), so don't know recent developments, but it seems to me that this may be a way to respond.

Tho i see you are not willing to even try to work 'within' the illegitimate system! Wow! Keep up your example for the rest of us! I look forward to learning from you!

--the younger generation