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Lemaster Lodging 647(e) Trial: Closing

Friday, November 09, 2012
9:30 AM - 11:30 AM
Event Type:
Court Date
lighthouse Linda
Location Details:
California Superior Court of Santa Cruz County
701 Ocean St, Santa Cruz CA

Honorable Judge Rebecca Connolly's courtroom/Dept # 1

Witnesses and evidence are done being presented. Judge Connolly has given the Jurors some dozen or so instructions specific to this crime, and some general ones.

The District Attorney Alex Byers is well into his closing presentation and will finish first thing today (Fri). Then one of my 2 attorneys, Jonathan Gettleman, will make his closing arguments.

The Judge says she hopes to cloister the Jury before lunch. This trial is about a citation I got at Peace Camp 2010, August nite, 9th-10th.

While I realize it's his job, it is hard for me to swallow how the D.A. gets to call me a liar and I am not permitted to reply. It is not even needed to
show the "elements" of the crime of unlawful lodging as it is redefined this time. (got a bad headache from the suppressed feelings.)

Beaucoup Gracias to the 16 supportive folks in the audience on Thursday!
Added to the calendar on Thu, Nov 8, 2012 6:23PM
A guilty verdict. Took me by surprise, tho't I was ready for any outcome, but it knocked me down spiritually and energetically.

It is hard to keep one's immediate reverie from drifting toward what seems unfair about this process. But we must all choose life over looking backwards too much, every bit as much as we must stop to aid a person in real danger or else
carry their peril in our conscience evermore.

Both sets of attorneys in this case got to talk with a couple of the jurors right after the Bailiff read their Decision and
then jurors were released. It was interesting and I hope to
describe, maybe explore, the considerations shared when I'm sleep-recovered.

Meantime, another verse of "nothing left to lose" twirls
through time, and lives are lost in the balance of
unquenchable, inexorable, unconscionable devotion to gods
of a Profiteering Status Quo that has long been stretched
thin at best.

The 22 percent increase in local homelessness within two years is just one of many indicators showing our social systems can't function as designed. (ASR,Inc. For one source)

So on December 3rd there will be a Sentencing Hearing and
I must be there. My attorneys will be considering bringing
motions (or something?) to that hearing. Meanwhile, since trial is over and I may resume my life (plus the punishment
of course), am assuming that bringing my long stalled
grievances about how PeaceCamp2010 was uprooted inappropriately by Sheriff Deputies to this County's Board of
Supervisors. Plus a letter to our reps in Sacramento as I has
promised to do once my freedom of speech is restored. (Silenced in regard for the court/trial.)

Who wants to help?

§Protest Sleeping, or Sleep Protesting?
by Linda Ellen Lemaster
Sometimes in real life, people are tending to more than one thing at a time.

Why should I have to live in a black-n-white Pleasantville kind of reality and pretend that life is never messy? To make it easier for lawyers and Judges and the State to separate us all from each other in ever more ways? Believe it or not, I am responsible for my effluvia and for that around me as much as possible, and much moreso than socially expected of us (so far).

I *was* protesting, the night I got cited. Clearly he Judge didn't want the Jurors distracted with complications. Disappointed me, too.

Also, and requiring a great deal more focus at least for me, I was trying to protect and shield a very sick man so that he could get some rest. I feared for his life, but I also deeply understood that if he could both breathe and sleep, the extreme distress of his lungs (what he and others called "double pneumonia") might life a bit. To me, it had seemed critical that night. I'd fell great relief when the gurgling and rattle in his lungs gave way for a muffled snore. This was 40 or so hours since I'd tried to get him to go to Dominican Hospital. None of the Deputies who had talked with him in those two prior days took it seriously, What would you have done? If you witness a wreck along Hwy 17, would you make a point of showing the Deputies or first responders where people landed, or were caught, give them your name and phone number" or would you run for cover the moment you heard the siren approaching?

At PC2010, plenty of folks DID run for cover, leaving behind their blankets the D.A. insisted belonged to me. In life, more folks feel they need to run for cover, than feel they need to help with the cleanup or the bodycount or assessment or recovery. But we can see specialization isn't altogether working (especially at 4:30 am in rural counties)

Ever been to a rock concert in the early days? Just because you're having a good time, doesn't mean you get to ignore it when somebody next to you ODs or the car up front blocks the muddy road. Whether all hands on deck, or just a pulse-checking vigil, I think most reasonable folks would have paid attention to somebody that sick if they heard his obstructed breathing, don't you?

Where-from this assumption that if I'm giving care I'm not protesting as well? I have so far betrayed no "sides" in that PC2010 August 9/10 conflagration, not even the Deputies. I don't mind working off my assigned guilt, if that is the Judge's pleasure. still it feels like the whole trial process got compromise.

Comments (Hide Comments)
by Becky Johnson & Robert Norse
Writer, activist, and SC-11 defendant Becky Johnson wrote the following on the trial:

Lemaster Lodging Trial Turns Into Inquisition & Hate Fest

DA Alex Byers continues with closing arguments today resuming at 9:30AM. Dept 1. Café HUFF will be outside before court.

Yesterday, Linda Lemaster was on the witness stand for a grueling 5 and half hours, continuing thru two breaks and lunch. At 3:30PM she stepped down and the defense rested.

Then jury instructions.

Then we heard the first 40 minutes of the DA's closing arguments accompanied by grainy videos.


Linda Lemaster faces Six Months in Jail for the "crime" of sleeping/not sleeping on public/private property with /without possessions for a long/short period of time and can be intentional/unintentional. Subject to the "permission" of the "authority."

So where does a protester stand with his/her sign? ONLY where the govt. tells them they can. ONLY when the govt. tells them they can. NOT while sitting, lying down, or sleeping since these = lodging camping = lodging except that "camping" is a $162 citation while, essentially the same thing, "lodging" is 6 months in jail and/or a $1000 fine.

Unlike the Peace Camp 6, the John Gallagher definition of lodging will not be uses. Instead, a new definition was crafted which is little better and may be worse.

Alex Byers: a 2-phased Plan
--Education phase
--Enforcement phase
Lt. Plageman testified that they weren't' interfering with our right to protest. "Their goal was to stop people from the intent of the protest which was to violate the law. Flyers were handed out" "If you were lying down, you were sleeping, you were violating the law. At 4:30AM, they were already lodging when the Sheriffs deputies arrived. They were already breaking the law."

BECKY: So does the "law" outlaw lying down, or sleeping? No. PC 647( e ) outlaws "lodging" but that word is not defined anywhere in the code. In 2011, at the Peace Camp Six trial, Judge John Gallagher made up a definition by looking at old codes and a dictionary. Before Judge Rebecca Connolly, a new definition was forged. In neither case, were any of the defendants allowed access to this definition of lodging when cited two years ago. The dictionary includes 14 different definitions of "lodging"
but Connolly had decided 18 months ago that PC 647( e ) is Constitutional, so jurors don't know that defendants (and their attorneys) have challenged that

Constitutionality? I'm working on a more complete article on my blog, so watch for that. --Becky Johnson of HUFF


If the courts are still playing around with a definition of lodging, how could those cited or those citing them know exactly what it meant? Not knowing this means one can't know if one is committing a criminal at or not. Alternately, it allows authorities to simply define and dictate that so-and-so is lodging while the person next to them is not.

In this case, testimony so far (as I understand it) indicates that sheriffs did not cite those standing up not explicitly direct them to leave. But those who were threatened with citations or given them were not given an option to stay and protest in a "non-lodging manner" like the other group. Linda and those accused of lodging were directed to "leave" both before and after their citations. This can only be construed as eliminating their right to protest.

Which was the whole point of the clearing, in spite of the rhetoric about "respecting your right to protest during business hours". The sheriff's had no justification to limit protest to business hours (a year later the CAO unilaterally set up a curfew from 7 PM to 7 AM which is still in force, but it wasn't in force then).

It seems this whole process was an elaborate way of killing the protest without going through the proper process of proving the public nuisance they claimed existed.

PC 647e has almost always in my experience been used to bust up protests, though usually much earlier than happened in Santa Cruz. But such cases almost never go to trial as far as I've seen because the law is so obviously vague and overbroad.
It's ironic that here in "liberal" Santa Cruz, there's extensive use of it--first as threat, then as citation, now 2 years later to go after a disabled older woman for simply being present to support a presence.

There's no testimony that she was there for any length of time other than being there that evening and undisputed testimony that she was there to take care of a sick protester.

The attempt to shitstorm the jury with talk of poopoo, peepee, and other unproved as well as irrelevant accusations (in a town that has no facilities open at night! ...or rather PC2010 provided the only one) is a contemptible and contempuous appeal to prejudice. As if to say, like the Taney Supreme Court wrote in 1857 in the Dred Scott decision stripping blacks in the north of any protection that "Homeless people and their advocates have no rights which the sheriffs, police, and courts are required to respect."

Becky Johnson's blog is at . Some of her commentary on this case is at .

Linda's brief comments on jury selection is at Additional background can be found elsewhere on her blog.

Some discussion of the case on my Free Radio show Bathrobespierre's Broadsides can be found at .
by G
Matthew 10:19

Allocution is my favorite part of the judicial branch. ;)

by Robert Norse
The paragraph beginning "It's ironic that here in 'liberal' Santa Cruz..."

is incomplete. It should read: "It's ironic that here in "liberal" Santa Cruz, there's extensive use of it--first as threat, then as citation, now 2 years later to go after a disabled older woman for simply being present to support a sick activist. To construe that as lodging is both false and Machiavellian--in that it serves a broader repressive purpose of frightening the community away from legitimate protest (or supporting protesters) even two years after the whole thing ended."
by G
Robert, "and Machiavellian" is inaccurate. Sure, Machiavellian in the The Prince sense, a book popular amongst the tyrannical set, but Discourses on Livy is a noteably different book (by the same author). ;)
by Natalie Clifford Barney
With the defense of Ms. Lamaster or the verdict!
by Tireless Campaigner
Okay folks, the next step to be discussed is getting together to redress our grievance against this law and how it has been unjustly applied to homeless people and their supporters across the state of California, including during the height of the Occupy movement. Next Occupy Santa Cruz General Assembly is Sunday, 2 PM at the downtown Post Office.

Peace to you, Peace Campers! It is time to end the harassment of protesters who are bringing the homeless issue home to those in power!
by RazerRay
...a visit to Sam Farr's office.

I've been there before:
by G
Regarding redress, I don't know about y'all but I'm (almost) exhausted. 1st appeal (protesting the criminalization of sleep) is dead, Ed is in Writ Of Habeas Corpus mode (State Supreme Court) on that one. 2nd appeal (protesting the criminalization of protest, after OSC was run off via 602(o)) has yet to be filed (ask around if you want to see an epic draft).

Next stop, Declaration?
by Observer
It's time to end the position that Linda was there 'to support a sick friend'. She's an activist, and she was there protesting by sleeping. It's silly to try to maintain otherwise based on a failed defense strategy.
I will agree it's ridiculous to spend all the time and money for this silly action. But when you do ridiculous things, expect ridiculous results.
Next time, either leave, or don't and just plead guilty, do community service and be done with it. You do support the community, no? You could probably do your time engaging in homeless outreach. That way everybody wins, except the lawyers.
by Buka Suka Dimka
Yes. Good idea, Observer. I wonder if community service and homeless outreach would include things like attending HUFF and OSC meetings and camping out at the County Building in support of the right to camp out at the County Building.

Wow. This could be an infinite loop :-)
by RazerRay
The part about "taking care of a sick friend". The rest is demeaning trash.

It's way past time to note the fact that the judges instructions to the jury in Linda's case indicated a prohibition on "Resting" in the state if you had no 'welcoming place to rest' which OBVIOUSLY violates a citizen's Constitutional right to travel freely from state to state.

That's why I suggest a visit to Sam Farr's office... He's the federal end of the local judicial equation.

Flash Mob him... DO NOT LET HIM KNOW ANYONE IS COMING TO VISIT as happened with the half-assed planned Occupation Project visit, and crumble more of his shitty construction industry campaign donation financed cookies. Spill his milk. Demand Justice answerable to federal law.

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