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Related Categories: Santa Cruz Indymedia | Anti-War
On Independence Day, Santa Cruzans Demand Freedom from the Security State
by Alex Darocy (alex [at]
Friday Jul 5th, 2013 1:46 AM
At this year's Fourth of July anti-war demonstration in Santa Cruz, community members called for the release of all political prisoners, including Bradley Manning, Lynne Stewart, and Edward Snowden. The event is held annually at the corner of Ocean and Water Street, and the throng of holiday traffic rolling by slowly, bumper to bumper, was greeted this year with protest signs bearing strong messages of opposition to the expansion of security culture in the United Sates.
Support for Bradley Manning among the group was very strong, and many adoringly communicated in a variety of ways that he is a political hero to them. Several individuals used whistles to declare their belief that Manning and other American political prisoners should receive whistle blower protections for the government crimes they have exposed.

Organizers created a series of themed protest signs inscribed with messages correlating the reduced liberties of Americans domestically to corporate rule, and the deadly wars the United States is involved with abroad.

There were two basic types of messages on the signs, "freedom for" and "freedom from" messages.

The "freedom for" signs included messages such as: "Freedom for the Press", "Freedom for Lynne Stewart," "Freedom for Edward Snowden and All Whistleblowers," and "Freedom for Bradley Manning and All Political Prisoners."

The "freedom from" signs included: "Freedom from ICE," "Freedom from War," "Freedom from Hunger," "Freedom from Torture," "Freedom from Drones," "Freedom from Nuclear Power and Weapons," "Freedom from the National Security State," "Freedom from Corporate Rule," "Freedom from Monsanto," "Freedom from Austerity Economics," and "Freedom from Occupation."

Local activists opposed to drone warfare also displayed their collection of placards containing the names and ages of over one hundred children killed by U.S. drones in Pakistan and Yemen. Listed on another sign was an overall estimate for the civilian death count from drones in Pakistan. That number of named individuals identified "so far" is 317.

A partial list of sponsors of the protest includes, Peace and Freedom Party-SC, Women in Black, WILPF-SC, Code Pink-SC, People United for Peace, and Palestine Israel Action Committee, and the Raging Grannies sang.

Alex Darocy
by Alex Darocy Friday Jul 5th, 2013 1:46 AM
by Alex Darocy Friday Jul 5th, 2013 1:46 AM
§Freedom For Bradley Manning and All Political Prisoners
by Alex Darocy Friday Jul 5th, 2013 1:46 AM
§Visitors greeted as they pour into Santa Cruz
by Alex Darocy Friday Jul 5th, 2013 1:46 AM
§Whistle Blower
by Alex Darocy Friday Jul 5th, 2013 1:46 AM
§Happy Revolution!
by Alex Darocy Friday Jul 5th, 2013 1:46 AM
by Alex Darocy Friday Jul 5th, 2013 1:46 AM
§Freedom From Monsanto, Freedom From Corporate Rule
by Alex Darocy Friday Jul 5th, 2013 1:46 AM
§Free Bradley Manning
by Alex Darocy Friday Jul 5th, 2013 1:46 AM
§People For Peace
by Alex Darocy Friday Jul 5th, 2013 1:46 AM
by Alex Darocy Friday Jul 5th, 2013 1:46 AM
§Bradley Manning American Hero
by Alex Darocy Friday Jul 5th, 2013 1:46 AM
§Freedom From Occupation, Freedom From Hunger, Freedom From Torture
by Alex Darocy Friday Jul 5th, 2013 1:46 AM
§Freedom From Nuclear Power and Weapons, Freedom From War
by Alex Darocy Friday Jul 5th, 2013 1:46 AM
§Santa Cruz Raging Grannies
by Alex Darocy Friday Jul 5th, 2013 1:46 AM
§Freedom From Drones, Ground the Drones
by Alex Darocy Friday Jul 5th, 2013 1:46 AM
§Sleep is Not a Crime
by Alex Darocy Friday Jul 5th, 2013 1:46 AM
§Homeless Harassed to Death (on the traffic median)
by Alex Darocy Friday Jul 5th, 2013 1:46 AM
Individuals stand on the traffic median on Ocean Street for one of the last times it will be legal to do so. On July 11, a new city ordinance banning the activity will take effect.
Partial List of Children Killed in Pakistan and Yemen by U.S. Drone Attacks
§Living and Dying under US drones in Pakistan
by Alex Darocy Friday Jul 5th, 2013 1:49 AM
Living and Dying under US drones in Pakistan
Naming the Dead
Number of named civilians so far identified: 317
§Freedom From Austerity Economics
by Alex Darocy Friday Jul 5th, 2013 1:50 AM
Freedom From Austerity Economics
§Freedom From ICE
by Alex Darocy Friday Jul 5th, 2013 1:51 AM
Freedom From ICE
§Honoring Pvt. Bradley Manning, Gay Patriot
by Alex Darocy Friday Jul 5th, 2013 1:52 AM
Honoring Pvt. Bradley Manning, Gay Patriot

Comments  (Hide Comments)

by Robert Norse
Wednesday Jul 10th, 2013 2:15 AM
Great photos.

A nice once-a-year protest.

My own "Homeless Are Being Harassed to Death" and "End the Sleeping Ban" signd were initially bemoaned by long-time Peace and Freedom activist Maureen Smith who later apologized for venting.

I noticed no one had chosen to stand on the medians of Ocean Street--something that will become illegal on July 11th under a City Council ordinance designed to criminalize panhandling (but which will take in all signs, indeed all presence on the medians other than just crossing the street). (See "Round 2--The New Anti-Homeless Ordinances Return for a Final Reading" at

So I walked over and spent some time there--getting lost of positive honks from passing cars (two even offered money, which I passed on to homeless folks walking by). I was joined by a few others for a time. Then an SCPD car pulled up and Officer Kendall directed me to leave the median because it was "against the law".

I advised him he was about a week too early and asked him to repeat his false statement for my tape recorder. He refused. His conversation with the activist 10' in front of me involved a modified statement: "you're hurting your own cause by being on the median. We've had complaints. Please leave." When I asked him to clarify if he felt it was "against the law" as he'd previously said, the police officer clammed up and drove off.

Not to be outdone, however, he hung a U-turn and parked his car blocking the bike lane on Ocean St. near the entrance to the County Building. He then went up to Maureen Smith's Peace and Freedom Party table and attempted to "report" me to Smith, who he apparently took to be the boss of the protest.

I left the median to tape record what I could of this encounter. When I got there, the officer was saying "so you're saying that you're finding Mr. Norse is disrupting your protest and you'd like him removed". Smith looked a little baffled and flummoxed (perhaps by the arrival of the tape recorder as well), and sputtered "no, he has rights; he's not a part of our group." "I'm just responding to complaints," noted the helpful officer. "He doesn't help your cause" noted Kendall. The officer didn't stay to clarify who had complained. None of the cars passing had been hostile and many had engaged in friendly dialogue.

Kendall strode off as I again requested he not misinform people prematurely about the law.

I played some of this interchange on Free Radio (archived at (approx 3 hours into the audio file).

Few joined me again when I returned to the median, and a woman named Nancy went out of her way to berate me for "putting my own ego over the interests of the protest."

I'd thought the protest was all about retaining and asserting rights like the right to hold up a sign on the median--which will be removed tomorrow thanks to the Bryant Council.

Two days later at a Town Clock protest, half a dozen protesters joined me in retaking the median. (See ) However we'll see if this boldness continues when it becomes officially forbidden tomorrow.

by bi-partisan anti-warrior
Thursday Jul 11th, 2013 4:17 AM
If Bush were still in office, which it feels like he is, Im sure there'd be plenty of blame for Republicans having elected an anti-whistle-blower war-monger, and rightly so.

But when these crimes occur under a Democrat's watch, oh, well, let's just not involve the president. Wouldn't want to tarnish his party's 2016 campaign.

So, Democrat voters, how's your leak-crushing bomb-dropping Hope And Change savior working out for ya?

We tried to warn you this would happen. We tried to offer you 3rd party alternatives. But you only wanted to preach your self-fulfilling prophecy that 3rd parties can't win (because you won't be the change you want to see and start voting for them.)

Golf clap, democrats. Golf clap.

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