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Indybay Feature
Mon Oct 14 2013
Are Public Safety "Activists" Planning to Shame Drug Addicts and Needle Users?
Anger Over Drug Waste in Santa Cruz Swells During Protest Discussions
Public safety "activists" in Santa Cruz recently began planning a protest against those they believe are creating hypodermic needle waste in outdoor and natural areas locally. One individual has suggested shaming clients outside of the county's needle exchange, where drug users may obtain clean needles when they turn in used ones. When proposing a possible protest in the Facebook group "Needle Free Zone - Santa Cruz County," Chris Brown suggested, "What about taking pictures of those going in and out and posting them to a web site in an effort to shame them? I admit it seems rather creepy and low but????"

Some members of Needle Free Zone Santa Cruz County say they are still angry that in March, members of Take Back Santa Cruz "softened" down a protest march that went from from Harvey West to City Hall. The protest was originally to include a stop by the Homeless Services Center (HSC), which Samantha Olden said was supported by Ken "Skindog" Collins.

The idea to stop at the HSC was scrapped. Olden said the protest was, "softened up into the event that took place." Other individuals expressed anger and frustration regarding their own efforts. Kim Gardner said, "obviously pictures and data and speaking at meetings aren't changing anything." "People NEED to get their needle bubble popped," Meriah Campbell said. "Cleaning isn't working," Janell Whiting said.

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