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|No Council Meet But Freedom Sleepers Gather for SleepOut #11|
|Date||Tuesday September 22|
|Time||5:00 PM - 5:00 AM|
|Import this event into your personal calendar.|
|In the City Hall Courtyard as long as folks choose, and then on the sidewalks nearby. The event is scheduled to go on until 7:30 AM or 8 AM Wednesday 9-23.|
|Organizer/Author||Phil Posner (posting by Norse)|
|chatrabbi [at] aol.com|
OBJECTIVE; TO END LAWS MAKING HOMELESS SLEEP A CRIME
The Freedom Sleepers is a Coalition of organizations including Food Not Bombs, Homeless Depot, the Homeless Legal Assistance Project, HUFF, and Housing Now! in Santa Cruz.
We want to end the Sleeping Ban, Camping Ban, Blanket Ban, Lodging Ban--and other laws that make survival camping a crime in Santa Cruz.
Instead of citing and arresting people under MC 6.36 (the Camping Ordinance), police have been using the Closed Areas ordinance, which allows city authorities to designate large areas as "forbidden to enter" at night. One of these areas is the City Hall courtyard, a large grassy area in front of City Hall, the seat of government in Santa Cruz.
However in other parts of Santa Cruz in the last three months, police and rangers have issued nearly 1000 Sleeping Ban tickets, costing $157 each. There is no emergency shelter program operating; waiting lists for transitional programs are full; and social services for such essentials as food, showers, laundry, and bathrooms have been eliminated for the general homeless population at the Homeless (Lack of) Services Center.
COUNTERING VIOLENCE BY FIRST ALARM SECURITY
After First Alarm Security guard Nathan Hammack's violent assault on the African-American homeless woman Christina Barnes, we are encouraging folks to bring lots of video and audio equipment as well as witnesses.
See "Sleepout protest fighting Santa Cruz anti-camping ordinance moves into tenth week" at https://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2015/09/17/18777749.php
"First Alarm Security Guards Violently Detain Woman at Santa Cruz City Hall" at https://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2015/09/16/18777700.php (with video)
"2 Harassment Arrests, 2 "Standing in a Parking Spot" Cites at Freedom Sleepers Protest #10" at https://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2015/09/16/18777678.php
PRESS CONFERENCE 9-24 5:45 PM IN FRONT OF RIO THEATER
City Manager Martin Bernal and Mayor Don Lane have failed to respond to concerns about these assaults, other false arrests, and the ramping up of police pressure against the peaceful protesters.
In response, we will be inviting the media to hear accounts of police abuse by homeless folks and housed activists. The conference will feature homeless speakers and Rabbi Phil Posner as well as others impacted by the new crackdown.
SLEEPOUT WILL PROVIDE PB&J, PORTAPOTTY, AND PALS
As we have in the recent past, there will be a portapotty open for use, since Bernal and Lane refused to open the City Hall bathrooms. There will also be light snacks at night and coffee in the morning (if it's not all drunk by then).
City Council has cancelled its regular second 4th Tuesday of the month meeting in deference to a Jewish holiday, but declines to suspend nightly harassment of homeless refugees outside who have no place to sleep (and are often hassled during the day for being visibly present in public spaces).
THE VANCOUVER, WA BREAKTHROUGH
The Vancouver City Council voted on 9-14 to end its nighttime Sleeping Ban. An account of this positive action and its implications for Santa Cruz are described at https://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2015/09/16/18777722.php
EVERYONE INVITED: DO YOUR PART !
Come on down. This will be our 11th Weekly Protest Sleep-Out. The presence of a larger group creates a safer envirionment for homeless folks who could otherwise be harassed and driven away if sleeping alone or without the presence of nearby video and media.
WITNESSES ARE ESPECIALLY WELCOME...between 9:30 PM and midnight, when police regularly descend with ticke books and handcuffs. Bring a sleeping bag, a blanket, some food, video and audio equipment, and some friends. We need your help. The conscience of the City requires it.