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Sleeping is a Right

Sunday, December 13, 2015
4:30 PM - 6:30 PM
Event Type:
Panel Discussion
Zav Hershfield
Location Details:
Resource Center for Non-Violence
612 Ocean Street
Santa Cruz, CA

The Freedom Sleepers have invited activists and advocates to speak at the Resource Center for Non-Violence on the criminalization of houseless people nationally and regionally.

Speakers include Tristia Bauman from the National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty; Robert Aguirre, advocate and activist from San Jose; and Keith McHenry, co-founder of international activist organization Food Not Bombs.

The event will also include music by houseless performers and a photo slideshow documenting the Freedom Sleepouts that have been occurring at Santa Cruz city hall weekly for the past 21 weeks.

Free vegan meal provided! Donation of $5-20 requested, but nobody will be turned away for lack of funds!
Added to the calendar on Sat, Dec 5, 2015 8:15PM
Join Tristia Bauman, senior staff attorney at National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty; Keith McHenry, Food Not Bombs co-founder and Freedom Sleeper; and others sharing regional and local street heat news: explore legal and other strategies to grow our resistance and support our heros. RCNV Sunday Dec 13th.



Tristia Bauman, senior attorney at National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty, presents legal updates and successes on fighting the criminalization of homeless people along with potential solutions. Attorney Bauman is the lead speaker on December 13, 4:30 pm at Resource Center for Nonviolence, 612 Ocean Street, downtown City of Santa Cruz.

Keith McHenry, Food Not Bombs co-founder, will help share the history of Freedom Sleepers, a grassroots collection of demonstrators who have met – and spent the night on bricks and cement – at 809 Center Street, outside in front of City Hall, every Tuesday since July 4th.

Santa Cruz has had a law on the books for nearly 3 decades now that makes it illegal for anyone in the city to sleep in public between the hours of 11pm and 8:30am, or to set up any kind of bedding or blanket between those hours, or to – at any time – appear to set up “a camp” with the intention of remaining overnight. Such citations cost over $159 per incident, and much more if they “go to collection” because the sleeper doesn't have enough money to pay a high cost for getting caught asleep.

The sleeping ban has been joined more recently, as in many other cities, with many additional “behavior laws” passed to deter visibility of displaced folks, generally under pressure from NIMBY neighbors. In Santa Cruz, shelter services and alternatives to public sleeping have dwindled, even as criminalization has mushroomed.

Freedom Sleepers oppose this law and see it as criminalization of poor and displaced people in the City of Santa Cruz. We have invited nationally prominent lawyer Tristia Bauman, along with prominent local and regional to activists share their experiences and help launch a community-wide dialogue about ending the criminalization of houseless people, poverty striken folks and alternative lifestyles. The three-state Right to Rest Campaign sends news, and Santa Clara's 'Mayor of The Jungle' will bring a unique perspective to the stage. A Q&A panel will tackle our audience questions.

Attorney Bauman will bring us a picture of how California and the Nation are adapting to the DOJ letter to Idaho and other hot legal concerns.

Our event will include acoustic music performed by houseless artists and street musicians, and photos of Freedom Sleepers' weekly protests against the sleep/blanket/camping ban, City of Santa Cruz municipal code 6.36. International activist organization Food Not Bombs will prepare and share a vegan meal as part of this celebration for change.

Suggested donation of $5-20, nobody turned away for lack of funds. Contact 800 884 1136 or freedomsleepers [at] to get involved or contribute to poor peoples' legal struggles.

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Eighth Amendment of our US Constitution – prohibiting the federal government from imposing excessive bail, excessive fines. And cruel and unusual punishments, including torture

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Wanna help before event? Contact more Freedom Sleepers: Zav Hershfield, 310-963-9708, zhershfield [at],, or Linda Lemaster, 831-332-0306, homes4everyone [at] Or come on down to City Hall gardens on a Tuesday evening or night to connect with this Movement.

Comments (Hide Comments)
by G
Apparently the NLCHP filed a Notice Of Appeal with the 9th Circuit, appealing the dismissal of Bell v. Boise.

Perhaps Tristia Bauman can elucidate . . .
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