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El Niño vs. Freedom Sleepers: the 24th Week
Date Tuesday December 22
Time 7:00 PM - 7:00 AM
Location Details
Under rainy skies on the sidewalk and area surrounding City Hall (or possibly in the shelter of some empty buildings nearby. 809 Center St. on Center between Church and Locust.
Event Type Protest
Organizer/AuthorRobert Norse/Toby Nixon
As rain drives homeless folks into "illegal" sleeping spots and City Council rests snugly in its warm beds "on vacation", there is neither shelter nor warming center for 90% of the unhoused community outside. Freedom Sleepers, though reduced in numbers, continue their vigils outside the palaces of the powerful--with the grounds closed at night and patrolled by "security guards".

A Homeless Memorial for the Dead will make its annual appearance behind locked "security gates" at 115 Coral St. at 10:30 AM in the morning. This show ritual seems designed to benefit the Homeless (Lack of) Services Center rather than address the real causes of death creating new victims each year--compliments of the City's anti-homeless laws.

Forced to sleep unsafely, scattered, and hidden from police and security thugs, unhoused folks die on average 20 years younger than those indoors. Some believe the best way to remember the dead is to fight like hell for the living against the laws that threaten their health and safety.

Freedom Sleepers and their supporters will be meeting in the Red Church (Calvary Episcopal) at Cedar and Lincoln Tuesday December 22nd at 5:30 PM to propose new actions designed to dramatize and exposes the cruelty of Santa Cruz's anti-poor laws (such as the "No RV Parking at Night" ordinance due to hit the books on January 8th).

Around 2 PM Food Not Bombs activists including "Blue Box Bad Boy" Keith McHenry (See have announced plans to return to City Hall.

They will serve a hot meal at City Hall in response to the latest spate of falsehoods against the Freedom Sleepers by City Council staff and Sentinel scumslingers.

Folks are invited to chow down in anticipation of a cold if not a wet night and present grievances directly to City Council offices and homeless-hostile staffers--open until 5 PM.

Activist Toby Nixon will again lead the largely unhoused Freedom Sleeper Winter Soldiers in a continued protest against the City's "go to sleep, go to jail" laws, which begins around dark.

He notes clear skies are predicted for Tuesday night and predicts that food & coffee will only be available if at all before 11:30 PM and after 5:30 AM to facilitate sleeping. Breakfast and clean-up will be done by 8 AM (if any food is actually donated).

Toby says his role is to sleep there, film what happens, and try to be helpful, but can't be responsible for people's stuff or serving meals. He has had some experience with encampments and is happy to try and be helpful if he can.

His main point is to encourage people to help establish a place to sleep and even brief visits to the area as well as donations of food, clothing, and protective gear can be helpful.

A video playlist of documentary work on Freedom Sleepers by Toby and others is at .

Sunday's Santa Cruz Urinal (more commonly known as the Santa Cruz Sentinel) featured a slanted attack piece on the Freedom Sleepers at It hauls out all the old inflammatory falsehoods (poo poo, drug dealing, rowdy behavior, scary appearance) without any documentation.

A Community TV Forum on the Freedom Sleepers features Homeless Legal Assistance Project founder Steve Pleich, Senior Law Center on Homeless and Poverty Attorney Tricia Baumann, Local Free Radio Broadcaster Robert Norse, and San Jose Homeless Activist Robert Aguirre and can be seen at .

A strong editorial from Street Spirit editor Terry Messman responding to former Mayor Don Lane's is on line at .

Robert Norse's response is at

Keith McHenry will be defending the rights of those outside and responding to the Sunday Sentinel smearjob. He will also describe his own upcoming Blue Box trials in an hour-long KPFA live broadcast at . More info at .
Added to the calendar on Monday Dec 21st, 2015 10:21 PM

Comments  (Hide Comments)

by Robert Norse
Tuesday Dec 22nd, 2015 12:35 AM
Though others are referenced in the posting, and I believe some would agree with its content and bias, the slant, tone, and comment are my perspective.
by Razer Ray
Tuesday Dec 22nd, 2015 8:55 AM
The sleeping ban IS HISTORY. They are giving tickets for trespassing, for being in parks after hours, and a number of other types of "property crimes' (which are legit according to most courts and you'll NEVER EVER EVER change them b/c capitalism) but NO ONE is getting camping tickets any more. Meanwhile, HUFF, MASQUERADING as Freedom Sleepers is, as always "Stuck on stupid" and will remain so.

Listen. RN is STILL talking about a cop who hasn't even been on the SCPD for over a year now.

Time to move on to the PRESSING ISSUE


Yet all the city, AND THE PEOPLE WORKING TO HOUSE PEOPLE care about are PEOPLE WHO ARE ELIGIBLE FOR INSTITUTIONALIZATION, even if it only consists of an MHCANN 'diagnosis' and a gubmint check.

Do you REALLY want a population of street people solely consisting of INSTITUTIONALIZED people?

You aren't gonna see too many craftsfolk or musicians in THAT crowd, but you WILL SEE, ARE SEEING, if you open your eyes and actually take a walk downtown at NIGHT, ANY NIGHT, Winos, Junkies, SpeedFreaks, and Crackheads, who for the most get government checks and survive just fine.


It CAN get worse... Much worse. Just let people sleep in doorways without providing jobs and housing. I KNOW that it's like really really hard to FORCE the city to do something they claim they don't have to do, develop jobs and housing fdor a community with WORKERS WHO LIVE IN THE COMMUNITY. That's why you're all "Activists" right? To cause a change for the better in the community.

Did you expect it to be easy?

I think so.

I watched the 'activists' vanish as soon as it became obvious the city wasn't going to respond to your demand that the Bearcat deal be reneged on, and now I'm watching the same group of jokers harp on a now NON-EXISTENT ISSUE, the supposed 'sleeping ban.

Incompetent. At demanding what you want, and shifting gears when the issue at hand changes.

In case you hadn't noted the crowd outside city hall at thew last few HUFFSleepers protest, there weren't too many homeless people... Because we were all getting a good night sleep thank you.

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