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|Freedom SleepOut #27 To Follow First 2016 Council Meeting|
|Date||Tuesday January 12|
|Time||5:00 PM - 5:00 AM|
|Import this event into your personal calendar.|
With light rain predicted, Freedom Sleepers and their allies will congregate and crash in front of City Hall, on the adjacent sidewalks, and under the eaves of nearby closed buildings (like the Civic Auditorium and the Library) until dawn.
|Organizer/Author||Toby Nixon (posted by Norse)|
|tobynixon [at] gms.com|
HOMELESS-HOSTILE CITY COUNCIL RETURNS
City Council chairwarmers return well-rested from a Xmas vacation while the homeless community continues to face rain, wind, cold, vigilante and police harassment, and the loss of property that comes with being vulnerable outside.
FREEDOM SLEEPER GOALS
The Freedom Sleeper objective: to support fundamental changes in how homeless people are treated in Santa Cruz, beginning with the abolition of the Sleeping Ban sections of the Camping Ordinance.
Unofficial accounts suggest that former Mayor Don Lane will be following up on his October facebook intention to move that City Council strike all mention of "sleeping" from the City's Camping Ordinance. While still providing no legal places on public property for the 1500-2000 City homeless to sleep at night.
This preliminary change has long been sought by homeless activists--from HUFF and other organizations making up the Freedom Sleepers including Food Not Bombs, Homeless Advocacy and Action Coalition, Homeless Depot, and the Homeless Persons Health Project.
GLOOMY AGENDA FOR THE HOMELESS
City Council's open session begins at 2:30. Item #14 finalizes a law that gives total power to the city's traffic engineer to restripe any city parking places s/he so chooses to ban "oversized" vehicles (i.e. homes on wheels). Item #15 sees the return of a hostile staff report around the crying need for winter Warming Centers.
The report proposes no support for such survival centers (even to the extent of opening up unused vacant buildings) unless the County and private sources move first. The reactionary staff reaction is no secret and no surprises. It and its captive City Council have refused to open vacant buildings throughout the wet cold winter.
SECURITY THUGS HARASS HOMELESS IN STORM
Instead last Tuesday 1-5 in Freedom SleepOut #26 Tough-It-Out Toby Nixon set up a Tent on the sidewalk adjacent to City Hall and braved the storm there. First Alarm "Security" guards and police continue to drive homeless people away from the eaves of nearby buildings.
Around 4 AM Toby reports being accosted and awakened by a sadistic First Alarm Security Guard, apparently eager to assert his authority. See "Sleepouts at Santa Cruz City Hall Advance to 2016" at https://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2016/01/08/18781626.php for the milder version of this encounter.
24-HOUR BATHROOM SHUT
The previously 24-hour bathrooms in the Soquel St. garage bathroom were closed on December 23rd because of a massive upsurge in "loitering", using the bathroom as "shelter", and graffiti activity. City Hall has kept its bathrooms closed during the daytime period when Tuesday protests were held, even though Council offices were open at that time.
RED CHURCH PASTOR LEAVING TOP POST
Red Church pastor Joel Miller has announced his retirement from the lead pastor position. Miller has been responsible for supporting and organizing the Monday night meals there as well as initiating the small but real weekly shelter program with other churches serving 20 people. He has also offered to open his church as a Warming Center on a frequent basis.