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View other events for the week of 12/ 6/2016
Sleep Protectors Gather for Freedom SleepOut #74
Date Tuesday December 06
Time 4:00 PM - 4:00 AM
Location Details
On the sidewalks near City Hall, barred from taking shelter under the eaves in the rain, protesters will spend the night outside, under tarps, perhaps with a tent or two, and in nearby vehicles. The protest runs from Tuesday afternoon to mid-morning Wednesday (to about 9 AM). For nearly a year and a half, a small community of housed and homeless have demanded an end to laws criminalizing survival sleeping and other life-sustaining activities. Watchers, well-wishers, blankets, and visitors welcome!
Event Type Protest
Organizer/AuthorKeith McHenry (story by Norse)
Emailkeith [at]
As temperatures dive below 40 and winter approaches in earnest, city and county authorities are providing $360,000 worth of nightly shelter for 50-75 people at VFW Post No. 7263 at 2259 7th Ave. in Live Oak. The mini-program (considering there are 3000+ unsheltered in the County) will expand to 100-125 in January with the opening of the Salvation Army building downtown at 721 Laurel St. --unavailable during a cold December because it's being used for "fund-raising" activities.

The usual NIMBY (Not-in-My-Back-Yard) approach is evident. The pick-up site is several miles from the 7th Ave. shelter. Clients are banned from walking or driving to the shelter. In-take worker Steve Pleich notes folks will have to go through an initial questioning process (5-10 minutes), presumably to satisfy the Take Back Santa Cruz-minded folks as well as provide data for more grant-grabbing activity.

Old-timers remembered when you got sheltered if you showed up. Not any more.
Meals will be provided for the few that get into the program, but the Homeless (Lack of) Services Center (a "supporter" of the Winter Shelter program) has made no move to restore the open meals that were its historic responsibility abandoned in June of 2015.

Run by the Association of Faith Communities, the AFC bosses may not require users to be present every night or be kicked out of the program--which they do regularly at their year-round 20-person shelter program that moves from church to church. Boss Debbi Bates reportedly excluded several women from the smaller program because they took Tuesday nights out to join the Freedom Sleeper protests. Bates now heads the far more costly $360 grand Winter Shelter.

Read the Sentinel's sunny shelter spin at &

Also due to open at least for a night or two later this week is the Warming Center with downtown pick-up's at Pearl Alley. Call 211 or (831) 234-9848 for more info.

Last Friday, Berkeley fuzz swooped down on the First They Came for the Homeless "Poor Tour" protest (again) and for the 5th or 6th time, required them to move, while seizing tents, bedding, and other property.

"Progressive" City Councilmembers and a new "progressive" Mayor Jessie Arreguin promised a new deal for unhoused folks with protection for the protesters, but have taken no action to discipline the out-of-control police department there.


Even the rabid anti-homeless website Santa Mierda (Spanish for "shit") opposes the Mathews' Council's proposed pave-over-the-Farmer's Market-and stuff-the-library-on-the-ground-floor proposal.

See the critique at "Moving the Library Under a 5-Story Parking Garage". Item #4 on the evening agenda at 6 PM.

Come early at 5 PM and demand City Council fire City Manager Martin Bernal and his go-to guy Assistant City Manager Scott Collins for their decade of anti-homeless laws and policies. The Council won't touch the untouchable Bernal, but the folks at home may be listening on tv.

Last Saturday's Speak-Out at the Town Clock featured speaker after speaker demanding release of the audio and video of the SCPD's Sean Arlt slaying (as well as the name of the uniformed slayer).

Luke Smith's mother spoke afterwards to a smaller group grieving for her 15-year old shot dead by an AK-15 as he wrestled with a savage police dog while surrounded by a pack of police officers. The deadly punishment was apparently in response to Smith's refusing to follow orders to drop the 4" knife he was holding.

Both the Sentinel and Santa Cruz Indymedia covered the event. See and "Vigil Honoring Sean Arlt and Luke Smith Dec. 3, 2016" at .

More details on the issues at .

Activist Steve Argue, the lead organizer, announced he'd be returning each Saturday to demand the prosecution of the guilty police officers.

Added to the calendar on Tuesday Dec 6th, 2016 12:29 AM

Comments  (Hide Comments)

by Razer Ray
Tuesday Dec 6th, 2016 8:33 AM
[Image: Razer on the job...]

Forcing people to take a 'prison bus' to a shelter and disallow free travel by whatever means the houseless person considers necessary... Having to leave property elsewhere due to storage restrictions for simple things such as bicycles to provide your own transport to the shelter, appears to violate (a) and (b), and the houseless person's 8th Amendment right if cited.

JANET F. BELL, et al., Plaintiff v. CITY OF BOISE, et al., Defendants.


"Under the Jones framework, the Court should consider whether conforming one’s conduct to theordinance is possible for people who are homeless. If sufficient shelter space is unavailable because a) there are inadequate beds for the entire population, or b) there are restrictions on those beds that disqualify certain groups of homeless individuals (e.g., because of disability access or exceeding maximum stay requirements), then it would be impossible for some homeless individuals to comply with these ordinances. As set forth below, in those circumstances enforcement of the ordinances amounts to the criminalization of homelessness, in violation of the Eighth Amendment."

The city and county of Santa Cruz have no "Shelter", or INADEQUATE shelter, as understood by the DOJ under the same sort of DOJ rule-making that exonerates pigs from murder charges due to 'actions based on fear, panic, misperception or even poor judgment.'

More on that DOJ rule here:

The city and county are culpable for any harm occurring to ANY houseless person. Inadequately sheltered or not, until such time as those 'governments' provide adequate accessible shelter. All these governments would have to do would be contact the Golden State Warrior's philanthropy committee and request use of their downtown stadium, because downtown IS where most houseless people in Santa Cruz are, and the problem would be resolved... except for some stupid reason the city would rather write illegitimate citations for people sleeping in doorways and fraud the state by turning those illegitimate citations over to a state-mandated collection agency, and eventually the State Franchise Tax Board, where the taxpayers would pay those fraudulent fines, instead of those taxes being used to service the state's houseless population.

Ask yourself... "Who stands to gain from the illegitimate criminalization of the houseless?" The SCPD, "Rangers", Security companies, and the short term interests of commercial and residential property interests most of whom don't even live in the county, but profit from it while the taxpayers foot the bill for suppressing an inevitable outcome of banal, callous, and shortsighted planning for housing people their own economic policies created.
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