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Indybay FeatureRelated Categories: Santa Cruz Indymedia | Health, Housing, and Public Services | Police State and Prisons
Struggle Against Sleeping Ban Becomes a Matter of Survival at City Hall
For the last 10 nights since the Winter Shelter program ended (a month earlier than Berkeley's or Salinas's), some of its refugees have been camped at City Hall, spending their nights and some of their days there as well. Some are arrayed just outside the offices of Mayor Cynthia Chase and the same Council majority that kept sleeping a crime in a Council vote last spring. I've written a flyer or two about the issue & distributed it at "liberal" activist gatherings like the Indivisible rally Saturday. So far no Indivisible groups have expressed interest in the 1000-2000 unsheltered.
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Survival sleeper Lawrence MacGregor reports police and security thugs driving disabled and elderly sleepers out from under the eaves of City Hall into the rain over the weekend. Another sleeper reported police and rangers following the sleepers across the street to the Civic Auditorium overhang where they then sought shelter--and driven from there. Both structures are vacant at night.
All bathrooms remained closed late at night; the City Hall bathrooms (apparently on the order of City Manager Martin Bernal) during the day as well "for vandalism" (though they seemed to work well enough when "respectable" groups were meeting in City Council chambers.
Video of the April 6th police expulsion raids is at https://youtu.be/BVvpZ5RE9FI .
Monterey County Union of the Homeless videographer Wes White's video of the April 11th Memorial for Michael Mears--who reportedly died of hypothermia--is posted at https://www.facebook.com/search/top/?q=Santa%20Cruz%20Freedom%20Sleepers .
Freedom Sleepers will be meeting Tuesday night in front of City Hall at 7 PM to discuss preparations to support a May 9th mega-demo against the Sleeping Ban as well as support for the nightly Survival Sleepers. The meeting will follow a 6 PM meeting on the 2nd floor of the Main Public Library around the Homeless Crisis.
There will also be a free showing Wednesday April 19th up at UCSC at the Kresge Seminar Room #159. Featured will be Brent Adams' "Out of Sight, Out of Mind", Israel Dawson's "Freedom Sleepers", and Rebecca Gourevitch's "Holding Out".
Freedom SleepOut #93 will go from Tuesday afternoon until Wednesday morning--the public is invited to drop in, stay awhile, bring blankets, sleeping bags, and video devices to film and post what the City is seeking to hide or ignore--the abuse of homeless people at the very seat of government.
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Thanks to Matt Nathanson of the Homeless Persons Health Project for compiling this information. Ages have been supplied for deaths in the most recent year.
Homeless people taking refuge from the rain are driven by the police from the courtyard at Santa Cruz City Hall.
April 7, 2017