Santa Cruz IMC
Santa Cruz IMC
Santa Cruz
Santa Cruz
Indybay Regions North Coast Central Valley North Bay East Bay South Bay San Francisco Peninsula Santa Cruz IMC - Independent Media Center for the Monterey Bay Area North Coast Central Valley North Bay East Bay South Bay San Francisco Peninsula Santa Cruz IMC - Independent Media Center for the Monterey Bay Area California United States International Americas Haiti Iraq Palestine Afghanistan
From the Open-Publishing Calendar
From the Open-Publishing Newswire
Indybay Feature
View other events for the week of 5/12/2017
Emergency Freedom Sleepers Sleep Out Tonight !
Date Friday May 12
Time 6:00 PM - 6:00 AM
Location Details
809 Center St. City Hall Courtyard and Sidewalk along Center St
Event Type Protest
Organizer/AuthorKeith McHenry (posting by Norse)
Emailkeith [at]

The City Manager, Martín Bernal made a number of policy changes that will have an impact on those without housing all across Santa Cruz, the Freedom Sleepers and the Survival Sleepers at City Hall.

The City of Santa Cruz has made it illegal to be at City Hall from 6:00 PM to 7:00 AM Monday through Friday and has closed all of the City Hall grounds on Saturday and Sunday. The signs posted this morning also ban amplified sound without a permit, personal property on sidewalks, walls or pathways, bicycles or sitting, lying on sidewalks, walls, pathways or courtyard areas. There are reports that these policies will be enforced at a number of other city buildings in Santa Cruz.

Library staff have also reported that City Manager, Martín Bernal will be removing the benches outside the library and stationing two or more police officers at City Hall.

The Freedom Sleepers campaign inspired an attempt by Councilpersons Don Lane and Micah Posner to seek a change in the camping ban in March 2016 to make it legal to sleep outside, ending the law that made it a crime to sleep outside or in a vehicle from 11:00 PM to 8:30 AM.

Their proposed change failed to gain enough votes. In response to pressure from the Freedom Sleepers the council did create a Homelessness Coordinating Committee whose report was introduced at the May 9, 2017 City Council meeting.

Local unhoused people started their own nightly protest at City Hall the night after the Winter Shelter closed who are referred to as the Survival Sleepers.

Signs stating that it is illegal to participate in the activities of the protest were posted this morning at City Hall. More signs restricting the homeless were placed at the Downtown Library this afternoon.

To see the new posted restrictions go to


Please contact Keith McHenry at 575-770-3377
Added to the calendar on Friday May 12th, 2017 5:17 PM
§Santa Cruz City Hall Campus
by Photo via Keith Saturday May 13th, 2017 11:44 AM
§Sleeping Outside Santa Cruz Public Library
by Photo via Keith Saturday May 13th, 2017 11:47 AM
§Sleeping Outside Santa Cruz Public Library
by Photo via Keith Saturday May 13th, 2017 11:48 AM
§Sleeping Outside Santa Cruz Public Library
by Photo via Keith Saturday May 13th, 2017 11:50 AM
§Sleeping Outside Santa Cruz Public Library
by Photo via Keith Saturday May 13th, 2017 11:52 AM
§Santa Cruz Cops Are A Real Nightmare
by Photo via Keith Saturday May 13th, 2017 11:55 AM
§Taken By Santa Cruz Cops
by Photo via Keith Saturday May 13th, 2017 11:57 AM
§Taken By Santa Cruz Cops
by Photo via Keith Saturday May 13th, 2017 11:58 AM
§Cop Records Photographer
by Photo via Keith Saturday May 13th, 2017 11:59 AM

Comments  (Hide Comments)

by Pat Colby
Friday May 12th, 2017 8:43 PM
So much for a new concern for unhoused folks. What have you to say to this Razor? So much for quietly sleeping on the public sidewalk!

Now you can't have personal property on publicly owned sidewalks?! People with disabilities don't have to abide by any of these laws about the "public sidewalks or benches." We need to educate people on their disability rights that have federal protections therefore the federal laws trumps all the crazy BS of the city. Federal American with Disabilities rights over rule the little city laws!

They have totally declared war. Who does the city manager think he is; Trump with his executive orders?

Time for the majority of SC people rise up to take back the city and oust Martin Bernal!!!
by RazEr Ray
Saturday May 13th, 2017 7:19 AM
[A round of applause to the city of Santa Cruz from one of my favorite US-media villains...]

It's RazEr. PIt. You really believe I care if you mis-spell my very simple handle as if it's an insult? That's pretty 5th grade elementary school level don't you think?

As far as what I think about it... It's a beautiful spring morning. I got a gooooood night's sleep somewhere where the tweakers don't dare tread, because I'm not waiting for my crack connection to show up and have no need in weather like this to sleep in front of a city building as close to my connections as possible. As far as the leaving of property or having personal items on city hall property at all, and all that, like the HOUSING PROBLEM (There is no HOMELESS PROBLEM, it's a HOUSING PROBLEM), you'd better get a battery of lawyers on it because as I've repeated over and over and over again over the years, the city isn't going to do jack shit about it, and they call them ordinances because they ORDAIN them, not because they're legally legitimate except in the sick mind of the city's attorney, unless ofc they're sued in state court that they haven't rigged with shills. Unfortunately none of your leaders seem able to collaborate with lawyers, or raise funds for one, or for the most part even seem interested in doing anything besides trying to embarrass politicians with the presence of the fallout from their intentional planning of a gentrified city. Politicians, by definition, cannot be embarrassed.

That is what I've been saying all along and that's what I think about it now

Beyond that you're literally a waste of my time responding to. I won't be doing it again.
by Sylvia
Saturday May 13th, 2017 10:41 AM
Yesterday I saw a sample of one sign. I am going downtown this afternoon to see what else has been closed off. I am appalled at the latest gentrification of this City Hall area, removing the library surround from a safe place to rest or be. My mind goes to book burnings! It's interesting that employee concerns, both at the City and the Post Office, are the movers for the restrictions, and that the actions have been taken .under the public radar. Privileging employees who work for the community, the residents, so dismissing those without a residence! While providing no alternatives!!

And the Post Office is planning a permanent fence!
by Razer Ray
Saturday May 13th, 2017 6:55 PM
Ok. Lets go over this...

1. No amplified sound without permit. Generally doesn't apply to personal radios at normal volumes.

Verdict: See you in court if cited for listening to my radio at a normal level without a citizen's disturbance complaint. The burden of proof is on the accuser to prove the disturbance.

2. No Smoking (including vapors)

Pre-existing park rule.

3.No skateboarding or riding bicycles.

Pre-existing law for most sidewalks downtown, and a number of parks (Neary's Lagoon for instance) The paths through the city hall area can be construed to be sidewalks. Parks are a bit more thorny an issue as many of them receive funding from the California Bikeways folks (not sure of the org's name off the top of my head), but the walks at city hall are sidewalks in the legal sense of the word.

4. Bathing in fountain.

Doh! As a public protest of the lack of showers for the houseless perhaps, but generally this is enforceable anywhere and no court will intervene. Further, fountains are "Public Art" and subject to any regulations regarding (snigger) defacing them, with your filthy self,.. Note that nothing is said about washing clothes. Use that loophole.

5. Personal property on sidewalks walls and paths.

Do I have to take off my jacket before entering the grounds? Leave my phone in the car? What about the consultant with rolling luggage at city hall to sell them the bright idea the city should put the main branch of the public library at a bus station? That's personal property. Verdict, vague and unenforceable unless you're blocking the sidewalk and refuse to move your shit (see '11' below for more on that).

6. No alcohol or controlled substances.

Standard park rule. You might note (someone correct me if I'm wrong) California no longer considers marijuana to be a 'controlled substance'... But smoking rules apply. As far as sidewalks nearby. The SCPD USED TO cite for this, but stopped. Probably not enforceable (which would explain why they stopped citing).

7. No glass containers.

Standard park rule.

8. No Bicycles (Except in racks)

Well if bikes aren't allowed how the fuck am I supposed to get it to the rack?

Unenforceable. Regarding resting with your bike at your side. I had it out with 1st Alarm and the police years ago at city hall about this. Unenforceable. Also note if there isn't a bike rack within a certain distance ( I forget the distance but it IS codified) the racking regulation is also unenforceable and you can park as you please as long as you don't block a sidewalk or somesuch. They can also regulate whether you're allowed to bring your bike on lawns. No longer an issue because there is no lawn at city hall.

9, Off-leash dogs.

Standard for almost all of the city of Santa Cruz (and almost all cities in the US) no matter where you are.

10. No entering closed or planted areas.

The closed areas are equivalent to the gardened areas at city hall. Don't disturb the garden work. This is the current trend in Santa Cruz. Turning parks into something one looks at, but cannot enter. For those busy computer industry people who never actually go to parks but like to see them as they drive by on their smog-filled drive over the hill with the other lemmings. Besides, the city want you to go somewhere you have to PAY to hang out. Like one of the dozens of fern bars, or their postage-stamp-sized boredwalk with the 2.325 kidlets. I believe these unusable pieces of real estate that used to be parks are what the city affectionately refers to as "Parklets" and funded with money for PUBLIC parks.

11. The sitting or lying rule is filled with legal landmines. The wall at city hall would be judged by every court in the US including local courts as 'seating' Because if it's at ass level, and doesn't clearly state "NO SITTING" or have spikey 'sit-stoppers", it IS seating. The fact of the matter is the city doesn't want to have to put signs everywhere saying no this that or the other thing... It scares the tourists. So they try to keep it subtle... and in the process, illegal.

Regarding the sidewalk? Unless the city changed it's Downtown Economic Area map, state rules apply. While I was there taking the sign's picture this afternoon one woman had her sleeping bag spread out across the whole sidewalk by the mail relay box at the North end of the 'brickyard'. She wouldn't move it to allow me to pass so I ran over it's corner on my way through accompanied by her mentally ill screeching. I think this is one of the "Survival Sleeper Protesters". I'm not sure but I sure hope not. She certainly doesn't represent my survival interests or anyone else I know.

Last but not least. "Park Hours".

It appears the city no longer considers (at least) the front area a park anymore, but a corporate campus with hours to match.. No other park in the city closes before dusk and the hours are out of line with standard Santa Cruz Parks and Rec policy. For more than half the year you'd have to vacate while the sun was still in the sky. And can you REALLY close a park on Weekends? Really? If the city no longer considers the public area at city hall to be a park, they need to publicly inform the citizens of Santa Cruz they have one less park. It's called "Transparency".
by Pat Colby
Saturday May 13th, 2017 8:12 PM
The misspelling was not intentional. Stop being petty and paranoid. I had a friend "Stormrazor" so I just spell it that way by habit pus I misspell a lot because of dyslexia.

What I was asking for was your honest opinion on majority of the illegality of the stuff on the sign.

Thank you for your otherwise interesting and spot on 2nd post.
by Robert Norse
Saturday May 13th, 2017 9:55 PM
Pat, it would be helpful to folks with disabilities, to post the federal or state ordinances (or perhaps the Constitutional provision with relevant court citations) that gives disabled folks "their disability rights that have federal protections--federal laws trump all the crazy ... little city laws!"

Perhaps you can cite them specifically--which might either deter eager beaver cops and rangers, or at least give ambitious lawyers a chance to step up.

I'd ask the same of RazEr Ray.

In the meantime, in the absence of lawyers and armed veterans, I'd encourage folks to support Food Not Bombs, the Survival Sleepers (those nightly at City Hall), and the Freedom Sleepers.

There's also an organizational meeting for renewed protest at the next City Council meeting at 7 PM Sunday 5-14 at the UAW Office on 501 Mission St. Suite 11.

The central demands are 1) Rent Freeze 2) Just Cause Eviction 3) Year Round Shelter for Folks with no Homes & 4) End the Sleeping Ban

Survivor Sleeper activists, faced with the Friday crackdown with the fanciful new "laws" created and imposed by City Manager Martin Bernal, will be seeking support.

See 0
by Razer Ray
Sunday May 14th, 2017 7:27 AM
While I was busily breaking the LAW by leaning my bike on their BENCH SEAT made of crumbling flagstone and taking the photo of the sign yesterday, Saturday, with the park closed, this tourist from China wandered onto the grounds to have a look at the garden. I politely informed the gentleman he was breaking the LAW, and all I got was a quizzical look. Perhaps he didn't understand English... Or perhaps his puzzled look was due to the fact he did.
by Robert Norse
Wednesday May 17th, 2017 9:47 AM
The Santa Cruz Sentinel came out with a front-page press release from Martin Bernal, masquerading as a story by Jessica York, at .

Amidst a bevy of bigot blather, I made a comment there.

Just including it here for the (bad) record.
We are 100% volunteer and depend on your participation to sustain our efforts!


donate now

$ 162.00 donated
in the past month

Get Involved

If you'd like to help with maintaining or developing the website, contact us.


Publish your stories and upcoming events on Indybay.

IMC Network