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Indybay FeatureRelated Categories: Santa Cruz Indymedia | Health, Housing & Public Services | Police State & Prisons
A Response to Jessica York's Latest Sentinel San Lorenzo Campground Story
Jessica York's front-page story in today's Scent Anal "Camp Cleanups Shuffle City's Homeless Population" breezes over the destruction of homeless property and survival gear. It does indicate that City bosses colluded with Cal-Trans in the latest "destroy their stuff" campaign. Those bosses, of course, would be City Manager Bernal, Police Chief Mills, P & R head Garcia, and nominally Mayor Terrazas). Perhaps it's just raw meat for the Next Door/Take Back Santa Cruz crowd, but it's criminal cruelty nonetheless.
Most of this was left as a Disquis comment to the article. I'll also be covering some of this on my Sunday Free Radio Show at 101.3 FM at 9:30 AM (also freakradio.org) which archives at http://www.huffsantacruz.org/Lostshows.html .
Those who want to can leave comments on the Sentinel story at http://www.santacruzsentinel.com/social-affairs/20180202/camp-cleanups-shuffle-santa-cruzs-homeless-population-around-city. I'm also reprinting the story below, since who wants to pay $1.50 to buy this rag, and it's no longer free on line.
The "clean-up" was actually wholesale property removal that refused to provide temporary storage. Brent Adams mentions this and the prior "force the folks to move and dump the property that remains" process during the previous clean-up (but not during the first one).
The City's ridiculous justification for this policy (some storage unclaimed in previous clean-up's) reveals its real motivation. This is akin to the apparent agenda of most posters here--to thin out the homeless population by forced removal and property destruction. That should increase the homeless death rate, already high this last year.
York's irrelevant inclusion of the storage problems of a camper not necessarily connected with San Lorenzo Park reveals her own bias, but also ironically is an example of the problem that many campers and the fearful residents who complain about them, have: storage.
This is a problem that Adams and the City arranged to deal with, but that storage agreement the City backed out on at the last minute, claiming it needed to "prepare" the ludicrously inadequate "Boneyard" barbed wire campground at 1220 River St.. This small space can house only a fraction of those at San Lorenzo (itself only a fraction of the homeless) and will require users being bused in and out twice a day to pander to the paranoia of businesses nearby.
Activists in the community need to consider providing trash pick-up's and portapotty rental for the many existing campgrounds that reappear after every sweep. I also suggest better communications with the campgrounds in order to document that illegal property theft and destruction of survival gear that the City is colluding with Cal-Trans to do.
If they get hit in the pocketbook with some hefty lawsuits, like Fresno, perhaps we'll see a little less city-funded theft