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Indybay Feature

City of Santa Cruz Confiscates Food Not Bombs Portable Toilet

by Keith McHenry
The City of Santa Cruz confiscated the Food Not Bombs community funded portable toilet on Saturday, June 16. Access to public toilets is a human right. Every person deserves the dignity of relieving themselves in a private sanitary way.
City leaders often claim they must pass laws and implement policies against those who are forced to live outside because of public defecation and urination. The Downtown Post Office erected a chain linked fence in response claiming people were relieving themselves near the building. The city has also closed or restricted access to most of the toilets used by those who cannot afford housing.

Santa Cruz Parks and Recreation interim Director, Carol Scurich told supporters of the public toilet that she would consider opening existing toilets and may provide some in the future. She claims she did not understand what we were saying when we told her that we had already provided a toilet at the corner of Water and Front Streets.

When Parks and Recreation supervisor, Meta Rhodeos ordered the toilet be removed from the Town Clock we moved it to the Post Office. The Postmaster supports the placement of a toilet but says it cannot be placed on Federal Property. Other establishments in the area also told us they supported the placement of toilets at the Water Street end of Front Street.

Food Not Bombs hopes the City of Santa Cruz will provide toilets before Independence Day. The Santa Cruz City Council’s report on homelessness claims that local taxpayers spend $14 million a year on police resources to move or arrest those without housing. It is clear that the city can afford to provide sanitary toilet facilities.

If the city is unwilling to provide sufficient access to toilets Food Not Bombs will provide them.
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