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Tick-Tock: Token Tidbits in the Winter War on the Homeless

by Robert Norse (rnorse3 [at] hotmail.com)
Two homeless memorials were held on December 21st in Santa Cruz, one by "service providers", the other by Food Not Bombs. I reprint the flyers I distributed at these events as well as the December 25th Xmas dinner organized by Joe Schultz, Food Not Bombs, Friends of Xmas, and the inevitable Steve Pleich.
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TOP SECRET?
I also include a handout at the Service Provider memorial of the names of the Homeless Dead, as presented at the Civic Auditorium memorial. I was promised a listing of the ages of each person by the guy apparently in charge, He sent me an e-mail that required the information be denied the public--It is surely a public record, and I could not agree to that condition.

FAILURE OF us ACTIVISTS
As usual such memorials (including the one at the Town Clock) however well-intended strike me as somewhat ironic if not hypocritical. HUFF, the moribund Santa Cruz Homeless Union, and the ACLU fell down hard on promises to enjoin the City from its Benchlands sweeps in the fall of 2022. We took no action to prevent the Coral St., Cal-Trans, Camp Paradise, Hells Trail, or Levee sweeps earlier.

STOP THE SWEEPS
The most obvious correctable stress on those surviving outside is their local criminalization. Police and their social service allies are using laws like the new Camping Ban and the Oversized Vehicle Ordinance to destroy or confiscate makeshift or vehicular shelters. That's where the majority of the homeless outside live, not the temporary shelters which are deceptively labeled "path to housing".

VACANT BUILDINGS ARE THE CRIME
The huge vacant Civic Auditorium which served as a frontispiece for the service providers' gala 2 1/2 hour memorial, didn't stay open that night to address shelter during the night. Mayor Keeley has made no announcements about opening a City-run walk-in Winter shelter this year.

The Footbridge Services Warming Center, Storage, and Resources provisions has been reduced to one day a week a Warming Center Wednesday. Volunteers are reportedly training for a limited emergency weather-only warming center. The Center will reportedly open when the National Weather Service predicts temperatures below 38 degrees over 48 hours and/or flooding.

NO REST FOR THE WRETCHED
But there has been no mention of an amnesty or moratorium on police raids against homeless survival encampments nor any walk-up alternatives. The Emergency system is reportedly being run by a combination of City/County and the S.C. Free Guide people (the same group the publishes the "free" listings and runs the Tier 3 Safe Parking program up at the Armory.

AUDIO OF THE MEMORIALS
The Service Providers Memorial can be heard in its entirety at https://www1.huffsantacruz.org/lost/FRSC%2012-21-23.MP3

Some bits from the Food Not Bombs Town Clock Memorial are available at https://www1.huffsantacruz.org/lost/1%20FRSC%2012-24-23.mp3 (3 hours and 20 minutes into the audio file).

TAKE ACTION
Meanwhile, send any video of encampments being destroyed, vehicles towed, or homeless harassment to Laura at (831)245-0956. Or post it yourself along with a description of what's happening to whom, when and where. The more publicity the better. Rather than wait til next year's Memorial Services.
§Confront the Culprits
by Robert Norse
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Download and distribute: Suggested for those tired of trying to cram cries of outrage into 2 minutes testimony.
§Kill the Conditions that Kill Those Outside
by Robert Norse
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Download and Distribute. Contact Laura with the latest evidence of abuses by police and their social service enablers.
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Robert Norse
Fri, Dec 29, 2023 7:42PM
Robert Norse
Fri, Dec 29, 2023 9:38AM
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