$58.00 donated in past month
The six UCSC students charged in association with the March 3 blockade of Highway 17, where it meets Highway 1 in Santa Cruz, will be back in court on Monday, June 29
and Tuesday, June 30
. On June 29 at 10:00am, there will be a hearing in Santa Cruz County Superior Court to finalize their sentence, and on June 30 at 1:30pm there will be a restitution hearing. The students are calling for court support.
All six have pleaded "no contest" to two misdemeanor counts each at their last court appearance on May 7, which was followed by a press conference where three members of the group discussed for the first time publicly what motivated them on March 3.
They have issued a call for court support: "We need to fill the court room with supporters to let the judge know that the community stands with us. That our action was FOR the community, NOT against it. We need to hold the cops, the judge, the university, and the state accountable. This means the community needs to physically show up and be seen. So please come, stand with us against the powers that be. Bodies make a difference!!!"
Stand with the UCSC HWY 6. Fill the Court Room | See Also: UCSC Highway Six Back in Court June 29 & 30
The Homeless Services Center announced in June that due to the withdrawal of State administered federal emergency funds, they were laying off workers and a large portion of the services they offer would most likely be eliminated if alternative funding was not found. Shortly after the announcement, the Santa Cruz County Grand Jury released a new report titled: Recipe for Failure: Shrinking Budgets and Increasing Needs for Emergency Homeless Shelters
The Grand Jury report recommends that, "facilities, funding and staffing of all emergency shelters in the city of Santa Cruz be reassessed to adequately meet the acute needs of the persistently high homeless population. Additional case managers are needed to facilitate the transition of homeless individuals out of shelters. More grant writers are needed to access untapped funding opportunities."
In response, members of Santa Cruz Food Not Bombs have held a series of emergency breakfasts in front of the Homeless Services Center, and they also are planning to participate in an upcoming community camp out. The group organizing the camp out consists of members of a variety of organizations, including Food Not Bombs, HUFF, residents and refugees from the Coral St. complex, UCSC students, Camp of Last Resort workers, the Homeless Legal Persons Assistance Project, and others.
Human Rights Under Attack in the City of Santa Cruz
Homeless Lives Matter: Building Towards Justice
Santa Cruz Grand Jury Report Details Increasing Need for Emergency Homeless Shelters
Unsheltered Lives Matter
On June 18, Jose Velasco filed a legal claim
for damages against the City of Salinas and the Salinas Police Department for the injuries he suffered after officers with the SPD violently arrested him on June 5. The claim alleges, "assault, battery, false imprisonment, negligence, negligent and intentional infliction of emotional distress, and negligent hiring," on the part of the city and the police department.
As a result of the June 5 arrest, Velasco suffers from a broken leg, multiple stitches in his head, and bruises on his torso, arms, legs, and face. His family has described him as having a "hole" in his leg from the beating. A video of the arrest
, which went viral in the news and on social media, shows one officer continuing to hit Velasco with his baton after he is pinned to the ground. Velasco is being represented by John Burris, who announced the details of the claim surrounded by supporters at a press conference at Salinas City Hall.
The Velasco family, who were severely traumatized by the incident, continues to seek justice for Jose by speaking out, holding demonstrations, and creating the Facebook group, Justice for Jose Velasco. On June 13, Velasco's mother and sisters held a demonstration on North Main Street, the location of his arrest, to call for justice for Jose.
Read More: Jose Velasco Files Legal Claim for Damages Resulting from Violent Arrest by Salinas Police
| Family Seeks Justice for Jose Velasco after Violent Arrest by Salinas Police
Video Shows Salinas Police Hitting Man Already Pinned on Ground
Community members in Santa Cruz gathered at the Town Clock on June 14 to rally and share information about climate change in order to encourage individuals to take the Climate Mobilization pledge, which demands a "WWII scale" effort by society to create a 100% clean energy economy by 2025.
A copy of the pledge
was available for signing at the Town Clock, and after a variety of community leaders spoke about climate change from both a local and global perspective, the group marched around the downtown. The Climate Mobilization is intended to rapidly transform every sector, and supporters say that because the world's poorest people are the ones most adversely affected by climate change, there will be a strong social focus. "This campaign has to be about social justice as well as environmental justice," speaker Gillian Greensite, Chair of the Santa Cruz Sierra Club Conservation Committee, said at the rally.
The rally was sponsored by 350 Santa Cruz
, with co-sponsors Santa Cruz Sierra Club
, and Communities for a Sustainable Monterey County
Read More with Photos | The Climate Mobilization
Local residents rallied in Santa Cruz on June 14 to oppose the Catholic Church's plans to canonize Junipero Serra this September, which was approved by Pope Francis. Serra presided over the brutal California mission system during its founding in the 18th century. The purpose of the rally was to educate the public about the Native American lives that were lost at the missions and the torturous conditions that were imposed there, as well as to encourage community members to contact Priests and other religious and spiritual leaders, including the Pope, in order to attempt to change his mind about granting Serra sainthood.
The rally was held in front of the Catholic Shrine for St. Joseph located on West Cliff Drive. Individuals held signs and distributed fliers containing information about Serra's rule and accounts of the conditions endured by those in the missions. One of the fliers described how Indigenous people hated Father Quintana of Mission Santa Cruz because of his penchant for flogging them "freely." "He fashioned a horsewhip tipped with iron barbs to use against the Indians," the flier read.
"Junipero Serra, the father of the California Missions, insisted that kidnapping, slavery and torture be used to forward his radical evangelical movement. Now the Catholic Church wants to cover up it's crimes against humanity in a shroud of Sainthood - but not before we help tell the real story - not before we stand tall with our indigenous neighbors in opposition," read an event announcement released before the rally which described the intentions of the participants.
Read More with Photos | See Also: Amah Mutsun Letter to Pope Francis Regarding the Canonization of Junipero Serra
| Petition: Urge Pope Francis to abandon his decision to canonize Junipero Serra
A video was posted online that shows a group of five officers with the Salinas Police Department violently hitting a man they have pinned to the ground during an arrest on North Main Street on June 5. Even though the man is on the ground and not moving, officers can still be seen hitting him with clubs. A YouTube user by the name of Richard Boxing uploaded the video with the title, "Salinas Police Wrong."
In a press release dated June 6, the Salinas Police lists the name of the man who was arrested as being Jose Velasco, age 28. The press release also states that Velasco was tased by the officers. Police say they were dispatched to North Main Street when Velasco's mother, "called in about her son running in traffic."
In the comments section of the YouTube video of the arrest, Antoinette Ramirez, who says she is Velasco's sister writes: "My poor brother. He is mentally ill and the cops had no right to keep hitting him he was already on the floor." She also wrote that Velasco was in the street because her mom, "had him there."
Read More and View the Video
Related Indybay Features: National Police Brutality Day in Salinas
|| Salinas Police Tase Jaime Garcia to Death
|| Police Officers Kill Fourth Person in East Salinas: Frank Alvarado
|| Salinas Police Kill Three People in Last Three Months
On June 1 the Lecturer's labor contract at UC Santa Cruz expired, and union members with American Federation of Teachers Local 2199 and their supporters marked the day by picketing — and picnicking — at the base of campus. Messages in support of adjunct-faculty members and a more democratized University of California system were displayed as individuals held several large, colorful puppets. Food was served, and the day-long event was dubbed "St. Precaria's Picnic."
Lecturers are non-tenure track adjunct-faculty members. They say that they are not treated like professionals, even though they teach classes, engage in writing and research, and hold advanced degrees from top universities. The majority of Lecturers are hired year-by-year or quarter-by-quarter as "temp" workers, which leaves them with no job security. Additionally, a full-time Lecturer's workload is typically twice that of a tenure track professor, yet they are paid significantly less.
Many of the picket signs displayed at the picnic communicated around the theme of precarity. One such message, "A Precarious Faculty = A Precarious University," was emblazoned on a gold flag along with the stencil of a fist holding a pencil. Precarity has been defined as a condition of instability in the workforce created in postindustrial societies when management seeks to increase its own strength by limiting job opportunities to temporary and or part-time work. In February, organizers of the National Adjunct Day of Action adopted "Saint Precaria" as their "icon saint" and individuals at UC Santa Cruz continue to develop themes surrounding precarity.
Read More with Photos | American Federation of Teachers (AFT) Local 2199