Rare L.A. Victory for Direct Action Protester !


NOTES BY NORSE:   Hats off to long-time Venice advocate David Busch, who’s been fighting city attacks on the local homeless community for decades.  See “The Right to Discriminate” at http://www.huffsantacruz.org/StreetSpiritSantaCruz/2002-4-the-right-to-discriminate-001.jpg , http://www.huffsantacruz.org/StreetSpiritSantaCruz/2002-4-the-right-to-discriminate-002.jpg , & http://www.huffsantacruz.org/StreetSpiritSantaCruz/2002-4-the-right-to-discriminate-003.jpg .


Santa Cruz’s bigot-pleasing Good Times  has recently covered its typical smear campaign against the outside poor with environmental concern protective cover.  See “Saving Lighthouse Field” at http://goodtimes.sc/cover-stories/saving-lighthouse-field/
Santa Cruz’s Parks and Recreation Department and the SCPO have long proclaimed its right to dumpster and destroy homeless survival gear and has lately been doing that, according to participants in the 54-week long Tuesday night Freedom SleepOut’s at City Hall.   Retrieval of homeless property (in those instances where it is saved rather than trashed) can only be done during a two hour period (12:30 – 2:30 PM) on Tuesdays and Thursdays in spite of bloated police budget.


Parks and Rec thugs-in-white now regularly “patrol” the Downtown Area in white shirts (no white hoods yet)in search of performers, vendors, and activists who are sitting outside the scattered blue and brass boxes (Performance Pens) being used to constrict, coral, and discourage non-commercial activity on Pacific Avenue, the Wharf, and elsewhere. SCPD’s Officer Hoppe has reportedly been jailing impoverished homeless panhandler for peacefully holding up a “help me” sign on the median at Ocean and Water streets.

Undefeated visual artists Alex Skelton and Joff Jones face hundreds of dollars in fines in court next month after five in-custody arrests for displaying their paintings on Pacific Avenue “outside the boxes”.  Meanwhile fascist-friend City art critics have driven away handicraft artists on Pacific with new laws banning creation, display, or sale of any artwork or perfomance that may have “a functional use” such as jewelry, t-shirts, massage, crystals, etc.  Laws banning RV’s from parking late at night anywhere in the city await likely Coastal Commission approval–with homeless people explicitly denied the right to purchase permits.

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HUFF Floats On: 7-20 11 AM Sub Rosa: Meet, Mingle, and Masticate

Further discussion of police abuses locally (See “Race and Class Bias in the SCPD–What’s the real Story?” at https://www.indybay.org/uploads/2014/12/03/grand_jury_protest_updated.pdf ).   How to use the election campaign to raise real issues and take real action.  Direct action to stop social service surrender to the Take Back Santa Cruz mentality.   Avenues for supporting righteous resistance to the Performance Pens downtown.   And, as always more!

You bring the issues; we got the coffee.


Anti-Police Abuse Demos Nationally, Freedom Sleepout #54 Locally

Date Tuesday July 19

Time 5:00 PM – 8:00 AM

Location Details At the usual center of “get out of town” enforcement against the poor and homeless–Santa Cruz City Hall at 809 Center St. between Locust and Church.

Event Type Protest

Organizer/AuthorKeith McHenryEmailkeith [at] foodnotbombs.net

Phone 575-770-3377


Another night of providing (relatively) safe space for unhoused folks on the sidewalk against the City’s 11 PM to 8:30 AM Sleeping Ban.

Another night of showcasing the City’s hostility to basic services to the poor (closed restrooms at night, security guards snitching on sleepers to police, police rousting people at night but giving them nowhere legal to sleep).

Another night of calling on the community to stand up to the torture of Sleep Deprivation in Santa Cruz and explode the “most progressive City” myth.

Another night of solidarity against police and vigilante abuse city-wide to those in poor, whether outside or in vehicles.

Another night of providing a brief community space for those who gather around the food and drink (sparsely) provided by Food Not Bombs and JumboGumbo Joe Schultz.

Another night of solidarity with Black Lives Matter protesters and local protests like Curtis Reliford’s local “Follow Your Heart” demonstrations.

For homeless updates and reports on last week’s SleepOut, go to http://www.huffsantacruz.org/Lostshows.html and click on the links under Lost Show 7/17/2016 .

Interested folks might also consider signing the petition and considering Direct Action support for UCSC campers at https://www.change.org/p/ucsc-administration-support-the-camper-park .

Bring video, friends, blankets, and high spirits.

This notice prepared by Robert Norse and reflects his perspective (and likely those of others!)

HUFFmeet 7-13 11 AM Sub Rosa: Addressing Police Abuse in Santa Cruz

In the wake of the well-publicized police murders nationally,  I’m encouraging HUFF to turn its attention to police abuses locally and follow up on our 2014 campaign.  (See “Race and Class Bias in the SCPD–What’s the real Story?” at https://www.indybay.org/uploads/2014/12/03/grand_jury_protest_updated.pdf )

Perhaps we can propose local actions at the Project Pollinate Friday 7 PM meeting at 703 Pacific 7-15.

Bring your issues; we supply the coffee tomorrow.

In the wake of police murders nationally, Freedom SleepOut #53

Going Into Year 2 with the Freedom Sleepers

Date Tuesday July 12
Time 4:00 PM – 4:00 AM
Location Details
On the edge of City Hall, where city police, rangers, and security guards have driven the homeless protesters–along the Center St. sidewalk across from the Main Library
Event Type Protest
Organizer/Author Keith McHenry
Email keith [at] foodnotbombs.net
Phone 575-770–3377
In the wake of escalating repression downtown, Freedom Sleepers will be gathering tonight for SleepOut #53. Police continue to harass and cite homeless people under MC 6.36 (the nighttime outside and vehicular Sleeping Ban).RESISTANCE DOWNTOWN
Artists Joff Jones and Alex Skelton were arrested for the 5th time downtown last Wednesday for displaying their artwork “outside the brass/blue boxes”. (See “City directed police shutdown of artists and PUBLIC ALERT on Pacific Ave” at https://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2016/07/10/18788862.php ). In a bold move, they reappeared several days later defiantly repeating their assertion of First Amendment rights (and subsequently wheeling about enlarged copies of the First Amendment in colonial garb).LOCAL REACTION TO POLICE KILLINGS
Nationally, the police murders of Alton Sterling, in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and Philando Castile, in Falcon Heights, Minnesota have already prompted a local Sunday protest (unfortunately not specifying local police discrimination and lack of transparency).

Another Community Meeting around the issue is scheduled for Friday, July 15 6-8 PM at 703 Pacific. HUFF (Homeless United for Friendship and Freedom) have repeatedly raised local issues and hope that more “mainstream” activists, such as Pleich, Schnaar, and Glover–all running for City Council, will actually get specific in criticism. See “”Homeless People Matter” Protest Gets Honks, Volunteers, at Cop Corner” at https://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2014/12/22/18765911.php . Specific concerns (that needed to be updated) are itemized at https://www.indybay.org/uploads/2014/12/03/grand_jury_protest_updated.pdf . .

Since City Council is on vacation while their police and the expanded Parks and Recreation Downtown Rangers do their dirty work, so there’s no Council meeting. Snakey staffers like Julie Hende and Scott Collins under the dark tutorship of City Manager Martin Bernal are continuing their oppressive work. Protests can still be registered (hopefully en masse) at staff offices. Possible targets: the forthcoming nighttime RV ban, the on-going Stay Away Order scandal, the stepped up bullying downtown, and the gentrification/sterilization of the City Hall Courtyard area.

Meanwhile activists Phil Posner and Steve Pleich are trying to coax a San Jose attorney to join the campaign to end the Sleeping Ban through legal action. Previous efforts to pursue sleep deprivation in Small Claims Court, enlist the help of the National Law Center for Homelessness and Poverty, and sue for the loss of homeless property seem to have fallen by the wayside.

Last week, library officials arrived in the morning after the 52nd Sleep-Out to demand removal of the makeshift commode, activists had moved (under pressure from the police) from the City Hall side of the street to the side of the library. Both the library and City Hall have closed and locked their bathrooms at night in spite of appeals from the Freedom Sleepers. Library supervisor Lee then called police who rapidly arrived, ignoring activists concerns that an enclosed and accountable commode was certainly preferable to folks shitting and pissing at random. To no avail. Tonight’s protesters will have to find their own accommodations.

For a review of last week’s Anniversary SleepOut go to “Freedom Sleepers Anniversary: One Year of Protesting the Sleeping Ban at City Hall” at https://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2016/07/09/18788832.php

Food and drink will be limited tonight, but likely present. Folks are invited to join the protest even if for a brief time to provide heart and hope to those who face the heavy hand of the city’s gentrification program nightly.

This description of tonight’s event is the product of Robert Norse and represents his views and understanding of the protest and other recent events.

HUFF to stagger in from 1st Anniversary Freedom Sleep-Out 11 AM 7-6 As Usual

In the aftermath of the latest Freedom SleepOut at City Hall, (#52 making a year of Tuesdays there),
HUFF will stagger and struggle to its usual rendezvous point with coffee and cookies as bait.

Some possible chattering points:  Demands from the Freedom SleepOut the night before;
Supporting Vendors, Performers and Homeless Downtown in the wake of the Vanish the Vendors crackdown;
Jailtime Blues–recent behind-bars abuses;
Wrenching the upcoming City Council race;
and more, depending on who shows with how much energy…

52nd Freedom SleepOut to Celebrate a Year of Protest at Santa Cruz City Hall

1st Anniversary Freedom Sleeper Celebration and Look Back

Date Tuesday July 05
Time 4:00 PM – 4:00 AM
Location Details
City Hall Grounds and Sidewalk at 809 Center St. Event to last through the night until 9 AM or thereabouts (the 4 a.m. cutoff time above is incorrect).
Event Type Protest
Organizer/Author Keith McHenry (posted by Norse)
Email keith [at] foodnotbombs.net
Phone 575-770–3377
Veterans, newcomers, sympathizers, and supporters are called to come together to look back on a year’s weekly protests at City Hall demanding the end of the Santa Cruz City Sleeping Ban and related laws.Slated for the celebration are a gathering, a march, a speak-out, a memorial, and (if possible) an outdoor video. Plus the ever popular sidewalk slumber party where homeless folks get one night a week of cement pillow sleeping with some housed folks there ready to confront vigilantes, security thugs, and over-eager cops.

Food Not Bombs and Gumbojumbo Joe Schultz will be providing food, coffee, and who knows what else. Bring blankets, sleeping bags, signs, high spirits, and friends !

RV dwellers celebrating the delay of the midnight to 5 PM city-wide parking ban in the wake of an appeal are also invited. As are vendors, performers, and other brave activists fighting the latest attack on public space on Pacific Avenue. New city policies criminalize handicraft art, severely limit First Amendment space, and beef up harassment by assigning “stay away order”-happy Parks and Rec rangers to do patrols downtown.

A review of Freedom SleepOut’s ##50 and 51 (this will be #52) can be found at http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2016/07/02/18788486.php (“Summer for the Freedom Sleepers”).

TO LEAVE COMMENTS AND ADDITIONAL INFO GO TO https://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2016/07/04/18788562.php


by Robert Norse   Monday Jul 4th, 2016 5:57 PM

Events are likely to start closer to 6 PM on the 5th.

There will be the classic Food Not Bombs DIY street shower available for those seeking relief from the summer heat. Also a DIY commode, since the city refuses to open any 24-hour bathrooms city-wide and is keeping the City Council Courtyard bathrooms locked shut.

Entertainment will be decided by those present, chosen from a variety of options–classic comedy (I heard Blazing Saddles and Life of Brian mentioned) as well as Freedom Sleeper documentaries.

A proposed parade and march through town will depend on numbers, weather, and mood of the multitude.

Folks may be called to vote on a List of Demands to Authorities and Goals for the Freedom Sleepers and allied groups.

Come and celebrate! Bring nighttime apparel plus blankets, bags, and teddy bears!


HUFF Huddle at 11 AM Sub Rosa Cafe Today

Agenda Prospects:  Letters to the Coastal Commission to Stop the RV Ban…City Council Reportback Freedom Prep for 1st Anniversary on July 5th, A report-back from the Friday Norse Trial…Successful Struggle Against S.C. to Free a Drug War Prisoner…Joff/Alex Artists Arrest on Monday..and whatever you bring, along with the usual cutrate coffee.

Freedom SleepOut #51 Tonight

Following “RV Nighttime Parking, “Littering”, Street Vendors Again on Chopping Block Today at Council”at
https://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2016/06/28/18788253.phpCHECK OUT:  Freedom SleepOut #51 to Follow City Council Clampdown

Date Tuesday June 28
Time 4:00 PM – 4:00 AM
Location Details
Sidewalk Area on Center St. between Locust and Church Streets as well as the brick courtyard, extending all the way to the bowels of the City Council chambers… The event runs through the night until 8 AM or so Wednesday morning.
Event Type Protest
Organizer/Author Keith McHenry (post written by Norse)
Email keith [at] foodnotbombs.net
Phone 575-770–3377
Signs, Soup, slumber, and sympathy are on the agenda for ongoing Freedom Sleepout demanding the right to sleep legally for those outside and providing a de facto “legal” spot to bed down (or at least one that the police ostentatiously ignore at night).Coming Up Next Week: the Year Anniversary of the Freedom Sleepers. Mark your calendar!More details on the issue and past Sleep-Out’s at “#50–Freedom Sleepers Keep the Faith ” http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2016/06/21/18787827.php and prior Calendar notices (click on Calerndar and go to past Tuesdays).

More details on the today’s City Council attack at http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2016/06/28/18788253.php (“RV Nighttime Parking, ‘Littering’, Street Vendors Again on Chopping Block Today at Council”)


Vote down Attack on RV’s on Tuesday’s Afternoon Agenda

To the Santa Cruz City Council,

Re: Item #25 on the Afternoon Session of the June 28, 2016 Agenda,

HUFF (Homeless United for Friendship & Freedom) opposes the proposed ban on RV parking city-wide during the nighttime hours of midnight to 5 PM.

It limits public access unnecessarily to the Coastal Zone.

It discriminates against poor people (and indeed anyone) who live in or drive RV’s by denying them coastal access.

It puts a particular burden on those whose only affordable housing is a vehicle by making it illegal to park them at night.

It discriminates against those who own or rent property in Santa Cruz by denying them a permit process.

It was done with no determination of its impact on those living in their vehicles in the City and threatens their health and safety.

It is especially cruel and abusive considering the acknowledged shelter crisis.

It does include a provision for Safe Parking spaces at night, such as Santa Barbara provides, that might provide a refuge or safety valve for those banned at night.

It prejudices the right to travel, by eliminating the right to park an RV in Santa Cruz for those visiting.

It was passed without meaningful police documentation of the alleged problems justifying the unusual exclusionary policy.

It is being done without a procedure for consulting the neighborhoods involved as is the accepted practice for requiring permits to park in other cities (as well as in Santa Cruz for vehicles generally).

The oversized vehicle restriping law passed last year provides overly broad authority to the traffic engineer to expand the zone in which parking spaces for larger vehicles can be completely eliminated without recourse to public comment or public vote.

In addition given the infirmities in the proposed law (even as amended to limit the time of the parking bans), it will–when rejected by the Coastal Commission–put an undue burden on those whose homes and property is on the Coastal zone if the city chooses to authorize enforcement of the non-Coastal areas of the City as may be likely.

Please send this law back to the appropriate Commission or City Council committee for more public input with the individuals seriously affected (poor people who live in their vans, homeless service providers, tourists who visit the city).

Please request specific documentation on the abuses real and alleged that supposedly motivate this law to examine their exact extent in the last year to determine specific remedies rather than this overly broad attack that hurts poor and homeless people particularly.  And shames our community generally.

I also encourage others to register their concerns by calling City Council at 420-5020 and/or e-mailing them at citycouncil@cityofsantacruz.org.  Or by appearing at City Council for the public hearing likely to begin shortly after 3 PM.

In addition, any members of the City Council or community who wish to appeal a negative vote of the City Council can deliver a appeal form to the Coastal Commission at 725 Front St Ste 300,Santa Cruz, CA 95060.  Here is the link for the Coastal Commission appeal form: http://www.coastal.ca.gov/cdp/CDP-AppealForm-cc.pdf   For more information, call them at (831) 427-4863

Robert Norse
HUFF (Homeless United for Friendship & Freedom)
(423-4833) Continue reading