Freedom SleepOut #85 To Face Wettest Winter and Squad Cars at Midnight?

 Date Tuesday February 21

Time 4:00 PM Tuesday9 AM Wednesday

Location Details Back again to City Hall–still the dark center of Sleeping Ban law and enforcement under City Manager Martin Bernal and the Watkins-Terrazas City Council. Determined activists and a crew of homeless folks will be huddling beneath the eaves of the buildings at City Hall until being driven out into the rain , wind, and cold. Just looking for a night of community and relative safety from the Sleeping Ban, they’ll be in sleeping bags, under tents, in vehicles, whereever they can, hoping to spark conscience from the broader community. Food Not Bombs and Joe Schultz will feed. Protest goes, as ever, from mid-afternoon Tuesday to mid-morning Wednesday.

Event Type Protest

Organizer/Author Keith McHenry (story by Norse)


Phone 575-770–3377

Protests against Trump across the state and nation have failed so far to catalyze any local protests against Trumpism in Santa Cruz. Particularly concerning the most basic civil rights of our own refugees who face sweeps, property confiscations, harassment, and the nighttime Sleeping Ban–all measures designed to drive them out of town and out of sight.

Folks at a recent Black Lives Matter protest in Capitola this Saturday did seem sympathetic to concerns that SCPD policies impacting black folks, immigrants, and just ordinary folks were also a matter of serious concern regarding homeless folks. See “Community Support for Black Lives Matter in Capitola” at

Freedom Sleepers return this Tuesday fresh from the harsh memory of massive police response against last week’s protest on 2-14.

During that protest, eight SCPD squad cars showed up to arrest activist Maxwell Green in the dead of night ( ).

Though Green spoke earlier that day at City Council and could have been served with a citation at that time, the city’s uniformed gunmen showed up at midnight in absurdly disproportionate force, frightening other sleepers there.

Green was charged with 184 (a) willfully obstructing an officer. He will be arraigned in Judge Denine Guy’s court on Mar 16th at 8:30 a.m. The “obstruction” incident allegedly happened over a month ago on 1/18 with the complaint and warrant suddenly issued on 2/15; right after a city council meeting when Green publicly denounced Councilmember Richelle Niroyan. Niroyan authored a failed RV nighttime ban, leading to a caustic exchange between the two of them that homeless-aphobic city staffers may still be trying to patch up behind the scenes.

Green is a mainstay of the Freedom Sleeper protest, who works and lives in Monterey, and regularly commutes to defend the rights of the Santa Cruz homeless here.

Food Not Bombs [FNB], which regularly feeds the Freedom SleepOut’s, is facing harassment from reactionary neighbors, who ban the organization’s street food and literature tables.

FNB will hold an Emergency Meeting 2 PM Friday 2-24 at India Joze 418 Front St.
They also urge folks to sign a petition to Mayor Cynthia Chase urging the City respect the right to share food: Sign it at

FNB co-founder Katzemjammer Keith McHenry also announced “Direct Action to Fight Fascism” Presentation at 612 Ocean St., Resource Center for Non-Violence 6:30 PM Free to all.

Homeless folks are another minority that faces police harassment and violence.

Activists pressing to end police violence are demanding the release of the police reports and the full D.A.’s investigation in the killing of Sean Arlt. In a quick closed-to-the-public press conference, Chief Kevin Vogel announced D.A. Jeff Rosell’s finding exonerating the killer–Officer Eric Bailey.

There has been no change in the SCPD’s “shoot to kill” policy, nor were details given of how close Arlt was to Bailey when Bailey shot him dead in October. The D.A.’s “investigation” has taken 4 months, and now Vogel’s SCPD announces it will “investigate” further. Meanwhile the witness accounts and the D.A.’s report remain under lock and key. The “Official Story” can be seen on line at

Bring lots of rain gear, blankets, and “protective” video equipment to the protest. Heavy rains may not deter police and ranger attacks on those sheltering themselves at City Hall. But documenting their behavior may awaken the community to the menace of local Trumpism against the poor.



Community Support for Black Lives Matter in Capitola

Saturday Feb 18th, 2017 3:31 PM

Several dozen activists gathered at two corners of the 41st Ave. and Capitola Road intersection in support of reversing police violence. I was there s a HUFF activist and Free Radio Santa Cruz reporter.

It was encouraging to see so many new faces there–new to me, anyway. Some told me they had on entered or reentered the activist arena after the election of Trump and the recent refugee and traveler bans.

Other than an inquiry from a Capitola cop who drove up in a car to on my arrival to ask if I were responsible for the protest (which I wasn’t), no police showed up except in passing patrol cars.
Regular honks from other cars and trucks seemed to indicate strong sympathy.

With few exceptions the men present were there with their families. The overwhelming majority of those gathered were women. Virtually all participants were “white”. It was an enthusiastic and friendly group. I arrived around 10 AM when there were only a handful of people, and left around 11:30 when the protest had grown and was still going strong.

I distributed the attached flyer, and interviewed a number of the folks holding Black Lives Matter signs.

The interviews will be played tomorrow on Free Radio (streams currently at and archives at (about an hour into the audio file).


Attachment(s) from Robert | View attachments on the web

1 of 1 File(s)

HUFF Assesses Latest Outbreak of Democracy at City Council Audience on Valentine’s Day, Meets 11 AM 2-15 Sub Rosa Cafe, As Ever

In the uproar over police collusion with the Department of Homeland Security’s Monday raids, and as Freedom Sleepout #84 prepared to bed down outside, were there indications of some Direct Action politics in Santa Cruz that might impact the homeless civil rights struggle as well?  Check out the HUFFmeet tomorrow (Wednesday the 15th) where we’ll also trudge through Public Records issues, Merchant Signboard Scams, the latest $90,000 grant being given to First Alarm Insecurity thugs and how to address it, as well as whatever the wind, rain, and cold blow in.   With coffee.

Valentine’s Day for Freedom SleepOut #84

 Date Tuesday February 14
Time 4:00 PM Tuesday10 AM Wednesday
Location Details Covering Up Warmly at City Hall 809 Center St or on the nearby steps, take your choice. The protest runs from Tuesday early afternoon to mid-morning Wednesday. Bring your sweetie to celebrate restoring civil rights for the rain-soaked renegades of Santa Cruz.
Event Type Protest
Organizer/Author Keith McHenry (story by Norse)

Freedom Sleepers continue their relentless pursuit of decent respect for the survival needs of unhoused people outside. Both the Sleeping Ban’s 11 PM to 8:30 AM ban on the act of sleeping for the homeless and police practice enforcing this cruel ordinance are the weekly target of this year and a half long protest.

In a sardonic blast at the City’s cruel anti-homeless law, activists have circulated a flyer suggesting that the City Council at its Tuesday afternoon meeting will be distributing methamphetamine to help homeless people follow the City’s MC 6.36.010a and stay awake all night. See

Activists are expected to make mock demands for meth at the Oral Communications period. Usually around 5 PM, Mayor Chase has failed to specify when that period will be.

Activists angered by local police collusion with a Monday 4:45AM raid in the Beach Flats with armored Vehicles and soldiers with machine guns escorted by Police Chief Vogel’s SCPD. Reportedly breaking down doors, detaining women and children and checking immigration papers the military style operation searched house to house, supposedly, for M-13 gang members”. Protesters plan a 2 PM march from the Town Clock to City Council meeting.

Item #3 on the day’s City Council agenda is a special Service Celebration of Vogel’s 30 years on the SCPD. Vogel’s “accomplishments” included setting loose the armored BearCat vehicle on the community; refusing to release the video of the Sean Arlt slaying as well as the identity of the police officer who killed him.

Vogel has also presided over the 2012 theft and rerouting of SCPD-confiscated bikes from the Bike Church’s redistribution plan to a City Council connected business. He personally led the massing of more than 100 cops to disperse the Occupy encampment in San Lorenzo benchlands and later coral protesters marching to City Hall in early December 2011. All this was followed by the phony (and costly) prosecutions of the Santa Cruz Eleven for peaceful support of a Wells Fargo bank occupation at 75 River St.–chilling the income inequality protest across the city.

Though this is an officially agenda-ized action, it is likely the Mayor will try to stop any public comment.

Item #9 will ratify the appointments of anti-homeless politicians to the babble-bubble of the Homelessness Governance Ad-Hoc Committee–specifically Mayor Chase (who voted to keep the Sleeping Ban last year) and an assistant City Manager–from the gang that created the “homeless-as-criminals” Public Safety Task Force, pushed anti-homeless laws on Pacific Avenue, and has attacked the Freedom Sleeper protests and protesters.

Item #11 will hand $90,000 to First Alarm Security thugs to fund their stalk-and-scare raids in the City parking garages to run homeless people out into the cold and rain. The language in the proposal is surprisingly candid: to combat ” a large influx in the transient population in the last three to four months and the impacts associated with encampments.” Of course, there is no expansion of shelter, reining in of uniformed thieves seizing homeless property, and/or opening needed facilities like public bathrooms and wash stations.

Other items include appointing homeless-hostile hacks (Terrazas and Mathews) to the Library Board–where they helped extend the Sleeping Ban and other repressive measures to the downtown library.

Meanwhile homeless activists in Berkeley are maintaining self-governing encampments like First they Came for the Homeless and recruiting the legal muscle to push back against psuedo-progressive politicians, who are violating the campaign pledges they made last year. See .

Meanwhile as ACLU fund-raisers haul in heaps of money (, local ACLU activists give lip service but no organizing time to protecting homeless survival gear and ending the local “poverty deportations” that happen every night to those outside.

While NAACP, SCCCCR, and the ACLU dither, Black Lives Matter will be protesting in Capitola next Saturday ( ).

Freedom Sleepers from last week (at SleepOut #83) reported successful resistance to Park and Ranger harassment of homeless people trying to illegally move them along. Uniformed heavies were met with video cameras and copies of the law, as well as “this is a protest” signs and solidarity among those trying to sleep.

There is likely to be food in the evening and coffee in the morning. And, for the first time in weeks, dry weather. All are invited.

No Need for Trump’s ICE, Oakland City Authorities Destroy Homeless Sanctuary: Santa Cruz Ranger Rousters Menace Freedom Sleepers But Freedom Sleepers Fight Back

NOTES BY NORSE:   Last week, Oakland cops and city demolition workers tore apart a homeless encampment/self-managed service facility created in response to Trump;’s inauguration (and the City of Oakland’s abject failure to respond to homeless survival shelter and services).   [See stories below]  A second City-funded encampment (essentially trash pick-up’s, portapotties, and a washing station) faces extensive overcrowding and a end-of-March eviction date.


Berkeley has a continuing intentional encampment, which has now gone 3 weeks without an eviction notice or demolition raid by Berkeley police, BART cops, or the Oakland PD–it’s called First They Came for the Homeless [FTCFTH].  They are now expanding their aggressive demand for basic rights to shelter unhoused people as a class in Berkeley.   [See their facebook page at FTCFTH].


History Lessons at the Huffmeet–11 AM at the Sub Rosa Wednesday February 8th

Coming Up on the Wednesday February 8th HUFF Agenda:

Updating the Homeless Issues Task Force Recommendations; Catching Up with Oakland and Berkeley–on Encampment Protection Demands; What the City Council’s Parks and Recreation Study Session Missed–”Homeless People Stay Away from the Parks!”;  Why Isn’t the Winter Shelter Program More Popular?….and more!   Hoist a cup of coffee with your cornies while taking shelter from the weather!


Stormy Times for Freedom SleepOut #83

Date Tuesday February 7 to Wednesday February 8

Time 4:00 PM – 9:00 AM
Location Details Under tents, tarps, umbrellas, in the eaves of buildings, and in cars along the sidewalks of Santa Cruz City Hall (Public Assembly being forbidden on the City Hall grounds after 10 PM)
Event Type
Keith McHenry (story by Norse)
Email keith [at]

A group of unhoused folks, joined by several housed supporters, will gather again Tuesday afternoon for another night of sleeping-under-the-eaves of City Council buildings and then, after being rousted by police in the wee hours, tenting-on-the-wet-sidewalks.

In spite of the broad outcry against Trump’s intensification of Obama’s anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant policies, there has been no call for the “sanctuary cities” proposal coming back to City Council this month to include our own refugees–the local homeless community.

Those without lodging face $200 citations, additional stay-away orders, and regular police harassment. Police are also targeting homeless Freedom Sleepers. One was told by police he would be cited if he joined their protest directly, so he watches from across the street.

As rainstorms pound Santa Cruz, soggy folks outside report continued police harassment.  Trekking in to a weekly church meal Monday at the Calvary Episcopal Church, one outsider reported being ticketed and then driven out into the rain. Others voiced continued support for the on-going Freedom Sleepers weekly Tuesday night protest.

The once-a-week Calvary meal, while ample and filling, is policed by a guard who stops anyone from leaving the room with food. Those who aren’t in the very limited Association of Faith Communities program limited to 20 people are likely to be driven away from the outside of the church building where they may be huddling against the rain.

Berkeley’s relentlessly persistent encampment run by First They Came for the Homeless [FTCFTH] maintains its small community on the Berkeley-Oakland border next to the BART line on Martin Luther King Drive. “For three weeks, we’ve been left alone,” noted one activist there. That appears to be the longest ceasefire ever, considering the more than 15 raids and eviction notices the community has suffered. “All we want is a simple secure place to put down our tents and maintain some stability and dignity while we search for housing and employment. Most of us are disabled,” noted Brett Schnaper.

Interviews with Schnaper and Mike Zint can be heard at (Shnaper: 1 hour and 30 minutes into the audio file) (Zint: 3 hours and 13 minutes into the file)

Meanwhile Oakland authorities are actually providing portapotties and trash pick-up’s to another encampment several miles down the road. A six month period will run out at the end of March when the City claims it will have “housed” the 50+ residents there. Tents are crunched together, squeezed between concrete barriers to stop the encampment from growing.

Several blocks away, the “Promised Land” Village, set up by housed and homeless activists in a park under the freeway was demolished by City cops. Activists had set up wooden structures and began to provide medical and other services that the City was failing to provide. The Village, an outgrowth of the anti-Trump protests of mid-January survived 10 days before being crushed.

Meanwhile, other Obama-Trump-villes have taken root by the side of the road in Oakland, Berkeley, and other Bay Area cities. Support for the Santa Cruz encampments–where most homeless people live–remains a taboo subject here.

To make and read comments go to


Winter HUFFsters Gather Around the Coffee Pot 11 AM at the Sub Rosa at 703 Pacific

Up for comment and possible action: Fanning the Flames of Protest from the distant to the immediate; Moving Along Merchant Signs–Next Chapter of Pacific Avenue Resistance?; the Oakland Encampment/City Hall Village Emergence–a Lesson for Santa Cruz?; Muslim Bans and Homeless Bans–Organizing Up at UCSC 9 AM -noon Tomorrow?, Close Inspection of the SCPD Citation/Arrest Records, and more…

Still Pushing On—Freedom Sleepers Back Again at City Hall Tuesday for 82nd Tuesday

Date Tuesday January 31

Time 4:00 PM Tuesday -  9 AM Wednesday

Location Details On the sacred turf ot the City Hall courtyard itself as well as along the cement sidewalks of Center St. from Tuesday night to Wednesday mid-morning.

Event Type Protest

Organizer/Author Keith McHenry (story by Norse

Email keith [at]

Phone 575-770–3377


The new “people friendly” Councilmembers (Krohn and Brown) still decline to announce their office hours or meeting times. Niroyan, Terrazas, and Chase have responded–but only Chase has regular office hours (Monday 10-12:30 pm). The first two will meet “by appointment”; Chase suggests the same. It’s not clear if the real power in town, City Manager Martin Bernal, has “office hours” or will even agree to meet by appointment.

However Freedom Sleeper supporters may remember that Councilmembers and Manager alike do have offices that are–supposedly–accessible to the public that is a building near the City Council chambers.

The employees and officials have their own special bathroom(s), which may account for why they have felt so free in the past to lock the public bathrooms adjacent to City Council, even during early daytime hours when they are supposed to be open.

Some have suggested this is particularly likely on mornings when the Freedom Sleepers are awakening, tired, soggy, and groggy from midnight SCPD rousts, morning ranger harassment. and drenching rain, compliments of being driven from under the eaves of buildings.

Interested supporters are invited to bring their video devices down to the Freedom SleepOut–Wednesday morning if you can’t make the overnight sleepout–to give power-amped park officials a wider You-Tube audience for their “you’re homeless and can’t be here” activities.   Homeless folks short of survival gear also appreciate donations.

Citations, property confiscations, and move-alongs for the Santa Cruz homeless. While the Oakland City Council’s assistance to homeless encampments may be limited, it’s definite. They are still flying the fantasy that they’ll move even a small number into housing by the end of March, but as with most “plans to end homelessness”, most of the funding goes to the poverty pimps, consultants, talkers, and entrepreneurs.

Still even the limited start acknowledges that even the fearsome heroin-using population will serve by hook or crook. It’s better to acknowledge reality than to deny it. With all the Housing First! chatter of the last few years (indicating get housing before worrying about drug or alcohol use), perhaps it’s time for Encampments First!–in the absence of housing.

Though it’s the usual splashy in-your-face sensationalist “drug users” headlines, still there’s some interesting information at And a lesson there for Santa Cruz–both economic and moral.

After many months, the SCPD has finally agreed to cough up records that would clarify the breadth of class profiling, discrimination, and impact that cops have had on the poor outside. It would also make clear the extent of racial profiling–where and if that is happening. Poring over the citations requires a commitment of time and energy in the bowels of the police station. HUFF (Homeless United for Friendship & Freedom) is on the lookout for volunteers. Call 423-4833; come to the HUFF Wednesday 11 AM meeting at the Sub Rosa Cafe at 703 Pacific, or e-mail rnorse3 [at]



On the sacred turf ot the City Hall courtyard itself as well as along the cement sidewalks of Center St. from Tuesday night to Wednesday mid-morning.

HUFF plunges into the Public Records; Meeting 11 AM 1-25 Wednesday at the friendly Sub Rosa Cafe

HUFF gathers its limited resources to examine recently released Public Records documenting police arrests over the last year, reexamining the “merchants uber alles” policies of the police in going after handicraft vendors and performers downtown, and an examination of new ties with new activists groups at the Dawn of Trumpiana.  We have coffee to help drown your despair.