Sleep Protectors Gather for Freedom SleepOut #74

Sleep Protectors Gather for Freedom SleepOuit #74

Date Tuesday December 06 Time 4:00 PM Tuesday9:00 AM Wednesday

Location Details On the sidewalks near City Hall, barred from taking shelter under the eaves in the rain, protesters will spend the night outside, under tarps, perhaps with a tent or two, and in nearby vehicles.  For nearly a year and a half, a small community of housed and homeless have demanded an end to laws criminalizing survival sleeping and other life-sustaining activities. Watchers, well-wishers, blankets, and visitors welcome!

Event Type Protest

Organizer/Author Keith McHenry (story by Norse)

Email keith [at]

Phone 575-770–3377

As temperatures dive below 40 and winter approaches in earnest, city and county authorities are providing $360,000 worth of nightly shelter for 50-75 people at VFW Post No. 7263 at 2259 7th Ave. in Live Oak. The mini-program (considering there are 3000+ unsheltered in the County) will expand to 100-125 in January with the opening of the Salvation Army building downtown at 721 Laurel St. –unavailable during a cold December because it’s being used for “fund-raising” activities.The usual NIMBY (Not-in-My-Back-Yard) approach is evident. The pick-up site is several miles from the 7th Ave. shelter. Clients are banned from walking or driving to the shelter. In-take worker Steve Pleich notes folks will have to go through an initial questioning process (5-10 minutes), presumably to satisfy the Take Back Santa Cruz-minded folks as well as provide data for more grant-grabbing activity.

Old-timers remembered when you got sheltered if you showed up. Not any more.
Meals will be provided for the few that get into the program, but the Homeless (Lack of) Services Center (a “supporter” of the Winter Shelter program) has made no move to restore the open meals that were its historic responsibility abandoned in June of 2015.

Run by the Association of Faith Communities, the AFC bosses may not require users to be present every night or be kicked out of the program–which they do regularly at their year-round 20-person shelter program that moves from church to church. Boss Debbi Bates reportedly excluded several women from the smaller program because they took Tuesday nights out to join the Freedom Sleeper protests. Bates now heads the far more costly $360 grand Winter Shelter.

Read the Sentinel’s sunny shelter spin at &

Also due to open at least for a night or two later this week is the Warming Center with downtown pick-up’s at Pearl Alley. Call 211 or (831) 234-9848 for more info.

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Flyer for 1:30 PM Saturday December 3rd Protest at the Town Clock: No More Police Shootings . Remember Sean Arlt and Luke Smith. [1 Attachment]

[Attachment(s) from Robert included below]

Download attachment for the PDF.  This is the text of the flyer.  Contact HUFF at 423-4833 for more information.


Aren’t Two Shootings Enough?

Remember Sean Arlt & Luke Smith

Come to the Town Clock

Saturday December 3  1:30 PM

  • End the “Officer Safety” excuse for Lethal Force
  • Replace the Chief and the Sheriff
  • Establish Real Community Control of Police
  • Prosecute Reckless or Abusive Police Behavior

End Uniformed Attacks on the Poor & SCPD Stonewalling !

Use Your Cellphone:  Monitor Those Armed With Guns, Tasers, and Color of Law

Flier by Norse of HUFF (Homeless United for Friendship & Freedom) 831-423-4833 309 Cedar St. #14B 12-2-16


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

1 of 1 File(s)

Arlt and Smith Killing Demo 12-3.pdf

Justice for Sean Arlt, Luke Smith, and Community Control of Police Now! Town Clock Protest 1 PM 12-3 Town Clock

Date Saturday December 03
1:30 PM – 3:30 PM
Location Details Town Clock Santa Cruz
Event Type
Steve Argue Email liberation_news-request [at]

Liberation News and HUFF (Homeless United for Friendship & Freedom) invite you to join us with signs and friends to demand justice in the recent killing of Luke Smith and Sean Arlt.

We will be speaking out demanding strong changes in local law enforcement to establish real community control over the armed agencies. Lethal shooting is NOT a necessary response to individuals carrying a rake or a 4″ knife, surrounded by armed and well-armored police.

Added to the calendar on Thursday Dec 1st, 2016 12:06 PM



Late and Scrambling, HUFF has a sitdown today 11-30 at 11 AM out of the cold and coffee-heavy at the Sub Rosa Cafe next to the Bike Church

Likely HUFF Agenda topics:  The mini-Winter Shelter program beginning tomorrow; the future of HUFF, prep for the rain-free Stop-More-Police-Killings protest Saturday 1:30 PM at the Town Clock, Victory with Video–the impact of local on-line video in curbing harassment of homeless folks, and more !  

Caught in the Act–Ranger Harassment & Survival Gear Seizure as Freedom Sleepout 73 Looms


 Date Tuesday November 29
4:00 PM Tuesday November 29th9:00 AM Wednesday November 30th
Location Details After “Rousted Into the Rain” treatment during the last Freedom Sleepout a week ago [see “After Rain, Santa Cruz Police Eject Homeless…” at] homeless civil rights fighters will resume their weekly sleepout in front of City Hall from 4 PM Tuesday to 9 AM Wednesday at 809 Center St. on the sidewalk facing the library.
Event Organizer/Author Keith McHenry (story by Norse)
keith [at]

Driving unsheltered people out from under the eaves of City Hall last week was apparently not enough for authorities. Photojournalist Brent Adams has provided a vivid video of a City Ranger confiscating a homeless sleeping bag as “trash”, stopped only by the Adam’s video documentation and probing questioning. [see “Should City Workers Trash Survival Bedding During Winter Months?” at ]

Levee sleeper Ricardo Lopez made an earlier report of Rangers seizing the property of an elderly companion weathering cancer and cold weather there. And then refusing to return it. Historically Parks and Recreation under the notorious John Wallace openly declared they threw away homeless gear as a matter of course.

With the success of the Fresno Kinkaid lawsuit in 2007 winning $2.3 million for the homeless for wanton destruction of homeless survival gear, our Parks and Recreation changed its cover story. Its claims to be handing over property confiscated to the police are contradicted by repeated witness testimony. Additionally police–though open throughout the business day, refuse to limit pick-up times to 4 hours a week.

Increasingly Freedom Sleepers are resisting when confronted with unconstitutional “get out into the rain” or “move along” demands from police and rangers, especially at the Freedom SleepOuts.

Last week’s last full City Council meeting of the year gave no indication of any expansion of necessary Winter Shelter or retreat from the campaign to destroy homeless encampments. For more details see “Saving Survival Gear and Joining the Struggle to Defend Our Own Refugees in Santa Cruz ” at and “HUFFing and Puffing: A Warm Wind from Berkeley” at .

The “Warm Wind from Berkeley” story also chronicles the starkly different direction of the Berkeley Mayor and his allies there supporting encampments and directing a response to the homeless shelter crisis. Whether Mayor Arreguin follows through on his promises is uncertain, but Berkeley disabled activist Dan MacMullan reported on Free Radio Sunday that the Mayor and several Councilmembers actually met directly with homeless occupiers in the Poor Tour encampment to discuss their needs. Listen at (2 hours and 54 minutes into the audio file).

Sonoma County authorities are taking baby steps to set up a 5-car Safe Parking Program outside a local homeless shelter there in a 4-month pilot program. See . Past attempts to do the same using parking garages and lots have been crushed in Santa Cruz by the City Manager’s office and the SCPD using such unlikely excuses as “no sprinkler system in the garages” (there is now reportedly) and “lighting cannot guarantee security” (in the police station parking lot!)

A flyer distributed at the Red Church Monday night announced beginning 12-1, folks will be picked up between 4 and 5:30 PM at 1220 River St. (north of the Tannery and several blocks from the Homeless (Lack of) Services Center [HLOSC] at 115 Coral St. The flyer mentioned there will be “intake and storage” at the site with buses returning to the pick-up spot from the 7th Ave. VFW building (location not mentioned) with breakfast at the River St. site at 6:30 AM.

Unmentioned is the fact that there will be space for only 50 people (though on January 1, a second downtown Salvation Army site will open for another 50). There are an estimated 1000-2000 unhoused folks in the City.

It’s unclear what folks should do with their pets and service animals. Also rather telling is the apparent determination not to trust homeless people to go directly to the shelter areas–perhaps pandering to fears and prejudices of nearby NIMBY’s (Not-In-My-BackYard Take Back Santa Cruz types). Perhaps also out of fear that homeless folks beyond the privileged 50 might cluster outside to sleep outside as is often the case near the HLOSC.

So far the Warming Center has not opened once this fall. City support has been limited to funding Rangers and cops, whose job seems to be to drive homeless people away from the protection of the eaves of the library and City Hall.

The twice-postponed protest demanding an end to homeless (and racial) profiling is slated for 1:30 PM at the Town Clock Saturday December 3rd. Activists demand an end to harassment, ticketing, and arrests for life-sustaining behaviors such as being in parks after dark, resting on Pacific Avenue, and, of course, sleeping after 11 PM anywhere in Santa Cruz.

Also being demanded: the video and audio of the shootings of Sean Arlt and Luke Smith as well as the name of the officer(s) who shot Arlt. Incomplete video has been released of the Smith slaying [].

Berkeley City Council Poised to Permit Survival Camping; Santa Cruz Will Let the Homeless Hide and Freeze

NOTES FROM NORSE:   The new Berkeley Mayor-elect Jesse Arreguin has sent out an important Announcement regarding Emergency Measures to Address the Homeless Crisis.  It is printed in its entirety below.

Meanwhile in collusion with the heavy hand of City Manager Martin BernalMayor Mathews’ lame-duck City Council have voted over $200,000 to fund homeless-harassing “Parks and Recreation” Rangers.

Their ‘recreation’ seems to be patrolling Pacific Avenue–as though it were a park.  They will be handsomely paid for harassing people for sitting down near a building, playing an  instrument outside the tiny “performance pens” delineated by brass discs on the sidewalk, and generally intimidating poor people who do not follow their orders. This latest salary boost includes surveillance cameras and was voted unanimously by the “liberal” outgoing Councilmembers Lane and Posner.

Unable to find or even look for emergency money for the winter shelter crisis in Santa Cruz, the Council’s response to the arrival of several hundred protesters on November 22nd was to encourage staff to expand next year’s budget, but do nothing to expand shelter or rein in police attacks on homeless people sheltering themselves this winter.

A report from an RV activist who lives in her van noted a Thanksgiving night incident.   Officer Calhoun, she writes, knocked on the RVs and made contact with whomever would answer, (most did not) telling RVs to move along. “I pointed out to Calhoun”, the activist continues, ” that the signage said I was legally parked. His reply after confirming the fact was that he “Imagined” I am living in my rv and habitating a vehicle in santa cruz is illegal. This was about a half mile from the beach.”

While the absurd anti-homeless Sleeping Ban does ban sleeping in your vehicle, outside, or in any non-residential building after 11 PM, there is no such law regarding “habitating a vehicle” in the City.  The California Coastal Commission, in fact, specifically declined to okay Councilmember Richelle Niroyan‘s anti-RV law, and such abuses are illegal.  We’ll see if Niroyan insists her friends on the police force respect the rights of those whose only shelter is their vehicle and follow the law as she and her Take Back Santa Cruz friends shrilly demand of the homeless.  If so, a public statement clarifying that police have no business harassing people in RV’s at night is in order.

The 50 shelter spaces available on 7th Avenue for emergency shelter in December for 1000-2000 homeless are clearly a joke solution.

Santa Cruz could easily and justifiably adopt some of the measures that Berkeley’s Mayor proposes.    Demand they do so at or 831-420-5020.  Or you can leave a message for the real power in the City and contact City Mangler Bernal at or 831-420-5030.


From: Carol Denney <>
Sent: Saturday, November 26, 2016 2:49 PM
To: Robert Norse
Subject: proposal for Dec 13

Public Comment

Emergency Measures to Address Homeless Crisis

Berkeley Mayor-elect Jesse Arreguín

Friday November 25, 2016 – 10:50:00 AM

I have placed the following on the Berkeley City Council Agenda for December 13:

Take the following actions to implement emergency measures to address our growing homeless population:

1. Direct the City Manager to provide an update on staff and Council actions discussed on November 1, 2016 to respond to the homeless shelter crisis.

2. Direct the City Manager and Chief of Police to permit camping on designated public property, unless conditions arise posing an imminent threat to health and safety.

3. Establish an ad-hoc subcommittee to work with the City Manager to explore emergency solutions, including short-term Navigation Centers.

4. Refer to the City Manager and City Attorney to develop a formal city policy modeled after the proposed amendment to San Francisco’s Police Code.

5. Adopt an Ordinance repealing Ordinance No. 7,449-N.S., which restricts the placement of objects on sidewalks to a 2 square-foot area.



Our city is experiencing a homeless and shelter crisis. On January 2015, the nonprofit organization EveryOne Home performed a point-in-time count of Berkeley’s homeless population, which showed a 53 percent increase in the unsheltered homeless population since 2009, and a 23 percent spike in homelessness overall, from 680 to 834 homeless people in total. Currently the number of homeless individuals in Berkeley far exceeds the amount of shelter beds and transitional housing opportunities available. Additionally, our city’s Storm Shelter at the 1st Congregational Church was destroyed in a fire, even more greatly reducing our shelter capacity.

In response to the worsening conditions on our streets locally and regionally, the City Council voted unanimously on January 19, 2016 to declare a homeless shelter crisis, which was just renewed on November 15 for another year. Although extending the resolution was an important step needed to minimize the red tape of potential solutions, it is in and of itself not a solution. And as our city’s residents, service providers and homeless individuals and families can attest to, shelter is needed now, particularly as winter conditions worsen.

As recommended by the Community Health Commission, the City should be immediately focused on saving lives, which can be accomplished by calling for a moratorium on the eviction of encampments until a plan is developed. Additionally, adding specific language similar to San Francisco in our Police Code regarding encampment relocation procedure will further protect our most vulnerable and their possessions.

New Report on an Old Story: Can Santa Cruz Learn from Yale Law School?

NOTES BY NORSE:  Yale Law School eggheads and privileged pundits are just now getting around to acknowledging the basics.  This is what poor people have known for centuries, Santa Cruz HUFF activists raged about for decades, and the National Law Center for Homelessness and Poverty has been issuing reports on year-after-year–the outrageous, cruel, hypocritical, and oblivious treatment of those outside.

Meanwhile in Santa Cruz a wet cold winter is upon us replete with buffed up Park Ranger Bullies and Surveillance Cameras passed to the tune of $200,000+ [item #16 on last Tuesday's Council agenda]  No City Council emergency funding being released to deal with the long-declared Shelter Emergency.  Nary a peep of protest from the local ACLU or the recycled “Brand New Council” electeds Krohn and S. Brown.  Not a word from Trump-panicked protesters who surprisingly appeared en masse showed up at City Council Tuesday.  Little more than the thin promise of “more money down the road” from out-going City Council still presided over by the newly-elected “Two Minute” Mathews.  After nearly two months, the “no time for public comment” Mayor has still not responded to simple requests for itemizing funding allegedly being spent on homeless services.

The City Council has snubbed community activist Warming Center initiatives and proceeded to paper over the pain by assigning the ill-prepared and miniscule Association of Faith Communities with no formal input from the unhoused community that the 50-person shelter throughout December is funded to serve.

Meanwhile Kevin Vogel’s SCPD continues to stonewall in the face of subdued but persistent community outrage against the murder of Sean Arlt, refusing to release audio, video, and killer officer name, much less file charges against the shooter(s) for manslaughter (at the very least).  And even the bright-and-shiny 21st Century policing posturing Sheriff’s Department headed by Jim Hart is only releasing partial video of its latest gundown of 4″-knife wielding Luke Smith in the sacred name of “officer safety”.  Unable to jacket Smith with a criminal history, the spinmeisters are bemoaning “mental illness” as their latest excuse for institutionalized police brutality–a new scapegoat to cover up the same old juggernaut.  And the community is supposed to heal instead of bringing the uniformed criminals to justice.

City Manager Martin Bernal continues to stall on releasing Public Records documenting the surveillance devices placed, funded, and regularly used by city authorities with no local Snowden or Manning to raise the issue.   Records demanded a year ago to investigate claims of race and class profiling and harassment are still tightly withheld by subordinates.

Next Saturday December 3rd, Community Control of Police advocates will be gathering at the Town Clock at 1:30 PM to demand the release of records and action to hold shooters accountable.

And harassment of RV dwellers sheltering themselves against blistering winter weather continues in the Coastal zone of the City and County.  This in spite of the Coastal Commission’s August decision turning down “Squeeze ‘em Out” Scott Collins’ RV ban.  While the local Coastal Commission staff is “investigating” the County’s unlawful issuing of citations to those whose only shelter is their RV, the staff acknowledges it is actually working to do what it did with City officials–find a way to legally ban RV’s at night so as to drive the poor away.

Criminalizing the poor and covering over the crimes of those who get paid to who do so is still business-as-usual in Santa Cruz.


Thursday, November 17, 2016

Report Documents the Criminalization of Homelessness

The Allard K. Lowenstein International Human Rights Clinic at Yale Law School has released a new report titled “Forced into Breaking the Law”: The Criminalization of Homelessness in Connecticut. The report examines how Connecticut’s homeless residents face the threat of criminal sanctions for simply existing. The report also documents how Connecticut city ordinances, such as those prohibiting loitering, panhandling, and sleeping in public, punish people for performing necessary, life-sustaining functions, which effectively criminalizes homelessness itself. It further outlines how the criminalization of homelessness violates state, federal, and international law.

The release of the report coincides with National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week and the launch of the national “Housing Not Handcuffs” campaign, organized by National Coalition for the Homeless and the National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty, which aims to end the criminalization of homelessness.

“Laws criminalizing activities that people experiencing homelessness must engage in to survive constitute cruel and unusual punishment and restrict fundamental civil liberties, such as free speech and privacy rights,” said Hillary Vedvig ’17, a student author of the report. “These laws are also enforced arbitrarily and discriminatorily against people experiencing homelessness as well as against people of color, transgender people, and people with disabilities living on the street.”

The report also demonstrates the ways in which local ordinances that criminalize homelessness are unnecessary, counterproductive, costly, and out of line with Connecticut values. “Enforcing laws that ban people from asking for money or lingering in a park square through unaffordable citations, or even arrest, does not address the root problems of homelessness,” said Nate Fox of the Warburton Resource, Outreach and Collaboration Center at Center Church in Hartford, who collaborated with the Clinic on this report. “Instead citations and arrests only make it harder to get back on your feet.”

“This report sheds light on a system that, through small actions by many actors, puts Connecticut’s most vulnerable people in a detrimental cycle of policing, homelessness, and poverty,” added Scout Katovich ’17, another student author of the report.

The report documents the harms people experiencing homelessness suffer at the hands of the criminal justice system every day. People interviewed for the report described receiving citations for loitering while waiting on the corner for a shelter to open. Just for asking for a few dollars, individuals face $99 fines under anti-panhandling ordinances, according to the report. Initial contact with the criminal justice system often escalates and results in a downward spiral, students said. If people are too poor to pay their fine, they must contest the ticket in court. But those interviewed for the report faced high barriers to showing up on their court date. For instance, many people never received notice of their court dates because they did not have an address or lacked transportation to get to court. Failure to pay the fine or go to court can result in arrest and incarceration, making it even more difficult to obtain housing and employment. In this way, the criminalization of homelessness further entrenches a cycle of homelessness, poverty, and criminalization, the report argues.

Even when they are not fined or arrested, Connecticut’s homeless are constantly told to move, resulting in a pervasive sense of insecruity, students said. As Thomas, a man interviewed for the report who has experienced homelessness in New Britain, remarked: “When they make all your activities illegal, then there’s nowhere for you to go.”

“If Connecticut is serious about criminal justice reform and eradicating homelessness, it must stop criminalizing homelessness,” said Allison Frankel ’17, another student author. “The Lowenstein Clinic urges Connecticut cities to immediately stop enforcing laws that criminalize homelessness and encourages state and local officials to focus on policies that will put people experiencing homelessness into housing, not handcuffs.”

The Allard K. Lowenstein International Human Rights Clinic is a legal clinic at Yale Law School that undertakes projects on behalf of human rights organizations and individual victims of human rights abuses.


On-line link

Full report:

Executive summary:

HUFF ponders the future, preps for Saturday “End Police Violence” Protest 11 AM Sub Rosa Cafe

HUFF will be hammering out its proposals for police reform at the Saturday 1:30 PM protest at the Town Clock 11-26.  The meeting runs from 11 AM depending on when coffee and patience and participants run out.

Agenda items also likely to include:  Freedom SleepOut #72 Lookback and Lookforward; Expectations from Incoming City Council members (Krohn and S. Brown); Interacting with the Growing Anti-Trump Protest;  and more!


More Bucks for Busts, Slashing Social Services & Rain Rousts- Come to Freedom Sleepout #72

Date Tuesday November 22  Time 4:00 PM – 4:00 AM

Location Details On the sidewalk outside City Hall as the City Council votes to cut back further its wretched services for the poor and those outside. 809 Center St. facing the main library. The protest runs from 4 PM Tuesday to 9 AM or so Wednesday. Rain possible. Bring umbrellas, tarps, and protective gear.
Event Type
Organizer/Author Keith McHenry (story by Norse)
Email keith [at]

For the 72nd time, community activists who call themselves Freedom Sleepers [FS] create a one-night refuge for homeless folks against the city-wide ban on sleeping outside in a city shelter for less than 5% of 1000-2000.

DARK AGENDA IN A DARKENING ERA (from City Manager Martin Bernal and his underlings)
For hardnosed veterans interested in confronting a Trump-minded City Council, here are a few of the agenda items and their approximate time:

12:30 pm [Open Interval of the Closed Session] City Manager’s Performance Evaluation City Manager Martin Bernal is the most powerful and highly paid official in town; the anti-homeless policies supporting increased police harassment of protesters and homeless must have his approval.
2 pm [Afternoon Session]
#16 $217,000 for more rangers and more surveillance to deal with “crimes” like camping and loitering
#17 More Talk about the Housing Crisis: no Funding.
#18 More power to ticket vehicles for the parking enforcers.
#21 Prohibits growing any recreational marijuana in your fenced off yard even if not visible from the street

5 PM (approx) [Oral Communications] 2 minutes or less at the whim of Mayor Mathews: say what you want to the audience, those watching on tv, and the (shudder) City Council but act with others to create the changes Council refuses to look at.

7 pm [Evening Session] Move to shaft the pitiful remaining social services: redistribute the $1,000,000 Community Programs budget to new areas and thereby substantially reduce awards to programs or projects that support Early Childhood Education, Seniors and Homeless Services. Petition opposing this at
e-mail the Council at citycouncil [at]

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HUFF braves post-election blues to cackle together over coffee at the Sub Rosa Cafe 11 AM Wednesday 11-16

Hearty (and not-so hardy) HUFFsters will brave drizzle and sunshine to ponder HUFFstuff.  On the agenda in part:   David Silva’s hunger fast and the “Rolling Fast”; County RV Ban Battle Continues;  Struggling with the Sheriff’s Department to Get Its Citation Record Released as Required by Law; Surveillance Public Records of the City Police Again Delayed;  Watsonville Homeless Connect–Worth Wandering South?; ACLU Agenda for Wednesday Night–Prospects?; Looking for Updates from Tenant Rights Struggle, Council Coronation Crapola on Tuesday 11-22, Aftermath of the Metro (Measure D) Fight, MHCAN, Laura’s Law at the Supes, and Cannabis Constriction at the Supes; Prep for the Saturday 1:30 PM Cop-Corner-at-the-Town-Clock rally, and Freedom SleepOut 71 Update…all this and the new Street Spirit too (!).