Grab Your Blankets and Join Us–4th SleepOut at City Hall 7 PM 8-2 Main Post Office

 

Title:  Freedom Sleepers Resume Protest at City Hall
START DATE:  Sunday August 02
TIME:  7:00 PM – 7:00 AM

Chow down at Food Not Bombs 4-6 PM, then gather in front of the Main Post Office for final preparations, followed by a parade to City Hall, a modest meal there, and a night outside City Hall. We encourage the community to join us in a night of peaceful petitioning and protest to end the City-wide Sleeping Ban.
Event Type: Protest
We continue this conscience-raising solidarity with homeless people outside who have no legal place to sleep (1500-2000 of them).

Claudia Brown, speaking for the Homeless (Lack of) Services Center declared recently that the HLOSC will not be serving people who don’t have a funding stream (such as SSI or Section 8 Vouchers)–as a “path to housing”.

Meanwhile police and rangers continue harassment ticketing with additional “stay-away” orders for the “crime” of sleeping after 11 PM outside. City Council’s response has been to increase penalties, add more police, and create more “closed” areas.

For more background on the protest as well as the latest flier, go to “3rd Sleep-in at City Hall” at http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2015/07/23/18775300.php .

For the saga of that 3rd Sleepout (or part of it anyway), check out “Community Sleep-ins Continue at Santa Cruz City Hall” at http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2015/07/31/18775606.php

See also “Freedom Sleepers” at http://www.facebook.com/search/str/Freedom%20Sleepers/keywords_top .

NOTE: This posting reflects my views specifically, though I believe they are shared by many of the Freedom Sleepers.

__._,_.__

Posted by: Robert <rnorse3@hotmail.com

 

HUFFlle along to the Sub Rosa 11 AM 7-29 Wednesday

 

Likly to be on the agenda:   Expanding the Sleep Out Foot Print Next Sunday and Beyond!…Weekday Warrioring at City Hall and Restoring The Right to Be Homeless and Visible…Latest SCPD updates (and non-updates)…Court stratgegies for housed activists to deal with homeless citations…plus coffee and cranky conversation.

Survival Sleep-Out Round Three: Coming Up This Sunday in Santa Cruz !

Title:3rd Sunday Night Sleep-Out at City Hall
START DATE:

Sunday July 26
 
TIME:7:00 PM – 7:00 AM
Location Details:
Main Santa Cruz Post Office at Front and Water. To be followed by a march to 809 Center St. at the City Hall Courtyard
Event Type: Protest
Contact Name Phil Posner (posted by Norse)
  chatrabbi [at] aol.com
 
COMING TOGETHER FOR JUSTICE
Activists from Food Not Bombs, the Camp of Last Resort, HUFF, the Homeless Persons Legal Assistance Project and those sleeping outside as well as independent supporters will gather at the main Post Office. We will then take the streets and make our way to City Hall. There we will prepare for a night of peaceful petitioning and protest to end the City-wide Sleeping Ban.

OUR DEMAND
We are asking the City Council, the SCPD, Parks and Rec Rangers and all other enforcement agencies to leave those sleeping outside alone.

All shelter services have waiting lists. There is no shelter for 90
% of the unhoused population.

The Sleeping Ban itself (MC 6.36.010a) makes the act of sleeping after 11 PM on any public (and much private) property a $157 crime for the first offense. Unattended citations can lead to misdemeanors.

So-called “Mosquito” devices have been in place for the last year emitting high pitch sounds to drive away homeless people resting from spots lik the area under the Soquel Ave. bridge.

Hundreds of Stay-Away orders have been given to homeless people who haven’t even been to court for minor infractions–including being in a park after dark and sleeping.

LOTS OF UNUSED SPACE AT NIGHT
Santa Cruz has more than a hundred acres of parkland, including two reserved for dogs. These parks are all closed to the public at night. Authorities are issuing stay-away orders and tickets for those who fall asleep in the parks or rest in them after dark.

RESOURCES AVAILABLE AND MUNCHIES
Some sleeping bags and light tarps will be available for uses for those who want to join the protest. There’ll be sandwiches in the mid-evening and a Cafe HUFF breakfast in the morning sometime between 6:30 and 7:30 AM with yummy edibles and hot steaming coffee for the Survival Sleepers and their supporters.

PETITIONS
We will also have petitions to circulate and sign to document the needs of those being abused under the current laws and show community support.

We hope city authorities, recognizing the emergency, will allow folks to petition at the seat of government without harassment. Leave in peace those who need to sleep there–especially since City Council offers no alternatives. We invite the community to join us as participants or witnesses.

Folks are also invited to bring their vehicles if they have them. Caution: MC 6.36.010 also makes it “illegal” to sleep after 11 PM at night in your own vehicle.

FUTURE PROSPECTS
We are looking forward in the next few weeks to daytime sleepouts in the park and at City Hall as well as other as-yet undisclosed locations around town. During the day, sleeping (and petitioning) in parks and at City Hall is “legal”.

We also hope to schedule events at City Hall itself urging the restoration of constitutional rights for those outside.

What happened last time: “Despite Heavy Police and Security Presence, Campers Make it Through the Night at City Hall” at http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2015/07/21/18775182.php

Note: This is my own take on the upcoming sleep-out. Others may view it differently. Come and check it out for yourself. –R Norse of HUFF

Added to the calendar on Thursday Jul 23rd, 2015 10:37 PM

iCal Import this event into your personal calendar.

§Two for the Price of One

by Phil Posner (posted by Norse) Thursday Jul 23rd, 2015 10:37 PM

 

Distribute widely and prepare for future sleep-outs.
 

 

 

Continue reading

HUFFing Again! 11 AM 7-22 Wednesday at the Sub Rosa!

Looks like another HUFF hoedown at the Sub Rosa with a focus on the ongoing Community Campout, which is informally slated to kick off another Sunday night at City Hall (or perhaps a mystery spot TBA!).    Reports will be coming on the latest ticketeer-monitors who are talleying up the many anti-homeless P & R cites for the last few months.  We’ll be discussing daytime actions at City Hall to hold the City accountable and expose ongoing anti-homeless schemes–like the “No Parking for the Poor” program near the now closed-to-the-general-homeless-population Homeless (Lack of) Services Center.   Also up on the agenda, Panhandling for the Povertypimps–the latest “give us the cash while we cut services” plans of Claudia Brown and the HLOSC directors…  And more on UCSC homeless organizing as well…   All this and java to sip!

Return of the Stubborn Sleepers: Sunday July 19 6:30 PM Main Post Office

Title: Community SleepOut Will Slumber Again This Sunday
START DATE: Sunday July 19
TIME: 6:30 PM – 6:30 AM
Location Details:
Beginning at the Main Post Office after the Sunday night meal, activists from Food Not Bombs, the Camp of Last Resort, HUFF, the Homeless Persons Legal Assistance Project and independent supporters will gather on the steps in front of the main Post Office, choose a Safe Sleeping Spot and make their way to that place for the night.
Event Type: Protest
SERVICE SHUTDOWN
Services for showers, bathrooms, laundry, and food have now been cut off for half a month with no chance of immediate restoration.

There is no indication of a reduction of the harassment and citing of Santa Cruz’s 1500+ homeless people outside for the “crime” of sleeping at night.

NO SHELTER
There is emergency walk-in shelter for less than a dozen people at best with waiting lists of weeks or months for the unhoused.

While there is lots of talk about providing “a path to housing” and fund-seeking for social service programs that do not provide the actual housing, there has been a cutback in real emergency services for food and shelter.

LOTS OF UNUSED SPACE AT NIGHT
Santa Cruz has more than a hundred acres of parkland, including two reserved for dogs. These parks are all closed to the public at night. Authorities are issuing stay-away orders and tickets for those who fall asleep in the parks.

Nine were given costly citations two weeks ago for simply being at City Hall at night petitioning the government for a redress of these grievances.

MOONLIGHT MEAL
We will be providing sandwiches at our first stop at City Hall at 9:30 PM on the night of the march. All are invited–even those who may be apprehensive of confrontations with police (on July 5th, 22 officers came to disperse more than 25 sleepers).

RESOURCES AVAILABLE
Some sleeping bags and light tarps will be available for uses for those who want to join the protest.

PETITIONS
We will also have petitions to circulate and sign to document the needs of those being abused under the current laws and show community support.

We hope city authorities, recognizing the emergency, will allow folks to sleep without harassment and invite the community to join us as participants or witnesses.

Folks are also invited to bring their vehicles if they have them. Caution: MC 6.36.010 makes it “illegal” to sleep after 11 PM at night anywhere on public property in Santa Cruz.

MORNING FEED
Oatmeal, coffee, and perhaps a few extras will be on the menu for breakfast. The location of the meal will be announced at City Hall at 6:30 PM, depending on where the Survival Sleepers spend the night.

FUTURE PROSPECTS
We are looking forward in the next few weeks to daytime sleepouts in the park and at City Hall as well as other as-yet undisclosed locations around town. During the day, sleeping (and petitioning) in parks and at City Hall is “legal”.

We will also be scheduling events at City Hall itself urging the restoration of constitutional rights for those outside.

More info: “Community Campout Ends with Citations” at http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2015/07/05/18774529.php

Continue reading

HUFF again Wednesday 11 AM Sub Rosa 7-15

Devoted HUFFsters have been gathering P & R info around Stay-Away’s and harassment infraction tickets;  the immiseration scene downtown and around the town has increased with the shutting down of services at Coral St., Campout #2 is coming up this Sunday at the Main Post Office.  Discussion coming up of what to do to pry loose important information from the City Staff.  Non-lethal forms of protest to draw attention without resulting necessarily in tickets.  Talk and maybe some action…along with cups of coffee and the occasional crunchable.

Santa Cruz 11 Court Date Earlier 8:15 AM 7/14 Dept 6

UPDATE:  COURT HEARING WILL BEGIN AT 8:15 AM NOT 9 AM
https://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2015/07/13/18774843.php

NOTE BY NORSE:  At least two HUFF members (myself and blogger Becky Johnson) were targeted as part of the Santa Cruz Eleven group, requiring dozens of hours of court time, jobs and income lost, and perhaps most important a freezing fear descended on the community around Direct Action organizing.  I encourage folks to show up in support of the Final Four of the Santa Cruz Eleven.

The four are charged with “felony vandalism” for having been in a vacant Wells-Fargo bank bujilding (still vacant four years later), some as journalists, some as supporters of housing for the homeless and a community center, some in opposition to Wells Fargo’s still unpunished foreclosure fraud, some as observers.  No evidence has been presented since this case was first charged in 2012 that any of the SC-11, or any of these four committed vandalism.   Instead the prosecution will argtue that simply being in a building after a trespass warning is given where others commit vandalism “aids and abets” the vandals.   The prosecution is using a strategy where “the process is the punishment” by making the defendants appear again and again.

It’s a phony and dangerous trial being used to silence dissent and spread fear among activists.  And perhaps curry favor with the Wells Fargo Bank and the police–who were forced to back down and may have felt they had egg on their face.

Robert Norse

Santa Cruz 11 Heads Towards Trial

Court Date Tomorrow 7/14!  9am Dept 6

Support still needed for the Santa Cruz 11!

Tomorrow morning, Tuesday 7/14, at 9 am in Department 6 of the Santa Cruz Courthouse defense attorneys for the remaining 4 of the SC11 will be discussing possible pre-trial outcomes of the case with prosecutor Greg Peinado.

This is the first court date of the month that may prove to be a big one for the remaining defendants. With trial potentially starting in just two weeks, let’s show up in support! Just being there can really make a difference to those charged, especially as it has been years since the occupation that led to all of this. Court can be really isolating and uncomfortable, let’s make sure our friends know they are cared for!

This is also an opportunity to show the City that we are still paying attention and care about what is happening.

Tomorrow, there seems to be the possibility of attorneys coming to a pre-trial settlement (plea bargain or deal), or at least making steps in that direction. As of yet, Peinado has not offered anything to the defendants, and has often said he has to consult with his “higher ups” in before making or responding to offers of settlement. This is a continued practice after being criticized in court for coming to hearings without the power to do anything, therefor wasting the time of the judge and defense attorneys as well as tax payer money.

It seems that the defendants are preparing to go to trial while also being open to resolving the case beforehand if the City were to offer something they could agree to. The prosecution has pushed for a large restitution in this case and held on to the felony charges despite having the power to resolve this case by dropping or lowering the charges and restitution.

It has been a question throughout this case of where the motivation and power lie in the prosecution. Bob Lee and his ties to Wells Fargo were influential, but now he is no longer with us. Who is in charge? Who is asking for the continued prosecution and seeking of restitution? Is it Wells Fargo? Or City of Santa Cruz officials?

Regardless of the answers to these questions it is up to us to show each other that we care when the City and State repress activists and members of our community. It is up to us to find what is inspiring about this situation, or create that inspiration for ourselves.

See you tomorrow friends!

Copyright © 2015 Support the Santa Cruz Eleven, All rights reserved.
Thank you joining the email list!

Our mailing address is:

Support the Santa Cruz Eleven

P.O. Box 61

Santa Cruz, CA 95063

Continue reading

Sip Coffee and Seek Sleeping Rights 10 AM Saturday 7-11 Main Post Office

Title: Sleepsearch Coffee and Brunch on the Steps of the Post Office
START DATE: Saturday July 11
TIME: 10:00 AM11:00 AM
Location Details:
On or near the steps of the main Santa Cruz Post Office where Front St. meets Pacific Ave.
Event Type: Other
Contact Name Robert Norse
Email Address rnorse3 [at] hotmail.com
Phone Number 831-423-4833
Address 309 Cedar PMB 14B S.C. CA 95060
Cafe HUFF and Jumbogumbo Joe Schultz will be serving coffee and perhaps some edibles.

We’ll be making colorful placards to raise awareness about the anti-homeless Sleeping Ban that along with the “closed areas” laws results in hundreds of infraction tickets and stay-away orders each month.

EARLIER PROTEST
This event is a follow-up, report-back-from, and discussion of next steps around last Saturday night’s Sleep Out at City Hall.

There 7 of us were cited by 22 police officers in the wee hours of Sunday morning and threatened with arrest if we didn’t move.

We stayed for several hours then reassembled later that morning for breakfast on the steps of the Post Office. The housed organizers acknowledged their original intentions to continue the Sleepout for the next few nights was not something they had the energy or stamina to do.

Instead they set a date for a second SleepOut two weeks away, and a protest march on July 11th. Because of insufficient publicity and other difficulties, the group recommends focusing on next Sunday July 19th as a 2nd SleepOut night.

We will see how people feel and take further input at the Brunch during the later Food Not Bombs 4-6 meal on 7-11 and 7-12.

There will also be a 6:30 pm Sleepingspot Search meeting Sunday night to firm up SleepOut plans.

Continue reading

Unanswered Questions and City Council Silence

To Councilman Micah Posner:

You announced you’d gained Don Lane’s agreement to put the issue on the agenda (which I have yet to see confirmed by him publicly) and encouraged folks other than yourself to “seek a second”.   Thank you.

However, the “conversation” you promised in your July 3rd e-mail about the questions you’ve ignored did not happen.  I repeat these below for your convenience, while adding two more.

More homeless people have been dispersed from the incompetent and token Homeless (Lack of) Services Center. 

The most important and most used services have been institutionally abandoned in favor of special grant-seeking programs that serve only a few and do nothing to deal with the broader homeless issues of housing and civil rights. 

The Parks and Recreation Department (whom you effusively praise at Council) along with the SCPD have literally given out hundreds of tickets for sleeping and being in a closed area in the last few months alone.  With each ticket has come at least a 24-hour stay away order.–which you voted for in 2013, a vote you have not yet repudiated. 

City Council is not in session.  But the staff, and their armed enforcers, are regularly in session–every night and every day.  Accordingly we need those who at least have the placard of power in the public eye and a nametag at City Council to use their positions to advise the public of what is really happening.

In order to do that, the public needs access to documents that are currently being withheld.  Please make the following requests in writing and make all subsequent correspondence immediately available to the public

These include:  (a) the budget of the Homeless (Lack of) Services Center (which receives over $100,000 in City money)
                            (b) request that staff draw up an amendment to MC 6.36.055 that states there will be no prosecution or ticketing of those sleeping outside unless a police officer determine with a phone call that shelter space is available that night.  This is a stopgap measure short of ending the Sleeping Ban.  It requires nothing other than a memo from you.
                            (c) request specific information from the City Attorney as to how many citations it dismissed under MC 6.36.055 and how many it forwarded to court for $157 prosecutions.   Please include in your request a listing of the names of those cited, either by the SCPD or the P&R.  This information is important in determining how “well” the current law is working.  My requests to get this specific information have been unavailing.
(d) ask that P & R staff create a data base–as the SCPD has partially done–to 
summarize their infraction ticket stats each month instead of requiring those seeking to review them to go through them citation by citation.
(e) review for yourself the thick sheaf of P & R citations for the last few months alone that is sitting several feet away from your office at the City Council staff desk to confirm that the attack on homeless people involving frivolous and expensive
(f) prior staff reports from 1995, 1999, and 2000 (as well as other years) documenting the results of the “search for homeless sleeping spots and city-owned property/buildings” or information directly from Mayors Beiers and Krohn regarding this data.
(g) request staff examine the feasibility of the specific spots recommended by Becky Johnson of HUFF (her number is repeated below)
(h) request the particulars of why City Hall was ruled a “forbidden zone” or “closed area” after 10 PM in the fall of 2010, including all documents that justified such an action as well as anything more recent that’s relevant.  Request that in the absence of a clear and present danger, she administratively reverse this decision as she has the power to do.
(i)  provide the promised follow-up documenting the status and justification for the unprecedented 24-hour Parking Ban around 115 Coral St.–the status of the appeal against this, what the status of this is, and why it is has not been forwarded to the Transportation and Public Works Commission.  Please request documents, not  second-hand verbal assurances or information.

I would add to these items which I have requested and you have ignored :
(j)  request of P & R staff and SCPD (a) a cost analysis of how much all this ticketing under MC 6.36 and 13.04 (as a beginning) has cost in staff time & how much money has been recovered in fines.  Deputy Chief Clark might be able to “help you out” here since he’s the one who claimed massive SCPD expenditures on the homeless in 2013 during the so-called Homelessness Study Session (actually to set up a biased and bigoted agenda for the Public Safety Task Force targeting homeless, who are now being jacketed not just as “nuisances” but as criminals.
and (k) specifics on what criteria–if any–are in place to guide rangers and cops as to when to issue their unilateral Stay-Away orders.  Presumably such guidelines come from their superiors or are made up by the officers and rangers themselves.

Continue reading

L.A. Activists Target Political Hacks Harassing the Homeless

NOTES BY NORSE:   L.A. Activists are targeting the politicians responsible for the most recent anti-homeless laws just three days after Santa Cruz activists did something similar with their nighttime sleepout at City Hall.

In L.A. they’ve gone directly to the home of the Mayor.

Here in Santa Cruz, it might be helpful to let the entire Council and particularly the rancid Council majority (Mathews, Comstock, Terrazas, Chase, and Niroyan) hear from the poor and their supporters and see them lined up on the sidewalk outside their homes.

After all, it’s this same City Council that has empowered P & R “Rangers”and cops to give hundreds of sleeping and “closed area” citations–as well as Instant Stay-Away Orders to those without shelter here in May alone–driving poor people away from their sleeping spots.  This happened into the rain at City Hall during the Sleep-Out for the homeless people seeking sanctuary and/or solidarity with the protesters.

Note that in L.A. social service agencies and religious groups have joined these actions in Los Angeles, unlike smug gentrified Santa Cruz where even “liberal” groups like SCCCCR, NAACP, ACLU, have remained both silent and absent from this movement.

HUFFsters will be discussing ways to link our movements tomorrow at 11 AM  7-8 at 703 Pacific (Sub Rosa Cafe) with Care Pergolesi as a fall-back location.


 

Unhoused Activists from Venice and Downtown Los Angeles Remain Encamped at the
Mayor’s Mansion to Protest Anti-Homeless Ordinances LAMC 56.11/63.44
Activists and members of the unhoused community from throughout the City remain gathered in front of Mayor Garcetti’s mansion at 605 South Irving Boulevard to demand Mayor Garcetti veto LA Municipal Code 56.11 and 63.44 B & I, which, if allowed to become law, would allow the City and police to confiscate personal possessions from public sidewalks, parks, and beaches in posted areas and reduce mandated notice of removal from 72 hours to 24 hours in non-posted areas. Once tagged for removal, items could not be relocated or left elsewhere without risk of being confiscated by police or the City. Passed by the City Council 12-1 in June, the new ordinances do not require the Mayor’s signature to become law and would effectively prevent anyone from leaving items temporarily unattended in public spaces without risk of seizure by the City.
The new laws would significantly impact street vendors and members of the homeless community and would work to accelerate the criminalization of homelessness without providing any practical solutions such as safe storage or lockers. As written, the laws would make it impossible for people without storage access or homes to safely protect personal possessions and clearly target a specific population – the homeless. If fully enacted, the ordinances would also violate both guaranteed equal protection under the law and the 4th Amendment preventing illegal search and seizure.
Activists from the Downtown Women’s Center, Los Angeles Community Action Network, Venice Street Love, and Occupy Venice have been calling for Mayor Garcetti to veto the laws since they were passed by the council and have been organizing public outreach efforts since July 1st to demand a veto. Members of Occupy Venice and Venice Street Love will be camping in front of the Mayor’s mansion through Tuesday, July 7th and encourage others to join them in solidarity as they ask the Mayor to put a stop to new unconstitutional mandates, halt the effort to further criminalize the homeless, offer tangible solutions, and uphold his oath to protect and serve ALL the people of the City of Los Angeles, housed and unhoused.
Contact:
 
Jared Essig: Venice Street Love (435-215-5274)
 
Press Conference: 7pm, Tuesday, July 7 at Mayor’s Mansion – 605 S. Irving Blvd.
 
Leaders
Of
Venice
Everlasting
Kimmy Miller
Founder
h | 310 450 0180 | primary number
c | 310 266 9050

Continue reading