HUFF Meeting at 9-24-14
In the wake of last Wednesday’s small but successful “Cop Corner” demo (See https://www.indybay.org/
HUFF Meeting at 9-24-14
In the wake of last Wednesday’s small but successful “Cop Corner” demo (See https://www.indybay.org/
FIGHT BACK AGAINST POLICE & VIGILANTE ABUSE OF THE POOR !
WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 172 PMLaurel & Center outside SCPD HQ
following the weekly 11 AM-1 PM HUFF meeting at the Sub Rosa Cafe
Stop Racial and Class Profiling in Santa Cruz
Campsite Raided? Property Impounded or Tossed? Harassed on the Street?
Treated like a Criminal because you’re Poor and Outside? Vehicle threatened?
Security Guards Barking at You in the Parks? Hassled for Your Dog? “Moved Along”?
“Eat ’em Don’t Shoot ’em” Brownies & HUFF Cafe Coffee
No Ferguson in Santa Cruz! End Harassment by Officers Azua, Barnett & Others
Stop Military Style Attacks on the Poor Downtown and Around Town
Volunteer forCampsite Protection Movement & Copwatch
In the last half year in the south campus area of Berkeley there have been hundreds ofarrests banishments and stay away orders. The Telegraph Avenue Merchants Association has taken the landlords contributions hired a ambassador force that acts and do a lot of the work of the police. They have stopped our communication by wiping out all venues that we in the past have communicated through. They have wiped out all of the community on Telegraph Avenue. This is a rally is open to everyone to speak to overcome this repression by the police, landlords, business and corporations.
FIGHT BACK CONCERT & EVENT IN THE PARK Saturday, September 13th, 1-5PM Musicians, Poets and Speakers
PEOPLES PARK- BERKELEY
POLICE & BUSINESS REPRESSION
LANDLORD & CORPORATE REPRESSION
> Hi Robert and Huff folks,
> Sorry it took me a little less than a week to get these responses back to
> you. Thanks for your interest in this process.
> Thanks for the opportunity to engage in dialogue about these issues.
> ➊ Will You demand an end to the after-dark curfews in Santa Cruz?
> To make parks and greenbelt areas inhospitable to homeless people with no
> other places to sleep at night, NIMBY lawmakers have made all parks, the
> levee, and Cowell’s Beach “forbidden zones.” In response to peaceful
> protest, being on the City Hall or library grounds was also made a
> “trespass” crime. Using Drug War “needlemania” hysteria & inflated police
> stats that label camping a crime, a costly and phony “Public Safety” scare
> campaign has increased fear and hatred of the poor.
> I will not demand changes when I serve on City Council, I will work
> carefully with other Council members to achieve the majority needed to
> bring about meaningful change. While I recognize the need for a safe and
> secure sleeping place, I do not support widespread camping in our
> greenbelts areas. I have seen too much damage to fragile ecosystems and
> too much garbage in our parks. I support changes which address the
> underlying causes of homelessness.
> ➋ Will You support a moratorium on laws that punish sleeping
> outside or in vehicles at night as proposed by the Santa Cruz American
> Civil Liberties Union?
> Instead of acknowledging the emergency need for shelter, sleeping space,
> or housing for several thousand homeless outside, media mudslingers have
> turned facts on their head redefining survival sleeping as a crime.
> Insofar as a moratorium on laws that punish sleeping outside has any
> chance of gaining traction and enactment in the City of Santa Cruz I will
> work towards that. Again, let me stress that my goal in dealing with our
> chronic problem of homelessness in Santa Cruz is to address the underlying
> causes and bring an end to homelessness. Last year several people died of
> exposure sleeping outside; that should never happen in our City. We need
> to work towards getting people safe and secure places to sleep at night.
> Sleeping outside, as I have learned from many of my students, is not safe,
> particularly for women.
> ➌ Will You act to defend the few possessions homeless people have
> in their makeshift campsites at night and on their persons during the day?
> Cities like Fresno have been the successful target of lawsuits against
> their police for seizing and destroying homeless property—something that
> is routinely done here targeting blankets, bedding and other survival
> If elected I will work with police officers to make sure they are not
> targeting homeless people and their possessions. I do not support the
> establishment of camp-sites in our greenbelt areas as they degrade the
> natural environment that people have worked so hard to preserve.
> ➍ Will You restore the public space to the community by eliminating
> “forbidden zones” &“move-along” laws downtown and elsewhere ?
> The City Council last year eliminated all but 1% of the downtown sidewalks
> for traditional Free Speech activities such as vending, performing,
> sitting, sparechanging, & political tabling with police the new judges.
> If elected to City Council I will work to change the downtown ordinances
> that restrict street artists downtown.
> ➎ Will You help reestablish police priorities to focus on real
> crime instead of having the act as a quasi-military auxiliary with intense
> focus on “crimes” such as “sitting”, “sleeping”, and “smoking”?
> Police, security guards, and yellow-jacketed “hosts” now patrol Pacific
> Avenue in record numbers, swarming to mob “undesirable” poor people in a
> concerted effort to effect economic anti-homeless “cleansing” downtown.
> If elected to City Council I will work with police to ensure they
> prioritize the most dangerous violent criminals and property theft.
> ➏ Will You support immediate renter protection, stabilization,
> and/or rent control laws as well as penalties for vacant property
> speculation here?
> Rent profiteering against residents and businesses alike has become second
> nature in Santa Cruz. Living here has become prohibitive for those who
> work here. For the poor, affordable housing is a vehicle—which is illegal.
> If I am elected to City Council I will work hard to establish affordable
> and low income housing options in town.
> ➐ Will You take time out of your day to document police overkill
> and support regular community street presence to stop Ferguson-style
> police barbarity here?
> Community control of police is an ever more important issue as police
> departments across the country, including ours become more militarized and
> insulated from public input and transparency.
> If I am elected I will work hard to ensure that Police are accountable to
> ➑ Will You stand up for unpopular positions and be a whistleblower
> even at the cost of alienating the established political and economic
> The political structure resists real change. In the end it’s principled
> individuals in the community & dissenters inside the power structure like
> Snowden, Assange and Manning that provide the passion and tools for
> change. Those hoping to “infiltrate” the power structure usually find it
> infiltrates them.
> My goal an an elected official will be to bring the voice of the people to
> the people in power. I will listen carefully to a wide range of people and
> work towards finding solutions that benefit the wider community.
> Continue reading
The following speech was intended to be given at the Association of Faith Communities – Santa Cruz County Conference on Friday, September 5, 2014. Unfortunately, the community discussion was canceled and the AFC never got to hear HUFF’s suggestion.
First and foremost, we thank you for all of the work you’re already doing to help homeless people and for holding this conference today, dedicating yourselves to addressing the issues of poverty and homelessness in Santa Cruz County. We understand that trying to solve such a complicated and widespread issue is quite a daunting task. With that said, we’d like to offer you a simpler way to look at the matter.
We often make houselessness into a complex issue by focusing on its toughest aspects. We speak of highly vulnerable populations, such as people with disabilities or untreated mental illnesses who live on the streets; people we don’t know how to support properly. We talk about drug addicts and people who have criminal records sleeping in parks and hiding in bushes; so called “threats” to our community. We make pleas on behalf of single mothers and children without roofs over their heads; as we see our own mothers and children reflected in their eyes. We talk about the Recession and the many people forced to leave their homes in the wake of layoffs and the slow recovery of the economy.
But the truth is, all of these kinds of people exist outside of homelessness. You have members of your congregations with learning disabilities and physical handicaps. You have neighbors who have criminal records or who struggle with addiction. There are single mothers living in houses all over the city. And there are plenty of people stuck at home everyday typing up resumes and trying to find work. The only thing that makes homeless people any different from the general population is that they have no space of their own to return to at night.
Taking this into consideration, we at HUFF believe the best course of action to address homelessness in Santa Cruz is to create simple housing. Simple housing is exactly what it sounds like: a roof over your head, something to sleep on, a 24 hour restroom, and a place to shower. We would love to see the faith community come together to create and support an initiative to make 1,000 simple housing units in Santa Cruz County. Given that the 2013 Homeless Census found over 3,000 homeless people in the county, we believe that it is reasonable for us to try to serve at least a third of that population. Once again, all these people need are the basic things most of us take for granted: a roof over our heads, something to sleep on, 24 hour restroom access, and a place to shower.
We ask you for your help as we cannot do this alone. Poverty and homelessness are community issues. It will take the love and care of all of the community to resolve them. As some of the most loving, caring, and knowledgeable folks in town, we turn to you for allyship and support. If you would like to join us in these efforts and continue this dialogue, please come see me after the community talk-back is over. Once again, thank you for providing this opportunity to discuss these matters as a community. My name is Raven Davis and I’ll be here later if you’d like to talk more about HUFF’s proposal for simple housing. Thank you.
HUFF Flyer Distributed at the Event Intended Also as A Speech
Acts Beyond Words Will Create Simple Housing
Speech to the Association of Faith Communities 9-5-14 by Robert Norse
I’m also a member of HUFF. We’re mostly about restoring rights to homeless folks—rapidly disappearing rights. Rights stolen from the poor outside are ultimately stolen from all of us. We are in the midst of a historical period where one right after another, one sanctuary after another, one bench after another, is being removed in a campaign to target homeless people.
Simple housing is the most immediate need. It’s elementary, obvious, and indisputable. Homeless people need simple housing—a place with a roof over the heads a place to sleep, a place to go to the bathroom, and a place to shower. Every night people are harassed and ticketed for falling asleep outside. Their possessions are vulnerable. Their safety, health, and sanity are at risk.
Simple housing isn’t expensive. Not having it is. The City and County give away millions to homeless dispersal programs, for “security” gates and fences, for consultants and developers, for police equipment. Simple housing is what we need. And not tomorrow, but today.
We are living in a time when fear, bigotry, and greed. A time of special privilege. It hides under the labels of “public safety” and “smart solutions”. Those being offered a small amount of temporary housing while billed as “the most vulnerable” are often those who are simply the most visible and the most annoying. The ones who cost the most to businesses seeking tourist dollars. Owners angling for higher property values. Residents anxious for a view unobstructed by a poor family who park their home on a nearby street for a night. Or wait there for a church to open.
The faith community itself and those who seek the small amount of shelter that they are able to provide are under attack Attack from the more privileged and the more fearful. Some in the faith community are reeling under these attacks. The bigots would “end homelessness” by driving homeless people away. A new move to ban nighttime parking around the Circles Church is the latest such attack. When police profile folks near church programs, we sadly see church workers urging the victims not to make waves, not to bring “undue attention” to the churches.
Let’s agree we need immediately 1,000 simple housing units in Santa Cruz County. We obviously need more, but instead of “baby steps” let’s take some real steps. Without unified and determined action, things will only grow worse. Upcoming elections provide gloomy prospects. The real solution—simple housing—is something we must work and fight for. Not just talk about.
Poverty and homelessness are controversial issues that necessarily create tension in the community. We must not flee from that tension or seek to conceal it. Nor beg crumbs from those who condition their funding on denying homeless people basic rights. We need to act.
We must move swiftly to create simple housing: a roof , a bed, a bathroom, & a shower. Make sense? Raise this issue repeatedly with your bodies as well as your voices. Support those who speak up for it and take action to promote it. HUFF meets weekly on Wednesdays 11 to 1 at the Sub Rosa Cafe at 703 Pacific. Or give us a call at 831-423-4833.
This speech is the opinion of Robert Norse and does not necessarily represent that of HUFF.
HUFFish ones: Up for discussion: SCPD acquiring of Homeland Security-ish equipment and its communications with the Evil Empire, creating a counter-narrative to the “criminal homeless” using the many Public Records Act requests, new pressures on the Circle Change via Permit Parking petitioning, prospects for HUFFing downtown near empty buildings, and upcoming City Council meeting on 9-9. What could be more fun?