|Title:3rd Sunday Night Sleep-Out at City Hall|
|TIME:7:00 PM – 7:00 AM|
|Main Santa Cruz Post Office at Front and Water. To be followed by a march to 809 Center St. at the City Hall Courtyard|
|Contact Name||Phil Posner (posted by Norse)|
|chatrabbi [at] aol.com|
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-
|Title:||Community SleepOut Will Slumber Again This Sunday|
|START DATE:||Sunday July 19|
|TIME:||6:30 PM – 6:30 AM|
|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.|
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.
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
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.
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.
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/
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.
UPDATE: COURT HEARING WILL BEGIN AT 8:15 AM NOT 9 AM
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.
|Title:||Sleepsearch Coffee and Brunch on the Steps of the Post Office|
|START DATE:||Saturday July 11|
|TIME:||10:00 AM – 11:00 AM|
|On or near the steps of the main Santa Cruz Post Office where Front St. meets Pacific Ave.|
|Contact Name||Robert Norse|
|Email Address||rnorse3 [at] hotmail.com|
|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.
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.
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)
(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.
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.
HUFF will be chatting and chugging about the implications of the one-night sleepout, homeless participation and expectations, closing in on City Council staff to get hard answers, and documenting hard data on recent homelessness citations (currently gathering dust at City Hall). Rumor is there’ll be coffee available.