Sleeping Ban Debate from 20 Years Ago on Free Radio Today

Today’s Bathrobespierre’s Broadside archive is a replay of the Sunday show from December 5th.  It features extensive coverage of the Robert Wagner Memorial interview (a homeless man who died of exposure outside), and a further flashback to a debate between then Counclmember Mike Rotkin and Robert Norse on the Sleeping ban from 1994, originally aired on KSCO radio.

The broadcast will begin approximately around 9:30 today (10-18) and runs 4 1/2 hours.
The show can be downloaded and played independently of Free Radio Santa Cruz by going to http://www.huffsantacruz.org/brb/brb041205.mp3

I’m getting closer to acquiring the technical expertise to creating new shows–which is hard for us Free Radio broadcasters, because we have no studio.  I was able to download the software, and am now shooting for the hardware and the instructional expertise.

Reminding everyone that any information which leads us to a year’s lease on a studio earns the sharp-eyed informant $500.   E-mail me at rnorse3@hotmail.com if you have any info.

Keeping Up the Pressure–Freedom SleepOut #15 Slated for Tuesday Night 10-20

 

Title: As Winter Approaches– “Safe Sleeping Zone” Sleep Out #15
START DATE: Tuesday October 20
TIME: 5:00 PM – 5:00 AM
Location Details:
Around City Hall Until Authorities Declare the Seat of Government a “No Go” Zone at 10 PM; on the Sidewalks thereafter

With no City Council meeting this Tuesday, sleepers and supporters are encouraged to gather in the early evening, and consider staying over through Wednesday morning–with coffee and basic munchables available.

Event Type: Protest
Contact Name Keith McHenry (posting by Norse)
Email Address keith [at] foodnotbombs.net
Phone Number 575-770-3377
Address
Pressure from the federal Department of Justice and HUD to dump Sleeping Bans across the country as cruel and unusual punishment has apparently persuaded Anaheim to suspend enforcement of its nighttime sleeping ban.

See http://www.scpr.org/news/2015/10/15/55062/anaheim-temporarily-stops-enforcing-anti-camping-l/

No citations were issued to sleepers on the sidewalks adjacent to City Hall and the library and only one to a sleeper on the grass. However police continue to roust and cite those outside citywide.

Freedom Sleepers had the largest organizational meeting in their history on Friday. The enthusiasm for expanding protest was strong. The prospects of a future teach-in, know your rights forum, drum circle, and other welcoming events for human rights supporters is likely on future Tuesdays.

Freedom Sleepers (perhaps with the support of the local ACLU) may be bringing to town a lawyer from the National Law Center for Homelessness and Poverty in December.

Steve Pleich, a Freedom Sleeper and local ACLU Vice-Chair, has appealed to the Northern California Regional ACLU on behalf of the local to file suit against the city Sleepbusters.
[“Local ACLU Appeals for Legal Assistance to Challenge Camping Ban” at http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2015/10/16/18778912.php ]

There’s also a scheduled a showing of Exodus from the Jungle–activist Robert Aguirre’s documentary showing the deportation of the San Jose homeless community last fall as winter loomed.

For more background on the Freedom Sleeper protests go to “” at http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2015/10/12/18778731.php & “” at http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2015/10/16/18778903.php and follow the links.

Santa Cruz Falls (Far) Behind Southern California as Anaheim Ends the Nighttime Sleeping Ban for Homeless Folks

NOTES BY NORSE:  Tip of the HUFF hat to silver-tongued Steve Pleich for alerting me to this story.   I have often been uneasy with Steve because of his chummy relationships with political panjandrums of the right and left, content to talk liberal on non-homeless issues in Santa Cruz.   City Council and City Staff shitslingers have been creating homeless policies–attacking RV dwellers, refusing to fund emergency food/laundry/bathroom services of even the most minimal sort, back abusive police behavior against Freedom Sleeper protesters, and creating the dangerous mythology that homeless people are a public safety threat .  Pleich alerted me and other Freedom Sleepers today to this heartening news from conservative Southern California as we played upcoming Freedom Sleep Out #15 at City Hall for Tuesday 10-20.
     The Santa Cruz City Council’s refusal to suspend nighttime ticketing clearly shows the depth and strength of liberal hypocrisy, some would say, neo-fascist policies, when you compare our reactionary police policies with the new (professed) policies of Anaheim and Santa Ana.
     I continue to await word from “liberal” Councilmember Micah Posner, who I’ve asked to demand of City Attorney Condotti how he justifies citations, stay-away orders, harassment, and arrest of homeless people for sleeping or being in parks at night.  This policy not only hurts homeless people (which city officials and staff clearly care nothing about), but  in light of recent Department of Justice statements it constitutes cruel and unusual punishment which is legally actionable.
     Perhaps more to the point for the timid “social service agencies” like the Homeless (Lack of ) Services Center is the threatened cut off of funding by HUD for cities that continue to criminalize the homeless.  Most local churches–who occupy property tax-free but provide only the most minimal assistance to homeless folks they claim to care about so deeply–might also start paying some attention to basic human need and the rampant middle-class hypocrisy that rules there.
      Contact Santa Cruz City Council by e-mail (citycouncil@cityofsantacruz.com) and phone (831-420-5020 to demand immediate decriminalization action for the 1000-2000 homeless threatened nightly with $150+ citations and an El Nino winter.    Join the Freedom Sleepers on the sidewalks near City Hall each Tuesday (http://freedomsleepers.org/ ).

 

Anaheim temporarily stops enforcing anti-camping laws against homeless

Erika Aguilar

October 15, 03:30 PM
Anaheim Community Policing Team Officer Jesse Romero examines a homeless encampment on vacant property in Anaheim Thursday. Anaheim Police Department CPT division on patrol in Anaheim Thursday January 29th, 2014. The CPT division engages communities to reduce crime and build relationships with citizens to improve the community.Anaheim Police Department CPT division on patrol in Anaheim Thursday January 29th, 2014. The CPT division engages communities to reduce crime and build relationships with citizens to improve the community. Stuart Palley for KPCC

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For the time being, homeless people in Anaheim won’t have to worry about being roused from their sleep or having their stuff confiscated, as the Anaheim Police Department joins a few other Orange County cities that have decided to temporarily stop enforcing anti-camping laws.

Anaheim Police Chief Raul Quezada ordered officers to stop enforcement in an Oct. 6 memo:  “In response to community concerns, recent case law developments and to ensure we are providing our officers with updated training in this area, the Police Department, in consultation with the City Attorney’s Office is reexamining the application and enforcement of Chapter 11.10 of the Anaheim Municipal Code (AMB): Camping and Storage of Personal Property in Public Areas,” states a memo issued October 6.

The ordinance, adopted November 2013, makes it illegal and a public nuisance for someone to camp using tarps, cots, sleeping bags, bed and other “camping paraphernalia” in public places such as parks. It also prohibits people from keeping personal belongings “unattended” in public.

Several cities in Orange County have anti-camping ordinances on the books but several – including Santa Ana and Huntington Beach – have also temporarily stopped enforcement.

“Right now, we don’t enforce our unlawful camping ordinance,” said officer Brian Smith with the Huntington Beach Police Department. Smith served as the interim homeless outreach officer until the department recently hired a full-time liaison.

Officers also don’t enforce the city’s ordinance against people sleeping in cars, Smith said.

A bill introduced this summer in the California legislation would have protected homeless people who live in their cars from being fined or having their cars impounded by police but it died on the Senate floor.

Los Angeles city officials are reconsidering a ban on living in cars after the city lost a court challenge last year.

A Santa Ana police spokesman said officers do not enforce the city’s ordinance against camping however Santa Ana municipal code allows for “short-time, casual sleeping” in the Civic Center as long as it doesn’t appear that the person is using the area as “living accommodations.”

The temporary suspension of enforcement in Anaheim came after the activists wrote for the online news website Voice Of OC about harsh police tactics against the homeless and arrests.

“Thanks to the work of many dedicated individuals who video tape police and speak out for the homeless, Anaheim’s Police Chief, Raul Quesada, has decided to halt all seizures of property that the homeless have with them until further review of our videos (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HbEYkQsCwMI) and testimonies.”

The Anaheim Police Department would not specify how long the suspension last.

Temporary suspension of anti-camping and storage laws mostly come after cities have been threatened by lawsuits or face immense pressure.

The ACLU sued Laguna Beach over enforcing its anti-camping ordinance, saying the homeless don’t have a choice.

“Enforcing this ordinance against them, merely for sleeping in public, violates their civil rights,” said Heather Maria Johnson, staff attorney for the ACLU of Southern California, Orange County branch.

The federal government is also weighing in. In September, the U.S. Housing and Urban Development announced that municipalities applying for homeless funding would be asked to explain how they are working to reduce criminalize the homeless.

“That will push local governments in the right direction,” Johnson said.

Although there are a few year-round homeless shelters in Orange County, most are small and have restrictions on who can stay there. The ACLU is suing the city of Laguna Beach alleging it doesn’t provide enough shelter and housing for its disabled and mentally ill homeless residents who cannot stay at the shelter.

Orange County wants to build a 200-bed emergency homeless shelter in Anaheim that would serve the whole county year-round. Currently, the county has two seasonal or winter-only shelters that operate at nights at the Fullerton and Santa Ana Armories.

Johnson said emergency shelters are needed in Orange County but in combination with permanent supportive housing for the homeless and wrap-around services.

Following recent publication of troubling videos questioning how Anaheim PD enforces the city’s anti-camping – many say anti-homeless – ordinance, Police Chief Raul Quesada has taken a bold move.

“In response to community concerns, recent case law developments and to ensure we are providing our officers with updated training in this area, the Police Department, in consultation with the City Attorney’s Office is reexamining the application and enforcement of Chapter 11.10 of the Anaheim Municipal Code (AMC): Camping and Storage of Personal Property in Public Areas,” wrote Quesada last week, issuing a department memo.

“Effective immediately, enforcement of this Chapter and any subsection(s) within it is suspended until further notice,” Quesada wrote, stressing that the move shouldn’t be seen as any indication that current policy was improper.

To read Quesada’s memo, click here

Quesada’s memo also gives city officials a chance to rethink the arrest last week of R. Joshua Collins, a homeless activist who has in recent months written critical columns in the Voice of OC protesting how Anaheim PD enforces the city’s anti-camping ordinance.

Collins’ columns often feature videos of officers enforcing the ordinance in ways that have raised questions among community leaders, like Dr. Jose Moreno, about whether the approach is not only overly harsh but possibly even illegal.

Whether you like Collins’ approach or not, watching his videos prompts Moreno to ask himself whether Anaheim is really making homelessness an illegal act. He and others who have addressed the issue with Quezada indicate he’s seen the videos as well and is troubled by what he’s watching.

We should all ask ourselves whether it’s really good policy to ask local police to become homeless outreach specialists. Homelessness is as much a police responsibility as are potholes and putting officers on the front lines of this societal problem is courting disaster.

The Kelly Thomas police beating death in Fullerton was supposed to have reinforced that lesson.

Many Anaheim residents living near Maxwell and Twila Reed parks in recent years have legitimately petitioned city council members publicly about homeless camping at the parks, complaining about a host of illegal behavior at parks meant for recreation and kids.

These residents have a right to enjoy their local parks without having to navigate around homeless people.

Yet Anaheim city council members have reacted to this challenge with the same, tired old recipe: adopt an ordinance and task police officers with stepping up enforcement.

Anaheim’s Mayor Tom Tait acknowledges city officials need a more creative, holistic approach and credited Quezada for offering all sides a chance to reassess.
“There needs to be a change in dialogue,” Tait said during an interview this weekend. He acknowledges that police officers are not equipped to deal with the full range of issues connected to homelessness.

“What we’re asking them to do is very nuanced, go in there and fix everything,” Tait said. “It calls for a lot of skills that they aren’t necessarily trained for… you have to have empathy for the officers. We shouldn’t be asking them to fix everything.”

Tait’s comments remind me of my high school days as a machinist apprentice at my Catholic high school, Don Bosco Technical Institute in Rosemead.

Whenever you pulled out a hammer in the shop – to tap in a screw that just wouldn’t cooperate – you’d have a priest pounce on you immediately asking all kinds of questions.

“A hammer is a wonderful tool,” they’d insist. “But it only has one use. To bang something into place that will never be taken out.”
The priests would insist that I avoid the hammer whenever I got impatient and use my mind.

Most often, by unscrewing a bolt, you’d indeed notice a sliver of dirt on the threads, wipe it off with a shop rag and it would go in nicely with simple hand power.

Police officers are the most expensive policy tool, and one geared toward compliance not necessarily understanding.

Yet there does seem to be movement on this issue in Orange County.

Recently, County Supervisor Andrew Do acknowledged that county officials need to come up with a better approach than just allowing the civic center in downtown Santa Ana to become a homeless encampment.

County officials have increased outreach from the Health Care Agency and the Social Services Agency at the civic center in recent months and are moving to appoint a county executive to concentrate on homelessness, even considering an abandoned bus shelter at the civic center as a potential triage center to identify street people in need.

Tait applauds that kind of work but reminds county officials that they can also do a lot more by partnering with city officials who don’t have tons of state and federal funds, or agencies capable of dealing with poverty or mental issues like the county.

That’s the kind of partnering that can really get help to all the residents of Anaheim, who are hoping to get their parks back to just being parks.

Tait calls it “Coming Home Anaheim,” a process where nonprofits, the county, cities, churches all step up to deal with these people as people.

“It’s not just a police issue,” Tait said. “It’s a city issue, it’s a county issue and beyond government, it’s a community issue we all have to work on. We’re all in this together.”

Collins has already shown a way forward by putting a face on the problem. His videos – where he verbally challenges police officers on the legality of their actions — clearly show the impossible situation we are asking them to confront.

In addition to video, Collins approached the Los Amigos community group weekly breakfast meetings in Anaheim earlier this year and challenged them to defend the homeless. The group, which often helps with community petitions and is led by Moreno, interceded on Collins’ behalf earlier this month asking Quesada to hear his concerns.

Collins – who himself lives among the homeless on Anaheim’s streets — continuously monitors and videotapes police responses at Anaheim parks where homeless residents congregate.

He believes that officers overstep their bounds on what the law allows and illegally take the belongings of homeless residents at local parks.

Collins has repeatedly filmed officers and questions them on camera about why they are confiscating certain people’s belongings and what they’ve done with other belongings. Collins contends that many homeless residents who lose their stuff say they can’t get it back easily.

Quesada sat politely without saying a word throughout a tense exchange a few weeks ago at Los Amigos between Collins and several department officers that deal with homeless issues at the local parks Collins has covered.

A group of very diplomatic and likeable officers talked about their attempts to deal with homelessness and their considerable interactions with nonprofits working with the issue. Collins and others filming police were virtually jumping out of their skin, thrown by the difference in tone from police at the community meeting versus what activists see at local parks.

While Quezada never said anything at the public meeting, he’s apparently also been thrown by what he’s seen on video.

To his credit, he’s stopping to check and see if there’s a better way besides the hammer.

We should all heed his call and collectively step up to craft a different kind of visual when it comes to homelessness in Orange County.


FOR LINKS AND COMMENTS, GO TO http://voiceofoc.org/2015/10/santana-is-it-criminal-to-be-homeless-in-anaheim/

 

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Continue reading

Will Santa Cruz Freedom Sleepers Follow “Black Lives Matter” Baltimore Example?

NOTES BY NORSE: The Santa Cruz City Council’s continues its hostility to basic homeless rights/  Its police and ranger continue ticketing for homeless survival behavior.  This has raised proposals that Freedom Sleepers and other protesters bring sleeping bags and blankets to the next City Council meeting and sleep indoors.

Last Tuesday at the 14th Freedom SleepOut, Freedom Sleepers declared the sidewalks around City Hall a Safe Sleeping Zone and urged City Council and the City generally to do so. (Police rarely if ever give sleeping citations to those who bunk out on the sidewalks during the Tuesday protest night, though they regularly harass homeless folks elsewhere in town).

With harsh “El Nino” winter weather on the horizon and City Council poised to pass proposals to severely restrict or ban RV parking, the Freedom Sleepers spoke one after another at the 10-13 City Council meeting, urging (unsuccessfully) that the Parks Master Plan contain meaningful provision for homeless emergency rest and shelter.

Instead police continued to dog the peaceful protesters during the Council meeting and throughout the night, setting up the usual super-bright klieg lights, 4-man “security” patrols, closed bathrooms, expanded “no assembly” zones roped off during the Council meeting, $198 tickets for holding picket signs outside City Hall at night, and restricted parking to deter protest vehicles.

There has been no restored emergency shelter for the unhoused community and meals, bathrooms, and laundry facilities shuttered for the vast majority at the Homeless (Lack of) Services Center.

Will Santa Cruz demonstrators take inspiration from the Baltimore “Black Lives Matter” activists and simply lay down their gear and sleep inside the Council next meeting?  Do Homeless Lives Matter?  Not unless the outdoors and housed community takes action to make them matter.

FOR EXTENSIVE PHOTO COVERAGE AND COMMENTS GO TO:

http://www.abc2news.com/news/region/baltimore-city/kevin-davis-confirmed-as-baltimore-police-commissioner

Protesters stage overnight sit-in following Davis approval as police commissioner

Protesters refused to leave City Hall

WMAR Staff

9:40 PM, Oct 14, 2015

7:12 PM, Oct 15, 2015

 

BALTIMORE – Sixteen protesters were arrested after participating in an overnight sit-in at Baltimore City Hall following the approval of Kevin Davis as the city’s new police commissioner.

Davis was approved Wednesday evening by the executive appointments committee of the Baltimore City Council.


The last 30 minutes of the appointment hearing were taken over by the voices of a group of protesters who brought three demands to the proceedings:
1) The firing of Baltimore Housing Director Paul Graziano.
2) For officers to stop using excessive force against peaceful protesters.
3) To invest millions in alternatives to incarceration.

“One of the more fundamental problems is that the community doesn’t feel involved in the process,” said Adam Jackson, an activist and founder of the group Leaders of a Beautiful Struggle.

The group of protesters remained at City Hall well after the confirmation hearing to stage an “occupation” or a sit-in. The group, led by activist and community organizer Makayla Gilliam-Price, remained inside City Hall overnight.

She said police were barring the group from going to the bathroom and ordering food.
“It’s like they’re forcing us to choose our political voice over our survival,” Gilliam-Price said.
Around 11:45 p.m. Police department spokesman T.J. Smith said there were about 35 protesters who refused to leave City Hall.

“The protest remains non-violent. No arrests have been made,” Smith said in a statement.
Early Thursday morning, police escorted about a dozen people from City Hall and into police transport vehicles, many of them were wearing plastic handcuffs.
“As a direct result of their failure to comply, the remaining protesters have been arrested and charged with trespassing,” Baltimore police announced on Facebook.

Police said a total of 16 people, including three juveniles, were arrested. Those arrested are as follows:

  • 27-year-old Gabriel James Dinsmoor of the 100 block of E. Lafayette Avenue.
  • 19-year-old Tre Stephon Murphy of the 3300 block of Kenyon Avenue.
  • 22-year-old Ralikh Hayes of the 600 block of N. Rosedale Street.
  • 27-year-old Adam Joshua Jackson of the 3400 block of Powhatan Avenue.
  • 38-year-old Matthew Warren of the 300 block of Old Trail Road.
  • 22-year-old Daniel Nikita Lee of the 3900 block of Greenmount Avenue.
  • 26-year-old Payam Sohrabi of the 4900 block of Dulton Drive, Columbia Maryland.
  • 20-year-old Shaivaughn Fate Crawley of the 500 block of Fairrview Avenue.
  • 27-year-old Christopher Allen Comeau of the 3000 block of Stafford Street.
  • 21-year-old Hanifat Bimpe Bello of the 1300 block of Colbury Road.
  • 18-year-old Mocca Verdel of the 500 block of W. Mosher Street.
  • 23-year-old Kayla joy Ingram of the 1600 block of Darley Avenue.
  • 38-year-old Kerridwen Eliot Henry of the 14000 block of Falcon Wood Drive, Burtonsville Maryland.
  • A 17-year-old girl from Baltimore.
  • A 16-year-old boy from Baltimore.
  • A 17-year-old boy from Baltimore.

Each person arrested has been charged with trespassing, police said.

Davis’ appointment will move on to a full vote by the City Council at a later date.
City Councilman Nick Mosby did not support the approval of Davis as commissioner. In a statement, Mosby wrote:

“Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake’s decision not to seek re-election means that the City will have new leadership beginning in January, 2017.  The new mayor and the citizens of Baltimore should not be saddled with $150,000 golden parachute for another police commissioner should the new mayor decide to bring in new leadership for the department.”

 

Davis said Thursday he has reviewed the groups demands and added that he has no problem meeting to discuss them- although he says not all were reasonable.

 

Davis said he’s always been accessible as a leader and he hopes to meet with the group within the next day.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

Baltimore officer investigated for spitting on handcuffed man

By Shawn Price   |   Oct. 14, 2015 at 12:46 AM

 

Baltimore Police have suspended and are investigating a veteran police officer who appears in a cell phone video to spit on a handcuffed man.

BALTIMORE, Oct. 13 (UPI) — Baltimore police said they have suspended an officer and launched an investigation after the release of a video purporting to show the officer spitting on a handcuffed man.
In the video, Sgt. Robert Mesner, a 34-year veteran of the Baltimore Police Department, appears to be involved in a shouting match with a man as he arrests him Sunday.
An officer alleged to be Mesner said “You’re going to be Tased. You’re under arrest. Get down, man. You’re under arrest.” 
“Go ahead! Go ahead! Do it!” the other man said.
Then the officer handcuffs the man and seconds later, appears to spit on him. An off-screen bystander is heard yelling, “He just spit on him, he just spit on him.”
Tensions escalate before police tell people to move back.
“Our internal investigation progressed rapidly today with the review of available video and interaction with witnesses. The video appears to depict the police sergeant spitting on the arrestee,” Interim Police Commissioner Kevin Davis said.
“That is outrageously unacceptable and it directly contradicts the necessary community relationships we are striving to rehabilitate. The police powers of Sgt. Robert Mesner are now suspended, and a criminal investigation is underway. Our entire community deserves to be treated with dignity and respect,” Davis said.

Protests resume at Baltimore City Hall after 16 arrested, jailed for trespassing

Interim Baltimore Police Commissioner Kevin Davis said Thursday that arresting the demonstrators was “the last thing we wanted to do.”

By Doug G. Ware   |   Updated Oct. 15, 2015 at 8:00 PM

BALTIMORE, Oct. 15 (UPI) — Just hours after more than a dozen demonstrators were jailed for trespassing at Baltimore City Hall, over the tentative approval of the city’s new police commissioner, more protesters continued the rally Thursday morning.

Police said 16 people were arrested overnight Thursday — including three under the age of 18 — not long after the Baltimore City Council’s Executive Appointments Committee approved Kevin Davis as the new permanent police commissioner.

The full city council must now confirm Davis, who has been serving as the interim police commissioner, to the post permanently.

However, his occupying that office doesn’t sit well with some Baltimore residents, who argue that Davis is a questionable candidate due to a lack of experience. He has served as interim commissioner since July.

Demonstrator Lawrence Grandpre argued that Davis’ leadership has coincided with “a clear shift in tactics” by Baltimore police officers — who he believes have sometimes infringed on protesters’ First Amendment rights.

Grandpre has said Baltimore police, for example, are too quick to make arrests when people have a right to protest — an accusation Davis himself refuted.

The interim police leader told a local radio show Thursday that arresting the young demonstrators was “the last thing we wanted to do.”

“In a perfect world, they probably wouldn’t have stayed that long,” he added.

Davis was approved by the appointments panel Wednesday night — and although a contingent of supporters were present to applaud his leadership, several who feel he is not the right person for the job were ardent in their opposition.

One incident fueling the fire against Davis is a video that surfaced this week allegedly showing a Baltimore police sergeant spitting on a man being arrested. Davis called the video “reprehensible” and “disgusting.”

That officer has been suspended with pay pending the outcome of an investigation.

“Just when we’re making progress, it’s two steps back,” Davis said of his department’s efforts to win back public trust.

The video is the latest in numerous public grievances against the police department, which drew global outrage in April following the death of Freddie Gray — a man who died of severe injuries while in Baltimore police custody.

The demonstrators, many of whom were teenagers, decided to underscore their opposition by staying inside city offices after business hours. Multiple police officers, they said, ultimately threatened to arrest them if they did not leave.

The police department said after “hours of communication and warnings, a small number of protesters inside of City Hall decided to leave the building.” The rest, 16 in all, were handcuffed, taken to jail and charged with trespassing.

Grandpre, of Baltimore United for Change, was among the protesters who left without being arrested — but he returned, with a small contingent, later Thursday morning.

“The goal is to get our protesters out of jail,” said Grandpre, who also claimed that police turned away advocates who showed up at the jail with food for the demonstrators early Thursday.

Returning demonstrators asked the community for financial help for the arrested protesters, who were scheduled to appear in court later in the afternoon.

 

Exclusion Zones–Santa Cruz and North Carolina

NOTES BY NORSE:  The fascist mind-set that has rooted itself in the Santa Cruz City Council and staff (actually deeply rooted in the staff) is grotesquely exemplified by these Charlotte, N.C. stories with all the 21st Century irony of a black police spokesman.
Santa Cruz beat Charlotte to the punch by establishing extra pre-judicial Stay-Away orders in 2013 and expanding them in 2014. These orders, given at the absolute discretion of the officer,  ban “accused criminals” from any area controlled by the Parks and Recreation Dept. (which covers a huge swath of the city, far beyond the actual parks themselves.  The overwhelming majority of those impacted are ticketed for sleeping, being in in a park after dark, and smoking–”crimes” that have nothing to do with violations of person or property.
The law in question, Santa Cruz’s MC 13.04.011 is one of a toxic cluster of anti-homeless laws, soon to be joined by laws stripping RV’s of parking places, and–if the bigoted Take Back Santa Cruz and its co-founder Councilwoman Pamela Comstock have their way–banning them entirely from parking without a residence permit.
MC 13.04.011 is currently being used to menace the weekly Freedom Sleeper protests with $198 citations if they dare to hold up a sign at City Hall after 10PM, anywhere on the large city block that contains City Hall and City offices.  The protest movement held its 14th successful Freedom Sleep two nights ago, but faced the usual blue-clad goon squad ticketing homeless people for “sleeping in the park” while gracing protesters with high-intensity klieg lights, loud diesel generators, and hired “False Alarm” Security Guards.  Freedom Sleepers have responded by declaring the sidewalks around City Hall a “Safe Sleeping Zone” since authorities seem reluctant to ticket for MC 6.36.010a (the sleeping ban) on those sidewalks.
MC 13.04.011 is more broadly used against poor people, disabled houseless folks and young travelers who seek to shelter themselves in parks and the huge Pogonip area.  Meanwhile Santa Cruz closed its emergency shelter programs this summer, leaving 1000-2000 facing “go to sleep, go to jail” laws.  The Homeless (Lack of) Services Center’s boss-for-a-year Jannan Thomas has flown the coup back to Atlanta.  And City Council is making no provision for the vast majority of homeless folks facing El Nino weather this winter–other than more “enforcement” of “illegal” activities.   Nor is there any provision in its Master Plan for meaningful homeless emergency camping areas,carparks, and restoration of public spaces.
Homeless Lives Matter.

http://www.charlotteobserver.com/news/local/article38856471.html

October 12, 2015

CMPD to move forward with exclusion zones plan

Council committee could review ordinance before end of year
Police worried about court challenge
Charlotte Mecklenburg Police is planning to draft an ordinance that would create “Public Safety Zones” that would prohibit people arrested for crimes from entering. Police Chief Kerr Putney could create the zones.
Charlotte Mecklenburg Police is planning to draft an ordinance that would create “Public Safety Zones” that would prohibit people arrested for crimes from entering. Police Chief Kerr Putney could create the zones. Jeff Sinerjsiner@charlotteobserver.com
Despite facing “significant constitutional hurdles,” Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officials want to move forward with a proposal to create areas of the city that would be off-limits to people who have been arrested.

The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department hopes to write an ordinance for the City Council’s public safety committee, which could review the “public safety zones” later this year.

The safety zones would be modeled after prostitution-free zones created by the city a decade ago.

Here is how they would work: If CMPD found an area where there was an uptick in crime, the police chief could declare it a safety zone. Council members wouldn’t have to approve the zone.

If a person is arrested inside the zone, that person would be prohibited from returning. Within five days, the person could appeal the prohibition, on grounds such as the person is caring for children inside the area or the person lives or works there.

If the person pleads guilty or is convicted, he/she would be barred from the area for up to a year. If the person is found not guilty or if the case is dismissed for any reason, the person can return.

“It’s still up for discussion,” said CMPD Attorney Mark Newbold, about the proposed ordinance.

At a safety committee meeting last week, CMPD discussed a study about the prostitution-free zone that was created in 2005. One of the areas targeted was the Camp Greene neighborhood west of uptown.

In the two years before the ordinance was passed, CMPD received 534 calls for service inside the areas that would become part of the prostitution-free zones.

In the two years after the ordinance was passed, the number of calls inside the zones dropped by 35 percent, to 350.

But some of the crime was pushed out to nearby areas. Within 1 mile of the zones, the number of service calls increased from 182 to 294 – a 62 percent increase.

Overall, the number of calls in and around the zones went down.

The city’s prostitution-free zone ordinance has lapsed and is no longer in effect.

In a memo to council members, Newbold said the proposed ordinance would have to reconcile “two core constitutional principles.”

The first could be a freedom-of-association challenge.

Newbold wrote that courts have found that the First and 14th Amendments have protected the right of people to associate. In one 2002 Cincinnati case, the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals found that a woman barred from an exclusion zone had the right to visit her grandchildren who lived nearby.

Newbold, however, noted that a 2001 Ohio case said that a drug exclusion zone didn’t interfere with a “fundamental personal relationship nor an association for expressive activity,” according to the police memo.

The other issue, Newbold said, is whether the ordinance would infringe on a person’s right to intrastate travel. He said courts have been mixed on this issue.

“There are significant constitutional hurdles that must be addressed whenever the government decides to regulate movement in a public area,” Newbold wrote. “In the event a court rules that an ordinance affects a fundamental right, then that ordinance will be reviewed with strict scrutiny.”

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department’s Proposed Exclusion Zone Policy Is Racist

 

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police is considering adopting a policy that prohibits people with arrest/criminal records from being in specific “high-crime” areas called “safety zones”. As the Charlotte Observer‘s Steve Harrison explains,

 

Here is how they would work: If CMPD found an area where there was an uptick in crime, the police chief could declare it a safety zone. Council members wouldn’t have to approve the zone.

 

If a person is arrested inside the zone, that person would be prohibited from returning. Within five days, the person could appeal the prohibition, on grounds such as the person is caring for children inside the area or the person lives or works there.

 

If the person pleads guilty or is convicted, he/she would be barred from the area for up to a year. If the person is found not guilty or if the case is dismissed for any reason, the person can return.

CMPD’s proposed “exclusion zone” policy is race-based segregation under another name.

Philosopher Theodor Adorno wrote that astrology was occultism dressed up in pseudo-scientific terms: star charts and tables leant superstition the appearance of objective fact. CMPD’s exclusions zones are antiblack racism dressed up in pseudo-legal and pseudo-objective terms. Because there is no biological basis for race, race-based segregation appeals to an ultimately subjective judgment about people’s racial identities. But criminal status, that’s objective: someone either has or has not been arrested, charged, convicted, or exonerated. That’s a matter of legal record.

Though the legal record may be objectively verifiable, criminality is far, far from objective. Blackness is criminalized. NYC’s infamous Stop & Frisk policy was ended after statistics showed that black and Latino men were stopped at rates in exponential excess of their proportional representation in the population. The US justice system convicts and incarcerates black people at extremely disproportionate rates. The institution of the police was designed to police black people, and, as plenty of people have argued, the contemporary police is a mechanism for profiting from the surveillance, punishment, and incarceration of black people. Criminalization targets black people.

So, because CMPD’s proposal to exclude people with arrest and criminal records from specific geographic areas targets criminals, it also targets black people.

There’s a hint in this story, also from the Observer. In the past, the city has put an injunction similar to the proposed exclusion zone on the north Charlotte neighborhood called Hidden Valley. Hidden Valley is a predominantly black and Latino neighborhood between Uptown and University City…and, uh, not too far from the new light rail line currently under construction up North Tryon. Interestingly, Camp Greene, a black neighborhood in west Charlotte that was a prostitution exclusion zone several years ago, that’s now the frontier of gentrification. So, it appears to be the case that exclusion zones are a technique that moves poor black populations out of geographic areas that are ripe for redevelopment.

Some philosophers might call safety zones a “state of exception.” Giorgio Agamben popularized the term, which refers to a state of affairs so dire and threatening that the state declares it necessary to suspend normal rights and rules of governance: a problem so severe supposedly justifies the state’s use of any means necessary. As other philosophers like Falguni Sheth and Alexander Weheliye have noted, the state of exception has been pretty much the rule for black people. To riff on W.E.B. Du Bois, black people are thought to be a problem, the problem, and thus their very existence justifies the state’s use of any means necessary to contain and eliminate them. In this sense, CMPD’s saftey zones are just another variation on a very, very old theme.

As Lester Spence, Jared Sexton, and many other black studies scholars have shown, contemporary society marginalizes black people by rendering them immobile, both literally (in the case of CMPD’s exclusion zones or via mass incarceration) and figuratively, say, in economic terms. In an economy that runs on entrepreneurship, flexibility, and so on, the inability to freely circulate is an economic disadvantage. By impeding people from, say, caring for their children, this makes them more vulnerable to all kinds of disadvantage: if you don’t have reliable family or friends to care for your children, you either have to pay someone to care for your kids, or you risk losing them to the foster system. The CMPD policy is a technique for rendering black people immobile, and often thus subjecting them to further state surveillance, economic disadvantage, and other types of structural racism. So the exclusion zone policy isn’t just racist in motivation, it’s racist in effect: it reinforces and intensifies the racism that black people already experience.

A No-Go Area for Those Arrested?

A plan in Charlotte, North Carolina, to create prostitution-free zones isn’t unprecedented, but it does raise question about constitutionality, racism, and effectiveness.

Elvert Barnes / Flickr

It’s an alluring idea for a police chief: You’ve got an area of town that’s a center for some sort of illicit behavior. What if you could just ban anyone who was arrested there from coming back for a year? Wouldn’t that solve the drug problem or the prostitution problem, or whatever else that’s hurting your city?

Charlotte, North Carolina, is the latest city to be tempted by the idea. The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department is setting out to write an ordinance to fight prostitution by creating “exclusion zones.” If the department determined there was rising crime in an area, it could declare it such a zone. Anyone arrested there would be banned from returning for up to a year. If they were found not guilty or the charges were dismissed, they’d be allowed back.
When the Charlotte Observer’s report on the idea was published Tuesday, it lit up Twitter, with observers reacting with shock at the idea. But it’s not actually as novel as one might imagine. Charlotte itself had a prostitution-exclusion zone from 2005 to 2008, but chose not to renew it when the law expired. Portland, Oregon, had zones for prostitution and drugs from 1992 to 2007, when the mayor pushed to end them. But in 2011, the city reinstated an altered version. Cincinnati also used the zones for a while.

But there are some problems with the zones. “There are significant constitutional hurdles that must be addressed whenever the government decides to regulate movement in a public area,” the CMPD’s attorney bluntly noted in a memo to Charlotte’s city council over the proposed ordinance. Courts have been split, but some have argued the rules constitute a violation of the constitutional right to free association and to intrastate travel.

In Cincinnati, a woman who was arrested challenged the law after being excluded, because the order prevented her from visiting her grandchildren, who she was helping to raise. Although she was not convicted of the drug offense with which she was charged, the order held. She successfully challenged it. That’s likely not an unusual case: If people live in high-crime areas, they’re more likely to get mixed up in crime. Banning them simply banishes them from their homes—perhaps away from places where they have important social connections or can afford to live.

Nor is it clear that exclusion zones work all that effectively. During Charlotte’s first attempt, crime with prostitution zones dropped, but rose steeply in adjoining areas. Portland saw a similar experience. While residents initially applauded the zones as effective, the impact seemed to tail off over time, in part because officers simply quit arresting as many people.

The other obvious problem with setting up these zones is racial bias. It’s already well known that law enforcement for many offenses, including drugs, falls disproportionately on people of color. The problem is compounded when high-crime areas are also home to more people of color. When Portland ended zones in 2007, the mayor cited disproportionate targeting of blacks. African Americans who were arrested within zones were excluded at far higher rates than whites. In recent years, Cincinnati has pursued a total overhaul of its police methods. The Queen City has seen inequality rise more sharply over the last two decades than almost any other major city. School data show a city highly segregated by race. Charlotte is also already dealing with the fallout from the August mistrial of Randall Kerrick, a white police officer who shot and killed Jonathan Ferrell, an unarmed black man who was seeking assistance after wrecking his car. The city separately reached a $2.25 million settlement with Ferrell’s family.

Charlotte’s debate seems, in large part, to echo the broader debate over criminal justice in the U.S. As Kelefa Sanneh noted in The New Yorker last month, many of the tough-on-crime policies now under assault from reformers and Black Lives Matter activists were originally pushed by well-meaning black leaders. In Charlotte, one of the major proponents of exclusion zones is a black Democrat, Al Austin. Police Chief Kerr Putney is black, too.

Yet past experience—with both exclusion zones and tough-on-crime policies in general—is that even when they are able to overcome constitutional objections, they lead to more arrests for more people, and likely people of color. They are very effective at lengthening rap sheets, but since crime tends to just migrate when the zones are created, it’s less clear whether they do much to stop crime. And they draw resources away from other approaches that might help lower crime, from social programs to policing styles that deemphasize the volume of arrests, as Cincinnati has done.

Tempting though exclusion zones may appear, law-and-order approaches seem increasingly counterproductive and anachronistic today, especially since approaches like Cincinnati’s have shown such promising results

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Another Flashback Show on Free Radio Santa Cruz Tonight

Today’s Bathrobespierre’s Broadsides show is a flashback to Thursday, November 24, 2005 (which can also be downloaded directly: http://www.radiolibre.org/brb/brb051124.mp3 ).  It’s described below.  The 6 PM starting time today (10-15-15) is approximate.  It might start somewhat earlier or later.  If you miss it and want to hear what you’ve missed, check out the download.  More older shows can be found at http://huffsantacruz.org/radio.html .

Looking for more current material?  E-mail me at rnorse3@hotmail.com and walk me through some audio editing tutoring!

Thursday, November 24, 2005
Download Show Street tapes (ST): Roughrider Richard Quigley pre-death wake: BE Smith on his federal jail time for medical marijuana, Felons Union; In-Home Care Workers Rep. Tim Ahern critiques Tony Madrigal; holy hempstress Theodora Kerry; Legal Worker Ray Glock Grueneich; Judge Tom Kelly; KSCO Owner Michael Zwerling gets served lawsuit by reporter/attorney Paul Sanford; minister Jerry Henry and others…More street tapes…Jason Pasqual, street tarot reader; ticketing of Brandon the celloist…Phone-In from L.A. listener on homeless and mental illness…Phone-In from Robert on harassment of recyclers.. (Approx 2 hours–sound quality of some interviews varies widely)…

HUFF trudges on: 11 AM Sub Rosa Cafe 10-14

After the mega-Council meeting of 10-13 and the Freedom Sleepers Declaration of a [Relatively] Safe Sleeping Zone on the City Hall Sidewalks, it’s time to plan for upcoming anticipated El Nino weather and the harder choices that face houseless and houseless supporters alike.  If Sub Rosa at 703 Pacific isn’t available, we’ll likey move to Cafe Pergolesi, but the new location will be posted on the Sub Rosa gate. New strategies for supporting restoration of space and security for performers, vendors, loungers, residents, you name it…

Calling for Santa Cruz to Declare a Sidewalk Safe Sleeping Zone at Freedom Sleep Out #14 Tuesday 10-13

Title: Safe Sleeping Zone at Freedom SleepOut #14? Why not make it official!
START DATE: Tuesday October 13
TIME: 3:00 PM – 3:00 AM
Location Details:
809 Center St.–In and Around City Hall During and After the Tuesday City Council Meeting

The actual time will be Tuesday afternoon, evening, and Wednesday morning–with coffee to be available in the morning.

Event Type: Protest
Contact Name Keith McHenry (posting by Norse)
Email Address keith [at] foodnotbombs.net
Phone Number 575-770-3377
Address
WHY FREEDOM SLEEPOUT #14
For more than 3 months, Freedom Sleepers have held weekly food-sharing and sleeper protection to mobilize the community to end the City’s institutional hate crime of criminalizing homeless people if they fall asleep at night or seek to protect themselves with camping gear.

In a City with 1000-2000 homeless (and a County with far more), the Comstock-Mathews Santa Cruz City Council majority has declined to reopen closed shelter space and kept sleeping for the poor at night a crime–in vehicles or outside.

Repression against protesters and city-wide citations and stay-away orders against homeless sleepers continues in spite of Department of Justice statements that such behavior is unconstitutional cruel and unusual punishment (Bell v. Boise Statement of Interest).

The threat of HUD funding cut off for cities that don’t decriminalize homelessness may have some impact, but even liberal Councilmembers have remained silent instead of inspiring support to end Santa Cruz’s Legacy of Shame.

WE URGE COUNCIL TO OFFICIALLY DECLARE THE SIDEWALKS AROUND CITY HALL A SAFE SLEEPING ZONE

IT’S ALREADY HAPPENING
The 14th Weekly Freedom Sleep-Out will invite the community and City Council to declare the sidewalks around and near City Hall “Safe Sleeping Zones”.

Perhaps to avoid a blatant record of repression around the specific MC 6.36 which criminalizes homeless survival sleeping at night, police have notably given out no citations for camping or sleeping at the protest.

They have ticketed for “being in a park after closing hours’, ‘jaywalking’, “failure to sign a ticket”, and other such harassment “crimes”. But almost without exception folks sleeping on the sidewalk have not been cited.

This has led Freedom Sleepers to invite the Community and City Council to officially declare the sidewalks around City Hall a “Safe (from Citations) Sleeping Area”–since no such area currently exists for hundreds and hundreds of people.

We invite housed (and unhoused) folks to join us Tuesday night in solidarity, to witness, and to document the proposed Safe Sleeping Zone.

CITY COUNCIL’S ABOMINABLE AFTERNOON AGENDA
City Council’s afternoon agenda impacting folks outside includes Preparation for the Winter Storm Event–El Nino (Item #11); Banning RV’s From Parking in Any Spots the City Engineer Cares to Designate (#12), & Endorsing Rental Profiteering in the Summer (#13).

Around 5 PM those who oppose discrimination against the houseless outside are invited to bring sleeping bags and signs and speak about the issue during the Oral Communications session.

DRIVING THE POOR FROM THE PARKS
During the evening session,the City’s Parks Master Plan Study Session is up. It includes reference to “illegal” activities (i.e. the visible presence of poor people at night, homeless gathering day or night, smoking, drinking, yelling) See “Safety and Illegal Activities” at http://scsire.cityofsantacruz.com/sirepub/cache/2/ls4iafvlsinbqldrspddipdc/428205310122015120017953.PDF (p. 4) .

Here the apprehensions and prejudices of middle-class NIMBY’s are being raised as a new “public safety” standard, as done by the hand-picked Citizens Public Safety Task Force of 2013. There Deputy-Chief Steve Clark portrayed citations given to homeless people for sleeping, being in a park after dark, and smoking as constituting a “crime wave”.

Dannettee Shoemaker, Parks and Recreation boss, used similar scare tactics to push through the first-in-the-state No-Court-Necessary Stay-Away laws in 2013 and 2014, which ban poor people from the parks without court appeal, trial, or even formal charge. These unprecedented powers are proposed to remain permanent.

MORE SCARE STORIES TO BOOST PROPERTY VALUES
Building on the Needlemania hysteria of those years, the report validates the Hyper-Drug Warrior mindset that prompted City Council to destroy the City’s Needle Exchange program behind closed doors in 2013–providing real estate agents and property owners dramatic pretexts to clear away the poor and gentrify the area.

Recent fencing and locks at Grant Avenue Park (not to mention the Homeless Lack of Services Center itself) as “security measures” are an ominous sign of the growing class war being waged against those outside. Increased appropriations for First Alarm and P&R patrols funds and fuels the advancing police state. More policing means more citations justifies a bigger threat justifies more appropriations…and so on.

There is no reference to using any of the Pogonip as vitally needed campground area for those outside.

While there is no specific proposal, the staff report suggests (p. 4.) that one of the “community concerns” which it apparently takes seriously is to “limit food giveaways”. Since Parks and Recreation has city-wide authority as far as the City manager may designate not just in parks, this may mean renewed attacks on Food not Bombs-style operations.

LAST WEEK
Last week, police gave out no citations by my reckoning (though there were fewer sleepers), came only once, and made no arrests.

On Saturday, Freedom Sleepers held a dusk Portapotty Parade through the downtown lasting half an hour. It drew active supporters and encouragement from the evening crowds (as well as the occasional heckle). Cries of “Stop arresting the homeless! Sleep is not a crime” were met with smiles, thumbs up, and an occasional new marcher.

IN THE WORKS
At a time to be announced–a showing of the Exodus from the Jungle film documenting the resistance of San Jose urban poor (i.e. unhoused) to the displacement of the largest encampment in the country last fall….along with a KNOW YOUR RIGHTS training for those seeking legal tips to beat back the Sleeping Ban.

JOIN US TUESDAY SHARING FOOD, PRINCIPLES, AND SOLIDARITY TO RESTORE JUSTICE TO SANTA CRUZ !

Editorial Note: The views expressed here are mine and in my view likely shared by many of the Freedom Sleepers. It is not an official statement however.

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Denver Dumps Panhandling Punishment; Santa Cruz Sticks It to the Poor

NOTES BY NORSE:   Santa Cruz’s abusive and overreaching ordinance criminalizing peaceful sparechanging in most places at most times downtown has little to do with real abusive behavior and everything to do with giving the police “tools” to “move along” or (if they resist) punish those who insist on their rights.  Day before yesterday I witnessed an officer giving a $300 panhandling citation to a homeless man who had gotten 49c from a friend of mine sitting at the Del Mar Cafe.   The officer didn’t even bother to ask if my friend was disturbed or inconvenienced by the mild solicitation–which he wasn’t, but simply wrote up the ticket in robotic fashion.  My friend apologized to the guy afterwards when he learned that his act of charity had resulted in punishment, but the officer was gone.  I made a few loud comments about harassing the poor as the cop concluded writing her ticket, and a few other homeless folks gathered round–which seems to me an appropriate and immediate way of addressing this kind of commercial fascism downtown.

Our local ACLU has reportedly been cleansed of the participation of former Mayor Mike Rotkin–whose presence there has been a roadblock to homeless civil rights activity.   The Pleich-led ACLU has recently called for its parent organization–the Northern California local–to sue Santa Cruz for the cruel and unusual punishment of its 11 PM – 8:30 AM Sleeping Ban, and its camping ordinance generally–given the absence of even the pittance of shelter with the Paul Lee Loft closing in June.  Boss Jannan Thomas of the Homeless (Lack of ) Services Center has also decided to leave her job after spending a year with the new prison-like atmosphere of the place with bathrooms, laundry, shower, and meals closed to the general homeless population.

Freedom Sleepers continue to assemble at City Hall every Tuesday night in what has become a de facto “Safe Sleeping Zone” on the sidewalk.

Denver police ordered to stop enforcing city’s panhandling ban

An American Civil Liberties Union victory in Grand Junction prompted Denver police to make this enforcement

By Elizabeth Hernandez
The Denver Post

Posted:   10/02/2015 02:11:51 PM MDT94 Comments | Updated:   5 days ago
Jeff Wise flies his sign on the 16th Street Mall in Denver on February 05, 2015.

Jeff Wise flies his sign on the 16th Street Mall in Denver on February 05, 2015. (Denver Post file)

After a federal court ruling in a Grand Junction case, Denver police officers have been instructed by the chief of police not to charge citizens for violating the city’s panhandling ban.

The Wednesday court ruling came down after the American Civil Liberties Union fought Grand Junction for about a year and a half on its enforcement of a panhandling ban that ACLU legal director Mark Silverstein said was a violation of the First Amendment.

“This Court believes that panhandling carries a message,” said Judge Christine Arguello of the Grand Junction court decision. “Often, a request for money conveys conditions of poverty, homelessness, and unemployment, as well as a lack of access to medical care, reentry services for persons convicted of crimes, and mental health support for veterans. The City’s attempt to regulate this message is an attempt to restrain the expression of conditions of poverty to other citizens.”

The permanent injunction in Grand Junction prompted Police Chief Robert White to send a bulletin to officers notifying them that “effectively immediately,” officers may not charge people for panhandling.

“Denver did a commendable thing taking prompt action to suspend enforcement of a panhandling ordinance that violates the First Amendment rights of a people who ask for charity in public places,” Silverstein said.

Days earlier, the Colorado Springs Police Department ordered police to stop issuing panhandling citations “on or near streets or highways” after the ACLU accused the city of illegally enforcing panhandling ordinances.

The police department also stated that “passive solicitation is lawful everywhere in the city.”

On Friday, Sgt. Nick Smetzer with the Boulder Police Department said he didn’t think the Grand Junction ruling and resulting Denver police response would affect the way Boulder officers handle panhandling.

He said officers didn’t have an issue with people asking for charity “as long as they’re not bothering anybody doing it.”

Silverstein believes that this ruling will cause ripple effects throughout the state.

“I believe that all or almost all of the panhandling ordinances in Colorado will need to be reviewed and many will need to be repealed or dramatically amended,” Silverstein said. “Denver is commendable for getting out in front of that.”

There are still conditions in which officers could charge someone for panhandling including things like using violent or threatening gestures, touching others, blocking a vehicle or pedestrian and soliciting from someone in a vehicle, according to the bulletin given to Denver officers.

The order from White is a suspension, meaning that city council is considering formal amendments to the ordinance to “bring the law into compliance with recent court rulings,” the document said.


Elizabeth Hernandez: 303-954-1223, ehernandez@denverpost.com or twitter.com/ehernandez

Judge rules Grand Junction panhandling law unconstitutional

The Associated Press
Posted:   10/01/2015 01:45:03 PM MDTAdd a Comment
Updated:   10/01/2015 01:45:03 PM MDT

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (AP) — A panhandling ordinance in Grand Junction has been ruled unconstitutional, with a federal judge saying it’s not OK to stop people from asking for money after dark.
The decision Thursday from U.S. District Judge Christine Arguello means that Grand Junction will be barred from enforcing its 2014 ordinance limiting panhandling.
The judge ruled that Grand Junction’s panhandling ordinance was too broad and curbed constitutionally protected speech. She wrote that Grand Junction was using a sledgehammer to solve a problem that could be solved with a scalpel.
The city argued the ordinance limited aggressive panhandling, not passive panhandling. Among other things, the ordinance banned asking for money at night.
The American Civil Liberties Union sued Grand Junction last year. Grand Junction never enforced the ordinance, pending a legal decision.

City dismisses panhandling citations after ACLU complaint

The Associated Press

Posted:   09/30/2015 09:58:26 AM MDTAdd a Comment | Updated:   9 days ago

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) — Colorado Springs is considering changes to its panhandling ordinances after a complaint from the American Civil Liberties Union led to citation dismissals.
The Gazette reports (http://bit.ly/1Vn6cRK) City attorney Wynetta Massey said in a letter to the civil rights group that some actions have been dismissed as officials continue reviewing cases, and changes to the ordinances will be presented to city councilmembers.
Colorado Springs exempts passive solicitation in its ordinances, which prohibit individuals from approaching people in public to ask for money or other items of value.
The ACLU said enforcement has targeted impoverished individuals who are passively soliciting.
ACLU Legal Director Mark Silverstein says the police and city attorney have acknowledged citing, prosecuting and convicting innocent people.
A City Attorney’s Office spokeswoman said Massey declined to comment.
———
Information from: The Gazette, http://www.gazette.com

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Bathrobespierre’s Broadsides Show Tonight Will Flash Back to 2007: Homies for the Homeless Protest

 

Title: Flashback to 2007 –Homies for the Homeless on Free Radio Santa Cruz
START DATE: Thursday October 08
TIME: 6:00 PM8:00 PM
Location Details:
Broadcasts on 101.3 FM
Streams on freakradio.org around 6 PM–lasting about 2 hours and 15 minutes.
No call-in’s–we have no studio! ($500 Reward if you find us one)

Show archives at http://radiolibre.org/brb/brb070816.mp3

Event Type: Radio Broadcast
Contact Name Robert Norse
Email Address rnorse3 [at] hotmail.com
Phone Number 831-423-4833
Address 309 Cedar PMB 14B S.C. CA 95060
Free Radio Santa Cruz (101.3 FM and freakradio.org) is still broadcasting and streaming, but since we are homeless (or studio-less), the shows are all previously recorded, and so far I’ve not yet acquired the skills to make new shows.

All is not lost, however, for here’s a show–previously aired on August 16, 2007 about a week-long campout which came to be called “Homies for the Homeless” at City Hall. It began as a one day/one night sleep-out attended by activists from Los Angeles and ended up as a week-long sleepout run by unhoused folks.

Freedom Sleepers are preparing their 14th Tuesday night sleepout for 10-13. The Homies for the Homeless sleepout of 8 years ago took place after weekly protests in front of then-Councilmember Ryan Coonerty’s Bookshop Santa Cruz.

You can also find info on line about Homies for the Homeless at

Sunday August 12th Know Yr Rights, Feed, Film, and Sleep-Out at City Hall” at http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2007/08/06/18439222.php

“Sir! No Sir! and Sleeping Ban Protest at City Hall” at http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2007/08/13/18440341.php (numerous comments follow the story)

“Trash Orchestra & “Santa Cruz Sit Ban” Video Tonight at Homeless City Hall Sleep Zone” at http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2007/08/16/18441052.php

I am still gathering material to broadcast some contemporary if prerecorded shows, and hope to be doing so soon.

TO LEAVE COMMENTS GO TO:  https://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2015/10/08/18778591.php