|THREADBARE “POOR FOLKS COFFEE” ON SIDEWALK
VS. CITY COUNCIL’S BEGGAR-BEGONE! BANQUET INDOORS
Freedom SleepOut #22 will begin with Sidewalk Coffee and Snacks on Pacific Avenue where the City Council will have their annual public meal. They then return to City Council at 7 PM to crown their new Mayor (Cynthia Mathews), give speeches, and go home to their beds for the Xmas vacation.
Under the state “Open Meetings” Brown Act, the Council’s chowdown at the Palomar where all the Council is gathering is required to be open to the public. Freedom Sleeper activists will be on the sidewalk to invite the public to sign petitions and volunteer lists as well as speak to the Councilmembers informally on survival issues for those outside.
The “Feed the Fat; Freeze the Poor” event will follow likely passage of a final reading of two harsh anti-homeless laws attacking those whose housing is an RV.
GOOD MEAL FOLLOWS BAD LAWS
The two laws criminalize RV parking in Santa Cruz from 8 PM to 8 AM (Item #20) and empower the traffic engineer to eliminate all larger-than-car-sized parking spots throughout the City (Item #17).
Away on vacation until its return January 12th after this meeting, City Council has refused to authorize opening of public buildings during the winter, nor to join a county task force regarding safety for unhoused women recommended by its own Commission for the Prevention of Violence to Women.
Offers to place the City’s anti-homeless Sleeping Ban on the agenda made this summer by Councilmember Posner and (inferentially) Mayor Lane have not been carried out. Sleeping at night after 11 PM on any public property or in your vehicle remains a $159 crime as does being in any park at ngiht.
BERKELEY’S FREEDOM SLEEPER-INSPIRED PROTEST VOWS RETURN
“Liberty City” is the 20 day homeless protest outside Berkeley’s Old City Hall demanding restoration of civil rights for its unhoused community. It suffered three arrests on December 4th. Its 50 participants reportedly retained their tents and withdrew anticipating a return this week perhaps as a local Nativity scene.
The night-by-night protest served as a model showing unhoused folks could peacefully run a protest camp (and by extension a longer-term survival encampment).
Free Radio interviews with Berkeley activists Michael Lee and Carol Denney are at http://radiolibre.org/brb/brb151206.mp3
LAWYERS & ACTIVIST HUDDLE TO DISCUSS LEGAL CHALLENGES & FURTHER WINTER PROTESTS
On December 13th 4:30 PM to 6:30 PM, Freedom Sleepers will present Tristia Beauman, Senior Attorney for the National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty [NLCHP], homeless San Jose “Jungle” survivor Robert Aguirre, and Food Not Bombs co-founder Keith McHenry.
They will discuss strategies for fighting laws and police practices that seize homeless property and steal homeless sleep. The NLCHP is reportedly considering supporting lawsuits in California challenging Sleeping Bans which the Department of Justice has declared are “cruel and unusual punishment.”
SAN JOSE REPORTS A HYPOTHERMIA HOMELESS DEATH
Background: http://www.nationaljournal.com/s/51970 “How Silicon Valley Created America’s Largest Homeless Camp ”
AT THE PROTEST
Light snacks and coffee will be available at various times throughout the night. We encourage donations of food and clothing.
There will be no portapotty on the site, nor have the Mayor and City Manager agreed to open the bathrooms at City Hall. But there is a 24-hour bathroom at the Soquel Avenue garage across from New Leaf Market naar Pacific Avenue.
USE YOUR PHONES TO AUDIO/VIDEO–OR MAKE VERBAL REPORTS
We encourage those harassed by the police or security guards before, during, or after the protest to file a verbal report at 423-4833.
At last report, police had still not returned survival gear and personal medicine taken from Enrique Oriarti or Michael Knox at two previous events.