Radio Roundalay with Newly Elected Councilmember Krohn Today at 6 PM on the Stream of Free Radio Santa Cruz at freakradio.org !

Call in number: 831-427-3772. (Be patient and call back if you get a busy signal; we’ve only got one phone line.) E-mail questions at rnorse3 [at] hotmail.com either before the show or during.

 The show will also archive at http://radiolibre.org/brb/brb161229.mp3–typically available some hours after the broadcast 


Newly-elected Councilman Chris Krohn will be interrogated around various  issues.  These include Council transparency and accountability, restoring public spaces, immediate cessation of the raids on homeless encampments and individuals, rent control, and his own proposed programs.

Krohn was Mayor in 2002, ran unsuccessfully for Supervisor and has written occasionally on political and activist subjects. I and other homeless activists wrote about his administration and its refusal in the main to advocate for human rights for those outside. See the 2002 Street Spirit stories at http://www.huffsantacruz.org/StreetSpiritSantaCruz/StreetSpirit-main.html .

Has the former Councilmember grown a new set of wings and balls?

This year Krohn has kept up with the “politically acceptable” liberal positions of the day such as former Mayor Lane’s belated, partial, and failed Sleeping Ban repeal proposal of last March. He has also jumped on the bandwagon of those betrayed by Bernie last summer.

Krohn did speak about ending the Sleeping Ban in his opening Council speech on December 13th. And the After-Burn Coalition (the “New City Council” group) did also raise that issue as a rallying point.

Since Krohn does not have the potential majority he had and didn’t use in 2002, it remains too be seen whether in 2017 his rhetoric can be turned into concrete action. Such actions might be facilitating public records act requests, raising issues on which he will lose in the short run, but educate in the longer haul, and using the prerogatives of office to spotlight rather than rubbersgtamp staff abuses. However, there’s often a yawning gap between campaign promises (or statements made on the radio) and their fulfillment.

We often find to our chagrin that those in power don’t need to act on their rhetoric since they can’t be held accountable for it.

I may be adding my own additions to call in questions to sharpen the discussion.

HUFF SleepBan Busters Ride Again! Round-Up at the Sub Rosa Coral 11 AM Wednesday, December 28

Back from a week’s respite, I’ll be hoping to find a HUFFster or two tomorrow at the usual time and place.

Agenda prospects:   Input for the Christopher Krohn interview on Free Radio Thursday night; support and salute to the Berkeley “First They Came for the Homeless” encampment; traveling plans: possible connect-up’s with Salinas Union of the Homeless Martin Luther King day get together and the Marysville Jungle Protection Assembly coming up next month; another round of protest demanding police reform this Saturday at the Town Clock; Sleeping Ban and Property Recover lawsuits–Lost, Strayed, or Stolen?;  the ignored Winter Shelter Emergency………..

………….and whatever the cat drags in…

 

Freedom SleepOut #77: Sanctuary for the Local Homeless?

Date Tuesday December 27
Time
4:00 PM Tuesday - 9 AM Wednesday
Location Details At the edges of City Hall downtown along Center Street mostly between Locust and Church
Event Type Protest
Organizer/Author Keith McHenry (story by Norse)
Email keith [at] foodnotbombs.net
Phone 575-770–3377

LIBERALS ORGANIZE AGAINST ANTI-IMMIGRANT ATTACKS, IGNORE HATE AGAINST HOMELESS
While “mainstream activists” in the City and County gear up to resist Trump’s “deport the undocumented” (building on Obama’s record of 2 million+ deported during his two years), our own local refugees (perhaps you’ve heard of them–the homeless folks?) are demanding respect for their rights, health, and safety from marauding police, rangers, and security thugs in Freedom SleepOut #77. These displaced urban residents will be out on the sidewalk Tuesday night at the height of winter while those denouncing Trump (but implicitly supporting local Trumpism against the homeless) are away on vacation or snug at home in their beds.

The resistance meeting to defend the non-homeless undocumented locals happened last week (See “Santa Cruz Sanctuary Assembly” at https://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2016/12/21/18794892.php?show_comments=1#18794944). So far none of these militant liberals have shown up on the sidewalk in front of City Hall at night.

WILL LAST WEEK’S PRE-DAWN RAIDS BE REPEATED?
Last week at SleepOut #76, activists John and Pat Colby reported heavy police harassment and ticketing shortly before 6 AM in the morning followed by ranger threats to seize “unattended gear” a few hours later with the intent of driving away those resting near City Hall. Homeless residents Lawrence, Sonny, and Eagle confirmed the raids. Monterey Max was also reportedly handcuffed but then released with a $200 “trespass” citation.

THE CHRISTMASTIME SHOW OF CARING MUST GO ON!
Meanwhile the community gives itself an annual pat on the back for the twice-a-year charity feeds for the festive Xmas season [See http://www.santacruzsentinel.com/lifestyle/20161225/santa-cruz-county-volunteers-share-their-bounty-on-christmas-day]

And, of course, there is the ritual annual commemoration the homeless dead [See http://www.santacruzsentinel.com/social-affairs/20161220/annual-homeless-memorial-highlights-continued-need-in-santa-cruz-county] behind the locked gates of the grant-magnet Homeless (Lack of) Services Center.

GOOD NEWS
Julie Shaul of RV Fulltimers [https://www.facebook.com/groups/santacruzfulltimers/] reports she has received no reports of RV ticketing in the North County since the local Coastal Commission staff sent a letter to County staff in October.

That letter advised Sheriff Hart that the nighttime RV ban required clearance through the Coastal Commission, which had not even been notified back in March when the law was passed. Neither the Sheriff, the County Counsel, or the courts have offered to provide restitution to folks in RV’s who were unlawfully cited. The Sheriff also refused to release their names.

Earlier the local Coastal Commission staff unsuccessfully rubberstamped the City’s RV ban–a rubberstamp that was reversed by the full Coastal Commission in August on appeal from a constituent (Norse). Both the City and County bans are currently in limbo but not dead. It appears the CC staff may be huddling with the City and County staff to cook up new language to ban RV’s in the dead of night by limiting the hours of the ban.

FIGHTING BACK
Report harassment citations and actions to Norse of HUFF at rnorse3 [at] hotmail.com. Homeless United for Friendship & Freedom will be meeting 11 AM Wednesday December 28th at the Sub Rosa Cafe. HUFF and Liberation News plan a Saturday protest demanding justice for the killings of Sean Arlt and Luke Smith on Saturday 1:30 PM at the Town Clock.

COUNCILMEMBER ON THE FREE RADIO STREAM THURSDAY
City Councilmember and Former Mayor Chris Krohn will be on Free Radio Santa Cruz sometime between 6 and 8 PM on Thursday December 29th. The show will stream at freakradio.org and archive at http://radiolibre.org/brb/brb161229.mp3 . Krohn spoke out against the Sleeping Ban in his “coronation” speech on December 13th, but has not been involved in any direct actions or resistance in the past. Freedom Sleepers invite him to pull up a sleeping bag and a blanket to join the cold but unbowed veterans on the sidewalk.

76th Freedom Sleeper Protest is also Day of the Homeless Dead Memorial

Date Tuesday December 20

Time 4 PM9 AM Wednesday
Location Details Huddling with blankets on the sidewalk next to City Hall across from the Main Library. The protest will also take place under the eaves of City Hall–until driven away by security thugs and SCPD “law enforcement” officers forcefully dispersing peaceful protesters and denying them protective shelter while providing no options–in violation of the 8th Amendment. This in near-freezing temperatures near empty “public” buildings. This happens in an area designated as a “public park” (yet “closed to the public” at night).
Event Type
Class/Workshop
Organizer/Author Keith McHenry (entry by Norse)
Email
keith [at] foodnotbombs.net
Phone
575-770–3377

Battle-hardened unhoused veterans will be braving another night of bone-chilling weather to continue the community of protest started in July of 2015 and held once a week every Tuesday night since then.

POLITICS-AS-USUAL: NO ANSWERS, NO ACTIONS, LOTS OF SILENCE
The incoming City Council is home warm snug in its beds. “Liberal” newcomers Sandy Brown and Chris Krohn had not a word of support to say about the Freedom Sleepers long March during their mutual admiration speeches last week at the last Council meeting of the year.

Krohn will be interviewed on Norse’s show “Bathrobespierre’s Broadsides” at a time to be announced.

BERKELEY “POOR TOUR” ENTERS 7TH WEEK AFTER 12 BUSTS AND AT LEAST 6 RELOCATIONS
15 Hours ago the determined community at Adelaine and Oregon in Berkeley were given yet another deportation notice to vacate within 24 hours.

Interviews with leaders Dan McMullan, Mike Lee and Mike Zint (now in the hospital with pneumonia) are on line at http://radiolibre.org/brb/brb161218.mp3 (1 hour and 20 minutes into the file).

See also http://berkeleydailyplanet.com/issue/2016-12-16/article/45238?headline=Are-the-Berkeley-raids-going-to-stop–-Becky-O-Malley and https://www.facebook.com/pages/First-they-came-for-the-homeless/253882908111999 /

Berkeley activists and Salinas activists have both credited the Freedom Sleepers with inspiration for their current vigils.

CLASS ACTION LAWSUIT FILED
Wes White, of the Flagpole Community and the Salinas Union of the Homeless met with other activists this weekend to organize a broader coalition of workers, renters, disabled, and housed folks after the City’s October crackdown on the Flagpole Community. That encampment, backed by attorney Anthony Prince, held off the Chinatown raids for many months, defeated one anti-homeless law, and are considering joining on to the ACLU’s state-wide lawsuit against Cal-Trans for seizing homeless property. See https://www.aclunc.org/news/civil-rights-groups-sue-caltrans-stop-illegal-raids-against-california-s-homeless

18TH HOMELESS MEMORIAL AT HOMELESS (LACK OF) SERVICES CENTER [HLOSC] DOES ANNUAL RITUAL MOURNING SESSION
The HLOSC isn’t proposing, backing, and organizing any real change that might impact the death rate in the homeless community. Instead, the increasingly prison-like HLOSC is having another “ain’t it a shame” annual ceremony reading the names of the dead, lighting candles, and assembling for pious speeches. Sort of a fitting counterpoint to the large fund-raising sign on its fence that borders Hiway 1–which indicates its primary priorities.

Under Executive Director “Freeze Out” Phil Kramer and the “More Grants for Less Services” Board of Directors, the HLOSC continues to lock out the majority of homeless people from meals and shelter while funding itself for those with “pathways to housing” under the current “smart solutions” mythology that ignores the needs of several thousand homeless people while panhandling for the few. Security guards and police have threatened those protesting abusive HLOSC behavior outside, and dispersed those sleeping in the cold at the gates of the $3 million “non-profit”.

https://www.santacruz.com/events/18th-annual-homeless-memorial-at-homeless-services-center-dec-20th-2016-10-00am

Generousheart Joe Schultz will be providing the usual hot soup against the cold. Blankets, sleeping bags, and supporters are welcome!

The usual Wednesday 11 AM HUFF meeting at the Sub Rosa Cafe is cancelled;  HUFFsters will reassemble on 12-28, at the usual time.

Vacation Time for HUFF

HUFFsters:   The Wednesday 12-21 meeting of HUFF is canceled due to holiday realities as well as other factors.  Next scheduled meeting is 12-28.

Similarly the next protest of the official silence in the killings of Sean Arlt and Luke Smith, being held weekly at the Town Clock will be 12-31 at 1:30 p.m. according to organizer Steve Argue.

HUFFish type activity will still be continuing behind the scenes.  Contact me at 423-4833 if you want to be involved.

Ho, ho, ho.!

Robert Norse

 

Justice For Sean Arlt, Luke Smith, & John Dine!

Justice For Sean Arlt, Luke Smith, & John Dine!
by Revolutionary Tendency
Hold the Santa Cruz Police and Santa Cruz Sheriff’s Department accountable for their crimes.
sm_zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz_090.jpg

Justice for Sean Arlt, Luke Smith. and John Dine! 
Fire, Prosecute, and Jail Deputy Chris Vigil, the Murderer of Luke Smith! 
 Release the Audio and Video of the SCPD Killing of Sean Arlt! 
Prosecute and Jail SCPD Officer Connor Carey for the Murder of John Dine! 

Saturday, December 17th and Sat. Dec. 31st and every Saturday (except Dec. 24th) until we get justice. 
1:30 PM 
Santa Cruz Clock Tower (at Pacific Ave. and River St., Downtown Santa Cruz, California) 

Justice for Luke Smith! 

The Santa Cruz Sheriff’s department shot and killed 15-year-old Luke Smith with an AR-15 assault rifle. The police also unleashed an attack dog on him and he attempted to defend himself from the brutal dog attack using a very small knife. This shooting was an unacceptable use of force against Luke Smith as he laid on the ground at a distance where he posed no immediate threat to any people present. We demand Luke Smith’s murderer, Deputy Chris Vigil, be fired from the Santa Cruz Sriff’s Departmenr, jailed, and prosecuted for the crime of murder. 

Justice for Sean Arlt! 

Another man recently killed by cops is Sean Arlt. The Santa Cruz Police claim they killed Sean Arlt to prevent him from attacking them with a garden rake. They also say audio and video back their story. We say prove it. Release the audio and the video NOW! We are outraged at the stonewalling by City Manager Martin Bernal, Police Chief Kevin Vogel, Mayor Cynthia Mathews, and the entire Santa Cruz City Council–allowing the police to withhold the video and audio of the incident and the name of Arlt’s killer. Even if the police version of events is true, which we in no way assume to be the case, we ask why four cops could not subdue Sean Arlt without shooting him in the head and chest. Why weren’t tactics of de-escalation used? Why didn’t police use less lethal force like a Taser or aim for his legs? Yet, until the audio and video is released, we don’t assume that the police are telling the truth about anything. As far as we know, there may not have even been a rake involved. 

We are also outraged at the corporate media’s coverage, taking the unproven allegations of the police as fact. For instance, stories that identify Sean Arlt as “the man who attacked police with a metal rake” should insert the word “allegedly”. Until the police release their evidence, all we have is an unproven allegation by the police. The corporate media show their blatant bias by treating unproven police claims as fact. 

We are reminded of the Santa Cruz police murder of homeless activist John Dine in 1997. The police falsely claimed that John Dine was pointing a toy gun at them, but all independent eyewitnesses contradicted this lie. Some eyewitnesses were so outraged that they became activists on the issue. John Dine was, however, murdered by the Santa Cruz police with complete impunity.” 

We must be very careful not to get sucked into circulating police lies and propaganda as fact. In the case of John Dine, the eyewitness evidence is clear. John Dine never pointed a toy gun. Instead, the police murdered him in cold blood and lied about the entire incident. Everyone who circulated the “toy gun story as fact” scenario, even if it was with arguments about better “mental health training for police”, or whatever, were actually circulating police lies and propaganda as fact. In the police killing of Sean Arlt, ever since he was killed on October 16th, 2016, all authorities have suspiciously refused to release any real evidence while at the same time making unsubstantiated claims about a rake. Anyone who treats police claims of a rake in Sean Arlt’s hands as fact, no matter what their arguments may be regarding lethal force or mental health, are still circulating unsubstantiated police propaganda. 

These protests are sponsored by the Revolutionary Tendency and Homeless United for Friendship and Freedom with participation and support from Santa Cruz Food Not Bombs, Luke Smith’s mother, and food and/or coffee are sometimes provided by Joe Schultz of India Joze. 

For some mainstream media coverage of one of our past protests on these issues check out the following KION Coverage: 
http://www.kion546.com/news/memorial-held-to-honor-locals-fatally-shot-by-police/196370776 

Let’s keep up the heat! Come back out Sat. Dec. 17th at 1:30 at the Santa Cruz Clock tower (River St. and Pacific Ave.) and every Saturday until we get justice. 

***UPDATE and CONTACT INFORMATION*** 

To contact the organizers of these events, including to officially endorse and/or get more involved: 
E-mail the Revolutionary Tendency at steveargue2 [at] yahoo.com 
 Or call Homeless United for Friendship and Freedom (HUFF) at (831) 427-HUFF 

Join our Facebook event page and send invitations to invite your Facebook friends to join the event: 
Justice For Sean Arlt and Luke Smith! 
https://www.facebook.com/events/231141847322298/ 

For alternative media sources, meetings, and discussions from the organizers of this demonstration, check us out the following: 

Homeless United for Friendship and Freedom meets every Wednesday starting at 11:00 AM at the Subrosa Café at 703 Pacific Avenue, downtown Santa Cruz. 

The Revolutionary Tendency sponsors online discussions on the fight-back against murders by police, join us at: 
Labor & Revolutionary Action to Jail Killer Cops 
https://www.facebook.com/groups/1737865853149386/ 

For e-mailed written updates from the Revolutionary Tendency, subscribe free to Liberation News 
https://lists.riseup.net/www/viewmod/liberation_news/16020efce2d0b070cfab2d5e320282c7 

For stationary written updates from the Revolutionary Tendency, check-out our Facebook page at: 
https://www.facebook.com/RevolutionaryTendency/ 

For live radio updates from the Revolutionary Tendency, listen-in to Steven Argue’s program, Liberation News, every Saturday starting at 4:00 PM Pacific Standard Time and going to 6:00 or 7:00 PM, depending on the Saturday of the month. Just click the Free Radio Santa Cruz URL for the live-stream at that time below. 

Free Radio Santa Cruz livestream 
http://freeradiosc.radio.net/ 

For written updates from Homeless United For Friendship and Freedom (HUFF) check-out: 
http://www.huffsantacruz.org/ 

For live radio updates from Homeless United for Friendship and Freedom (HUFF) check-out Robert Norse’s show Bathrobes Pierre’s Broadsides every Thursday 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM and every Sunday 9:30 AM to 1:00 PM Pacific Standard Time. Just click the Free Radio Santa Cruz URL for the live-stream below at those times. 

Free Radio Santa Cruz live-stream 
http://freeradiosc.radio.net/ 

For related articles, see: 

Here is an in-depth 4-part series of articles from the Revolutionary Tendency that provides detailed analysis of the fight against police murders and police repression in general: 

Murderous Cops, Liberal Snake Oil, & Revolutionary Solutions 
 by Steven Argue 
http://boston.indymedia.org/newswire/display/222482/index.php 

Justice For Sean Arlt and Luke Smith Community Events Deleted 
Indybay Censorship, Sabotage, and Defamation 
by Steven Argue 
http://boston.indymedia.org/newswire/display/224482/index.php 

I Never Called For “Community Control of the Police”

Indybay Censorship, Sabotage, and Defamation
by Steven Argue
In organizing “Justice for Sean Arlt and Luke Smith protests, the Revolutionary Tendency works in a non-sectarian manner with protest co-sponsor Homeless United for Friendship and Freedom and with participation and support from Santa Cruz Food Not Bombs, 15-year-old Luke Smith’s mother, Luke Smith’s class mates, and with food and coffee provided by Joe Schultz of India Joze. As these are grass-roots community events, one would think that the “non-hierarchical” censors at Indybay could look beyond their unexplained and seemingly irrational hatred, censorship, sabotage, and defamation of these community events demanding justice for Sean Arlt and Luke Smith. Yet, this is not the case.
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original image (960×540)
Indybay Censorship, Sabotage, and Defamation 
I Never Called For “Community Control of the Police” 
By Steven Argue 

Indybay, a supposed leftist alternative media source providing self-publishing for the people, is censoring posts for community organized events that are protesting the police and sheriff killings of Sean Arlt and Luke Smith. Here is a link to one of several of these postings that have been censored. The following link, which would otherwise be to that event, shows how almost all of it has been deleted and the rest has been crossed-out (that is, it shows that, unless Indybay censors have since rerouted the link, as they have done in the past): 

Justice for Sean Arlt and Luke Smith! (Censored) 
https://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2016/12/11/18794581.php 

The full text of what Indybay has censored, a protest being held Sat. Dec. 17th in Santa Cruz, can be found at the following Facebook event page description. We encourage people to sign up and invite your Facebook friends. 

Justice for Sean Arlt and Luke Smith! (December 17th Facebook page) 
https://www.facebook.com/events/231141847322298/ 

For some mainstream media coverage of one of our past protests on these issues check out the following KION Coverage: 
http://www.kion546.com/news/memorial-held-to-honor-locals-fatally-shot-by-police/196370776 

After December 17th, there will be continued actions. We have been doing these protests every Saturday at 1:30, but will skip Christmas Eve on the 24th. Past events on this issue were also censored by Indybay, and we expect this to continue into the future. People can get updates on these events by subscribing to the following site: 

Liberation News (Internationalist) 
https://lists.riseup.net/www/info/liberation_news 

For those who are unfamiliar, Indybay is part of an international network of other regional sites that go by the name “Indymedia”. Indybay is a site that claims to provide open publishing “support for local, regional and global struggles against exploitation and oppression.” They also falsely claim to be “organized along anti-authoritarian principles of open and transparent decision-making processes, including open public meetings; a form of modified consensus; and the elimination of hierarchies.” It is on these premises that they obtain donations from the communities that they supposedly give voice. 

It has, however, become clear that Indybay’s promises are not reality based. Despite the false claims of Indybay, their hierarchy is presently censoring notices of important community events calling for “Justice for Sean Arlt and Luke Smith!” Despite their claims of “transparency”, they are carrying out these acts of censorship without any explanation to the community and organizations they have censored. As bad as that censorship and lack of transparency are, this gets far worse and more malicious. 

Indybay Sabotage and Defamation 

In addition to Indybay censorship of the “Justice for Sean Arlt and Luke Smith!” events, when one of the event postings was removed, the widely-circulated URL link to that specific censored posting was redirected by the Indybay censors to a different event that had already occurred in the past. This act of sabotage against a widely-circulated link likely confused some people and prevented them from attending our event. 

Not only did the censors at Indybay redirect people to an event notice that one would need a time machine to attend, the event posting that the Indybay censors redirected people to falsely states that the piece is written “by Steven Argue”, when in fact I had no hand in writing it at all. Furthermore, I oppose the demands that were put down in that writing in my name and find them extremely embarrassing. That event posting also fails to include the central demands of our protests. Yet, the “anti-authoritarian” Indybay censors have deleted my comment section postings stating I am not the author as well. In the statements that they delete, I have attempted only the most basic clarification by saying nothing more than, “I did not write the above post, despite being attributed as the author.” 

The redirection of this URL by the Indybay censors combined with the deletion of this elementary clarification can then only be seen as a malicious defamation of both me and the community protests I represent. This redirected link was widely distributed locally, nationally, and internationally. For some of us involved who take our program and demands very seriously, associating our name with what we do not support is a serious act of defamation that tarnishes our image. The deletions by the Indybay censors of my attempt to simply say that I did not write that post makes clear that these acts of censorship, sabotage, and defamation were carried out, and continue to be carried out, with the upmost malicious intent. 

The date of the event at the redirected link was December 3rd, but my deleted event posting was to occur on December 10th. An event on the same issue had been held on December 3rd, as these protests are being held weekly, but clearly that event had already happened. It was a fellow activist who posted that Dec. 3rd notice before that event occurred. He mistakenly posted his embarrassing demands in my name due to two innocent facts. First, he wanted to credit me and not himself as a central organizer of the event. Second, he felt rushed to get the post up himself as I was busy working out of town for a couple of days. 

If not for the redirected URL of the Indybay censors, however, this problem was otherwise corrected soon after the posting for Dec. 3rd event. I made clear, and the other activist in question accepted, that both I and the Revolutionary Tendency never wanted to be associated with those demands ever again, nor should those be put forward as the demands of the protests we are organizing. Fact is, it is likely that nobody would have ever looked at that Dec. 3rd posting ever again were it not for the censors at Indybay deleting our notice for the December 10th event and redirecting those who clicked that URL to the obsolete December 3rd posting. This brought back an otherwise resolved problem due to the fact that this sabotaged redirected link, just before it was sabotaged, was widely distributed locally, nationally, and internationally by Liberation News and the Revolutionary Tendency. 

Unfortunately, Indybay is now opposed to the simplest acts of common decency in allowing individuals and organizations the most basic right to our own words without the libel of misquotes that they are currently promoting against us. As a result, I must now also respond to the demands that they are falsely promoting as my own words. I have three main fundamental differences with the posting under my name. The first two are specific to the demands that I think need to be raised in the Sean Arlt and Luke Smith cases. The third is a demand raised in my name that I view as a fundamental violation of my political ideology. 

Libel Number One: Police Claims of a Rake 

First. the post falsely attributed to my name states, “Lethal shooting is NOT a necessary response to individuals carrying a rake…”. This fails by omitting one of the most fundamental questions, the fact that the police have never backed-up their claims that Sean Arlt even threatened them with a rake. We will not know whether or not there is any credibility to police claims that Sean Arlt ever threatened anyone with a rake until the audio and video is released which police claim backs their story. I am strongly opposed to all statements that concede a rake was involved as this one did. All flyers and notices actually written by me before and after that posting made this clear. Here is an example still found on current flyers:

“The Santa Cruz Police claim they killed Sean Arlt to prevent him from attacking them with a garden rake. They also say audio and video back their story. We say prove it. Release the audio and the video NOW! We are outraged at the stonewalling by City Manager Martin Bernal, Police Chief Kevin Vogel, Mayor Cynthia Mathews, and the entire Santa Cruz City Council–allowing the police to withhold the video and audio of the incident and the name of Arlt’s killer. Even if the police version of events is true, which we in no way assume to be the case, we ask why four cops could not subdue Sean Arlt without shooting him in the head and chest. Why weren’t tactics of de-escalation used? Why didn’t police use less lethal force like a Taser or aim for his legs? Yet, until the audio and video is released, we don’t assume that the police are telling the truth about anything. As far as we know, there may not have even been a rake involved. 

“We are also outraged at the corporate media’s coverage, taking the unproven allegations of the police as fact. For instance, stories that identify Sean Arlt as “the man who attacked police with a metal rake” should insert the word “allegedly”. Until the police release their evidence, all we have is an unproven allegation by the police. The corporate media show their blatant bias by treating unproven police claims as fact. 

“We are reminded of the Santa Cruz police murder of homeless activist John Dine in 1997. The police falsely claimed that John Dine was pointing a toy gun at them, but all independent eyewitnesses contradicted this lie. Some eyewitnesses were so outraged that they became activists on the issue. John Dine was, however, murdered by the Santa Cruz police with complete impunity.” 

We must be very careful not to get sucked into circulating police lies and propaganda as fact. In the case of John Dine, the eyewitness evidence is clear. John Dine never pointed a toy gun. Instead, the police murdered him in cold blood and lied about the entire incident. Everyone who circulated the “toy gun story as fact” scenario, even if it was with arguments about better “mental health training for police”, or whatever, were actually circulating police lies and propaganda as fact. In the police killing of Sean Arlt, ever since he was killed on October 16th, 2016, all authorities have suspiciously refused to release any real evidence while at the same time making unsubstantiated claims about a rake. Anyone who treats police claims of a rake in Sean Arlt’s hands as fact, no matter what their arguments may be regarding lethal force or mental health, are still circulating unsubstantiated police propaganda. The protest notice falsely attributed to me, by failing to question police claims of a rake in any way, submits to this police propaganda in a manner that I strongly oppose. 

Fire and Jail Deputy Chris Vigil! 

My second objection to the post that is wrongly attributed to my name, and promoted by the Indybay censors, is that it fails to call for the criminal prosecution of Deputy Chris Vigil on charges of murder for shooting and killing Luke Smith. At the time that Deputy Chris Vigil opened fire on Luke Smith with an AR-15 rifle, fifteen-year-old Luke Smith was at a safe distance and, despite holding a small 4-inch knife and being high on LSD, clearly was no immediate threat to anyone. This shooting by Deputy Vigil was, as a result, an act of murder. We call for the immediate firing of Deputy Chris Vigil and his prosecution on the charge of murder. The notice posted in my name also failed on these most basic of demands in a manner that I would have never done. 

Community Control of the Police? 

My third objection to that post that is wrongly attributed to me is the fact that it states, “We will be speaking out demanding strong changes in local law enforcement to establish real community control over the armed agencies.” Yet, I have been active against police brutality ever since I was a young teenager in the 1980’s, but I have never once, including now, supported demands for community control of the police. 

My first stand against police brutality was when the police handcuffed and shot Hal Saran Scott in the head right near my high school in St. Paul, Minnesota. As usual, the police got away with murder. In that case, they did it by intimidating eyewitnesses into silence. I continued to stand-up to the police, including leading a walk-out of hundreds of students at my high school, St. Paul Central, demanding the police be removed from our school and our doors be unlocked. I soon became a victim of false arrest and brutal police beatings myself, but was backed in my struggle for justice by the Inner-City Youth League, American Indian Movement, Young Socialist Alliance, Progressive Student Organization, and the Socialist Workers Party. 

Yet, never then, and never in my decades of experience standing up to police violence since, have I ever supported the demand of community control of the police. My organization, the Revolutionary Tendency, holds the same position. The reason is simple. We refuse to lie to the people. It is our opinion that community control of the police will only be won through proletarian socialist revolution that smashes the capitalist state and establishes a new police force representing working class interests. No reform of bourgeois police forces will do this and, in our opinion, any real community control of the police under the capitalist system is a pipe-dream. As revolutionary socialists, we are not going to lie to the public, selling them some snake-oil prescription that somehow democracy and community control of the police is possible under the capitalist system. 

Under our current system, the purpose of all bourgeois cops in the United States is to defend the established bourgeois order of exploitation of the majority by the wealthy capitalists who actually own this country and its politicians. That is to say, the purpose of the bourgeois cops is to serve and protect the rich while oppressing and terrorizing leftists, poor people, Black and brown people, and the working class in general. This includes the police carrying out orders to make sure that actual working class democracy does not come to the USA. Likewise, all Santa Cruz cops are required, unless they quit, to uphold the city’s discriminatory laws against homeless people. Cops throughout the United States play the role of slave catchers in the mass incarceration of the poor by enforcing drug laws. In addition, even the supposed “good cops” of myth are silent when other cops make-up charges, frame people, use excessive force, or murder people. Likewise, to keep their jobs, cops in the Bay Area and everywhere else in the United States carry out other political orders from their superiors to oppress leftists, protests, and strikes when this is deemed necessary by the ruling class. Brutality, murder, and other crimes from these cops is also generally allowed with impunity because this maintains a loyal police force willing to do the dirty work of the bourgeoisie. We cannot tell a lie. Community control of such forces, whose main purpose is to oppress our communities, is about as absurd as demanding an anti-racist KKK. It runs counter to their entire purpose and reason for existence. 

The oppressive and brutal role of the bourgeois cops is a central component of the capitalist state itself. The capitalist state is at its heart its cops, courts, prisons, and military. Any study of history and international current events shows that the role of the capitalist state is one that is universally so entrenched in preserving capitalist injustice that it cannot be transformed into the opposite of its current role and become an instrument of the working class under any reforms that supposedly bring “community control”. 

Karl Marx also observed and correctly argued these points in a piece on the Paris Commune written in May, 1871, where he supported a declaration of the Paris Commune stating, “They have understood that it is their imperious duty, and their absolute right, to render themselves masters of their own destinies, by seizing upon the governmental power.” Marx backed this declaration of the Paris Commune for the smashing of the capitalist state saying, “the working class cannot simply lay hold of the ready-made state machinery, and wield it for its own purposes.” Marx listed components of that capitalist state at that time in France to include “its ubiquitous organs of standing army, police, bureaucracy, clergy, and judicature…” 

During the Paris Commune, much of the French military had disintegrated, but the Paris Commune didn’t raise its own standing army to thoroughly abolish the old order and defend the working-class revolution. As a result, the Paris commune was eventually crushed by a motley mish-mash of counterrevolutionary troops slopped together by the French bourgeoisie. With the victory of the counterrevolution, around 20,000 communard men, women, and children were slaughtered. Vladimir Lenin cited this as an example of how the “bourgeoisie will stop at nothing.” Another lesson not lost on Marx and Lenin was the need for the working-class revolution to establish a strong professional standing army and police force of the workers’ state capable of defeating the capitalist counterrevolution. 

I agree with Lenin and Marx. The capitalist state, including its police forces, cannot be reformed. They must instead be smashed and liquidated in a proletarian socialist revolution. It is only through such a seizure of power by the working class, establishment of a workers’ state, and the establishment of a planned socialist economy through the total expropriation of the bourgeoisie, that the new police force will cease to be instruments of brutality and oppression for the wealthy capitalist class. While police oppression and brutality have also been carried out on behalf of privileged bureaucratic rulers in deformed socialist workers’ states, it is our position that unlike capitalism, this is not inherent in the socialist system and can be curtailed through establishing legitimate institutions of workers’ democracy and workers’ debate, eliminating bureaucratic privileges, and fighting to build socialism on a world scale. 

It should be added that despite our recognition that the socialist systems established after Stalin took power had the deficiencies of bureaucratic privileges, a lack of real workers’ democracy, and police abuses, we also don’t back western imperialist lies against these systems either. Every socialist revolution, through their planned socialist economies, brought major advancements in education, employment, healthcare, housing, development, and women’s rights while some also brought substantial advancements for oppressed nationalities and the environment as well. 

Within this context, not all police measures of these deformed workers’ states have been wrong, despite what western imperialist propaganda would have us think. For instance, before the Cuban Revolution of 1959, the U.S. backed capitalist dictatorship of Batista murdered 20,000 people. After the revolution, the Castro leadership executed a few hundred of these torturers and murderers, including brutal cops that would have never been brought to justice under capitalism, like Santa Clara Police Chief Cornelio Roja. Likewise, Cuba has since jailed people who have violated the law, including 75 co-conspirators in 2003 who were proven in court to be part of a CIA plot of destabilization. While criticizing some legitimate problems that occur in socialist Cuba, we also answer Yankee imperialist lies that portray legitimate acts of self-defense and punishment as repression no different than that which is dished out by the capitalist states. The people of Cuba, on every level, are far better off today than they were under the U.S. imposed mass murderer Batista and we support their right to defend those gains from imperialist attack and internal capitalist counterrevolution. 

For the sake of unity in the fight against police brutality in Santa Cruz, California, however, we have been happy to drop the debate on “community control of the police” versus “proletarian socialist revolution” in favor of working unity to demand justice for Sean Arlt and Luke Smith. In this manner, the Revolutionary Tendency works in a non-sectarian manner with protest co-sponsor Homeless United for Friendship and Freedom and with participation and support from Santa Cruz Food Not Bombs, 15-year-old Luke Smith’s mother, Luke Smith’s class mates, and with food and coffee provided by Joe Schultz of India Joze. As these are grass-roots community events, one would think that the “non-hierarchical” censors at Indybay could look beyond their unexplained and seemingly irrational hatred, censorship, sabotage, and defamation of these community events demanding justice for Sean Arlt and Luke Smith. Yet, this is not the case.

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Rally for Justice in the Arlt and Smith Killings 1:30 PM Saturday at the Town Clock

Another week has passed with no response from Chief Vogel’s SCPD releasing the video and audio of the shooting of Sean Arlt, and no response from Sheriff Hart’s Deputies regarding full disclosure of all video/audio surrounding the savaging (by police dog) and killing of Luke Smith.

There has been no action from either the Santa Cruz City Council or its Public Safety Committee regarding any change in the “shoot to kill” and “withhold from the community the documentation” policies of Vogel.

Nor has the Board of Supervisors made any attempt to rein in the Sheriff’s department or to investigate Smith’s killing.

The D.A.’s office is still supposedly “investigating” the Arlt and Smith killings.

Arlt was shot dead confronting at least 4 police offiers on October October 17. see http://www.ksbw.com/article/santa-cruz-police-knew-sean-arlt-had-mental-illness-family-says/6947949 /

Smith was first mauled and then shot by rifle while surrounded by 11 law enforcement officials. All this is according to the acknowledgment of the agencies involved.

Some selected clips of the Smith shooting can be seen at http://www.santacruzsentinel.com/article/NE/20161121/NEWS/161129933 . There is news commentary and sheriff
http://www.mercurynews.com/2016/11/22/santa-cruz-sheriffs-office-footage-shows-15-year-old-fatally-shot-by-deputy/ .

Activists are calling for the firing and prosecution of the Deputy Chris Vigil and the release of the evidence in the Arlt case.

More info about the protest at https://www.facebook.com/events/231141847322298/ .


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HUFF peeks out of chilly hibernation, back at the Sub Rosa Wednesday 12-14 at 11 AM scheming to topple homeless-aphobia in Santa Cruz

Agenda prospects include:  HUFF specific demands for the December 17th “Justice for Sean Arlt and Luke Smith” Rally 1:30 PM at the Town Clock; Reports from Colorado, Berkeley, Santa Rosa,and far-away Florida; Slipping Past the Stalling on Police Records; Adding New Wrinikles to Old Homeless Xmas Carols;  and more…

Coffee as ever, crunchy chocolate chip cookies, and a warm place to chatter.

 

End-of-the-Year Antics at City Council While Freedom SleepOut #75 Braves the Rain

 Date Tuesday December 13
Time
4:00 PM Tuesday9 AM Wednesday
Location Details On the wet pavement in front of City Hall after chatting with City Council members across the street in their warm meet-and-feast foyer at the Civic Auditorium welcoming the new City Council members. Bring tents, blankets, and weather-resistant survival gear if you have it. Rain is predicted. 
Event Type
Protest
Organizer/Author Keith McHenry (story by Norse)
Email keith [at] foodnotbombs.net
Phone 575-770-3377

Freedom Sleepers are there to protest the City’s refusal to enter the 21st Century. Acknowledge the human right of all people, rich and poor, to sleep at night. Instead City Council will be leaving police, security guards, and rangers (led by Mayor Mathew’s son, John) to enforce harsh anti-homeless laws menacing homeless survival behavior throughout the winter.

CITY COUNCIL’S LATEST ANTICS
City Council, which meets in early afternoon session today, will be honoring Lobo, the police dog. It will be voting hundreds of thousands of dollars for the SCPD’s body camera program. It’s a grim irony considering the murder of Sean Luke in defense of a sheriff’s police dog some weeks ago.

The Council is making no requirement that police video be made available to the public. Nor that police write their reports before consulting the video. Meanwhile, the City Adminstrator’s office has again delayed any release of Public Records regarding current public suveillance devices–their cost, location, and retention schedules. Such secrecy clouds claims of future transparency.

The SCPD also refuses to release citation records and other information concerning their current policies. Will they be any more likely to release future video demanded by the public? Sheriff Hart, who claims to be on board with Obama’s 20th Century Policing, refuses to release simple booking records–something already required by state law.

This funding of police body cameras is item #25 comes after a lengthy Consent Agenda which takes up most of the agenda. Unlike at the Board of Supervisors and in many other cities the public is not allowed to speak on any individual item separately unless they get the permission of a Council member. New Council members Brown and Krohn can alter this policy overnight– by simply requiring public comment on any item requested by a member of the public.

Oral Communications–for those who want to squeeze themselves into Mayor Mathews’ 2 minute strait jacket is supposed to be around 5 PM. This will be the only chance to actually speak on homeless matters–since none are on the agenda.

At 7 PM the Council reassembles to praise its outgoing and incoming members. When those speeches are done, the Council moves across the street to the Civic Auditorium to wine and dine.

Since this festive gathering will be happening as heavy rains fall, protesters, homeless folks, and their supporters might want to take their sleeping bags out of the rain to join the Council celebrants indoors and perhaps…stay awhile?

Perhaps apprehension of this possibility prompted Mayor “Two Minute” Mathews to take the unusual step of omitting the Civic Center post-coronation munch-and-mingle event from the Council’s agenda. In fact, state law requires her not only toadmit the public but to announce the gathering on the Council’s agenda in advance. This was done in past years.

Meanwhile, the Council has taken no action to end criminalization of the hundreds of those outside without shelter. Its Winter Shelter program, combined with AFC’s 20-person-per-night church program, can only take in 70-100 people a night (to expand to 125-140 on January 1st). In the City and County there are more than 3000; in the City at least 1000-1500. No move has been made to restore funding for open meals at the Homeless (Lack of) Services Center or to rein in Ranger repression on Pacific Avenue, in the Parks, and on the Levee.

DENVER, SANTA ROSA, FLORIDA ENTER REJECT PUNITIVE SWEEPS
Homeless Out Loud, Occupy Denver, and other civil rights groups resisted the November homeless sweeps “authorized” by the 4-year old Camping Ban law as police seized tents and survival gear. See http://www.denverpost.com/2016/12/05/homeless-sweeps-denver-city-council-repeal-camping-ban/ .

In response to rising protest and plummeting temperatures, Denver Mayor Michael Hancock reluctantly announced that police will stop confiscating blankets and tents for the 3,700+ urban campers while maintaining the usual politician’s cover story that “safer” indoor shelter was available. https://denverhomelessoutloud.org/2016/12/10/mayor-hancock-orders-police-to-stop-taking-peoples-survival-gear-when-enforcing-the-camping-ban/ .

In Santa Rosa legislators voted to allow churches, granges, Moose lodges or any other group with property considered a “meeting facility” to offer a range of services to the homeless that wouldn’t normally be allowed under zoning rules for such properties.

These uses include allowing people to sleep in their cars overnight, camp in tents and take shelter indoors overnight, all under specific conditions. For example, indoor shelters need fire inspections. Campsites must be shielded from view by fencing and open fires are not allowed. The program guidelines also allow groups to offer property storage services, and for people to use portable bathrooms and bathrooms inside buildings. See http://www.pressdemocrat.com/news/6397711-181/churchs-proposed-homeless-encampment-stirs?artslide=0

In Flagler Beach, Florida, the homeless activist Wayne Perry confronted City Council with the demand he be allowed to sleep on public property since there were neither safe zones nor adequate shelter. When Perry began survival sleeping in Betty Steflik Memorial Preserve, paranoid NIMBY’s demanded the City take action–which they’ve done by designating a boat launch area as a homeless refuge. See http://www.news-journalonline.com/news/20161209/flagler-beach-designates-homeless-refuge-at-county-park

Santa Cruz homeless activists have for years been demanding either a lifting of the camping ban and/or safe zones for camping and parking, though prescient homeless militant Linda “the Lark” Edwards denounced select, restricted, and supervised areas (such as the Homeless (Lack of) Services Center, predicted they would become de facto homeless concentration camps.

VIGIL DEMANDING JUSTICE FOR TWO SLAIN BY SHERIFF AND SCPD CONTINUES SATURDAY
Activists fighting police violence will continue their weekly demand for prosecution of the guilty cops and release of all audio and video around the killings of Arlt and Smith in recent weeks. Last week’s protest at the Town Clock retreated to the eaves of the post office in heavy rain. Activists invite homeless folks to join the protest to speak out against local police abuses against those outside. 1:30 PM, Town Clock. December 17th Saturday. More info at https://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2016/12/07/18794512.php .

 

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