- Rough Voices Against the Recall (of Glover and Krohn) at Tuesday’s Oral Communications
- Unending Commentary from the Caustic Jaws of Bathrobespierre Robert
- Fragments from the Food Not Bombs Feed Last Saturday
- Scraps and Snips from The Red Church & at Another Monday Meal
- A Pinch of Protest: Interview with 1220 River St. Camp resident Rosemary
Monthly Archives: August 2019
City Attorney Stonewalls Homeless Activists on Settlement Conference
Protest/Press Conference Today at the River St. Campground–1220 River St. 10 AM Thursday August 29th
|Time for More Privacy, Decency, & Accessibility at Salvation Army’s 1220 River St. Camp|
|Import into your personal calendar|
|Date||Thursday August 29|
|Time||10:00 AM – 10:30 AM|
|Event Type||Press Conference|
|Organizer/Author||California Homeless Union/HUFF/C&A/FNB|
|rnorse3 [at] hotmail.com|
|1220 River St. in front of the Salvation Army’s 60 tent “no walking in or out” Campground|
The press conference/protest follows up on last May’s appeal to the Salvation Army management.
That event urged the Army to allow greater freedom and privacy for camp residents and to provide important upgrades in the living conditions there such as showers and protection from the heat.
Today’s event is again sponsored by the Santa Cruz Homeless Union, Conscience and Action, Food Not Bombs, and HUFF (Homeless United for Friendship & Freedom).
It will be followed by a supportive visit to Monterey Superior Court (1:30 PM, Department 13, 1200 Aguajito Road ) in support of the Salinas Homeless Union’s court suit seeking to stop the police harassment of folks outside at Sherwood Park in Salinas.
It follows a partially successful challenge to the City’s discriminatory closing of bathrooms prompting City Council last Tueday night to act. An unusually cohesive Progressive majority voted 4-3
Activists have also scheduled a Direct Action ‘Open the Damn Bathrooms” event for Tuesday September 3rd at 1:30 PM at Louden Nelson Center. Concerned community members are invited to attend, witness, and/or participate.
Council Chaos and Protests Impending: Join Us at the 11 AM Conscience and Action group to work it out– Sub Rosa at 703 Pacific, followed by the weary HUFF meeting, Wednesday August 28th !
CONSCIENCE AND ACTION IDEAS 8-28-19
Note: Agenda Ideas are simply suggestions and subject to change and addition from anyone in the group. They cover a wide range of possibilities.
- Announcements: Choice of Action Items; Timekeeper & Time Limits; Vibes Guy
- Follow-Up on Marcos Meeting; Protest Prep for Tomorrow
- Potty Protest at Louden Nelson on Tuesday
- City Council Update: Small Victory on City Hall Bathroom Reopening for a Month; Draw on the CACH Referrals; Defeat on Louden Nelson
- Any City Council Issues to be Raised for Agenda or Plans for September 10th?
- Ross Lawsuit and Union Organizing Report: Phone a Cop Proposal
- Possible Glover call (10 minutes available on his end)
- Announcements: Including Brief Summaries of Agenda Items
- Further Action on C & A Items
- Street and Campground Report
- August 29th Monterey Court Hearing 1200 Aguajito Rd for Salinas Injunction Against Cop Harassment at Sherwood Park 1:30 PM
- Chief Mills Latest Responses on Choke-Holds, Rape Kits, and the SCPD Bathroom
- What’s to be Done With SC Homeless Union Documentation?
- Stepping Up in Santa Cruz Poverty Pimp PR Checking: Eli and Laura Report?
- End of Recycling Report
- Public Records Updates: Bathroom Data–Norse and Colby’s Data Some at https://cityofsantacruz.
UPCOMING PROTESTS/COURT DATES
- Thursday August 29 1:30 PM Court for the Sherwood Park Plaintiffs seeking to enjoin Salinas authorities from harassment of the homeless 1200 Aguajito Road MONTEREY.
- Thursday August 29 10 AM Press Conference at Protest outside 1220 River St.
- Tuesday, September 3, 1:30 PM Louden Nelson Potty Protest
City Council To Back Louden Nelson Bathroom Lockout 7:30 PM Tuesday August 27th
In spite of the lack of specific documentation justifying her action, Louden Nelson Supervisor Iseth Rae closed and locked the Louden Nelson bathrooms in March 2018, reserving their use to “those in programs”. Tony Elliot of the City’s Parks and Recreation oversees Iseth Rae’s management.
When the San Lorenzo Winter Campground was shut down without providing adequate alternate sleeping facilities for unhoused residents, those without shelter began to sleep in Laurel Park, adjacent to the Louden Nelson Center. Use of the bathrooms increased.
Though masking the discriminatory policy as being concerned with “illegal” behavior (such as sleeping near the Center, using the washrooms to shave and wash, and “drug use”), the wholesale exclusion was clearly intended at unhoused people.
It also significantly impacts the entire community. The nearest bathrooms are blocks away (with the exception of the police department, which is usually not available, according to a beat officer).
At the same time, Rae and the P & R created a “Security Patrol” at Laurel Park, as well as a locked fence. Rae upped the ante in March 2018 by locking the public bathrooms and requiring users to get a code. That code was only given out to authorized individuals, that is, those “participating in programs” at the Louden Nelson Center. Using the park, visiting the Center, and simply needing to use the bathroom were not enough. Even if you were disabled, ill, a minor, a senior, or afflicted with a medical condition.
SCANT DOCUMENTATION FOR THE LOCK-OUT
When asked to present evidence for the need of this policy, Rae responded by describing several incidents in 2016 and 2017, but had no documentation showing unusual amounts of vandalism or lawbreaking or behavior that “threatened” children.
Close analysis of the public records involving staff memos, bills for repair, etc. revealed no regular or extensive damage at the bathrooms. At the P & R Commission meeting this summer, Rae presented no written evidence justifying her exclusionary policy.
COMMUNITY PROTEST AND COMMISSION REFUSAL
She did note that some conservative neighbors and a few neighborhood groups had complained about the “inappropriate behavior”. By contrast, the ACLU and at least one musical performer (David Rovics) reacted with outrage and moved their meetings elsewhere in response to the anti-homeless policies.
When one member of the P & R Commission noted state law seemed to require that public bathrooms in public buildings be open to the entire public, not simply those chosen by the managers, the Commission voted to continue banning bathroom use even to regular Laurel Park users until such time as the City Attorney advised otherwise.
Louden Nelson Center was originally named after London Nelson, a former slave, who donated the property to the school district in the mid-1800s. London’s first name was erroneously changed to “Louden” in documents after the 1930s, but almost no documents before that time show his name as anything other than “London.” according to local historian Phil Reader. I use the altered name “Louden” accustomed to this usage.
Bathrooms at City Hall have been closed since 2015 in spite of repeated protests–the apparent purpose to shut down the “Freedom Sleeper” protests of 2015-2017. The City has spent thousands of dollars tearing up the grass and replacing it with rocky ground, hiring First Alarm “security” patrols, and making it a crime to circulate a petition on City Hall grounds after dark.
E-MAIL THE BATHROOM BLOCKADERS
The swing vote on this issue is, as usual, Vice Mayor Justin Cummings, who has declined so far to meet with HUFF on this or any other issue.
E-Mail him at jcummings [at] cityofsantacruz.com or phone him at 420-5020 to demand a restoration of decency and fair treatment there. The entire City Council can be reached at citycouncil [at] cityofsantacruz.com .
DIRECT ACTION MAY FLUSH AWAY THE BLOCKAGE
Repeated protests on this issue and meetings with P & R higher-up Carol Scurich, City Manager Martin Bernal, and current P & R boss Tony Elliot have led nowhere. A Direct Action protest held some weeks ago did open up the women’s bathroom for an hour.
Another protest is planned for 1:30 PM at Louden Nelson Center Tuesday September 3rd in the event that City Council continues its “no homeless” policies.
NEGOTIATIONS PROVE FUTILE
“Access and Hours of Parks and Recreation Facilities” –the only item on the evening agenda at
Tony Elliot’s justification for locking down the bathrooms can be found under Memorandum on Louden Nelson Communty Center Restrooms. No dates and costs are mentioned. Nor is any comparison made with upkeep costs for other bathrooms. After two hour-long meetings, Elliot has still not responded with any specifics to the concerns raised by Conscience and Action and HUFF.
PREVIOUS STORIES AND FLYERS
“Direct Action–Liberate the Locked Louden Nelson Bathrooms ” at https://www.indybay.org/
“Time to Get Off the Pot: Louden Nelson–Reopen Your Bathrooms to All the Public ” at https://www.indybay.org/
“Parks and Rec Set to Sabotage Glover “Open the Bathrooms” Proposal ” at https://www.indybay.org/
“Liberate Locked Lavatories ” at https://www.indybay.org/
“Bathrooms, Winter Survival, and Community Caring — A Rally — Join Us! ” at https://www.indybay.org/
“Pee & Poo Protest: Reopen Essential Bathrooms for the Public and the Poor ” at https://www.indybay.org/
Bathrobespiere’s Broadsides radio show streams today (8-25-19) at 9:30AM at www.freakradio.org: Deconstructing the Latest Denunciations of Councilmember Drew Glover; Prepping for the Next City Council Caging; Flashback to December 1997
- David Scheider’s account of police pounding and problems
- Jacqueline on SCPD seizure of her stolen tent–the perils of groundsleeping outside a car
- “Scope it Out” Scott Graham Joins Bathrobespierre Robert to Analyze the Smoke-and-Mirrors Behind the Attacks on Drew Glover and Chris Krohn
- Examining Glover’s Pre-Council Agenda Examination of 8-23
- (Full Audio Available at http://www.huffsantacruz.org/
- Varied Voices from the Sidewalk at the Saturday Food Not Bombs Meal
- Dreamcatcher denounces Elder Abuse through the Bathroom Barricade at Louden Nelson
- Controversy over a Report of Rape Near Louden Nelson
- Officer Christian Le Moss roughs up a bicyclist Zapruder for not having a bike license; witnessed by Damon Brewer
- More accounts of homeless bikerider busting by the SCPD: Matt, Gottum,
- A younger Katzenjammer Keith McHenry on San Francisco Bathroom Brouhaha, the Leonard
Peltier case, and more. Bobby Castillo joins him.
- Stormin’ Norman on Landlord Feudalism in Santa Cruz
- Donna Deiss of the Tenants Rights Union of Santa Cruz
- Ken on the Shooting of Happy John Dine
- Ken Holm on SCPD Harassment of Feed the People activist Sean Alemi
- Jessica York Joins the Smear Squad: https://www.santacruzsentinel.
com/2019/08/21/santa-cruz- leaders-conduct-investigation- reveals-wrong-doing/
- Kessler Kicks Back at the Mathews Machine to Mangle the Library: https://www.santacruzsentinel.
com/2019/08/24/instead-of-an- interview-with-cynthia- mathews-stephen-kessler/
WHAT YOU CAN DO BETWEEN SHOWS:
- Smash the Shitter Stalemate at Louden Nelson by Raising a Stink at City Council 7:30 PM Tuesday 8-27