Featuring edifying commentary from that incessant commentator, Bathrobespierre Robert along with scattered interviews from the forbidden Post Office fence, and the growing nightly encampment at city hall.
Topics to chew on while downing tea or coffee include: the now daily sleep-out at City Hall, Peering at the Latest Public Records Info (or lack thereof) on the ICE/DHS correspondence with “the dog ate the e-mails” Police Chief Kevin Vogel, A Response to the Selective Enforcement Antics of Rangers and Cops on Pacific Avenue in the “Performance Pens”, and more !
Updates on the latest attacks on Food Not Bombs and the Post Office Fence Decorations, Cornerstone Carol Denney on Berkeley Bamboozing; Part 2 of Keith McHenry’s 3-10 “Activists Awake” Presentation, J.C. Orton on the Inner Workings of the Shelter System, and First-They-Came-For-The-
Still offering $500 reward for anyone who can hook us up with a rental space 10′ X 10′ for a year with access to internet, electricity, and bathroom access. Help Save Free Radio!
Following up on Freedom SleepOut #88 and the latest City Clownsel meeting where police-compliant Council members passed a toothless Sanctuary Ordinance that doesn’t provide real protection for undocumented aliens and certainly not local homeless refugees…HUFFsters may be preparing for a Meeting Tonight 7 PM at the SCPD “Community Room” to look over replacements for Chief Vogel who’s retiring in June, gearing up to meet with Council member Sandy Brown this Friday to get some answers to questions raised for her and Council member Krohn, prepping for a City-supported “Homeless Info” get-together Saturday morning, SCPD’s latest attack on the Freedom Sleepers–refusing to return stolen survival gear; and more ! We got the coffee, you bring the courage !
Date Tuesday March 14
Location Details Join the fun in front of City Hall at 809 Center St. on the brick entranceway to the “City Hall Courtyard”from Tuesday Afternoon through Wednesday mid-morning. The area was declared a “park” to give Parks and Recreation Rangers power to exclude homeless folks guilty of nothing but sleeping there at night in an unprecedented due process-free process on pain of a year in jail. Food and festivities will begin near (or perhaps inside) City Council chambers. The Gang of Seven will finalize an empty Sanctuary law that provides no enforcement provisions, nor accountability for Chief Vogel’s concealment of an ICE agent for the last 8 years. While Council creates a phony “Sanctuary” for the undocumented, real sanctuary for the local homeless isn’t even on the table.
Event Type Protest
Organizer/Author Keith McHenry (story by Norse)
CAN’T DRIVE OFF THOSE FREEDOM SLEEPERS
Freedom Sleepers will be returning Tuesday afternoon and evening as the weather turns warmer with videocam capability at the ready to discourage and document abusive behavior and false statements by cops and rangers–who have freely stolen homeless gear and lied to protesters about their rights.
POLICE THIEVES STILL HOLD HOMELESS GEAR
Homeless survival gear has not been returned to Lawrence MacGregor or Dreamcatcher–a large tent in Lawrence’s case; ID, a mobile carrying cart and many other items for Dreamcatcher.
PHONIES PROPOSE TOOTHLESS LAW WITH THEIR POLICE SHUTTING OUT THE LARGER COMMUNITY
Item #14 on the Afternoon Agenda is the 2nd and Final Reading of the Sanctuary Ordinance which “forbids” city employees (including police) from “requesting, disclosing, or maintaining” immigration status information or aiding in enforcement (with plenty of exceptions) as well as informing City Council (but not the community) AFTER but not BEFORE immigration raids occur. There are no penalties for those who violate the law and no right to sue the City if it acts contrary to this law.
The Council meeting will again be held in the City Council chambers instead of the larger Civic Auditorium–this time in mid-afternoon. This means a large crowd of people can be excluded, as happened last time with a heavy police presence and folks kept out in the cold while the Council presented its fluffy resolution and law as a figleaf to cover SCPD collusion with ICE/DHS abuses.
MEMORIAL PLANNED FOR APRIL 11TH FOR HYPOTHERMIA VICTIM AT FREEDOM SLEEPOUT #92
Keith McHenry notes “53 year-old Micheal Mear died of hypothermia on February 17, 2017. Medical staff reportedly told his sister his body temperature was only 70 degrees when a motorist found him unconscious on Potrero Street. He died soon after from cardiac arrest at Dominican Hospital.”
Photos and commentary on Michael Randell Mear June 21,1963 – February 17, 2017 at https://www.facebook.com/
“STARVE ‘EM OUT OF SIGHT” BIGOTS ERECT CHAIN LINK FENCE AROUND DOWNTOWN POST OFFICE
“Protect my $140,000 condo downtown” may be the real motivation for Janet Fardette’s petition to drive away Food Not Bombs from its Saturday and Sunday meals on the sidewalk near the main post office. While Fardette’s on-line petition has only cleared 100 names, McHenry’s counterpetition boasts of over 1000.
Freedom Sleeper activists, grateful for Food Not Bombs regular feedings at the Tuesday Freedom SleepOuts, encourage folks to stop by the SleepOut as well as the Saturday and Sunday meals outside the Post Office (4-6 PM) to sign letters to the Postmaster, emphasizing the importance of the Food Not Bombs meals and community gatherings.
To read more details on the Post Office’s most recent uglification campaign erecting a “separation fence” as well as the festive community response, go to “Anti-Homeless Fence Decorating Party”at https://www.indybay.org/
Berkeley and San Francisco have resisted profiteering attempts to privatize local post offices successfully erecting and sustaining homeless encampments in front of the threatened buildings. The protests sprang from First They Came for the Homeless [FTCFTH]–which evolved from the Occupy movement. Assembling and refusing to stay dispersed next to these buildings has been the tactic used. It’s unclear whether Santa Cruz will adopt a similar strategy, but one Berkeley activist has declared himself ready to “hop on the next bus down” to support such a move. FTCFTH has now gone two months without a warning or bust after being threatened, harassed and/or attacked by police more than 15 times.
CITY CLAIMS TO WANT “COMMUNITY INPUT” IN SEARCH FOR NEW POLICE CHIEF
Go and make your concerns about the SCPD’s collusion with ICE/DHS, its “shoot to kill” policy, its failure to hold individual officers or the chief responsible for human rights abuses by attending meetings: Wednesday, March 15th in the Police Department Community Room (155 Center St Santa Cruz) from 7:00-9:00pm. and Thursday, March 16th at the Beach Flats Community Center (1333 Leibrandt Ave. Santa Cruz) from 7:00-9:00pm. Both events will be bilingual.
In the past, only large numbers of people have gotten even a limited response from the police and their politician friends as happened February 14 when shouting activists disrupted a Council intent on gagging a speaker victimized by the ICE/DHS raids the day before.
TO READ AND MAKE COMMENTS, GO TO https://www.indybay.org/
Along with anti-homeless architecture comes the sleeping ban which makes it illegal to sleep outside at night and illegal to sleep under a blanket. A law that can contribute to the death of our friends like 53 year-old Micheal Mear who died of hypothermia on February 17, 2017. Medical staff told his sister his body temperature was only 70 degrees when a motorist found him unconscious on Potrero Street. He died soon after from cardiac arrest at Dominican Hospital.
I was heart broken when we ran out of blankets during the Tuesday, March 7th Freedom Sleepers sleep-out, turning away several desperate people. Michael’s sister Jerry cried as she asked me why he didn’t even have a warm blanket to save his life. I didn’t have the heart to tell her it was illegal to sleep protected from the cold.
They will never be able to drive poverty out of sight unless they make housing affordable. Instead it looks like the liberals are making their move using the chaos of Trump to camouflage their anti-homeless cruelty.
The community is so anti-homeless it is even willing to deface its own beautiful historic post office with an ugly chain link fence. J.M. Brown’s article in the Santa Cruz Sentinel “The 1912 Renaissance Revival building — the oldest continually operating California post office on the National Register of Historic Places — was modeled after the 15th century Filippo Brunelleschi’s Foundling Hospital in Florence, Italy. It is home to four priceless murals by the American artist Henrietta Shore.”
“Inspired by classical Renaissance style, the design asserts the building’s importance to civic life and confidence in the community’s future — a message repeated in countless schools, banks, libraries and other civic structures from the same period,” said former mayor and history buff Cynthia Mathews. “With its dignified, graceful detail, quality materials and prominent location, the Santa Cruz Post Office was intended to reflect the community’s importance, identity and aspirations, and it remains a defining feature of our downtown today.”
…the latest front in the spread of ‘defensive architecture’.
Is such open hostility towards the destitute making all our lives uglier?
Today’s Bathrobespierre’s Broadsides show will feature Tales of Terror from Freedom SleepOut #85, a Preview of Keith McHenry’s Activist Presentation tomorrow at the Resource Center for Non-Violence at 6 :30 PM, and Mission Street Crackdown on the Homeless at Safeway, Ferrell’s, and 7-11…and more!
Having received copies of all claim forms received by the City in the last year, HUFF will scour the records for signs of fishy police and bureaucratic bumbusting as well as consider complaints about shitty shower facilities for those outside and rumors of police overkill on Pacific Avenue Tuesday 3 PM in front of New Leaf. Not to mention devising new schemes of holding police agencies and the city manager accountable for enabling the threat of mounting terrorism against both documented and undocumented homeless community.
We got coffee. We even have cups. If the Sub Rosa is closed, check for a sign on the front gate as to our new (temporarly) location.
Showing Contempt for Local Trumpite Sleeping Ban Enforcement—-
Freedom SleepOut #87
Date Tuesday March 07 Time 4:00 PM – 9:00 AM
Location DetailsAgain Besieging the Balmy Bigots at City Hall–809 Center St.—in the City Hall Courtyard both there and on the sidewalk. Sleeping bags, blankets, cameras, and hot soup are our weapons. From Tuesday afternoon through mid-morning Wednesday. Help needed posting videos on line to showcase the antics of the Sleepbuster Scalawags who stalk Freedom Sleepers by night and by day.
Event Type Protest
Organizer/Author Keith McHenry (story by Norse)
Freedom Sleeper activists reported last week learning of the death of local homeless man Michael Meers, disabled with a foot injury.
Warming Center founder Brent Adams noted “On our coldest night of the year, he showed up with no shoes and soiled pants…We changed his clothes, offered personal care and gave him a coat and layers of clothes. He didn’t want the women’s rain boots we had given him – even though they fit him. He slept well that night. [At other times Meers]…rested in doorways and behind buildings. limited and painful gate….[The night Meers died] we were [open and] at a remote location. [Even though] I did a shuttle sweep of downtown that night – I didn’t find him.”
Freedom Sleeper activist Abbi Samuels has announced they will be having a memorial for him.
WINTER SHELTER CUTS TRANSPORT FOR DISABLED?
Adams notes further that “the AFC [Association of Faith Communities] Winter Shelter has been refusing people with physical challenges like Micheal’s. They’ve even stopped using the handicap accessible lift on their shuttle bus.”
In order for folks to use the 110 spaces [for an unhoused population of 1000-2000 in the City], they must walk out to the edge of town past the Tannery on Highway 9 by 4 PM in the afternoon. The program refuses to allow people to go directly to the downtown Salvation Army shelter where worker Steve Pleich has attempted to move the “intake facility” from its distant and difficult-for-disabled-to-
BATHROOM BAN STILL ON?
Brent also noted that the Warming Center has been “hosting people who’ve been relieving themselves in their pants for several days.” There is no indication that the City staff has opened the City Council Courtyard “park” bathrooms during the night or even in a timely manner during the day, a concern that Freedom Sleepers brought directly to the staff at a prior Freedom SleepOut
FOOD NOT BOMBS ORGANIZING EVENT AND PRESENTATION……………….
Keith McHenry has announced he’ll be speaking at the Resource Center for Non-Violence in an organizational and educational meeting for activists at 612 Ocean St. The theme of the talk will be “Taking Direct Action To Resist Fascism”.
Food Not Bombs has been regularly feeding Freedom Sleepers Tuesday evening as well as providing hot vegan food to all comers outside the main post office on Saturday and Sunday 4-6 PM. It is currently resisting an attempt by right-wing residents to drive them away. Sign their petition at https://www.change.org/p/
Story at https://www.indybay.org/
The Homeless (Lack of) Services Center [HLOSC} continue to refuse to open its meals to the community as Food Not Bombs, Calvary Episcopal, the St. Francis Soup Kitchen and other groups do.
New public records, secured by Councilmember Chris Krohn, show collusion between the SCPD, Harvey West Businesses, and City Parking Boss Marlin Granlund to ban all parking on Coral St. and other nearby streets, requiring disabled folks to park blocks away from to the HLOSC to use the limited services they still provide.
NO RECORDS YET FROM THE SCPD; CLAIM FORMS STILL CENSORED FROM COUNCIL AGENDA
Police are still withholding witness accounts and the D.A.’s investigation into SCPD Officer Eric Bailey’s gundown of Sean Arlt last October. Councilmember Krohn has not publicly demanded these records be released, as earlier records were of the Officer Conor Carey’s killing of “Happy” John Dine in 1997
see “Unasked Questions, Foregone Conclusions” at http://www.huffsantacruz.org/
Nor has there been a response to records of communications between the SCPD and the Department Homeland Security/Immigration and Customs Enforcement to resolve the contradictory stories of Chief Kevin Vogel and Spokesperson Schwab of the DHS.
On the upside, City Hall has released records of all claims against the City filed in the last year. An activist requested that pending claims be placed on the City Council in the original form presented by those claiming damages against the city for abusive or negligent behavior. City Administrator Bren Lehr has so far declined to do this, concealing contact information–which prevents the public from giving meaningful testimony at the Closed session which precedes City Council. This is particularly important in cases of police violence–which often gets little if any coverage in the local media.
1984 READING PROMPTS ACTIVIST RESPONSE
George Orwell’s warning novel 1984 got a public reading at the Bookshop Santa Cruz, owned and run by the Coonerty family, that has long excluded key Sleeping Ban opponents. The store owners have targeted Freedom Sleep supporters Becky Johnson, Robert Norse, and a slew of others who’ve denounced Neal and Ryan Coonerty for their political actions as Councilmembers creating anti-homeless city policy.
Last week, the Bookshop Coonerty featured an exclusionary reading of Orwell’s grim warning against political repression. (See http://goodtimes.sc/cover-
Activists responded with an informational flyer outlining the various law and practices developed in Santa Cruz in significant part with Coonerty leadership or support and the general silence of the “progressive” community.
TO COMMENT AND READ COMMENTS GO TO: https://www.indybay.org/