Speak Out to Bathroom Boss Bernal–Community to Confront City Manager 1 PM Thursday June 28th City Hall Courtyard

Open the Bathrooms!
Thursday June 28 1:00 PM3:00 PM
City Hall Courtyard  809 Center St.

BACKGROUND:

Louden Nelson bathrooms remained closed to the general public; San Lorenzo Park bathrooms remain closed and locked to everyone.

Portapotties and handwashing stations are no longer available in San Lorenzo Park as they were last fall.

The nighttime-only portapotty on Cedar St. is not disabled accessible.

City Hall bathrooms remain closed to the public except during public meetings, while staff has its own commodious bathrooms closed to the public.

Locust Street garage bathrooms have the exposed peek-a-boo spaces in the stalls that compromise the privacy and dignity of user. Staff and cafe patrons are given keys to the cleaner, more spacious, closed private bathroom nearby owned by the City.

The portapotty rented by Food Not Bombs two weeks ago for use as a 24-hour facility by the Community at the intersection of Front, Pacific, and Mission streets has been removed, apparently on orders of the City and not replaced.

No new Sharps containers have appeared in any bathrooms to deal with the problems of needle disposal.

Parks and Recreation boss Carol Scurich has not revealed any documents specifying the reasons, costs, and private discussions resulting in the closing of the Louden Nelson bathrooms to the general public in spite of promises to do so.

City Manager Martin Bernal is Scurich’s boss and has been invited to answer obvious questions about this public health and safety threat. It impacts the local elderly and disabled as well as tourists and the broader community. It also seemed to be part of a sustained and direct attack on unhoused people, scapegoating them in response to unsubstantiated fears by some pressure groups in the community.

THE PROTEST:

Come to the City Council Courtyard Fountain area at 1 PM Thursday June 28th to speak out on the issue, direct questions at Martin Bernal and other city officials.

Food and refreshments will likely be available as will music.

Be creative in your dress and accessories. Bring TP and other sanitary necessities.

The protest may involve a Downtown Toilet Tour as well, led by HUFF (Homeless United for Friendship and Freedom’s “Give a Shit” Committee).

Those unable to attend the protest can reach Martin Bernal at mbernal [at] cityofsantacruz.org . Carol Scurich is at cscurich [at] cityofsantacruz.org . The City Council’s e-mail is citycouncil [at] cityofsantacruz.org . Please cc Conscience and Action at rnorse3 [at] hotmail.com if you write.

Conscience and Action was formed as a tribute to long-time Sleeping Ban fighter David Silva who died last spring overseas.

More info at:

https://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2018/06/18/18815755.php (City of Santa Cruz Confiscates Food Not Bombs Portable Toilet)

The City of Santa Cruz confiscated the Food Not Bombs community funded portable toilet on Saturday, June 16. Access to public toilets is a human right. Every person deserves the dignity of relieving themselves in a private sanitary way.

https://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2018/06/14/18815686.php (Conscience and Action Speak Out at Parks and Rec)

A speak out and rally was held on Thursday, June 14 at noon protesting the closure by Santa Cruz Parks and Recreation Department of bathrooms at San Lorenzo Park and Louden Nelson Community Center. The action, attended by 23-30 concerned citizens, began at City Hall and moved to the Park and Rec …

https://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2018/06/13/18815669.php (Bathroom Baloney–Expanded Speech to City Council on its anti-homeless restrooms policies)’https://www.facebook.com/Downtown-Santa-Cruz-Bathroom-Task-Force-886531701404169/?hc_ref=ART4FlzjtK2pSeCMtZTxcYhhbQyvS8uvBWZ5qabsV_eoyxJFijDPccsJsS69t76b0FU&fref=nf (Downtown Santa Cruz Bathroom Task Force)

even_the_poor_need_to_poo_and_pee.pdf_600_.jpg

Download PDF (519.6kb)

Schedule Change: “Unlock the Bathrooms” flyering and tabling will start at 2:30 PM today at the Poor People’s Campaign at the Main Post Office

Conscience and Action  activists will be joining the Poor People’s Campaign rally at the main post office today in downtown Santa Cruz. 


This will be at 1 PM (not Noon as previously scheduled) to table, make signs, and distribute flyers. 


We are slated to speak between 2:30 PM and 3 PM when the main gathering begins.

For more details on the campaign  Unlock the Louden Nelson and San Lorenzo Park bathrooms, see “Conscience and Action Speak Out at Parks and Rec” at https://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2018/06/14/18815686.php

A speak out and rally was held on Thursday, June 14 at noon protesting the closure by Santa Cruz Parks and Recreation Department of bathrooms at San Lorenzo Park and Louden Nelson Community Center. The action, attended by 23-30 concerned citizens, began at City Hall and moved to the Park and Rec ..

 

City of Santa Cruz Confiscates Food Not Bombs Portable Toilet” at https://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2018/06/18/18815755.php?show_comments=1#18815828

The City of Santa Cruz confiscated the Food Not Bombs community funded portable toilet on Saturday, June 16. Access to public toilets is a human right. Every person deserves the dignity of relieving themselves in a private sanitary way.

Audio of the 6-14 protest can be found at http://huffsantacruz.org/lost/1%20FRSC%206-17-18.MP3 (1 hour and 9 minutes into the program) and http://huffsantacruz.org/lost/FRSC%206-21-18.mp3 (the first half of the show).

Portapotty Politics Up to the Plate Again!

Two follow-up protests and an organizational meeting are happening, according to Conscience and Action, which posted the following on Santa Cruz Indymedia:

 

https://www.indybay.org/uploads/2018/06/20/poo_flyer_6-20-18.jpg

 

 

For more details, go to the main article “City of Santa Cruz Confiscates Food Not Bombs Portable Toilet” at https://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2018/06/18/18815755.php?show_comments=1#18815828

The City of Santa Cruz confiscated the Food Not Bombs community funded portable toilet on Saturday, June 16. Access to public toilets is a human right. Every person deserves the dignity of relieving themselves in a private sanitary way.

Protest to Cleanse a Constipated City Hall and a Speech About It: Protest noon June 14th 323 Church St.

I gave a shortened version of this speech to City Council Tuesday afternoon.

We will be gathering tomorrow (Thursday June 14th) at City Hall in the Courtyard to prepare signs to demand reopening of the public bathrooms throughout Santa Cruz.  The protest, organized by Conscience in Action  will gather in front of the Parks and Recreation Department at 323 Church St. at noon.  Sign-making begins in the City Hall courtyard at 11 AM.  HUFF plans a Tour of Shame.  Bring signs, costumes, noise makers, etc.

To restore the right to take a shit, we must give a shit!

See also https://www.facebook.com/events/221444365117802/

Comments and more info at:

https://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2018/06/13/18815669.php?show_comments=1#18815670

Less Crap, More Crappers—Restore Decency to Santa Cruz

Modified  & Extended Speech to Santa Cruz Community and Council  6-12-18 by Robert Norse

Lots of budget blathering, but no specifics on emergency shelter for those to be made internal refugees on June 30th when the Barbed Wire Boneyard Campground closes down, not to mention the many others being cited, harassed, and stripped of their property by cops, rangers, security thugs, and—no doubt—the return of the merchant private goon squad—the Hosts, slated to return in half a year.

Others have proposed the obvious—open the bathrooms to stop people from shitting and pissing all over town.   I see as part of the usual genteel masquerade, you’ve opened up the bathrooms outside City Council briefly for this meeting, so middle class people don’t have to do their business in their pants or on the ground—as you force those outside to do.

A hug and a handshake to activist Ed Frey who provided a nighttime portapotty for the PeaceCamp 2010 Sleeping Ban protesters in front of the County Building more than three months.

… to the many Occupy Santa Cruz activists in 2011 whose San Lorenzo Campground provided shelter and facilities to several hundred at the same time Mayor Coonerty’s Council refused to keep the Park’s bathrooms open at night.

…to the 2015 Freedom Sleepers who brought  a portapotty to City

Hall when City Manager Martin Bernal shut down the bathrooms there to “discourage” the protesters.

…to Bathroom Task Force Activist Brent Adams who has constantly worked to provide sometime emergency facilities for a warming center at night, a newly-opened 24-hour homeless storage program, cleaner portapotties, and video documentation of the City’s dubious doodoo doings.

…to former Councilmembers Posner and Comstock—who opened up—however briefly and in spite of staff obstruction an overnight restroom (Soquel-Front garage) & a still surviving 24-hour portapotty (Laurel and Front).

…even an acknowledgment to former Parks and Rec boss, Mauro Garcia—who addressed the Hepatitis A epidemic.  He set up portapotties and wash stations along the San Lorenzo walkway during the campground last fall.  Outrageously, they are all gone now and the regular Park  bathroom there locked. 

…plus particularly honorable mention to Zav Hershfield, Pat Colby, and others who unsuccessfully tried to talk reason to City Council with their “Give a Shit” campaign last year trying to restore City Hall bathroom access.

But many bathrooms remain closed during the day, and all are closed at night.

Those of you who are tired of this crappy situation are of course welcome to help Conscience in Action.  That’s the Coalition offering ideas, suggestions, and impromptu assistance to those trying to hold their bowels and their water.  I’ll be joining them Thursday at noon across the street in front of the P & R Dept.at 323 Church St. in search of public restrooms.

How explicit do we have to be to shame the shameless politicians and staff?   I don’t know.  Do we have to bring breathing gear and bags of poop to the next Council meeting?

(Mayor David Terrazas has regularly cut back public speaking time during Oral Communications from three minutes to two minutes.  Much of this speech was not given because of Terrazas arbitrarily imposed a 90 second limit on each speaker, violating promises given. He also made a dozen or more people wait 45 minutes beyond the scheduled time to speak—and then announcing the shortened time.)

More info  HUFF (Homeless United for Friendship & Freedom) 831-423-4833 www.huffsantacruz.org 309 Cedar PMB #14B  Santa Cruz  6-13-18

 

 

 

Homeless Rights HoeDown! Marathon and Speak Out Tuesday the 12th, HUFF and Juneteenth Wednesday the 13th, Bust the Bathroom Barricade Thursday the 14th !

From 9 AM to 9 PM on Tuesday June 12th, Free Radio Santa Cruz will broadcast the 20th Annual Homelessness Marathon.  Schedule is reprinted below.  Call-in to the nationwide broadcast at 866-LEFT-OUT (866-533-8688).  Tune in to 101.3 FM or listen on line at freakradio.org.

At 5:30 PM at City Hall, speakers will demand reopening of the Louden Nelson Center and San Lorenzo Bathrooms at City Council’s “Two Minutes Only!” Oral Communications period.  Show Up and Speak Up !

On Wednesday, June 13th, HUFF (Homeless United for Friendship & Freedom) meets at 11 AM-1 PM at the Sub Rosa Cafe to support Thursday’s “Stop the Bathroom Busts!” protest.

On Wednesday June 13th, the annual Juneteenth celebration will be held at Louden Nelson Park noon-5 PM, hopefully with bathrooms open.  See https://www.facebook.com/SantaCruzJuneteenth for more information.

On Thursday June 14th, Conscience in Action, Food Not Bombs, HUFF, and other activists will gather at noon in front of the Parks and Recreation Department to begin the first in a series of actions to restore basic rights and dignity to those outside and decency to the broader community.  Poster at https://www.facebook.com/events/221444365117802/ .    For more homeless updates go to  https://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2018/06/11/18815617.php .

SCHEDULE OF THE Tuesday June 12th MARATHON (all times Pacific Daylight Time)

Hour 1 – 9 a.m.- 1- a.m. . – Live from the Poor People’s March on Washington. Guest Host, Rev. Bruce Wright.

Hour 2 – 10:00 – 11:00 a.m. – Paul Boden, field director for the Western Regional Advocacy Project on the “Right To Rest” and “Housekeys Not Handcuffs” movements; Amanda Brown-Hunter, head of an Amarillo homeless camp that is in hiding,

Hour 3* – 11:00 – noon – “Homelessness, Housing and Human Rights in DC” – Guest Host, Parissa Nourouzi

Hour 4 – noon – 1:00 p.m.- TBA

Hour 5* – 1:00 – 2:00 p.m. – “Homelessness and the Indigenous Peoples of North America.” Guest Host, Derrick Toledo

Hour 6 – 2:00 – 3:00 p.m. – Helena Liikanen-Renger, Press Counselor for the Embassy of Finland will discuss how it happens that Finland is housing all of its rough sleepers, while the rest of Europe is in a homelessness crisis.

Hour 7* – 3:00 – 4:00 p.m. – “We Got The Power: Lessons in the Fight Against Poverty for Women and Girls” – Guest Host, Carmen Berkley

Hour 8 – 4:00 – 5:00 p.m. – Attorney Jason Flores, who is suing Denver on behalf of the homeless. Then journalist and activist Mike Rhodes with an update on homelessness in Fresno.

Hour 9 – 5:00 – 6:00 p.m. – A conversation with Bill Higgins, a former submarine officer who became homeless (right before Trump took office, he told us how happy he was that Ben Carson was to be HUD Secretary, but that’s not what he says today). Then, attorney Judith Berkan, will speak from Puerto Rico on hurricane recovery.

Hour 10* – 6:00 – 7:00 p.m. – Homeless Faculty and Students in Higher Education. Guest hosts, Corrine Ruff and Shalina Chatlani.

Hour 11 – 7:00 p.m.- 8:00 p.m. – Kent Anderson, Chief High Risk Services Officer, Waikiki Health, will report some facts on just how young kids there are when they become homeless and what happens to them. Then a look at homelessness in Portland, ME.

Hour 8:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. – “A DC Street Poet, His Reflections and His Lawsuit.” Then Richard Tripp’s Taxi to Heaven, a memorial for homeless advocates who have died since our last broadcast, Richard Tripp among them.

*=Produced by station WPFW, with our thanks.

Silva Memorial Reminder: Noon Saturday May 12 Sub Rosa Cafe 4 PM Main Post Office Corner Santa Cruz

A reminder that folks are gathering Saturday May 12th at 703 Pacific (the Sub Rosa Cafe next to the Bike Church) beginning at noon to remember Santa Cruz activist David Silva.  The event is slated to go .  Bring memories of David.  The tribute to David will continue with food and festivities at the Food Not Bombs gathering at 4 PM-6 PM.

As homage to David’s persistent and principled struggle to end the criminalization of poor and homeless people in town, we will be inviting folks to leave their contact information for a flashmob protest/jubilee to be announced sometime in the weeks ahead.

Silva Celebration and Memorial Saturday May 12th Noon-3 PM Sub Rosa Cafe, 4-6 PM Sidewalk near the Main Post Office Downtown

Date: Saturday May 12

Location Details SubRosa (next to the Bike Church).   Refreshments available. Tip a glass to David!   Followed by Food Not Bombs Fiesta 4pm to 6pm at the downtown post office.

Celebrating the life of David Minton Silva,who loved to dance and dress silly and travel.

He was a long-time activist fighting the City’s anti-homeless Sleeping Ban, a social worker, a survivor of HIV, and a writer.

His colorful and persistent presence was a constant thorn in the side to the Santa Cruz Council with his fasts, speeches, organizing, and general silliness.

He died abroad in a Maputo, Mozambique hospital while traveling, following his bliss.

More information at https://www.facebook.com/search/top/?q=david%20minton%20silva%20remembered

https://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2018/03/18/18807495.php

Great Activist and Grampa David Silva passed away. Remembering some of his winning ways, some history, a tribute.

Crackdown on Vehicles on Downtown Santa Cruz at 1:30 PM 4-24 City Council Meeting

Vehicular Profiteering Downtown Will Punish the Poor and Drive Away Customers
by Robert Norse (rnorse3 [at] hotmail.com)
Monday Apr 23rd, 2018 11:40 PM

Santa Cruz City Council is set to rubberstamp increased parking fees, new parking meters, a two-hour “Move Along” vehicular law, “no vending from vehicles”, and a “no vehicles above 6′ in height” requirement along Pacific Ave. and adjacent streets at its 1:30 PM session tomorrow. It’s item #18 on the so-called “Consent Public Hearings” section of the agenda.
For the staff report, go to http://scsire.cityofsantacruz.com/sirepub/cache/2/ysbt3j4rzksz10hyeh2erdma/470568104232018113012455.PDF .

For the text of the ordinances, go to http://scsire.cityofsantacruz.com/sirepub/cache/2/ysbt3j4rzksz10hyeh2erdma/470568204232018112944812.PDF .

As of 11:30 PM Monday night, the only correspondence posted was critical at
http://scsire.cityofsantacruz.com/sirepub/cache/2/ysbt3j4rzksz10hyeh2erdma/470568504232018113111829.PDF .

My own thoughts were sent to Mayor Terrazas earlier tonight. I reprint them below:

The proposed ordinance changes seriously impact downtown vehicle accessibility for the general public, for those who are disabled and required to use vehicles higher than 6′, and for artists like Alex Skelton and Joff Jones. These two were driven off Pacific Ave. by the “performance pens” “no art to be displayed for more than 1 hour” ordinances. https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=1024756190933863&set=a.132189966857161.31378.100001984741385&type=3&theater

In contrast with recent claims in local media from Senior Ranger Jeremy Matthews (Ranger pictured on left) that “We’ve already racked up quite a few citations,” (via KION news) We have not seen…
In contrast with recent claims in local media from Senior Ranger Jeremy Matthews (Ranger pictured on left) that “We’ve already racked up quite a few citations,” (via KION news) We have not seen…

They returned and were showing their work on the side of their vehicles–which would now potentially be banned under the “no vending” provision. Curtis Reliford–who has already suffered racial and class discrimination–would now find his musical offerings and charity work excluded from Pacific Avenue view.

There is also an obvious economic impact, encouraging folks with vehicles to patronize other nearby cities and businesses where they won’t face jacked-up meter costs and likely parking tickets for parking longer than 2 hours.

For a city government supposedly concerned with carbon impact, encouraging folks to drive their cars to more distant cities, aggravates a growing crisis.

The prior intensified anti-homeless Downtown ordinances have also crowded and diminished musical performers, political tablers, and social gatherings on the Pacific Avenue sidewalk. Vendors of arts and crafts have been outright banned.

Plus, of course, accomplishing their main unstated purpose–to drive away visible poor people under the guise of “problematic street behavior”. Homeless folks report being driven out into the rain by SCPD and P&R rangers in spite of the more liberal nighttime policy regarding Sleeping Ban enforcement by Chief Mills.

The recent division of the City into 5 policing districts has apparently intensified “move along” directives by police officials like Bill Azua on public sidewalks where homeless folks have the right to congregate, whatever the aesthetic affectations of Taco Bell, Staff of Life, and other NIMBY businesses.

The proposed increased parking meter costs not only seem to negatively impact businesses, but also puts a particular burden on poor people. Especially those whose vehicles are their homes. Were the vehicularly housed and disabled part of the so-called “Stakeholder” group consulted in creating the staff recommendations? If so, please provide their testimony–when, where, and what was presented.

Have city staff has reportedly posted areas under bridges as “no sleeping/camping/assembling” areas–as activist Brent Adams has claimed? Are they still using shrill high-pitched “mosquito” noise devices to discourage public assembly in different places around the city? Is the City still enforcing its unique “no public allowed on City Hall grounds at night and during the weekends”?

The combined impact of these misguided laws is clearly to Yuppify the City and drive the visible poor out of town.

Please delay any discussion of these laws until the stakeholders who are most impacted by these laws–not just some hand-picked businesses–are able to provide relevant information on the impacts. Particularly the disabled, the poor, the artists, and the general public.

Emergency Meeting–OUTSIDE THE SUB ROSA TODAY on Pacific Ave noon Today April 14 NO WAR ON HOMELESS, NO WAR ON SYRIA !

THE ISSUES

  • Trump has escalated Obama’s War on Syria with multiple rocket strikes last night.  With few exception, there is no indication Democratic or Republican politicians have any serious objections to the “more foreign wars” policy.
  • This war affects everyone, but disproportionately the poor of Santa Cruz and Syria.
  • No one is safe from the Foreign War machine operating out of Washington, D.C. which has continued and expanded wars for decades.   Time to say, NO.
  • A houseless disabled elderly woman called HUFF an hour ago, calling for a protest tonight.
  • The Winter Shelter program ended its 100+ spaces for the homeless last night.  Local homeless people are calling for an alternate shelter/protest program tonight.
  • While Police Chief Andy Mills has suspended Sleeping Ban enforcement, survival camps are being swept away, Stay-Away orders regularly issued in parks at night, and other “trespass on public property” citations are being issued regularly.
  • There is no shelter for the 1000-2000 outside other than the full River St. Campground, the full Association of Faith Communities 20-person program, and the “no room without a ‘pathway to housing’” policy of the Homeless (Lack of) Services Center.


  • HUFF (Homeless United for Friendship and Freedom)  will discuss a resumption of the Vigil Against Two Wars, which the group as done in the past.

Meet outside the Sub Rosa Cafe at 703 Pacific Ave. in Santa Cruz at noon today to discuss a response.

The Sub Rosa is also the site of the Really Free Market today and we may be able to meet indoors.  the weather is expected to be cool to temperate.  Coffee may be available.

For more visual info, go to https://www.facebook.com/HomelessOutsideSantaCruz/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=czrBJkSE2z4&t=9s

Free Radio Santa Cruz will be covering these issues in a pre-recorded show Sunday morning 9:30 AM for several hours afterwards on Sunday, April 15th.

More info: call 831-423-4833.

HUFF in the Wilds: Special meeting 10:15 AM Wednesday 2-28-18 at San Lorenzo Benchlands Look for the Protest Signs

We will be moving from our usual Sub Rosa location next to the Bike Church to the San Lorenzo Benchlands as the City forces campers to leave.

  PLEASE COME DOWN TO SAN LORENZO PARK TODAY TO ASSIST FOLKS:

    •   Help document the mass deportation to nowhere with audio and camera
    •   Assist, if you wish, in helping move homeless gear
    •   Support the Warming Center, Food Not Bombs,  HUFF and other activists in documenting, providing resources, & publicizing the situation.
    •   Back up homeless efforts to organize either as in protest or to demand adequate and accessible facilities.
    •   Exchange information with other supporters there to generate more communication and better solutions in the future


    UP FOR DISCUSSION AS WE EYEBALL THE BENCHLAND EVICTIONS:

  • More Reports from Santa Ana Riverbed Encampment,
  • Communicating with Other Encampments to the North and South
  • Stories from the Street Around Us