Conscience Against the Cold–Freedom SleepOut #25 in Santa Cruz

Title: Cold Sidewalk & Warm Spirits: Freedom SleepOut #25
START DATE: Tuesday December 29
TIME: 7:00 PM – 7:00 AM
Location Details:
On that cold hard sidewalk in front of City Hall across from the Main Library and whereever else nearby that people can shield themselves from the cold winds of night (temperatures expected to drop to 35 degrees),
Event Type: Protest
Contact Name Toby Nixon
Email Address tobynixon [at]
Phone Number 408 582 4152
Continuing an unbroken chain of protest sleep-out’s against Santa Cruz’s “cruel and unusual punishment law” for being poor, visible, and asleep: MC 6.36.010a.

The Sleeping Ban which bans sleeping on any public property, in any structure that’s not a residence, in any vehicle on public property within Santa Cruz City limits.

The $158 fine is usually unpaid by homeless people, who are almost the only ones who get cited. Unpaid citations result in an additional $300 Failure to Pay fine, which is then sent to “Collections” and can impact driver’s license, child support, credit, and other necessities.

Hundreds of such tickets have been written this year. Though in response to the weekly Freedom Sleeper protests, police seem to be using other ordinances to accomplish the same expulsion of the poor objective.

Free Radio Santa Cruz talkshow host John Malkin will be doing a guest hosting KZSC (88.1 FM) Wednesday night on John Sandidge’s Talkabout show where the 7-7:45 PM topic will be the Sleeping Ban. Call-in at 831-459-4036.

Freedom Sleepers will have a preprotest public meeting on the sidewalk outside City Hall at 809 Center St. (On Center between Church and Walnut) at 4 PM before the Tuesday protest. Alternate strategies involving flooding the offices of abusive City departments may be the focus of daytime demos.

Former mayor Don Lane will reportedly be announcing language to amend the Sleeping Ban on January 4th. Preliminary reports suggest that amnesty, reparations, and the right to sleep in one’s legally parked vehicle will not be a part of the reform.

Contact Councilmembers to demand changes:
420-5023: David Terrazas
420-5022: Don Lane
420-5024: Pamela Comstock
420-5025: Richelle Niroyan
420-5026: Cynthia Chase
420-5027: Mayor Cynthia Mathews
420-5028: Micah Posner

Each of the Gang of 7 can be contacted by e-mail; first letter of their name, full last name, followed by (e.g. dterrazas [at] )

The whole City Council can be reached at citycouncil [at] .

In an earlier (2010) move to crush homeless protest, the City “closed” City Hall grounds after 10 PM. Police repeatedly gave unconstitutional citations for this “offense” in the last six months, which some of us are challenging in court.

City bosses have recently apparently acknowledged that excluding people from the posted agendas outside the City Council chambers is a violation of the Brown Act. This Public Meetings law requires that agendas be accessible 24 hours per day for a period of 72-hours before each meeting. A new display has been constructed on the sidewalk across from the Civic Auditorium which is accessible 24 hours a day.

City Manager Martin Bernal was advised of this fact back in August, but responded with klieg lights, parking bans and increased First Alarm Security thuggery. See “Silence from the City Manager on the Eve of the 11th Freedom Sleepers Protest” at

He and the City Council as well as City Attorney Anthony Condotti violated the law again on December 15th by holding a closed dinner with all 7 Council members and their friends which we protested. See “Freedom Sleepers Confront City Council at el Palomar” at

Bring your own warm clothing. Donations of food, clothing, tents, blankets, and sleeping bags are welcome. Even brief visits can cheer the hearts of the Freedom Sleepers–who are now almost entirely unhoused–the earlier housed activists having retreated indoors for the winter.

Toby Nixon will be livestreaming some of the event. More info about his Homeless Advocacy and Action Coalition (HAAC) at .

If you have video, cameras, or audio devices–they can be useful for keeping the armed and uniformed Sleepbusters aware they are being watched.

Brent Adams’ Warming Center Project will be open the night of the protest. See .

This posting was written by Robert Norse. I encourage any additions or corrections.