Fences not Services–the New Santa Cruz Solution?

NOTE FROM NORSE:   The flyer is self-explanatory.

                                        Yesterday River St Campground Commandante Susie O’Hara broke the City Council’s commitment and announced its closing next month.  Some if not all of the homeless workers have reportedly have been laid off.  The Council’s commitment to a storage and shelter area for even the small number in the campground (60-70 at max) was unceremoniously abandoned.

                                        Meanwhile no Winter Shelter, other than a partial distant AFC-run, nighttime-only no-storage facility with half the capacity of last year’s limited program will be stacked with River St. Campground refugees for the first week according to the Sentinel story (https://www.santacruzsentinel.com/2018/10/16/santa-cruz-to-shutter-city-run-homeless-encampment-by-nov-30/).

                                         Yesterday HUFF decided to mobilize public support for an alternative encampment, perhaps at City Hall, perhaps at the Post Office, perhaps–as last year–at San Lorenzo Park. Others have proposed a mobile “Camp Dignity” solution such as prompted Portland, OR authorities to finally authorize a small distant campground space for some of the homeless in that city.  (https://dignityvillage.org/).  There has also been talk of establishing a campground in the Greenbelt areas, or setting up a protest camp in front of City Manager Martin Bernal‘s home or possibly that of City Council Mayor David Terrazas.

                                          Yesterday city agencies fenced off the grassy areas and the bathrooms at San Lorenzo park.  Armed uniformed thugs were stalking the park, driving away the poor and the public there.  15 hours ago Food Not Bombs activist Keith McHenry wrote “Fencing off the parks from the homeless before the city of Santa Cruz shuts down the Boneyard Camp where some of those without housing had been living under city supervision for the past several months. Shelter space also cut just before the cold rains come. Total war against the poor. Maybe we should retake City Hall.”

                                            Meanwhile harassment, citation, camp demolition, and vehicle towing continues against the vast majority of the homeless who are not and have never been offered shelter–or even the right to create their own protection against the cold.


                                            Come to the 5 PM Saturday October 20th meeting at the Food Not Bombs meal near the main Post Office…or start your own encampment.  

                                             The Martin v. Boise federal appeals court ruling applies to California and other western states. (https://cdn.ca9.uscourts.gov/datastore/opinions/2018/09/04/15-35845.pdf).

                                             However, that won’t stop police from harassing you–they’re doing so now under “trespass” and “public area closed” laws.   At Monday’s Public Safety Committee meeting, Mills documented a surge in such citations this even as he claimed his uniformed gunmen had stopped Sleeping Ban harassment.   (https://scsire.cityofsantacruz.com/sirepub_PSCom/cache/2/amhktxussfn4fg1u35mud5t4/476782010182018095532533.PDF)

                                              Last year, Andy Mills’ police and rangers shut down public protest against the City’s unconstitutional “no sleep at night for the poor” policies.  They falsely rousted the Freedom Sleepers there by falsely using “blocking the sidewalk” laws.

                                              Be prepared to deal with intensified police harassment.

                                              Note:  I also include a note from City Manager Martin Bernal for his “side of the story” following the flyer below.

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