Freedom Sleepers: 64th Weekly Sleepout-Sustaining the Safe Sleep Zone

Date 9/27/2016

Time 5:00 PM – 5:00 PM

Location Details On the heels and coattails of City Hall where the Sleepsnatcher Beast Slumbers. Soup and other incidentals will be available on the bricks near the City Directory sign.
The event lasts from late afternoon Tuesday the 27th through mid-morning Wednesday the 28th
Event Type
Keith McHenry (entry by Norse)
Emailkeith [at]

With a growing sidewalk community showing up each Tuesday for the “End the Sleeping Ban” rally, feed, and sleep-over, uniformed thug harassment is apparently way down with little if any interference with sleepers over the last two Tuesdays.Though only present once a week, the Freedom Sleepers continue to create a de facto Safe Sleeping Zone on the sidewalk next to City Hall across from the Main Library. A community gathers, shares food and coffee, and then sleeps in defiance of the City’s notorious MC 6.36.010 banning sleeping from 11 PM to 8:30 AM on all public and much private property.Folks have even dared to sleep on the “forbidden bricks”–the broad entrance area to the City Council Courtyard, previously open to peaceful protest and assembly until its anti-homeless closure in the fall of 2010.CITY COUNCIL COVER-UP
City Council has its 2nd September meeting (every 2nd and 4th Tuesday at 2:20 PM generally), but for the first time in memory, Council has no real agenda items other than Presentations, Consent Agenda stuff, and housekeeping (committee assignments).

Raymond Laborde apparently filed a late claim for $150,000 for “injuries allegedly resulting from an arrest”. However, City Clerk Bren Lehr has refused to put the original claim with details and phone contact on the agenda. I made a Public Records Act Request for that information, but so far have heard nothing.

Under pressure in the past, Lehr did put facsimiles of the original claims being considered on the City Council website 72 hours in advance. When pressed for contact information for those filing claims (which the City has no legal right to withhold), she removed the original claims entirely and left only the city staff’s “summary”.

Those wishing to keep abreast of who’s claiming injury from police abuse in the City should file regular Public Records Act requests well in advance of Council meetings. Claims usually take months to process, so it’s possible to get advance knowledge of who feels they’re being injured by the police if someone is interested in tracking this.

Public Records Act requests to view Sleeping Ban and other anti-homeless citations are still being resisted and ignored by the SCPD and its supposed bosses at City Hall. Issue of surveillance devices, coming up at the upcoming ACLU forum is also being stalled. Mayor Mathews, though informed of the situation, has declined to respond. She is running for reelection in November.

On September 20th at the initiative of the City Manager, City Attorney, and reactionary Mayor, City Council there passed an “emergency” ordinance to drive away the nightly Tent City known as “the Flagpole Community” (see “Speak Out Against the Proposed Camping/Loitering Ordinance” at

Activists from other cities including the Santa Cruz Freedom Sleepers joined dozens of others in speaking out against the phony “public safety” law, designed specifically to drive away protesters outside Salinas City Hall led by Wes White.

Right-wing media covered the event at (“County supervisors surprised, chagrined over proposed Salinas city overnight camping ban”)

The Community recently threw its 6-month Sleep-In celebration (see “Six Month Birthday Party for the Flagpole Community ” at “Monterey County Homeless Union Establishes Tent Community at Salinas City Hall” at .

As the clock strikes midnight on Saturday October 1st, police have threatened to begin enforcement, clearing away an orderly encampment of several dozen folks and their tents–with no alternative shelter facilities or safe sleeping spots allowed. The anti-Camping law is city-wide and includes an “anti-loitering” law.

Activists will reportedly resist the attempted destruction of the protest and urge others to join them, if only as witnesses with video. For more information, contact Wes White at 510-274-9275 .

Smooth-tongue Steve Pleich will be greeting potential voters at Woodstock Pizza 710 Front St. 5-7 PM on Friday September 30th. Pleich is the only candidate so far to specifically denounce the Sleeping Ban in the numerous candidate forums (though not the most recent Downtown Association Forum at the Civic last Thursday).

Lone wolf founder of the Homeless Persons Legal Project, Steve has recently released a list of specific accomplishments that document his history of homeless accomplishments. He himself lives in a vehicle and may be more vocal on homeless issues than most assuming his passion for shmoozing with power doesn’t get the best of him.

HUFF (Homeless United for Friendship & Freedom) has yet to endorse any candidates in the upcoming electoral charades, but will be meeting tomorrow 11 AM at the Sub Rosa Cafe 703 Pacific to discuss City Council election prospects.