We’re back at the usual Sub Rosa Cafe 11 AM meeting Wednesday November 1st. HUFF will likely continue on a bi-weekly schedule with though that will be decided by those attending. This decision was made to accommodate Monterey County activists currently fighting the Lapis Road Residential Vehicle Homeowner Struggle who have to come a longer distance.
Topics coming up will be activist Phil Posner’s survey of the San Lorenzo (de facto) Campground taken two weeks ago; solidarity between renters and houseless folks and the latest renter protection protest at the Sleep Tight apartments; adjourning to look over SCPD and P & R records detailing the current use of Stay-Away’s; updates from the federal court decision Tuesday allowing BART to deport homeless from the Here and There (formerly First They Came for the Homeless) encampment, from Sacramento’s trial against the City’s Camping Ban, and more….
Also up for discussion, HUFF’s position regarding SCPD Chief Mills supposed “liberal” “no nighttime camping busts” policy as contrasted with continuing harassment of the unhoused downtown for trivial offenses. The latest Sentinel Jessica York media spin is at http://www.santacruzsentinel.com/social-affairs/20171030/santa-cruz-county-hepatitis-a-outbreak-tapers-benchlands-homeless-camp-grows while SCPD Chief Mills has alarmed some RV dwellers and survival sleepers-in-cars with his apparent plan to “assign five police lieutenants to individual neighborhoods to focus on each area’s looming issues, such as recreational vehicles parked for extended times in Westside neighborhoods.” (See http://www.santacruzsentinel.com/social-affairs/20171025/new-santa-cruz-police-chief-intends-to-reshape-department-priorities?source=most_viewed )
Please report conditions in San Lorenzo Park, around the Post Office, and along the Coral St. sidewalk where numerous nightly encampments have grown. And also note the harassment actions against homeless in downtown, residential, and business areas where ticketing apparently has continued and possibly intensified.
The supposed “liberal” Mills policy means little if police and rangers are ticketing sleepers for “other crimes” on public property such as being in a park after dark, smoking, blocking the sidewalk, lodging, trespass, etc.
We have few if any reports of police and ranger use of the newly expanded Stay-Away law. Its selective enforcement powers are described at https://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2017/09/12/18802845.php (“Stacked Deck Stay-Away Law Expansion Promises More Pain for Poor Outside“) The SCPD has readied Public Records that document the use of this abusive process for the last 9 months as has Parks and Recreation–after much prompting. Help HUFF document this wretched recordto uncover the obvious pattern of enforcement which largely impacts houseless people. We’ll be hoping to look into some of the records after the HUFF meeting.
You can also help fight the Stay-Away orders as they are individually levied on homeless folks contact Food Not Bombs or HUFF (numbers below). Let these folks know if you or anyone you know has recently been given a Stay-Away order along with an Infraction ticket, particularly if it’s for longer than 24 hours (or 72 hours after October 12th when the new expanded law goes into effect).
If meetings aren’t your thing, but you wish to work on Public Records, Help compile accounts of Police/Ranger abuses and/or Assist in getting interviews for Free Radio broadcasts or You-Tube Postings, contact Bathrobespierre Robert at 831-423-4833.
Activists around Food Not Bombs and the Freedom Sleepers are also looking for help gathering volunteers for the support meals on Saturday & Sunday as well as folks who want to help homeless harassed with citations for Being Visibly Homeless. Contact them at 575-770-3377.
Or go on line to the facebook page of Santa Cruz Food Not Bombs. FNB activists fear an upsurge of pressure against the downtown meals near the post office as follow up to the “coaxed removal” of the homeless encampment there. Sign up to support their Emergency Response Network by contacting them through Facebook or in person at the Saturday and Sunday meals. The idea is to quickly gather in numbers if city authorities attempt to shut down the meal.