Round 6: Freedom Sleepers Resume Protest at City Hall

Title: Round 6: Freedom Sleepers Resume Protest at City Hall
START DATE: Tuesday August 18
TIME: 5:00 PM – 5:00 PM
Location Details:
In the courtyard at Santa Cruz City Hall at 809 Center St.

The event will run from 5 PM on Tuesday to 8 AM on Wednesday. Santa Cruz City Hall It’s across from the Main Library and the Civic Auditorium.

Event Type: Other
Contact Name Phil Posner (commentary by Norse)
Email Address chatrabbi [at] aol.com
Phone Number
Address
For the fifth night this summer, a Coalition of Camp of Last Resort/Homeless Dept, HUFF, Food Not Bombs, & Homeless Persons Legal Assistance Project as well as others will be trying to spend a night near City Hall.

City Hall is where Santa Cruz City Council meets, where the offices of the Mayor and City Councilmembers are. The staff who runs the City;s anti-homeless programs also work in buildings nearby. Activists will be protesting MC 6.36.010a–the City’s Sleeping Ban.

EMERGENCY SERVICES SHUT DOWN
The Homeless (Lack of) Services Center has formally acknowledged the wholesale, conscious, and systematic shutdown of all emergency services from the City-County “Shelter Provider”

This eliminates all meals, showers, laundry, and toilet access except for clients in programs, aborting the original purpose of 115 Coral St. The County’s report can be seen at http://sccounty01.co.santa-cruz.ca.us/BDS/Govstream2/Bdsvdata/non_legacy_2.0/agendas/2015/20150818-666/PDF/013.pdf

There is no provision for opening up walk-in campgrounds or legal places for overnight survival sleeping in cars.

LAST COUNCIL MEETING SHUTS OFF COMMENT
Many speakers were cut off by Mayor Lane–and no Councilmember offered to extend the Oral Communications time.

There’ll be a mid-evening snack later, and morning coffee at 7 AM after the sleep-in.

“PUNISHMENT FOR SLEEP” LAW ENFORCEMENT CONTINUES
1500-2000 homeless people in Santa Cruz for the general population face $157 citations and harassment for sleeping in parks–but have no legal place to go.

In addition they most avoid the safety of groups and well-lighted areas. They have no real option to call police for problems because they face citations themselves.

COUNCIL STAFF PLOTS FUTURE ATTACKS ON POOR
Last Tuesday’s City Council had no restoration of services nor providing of any moderation of the harsh anti-homeless laws.

In fact, new laws have been proposed by the City Manager for next week involving the banning RV parking 2 AM – 6 AM city-wide and elimination of “ovedrsized” parking spots. See http://www.cityofsantacruz.com/home/showdocument?id=44947

WAITING LIST UNCERTAINTY
Up to now, city law (MC 6.36.055) has required dismissal of all camping tickets for those on the Waiting Lists of the Paul Lee loft and the River St. Shelter. HLOSC Director Jannan Thomas met with Freedom Sleepers today and announced there is no longer a Paul Lee Loft Waiting List.

The status of the River St. Shelter Waiting List continues to be unclear. Prior word from the River St. Shelter indicates they only provide beds for people with a social worker, a referral, or out of the hospital. On Sunday night, Alexi, a disabled woman, was reportedly denied a bed there.

With no waiting list for the Paul Lee Loft and a highly restricted list for the River St. Shelter, sleepers will no longer have the protection of those lists and will have a harder task confronting these cruel “drive the homeless out of town” tickets.

This essentially means the end of all Emergency Services in Santa Cruz–other than those with religious requirements or the limited help provided by Food Not Bombs and other samaritans.

POLICE APPARENTLY TARGET PHOTOGRAPHERS; IGNORE LAW
Police intensified their crackdown last Tuesday with citations for four journalist/photographers there for “being in a park after hours”.

Israel Dawson was arrested for not getting his ID quickly enough and charged with “resisting arrest”. Lauren Dawson and Robert Norse both received 24-hour Stay-Away orders as well as $198 citations for being in a park after dark.

All four of the journalists cited or arrested are slated to return to report on the struggle to restore basic human rights at City Hall and for the homeless community all around the City.

Police ignored the clear wording of MC 13.04.011 which holds you can be on an access pathway through the closed area.

They also ignored the more fundamental right to be outside City Hall at night to petition for a redress of grievanceds as guaranteed by the First Amendment to the U.S. and California Constitutions.

How City officials can allow police to ban people from reading publicly posted city agendas at night is still a mystery to many of us. Particularly since state lazw requires the agendas be publicly available 24-hours-a-day for 72 hours before any public meeting.

GET READY TO BED DOWN!
Join us in pajamas and bathrobes (teddy bears optional) if you wish to support the Right to Rest.

For die-hards and a third round of coffee, HUFF (Homeless United for Friendship & Freedom) will be meeting at 703 Pacific at the Sub Rosa Cafe (next to the Bike Church) 11 AM Wednesday morning the 19th.

To review last Tuesday’s protest, see “Santa Cruz Police Arrest Journalist and Issue Stay Away Orders at Community Sleepout #5” at http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2015/08/16/18776253.php

This posting reflects my perspective and hopefully that of other activists. Living it is better than reading about it. Come and do your part.

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