Santa Cruz 11 Court Date Earlier 8:15 AM 7/14 Dept 6


NOTE BY NORSE:  At least two HUFF members (myself and blogger Becky Johnson) were targeted as part of the Santa Cruz Eleven group, requiring dozens of hours of court time, jobs and income lost, and perhaps most important a freezing fear descended on the community around Direct Action organizing.  I encourage folks to show up in support of the Final Four of the Santa Cruz Eleven.

The four are charged with “felony vandalism” for having been in a vacant Wells-Fargo bank bujilding (still vacant four years later), some as journalists, some as supporters of housing for the homeless and a community center, some in opposition to Wells Fargo’s still unpunished foreclosure fraud, some as observers.  No evidence has been presented since this case was first charged in 2012 that any of the SC-11, or any of these four committed vandalism.   Instead the prosecution will argtue that simply being in a building after a trespass warning is given where others commit vandalism “aids and abets” the vandals.   The prosecution is using a strategy where “the process is the punishment” by making the defendants appear again and again.

It’s a phony and dangerous trial being used to silence dissent and spread fear among activists.  And perhaps curry favor with the Wells Fargo Bank and the police–who were forced to back down and may have felt they had egg on their face.

Robert Norse

Santa Cruz 11 Heads Towards Trial

Court Date Tomorrow 7/14!  9am Dept 6

Support still needed for the Santa Cruz 11!

Tomorrow morning, Tuesday 7/14, at 9 am in Department 6 of the Santa Cruz Courthouse defense attorneys for the remaining 4 of the SC11 will be discussing possible pre-trial outcomes of the case with prosecutor Greg Peinado.

This is the first court date of the month that may prove to be a big one for the remaining defendants. With trial potentially starting in just two weeks, let’s show up in support! Just being there can really make a difference to those charged, especially as it has been years since the occupation that led to all of this. Court can be really isolating and uncomfortable, let’s make sure our friends know they are cared for!

This is also an opportunity to show the City that we are still paying attention and care about what is happening.

Tomorrow, there seems to be the possibility of attorneys coming to a pre-trial settlement (plea bargain or deal), or at least making steps in that direction. As of yet, Peinado has not offered anything to the defendants, and has often said he has to consult with his “higher ups” in before making or responding to offers of settlement. This is a continued practice after being criticized in court for coming to hearings without the power to do anything, therefor wasting the time of the judge and defense attorneys as well as tax payer money.

It seems that the defendants are preparing to go to trial while also being open to resolving the case beforehand if the City were to offer something they could agree to. The prosecution has pushed for a large restitution in this case and held on to the felony charges despite having the power to resolve this case by dropping or lowering the charges and restitution.

It has been a question throughout this case of where the motivation and power lie in the prosecution. Bob Lee and his ties to Wells Fargo were influential, but now he is no longer with us. Who is in charge? Who is asking for the continued prosecution and seeking of restitution? Is it Wells Fargo? Or City of Santa Cruz officials?

Regardless of the answers to these questions it is up to us to show each other that we care when the City and State repress activists and members of our community. It is up to us to find what is inspiring about this situation, or create that inspiration for ourselves.

See you tomorrow friends!

Copyright © 2015 Support the Santa Cruz Eleven, All rights reserved.
Thank you joining the email list!

Our mailing address is:

Support the Santa Cruz Eleven

P.O. Box 61

Santa Cruz, CA 95063