Sleep Protectors Gather for Freedom SleepOuit #74
Date Tuesday December 06 Time 4:00 PM Tuesday – 9:00 AM Wednesday
Location Details On the sidewalks near City Hall, barred from taking shelter under the eaves in the rain, protesters will spend the night outside, under tarps, perhaps with a tent or two, and in nearby vehicles. For nearly a year and a half, a small community of housed and homeless have demanded an end to laws criminalizing survival sleeping and other life-sustaining activities. Watchers, well-wishers, blankets, and visitors welcome!
Event Type Protest
Organizer/Author Keith McHenry (story by Norse)
As temperatures dive below 40 and winter approaches in earnest, city and county authorities are providing $360,000 worth of nightly shelter for 50-75 people at VFW Post No. 7263 at 2259 7th Ave. in Live Oak. The mini-program (considering there are 3000+ unsheltered in the County) will expand to 100-125 in January with the opening of the Salvation Army building downtown at 721 Laurel St. –unavailable during a cold December because it’s being used for “fund-raising” activities.The usual NIMBY (Not-in-My-Back-Yard) approach is evident. The pick-up site is several miles from the 7th Ave. shelter. Clients are banned from walking or driving to the shelter. In-take worker Steve Pleich notes folks will have to go through an initial questioning process (5-10 minutes), presumably to satisfy the Take Back Santa Cruz-minded folks as well as provide data for more grant-grabbing activity.
Old-timers remembered when you got sheltered if you showed up. Not any more.
Meals will be provided for the few that get into the program, but the Homeless (Lack of) Services Center (a “supporter” of the Winter Shelter program) has made no move to restore the open meals that were its historic responsibility abandoned in June of 2015.
Run by the Association of Faith Communities, the AFC bosses may not require users to be present every night or be kicked out of the program–which they do regularly at their year-round 20-person shelter program that moves from church to church. Boss Debbi Bates reportedly excluded several women from the smaller program because they took Tuesday nights out to join the Freedom Sleeper protests. Bates now heads the far more costly $360 grand Winter Shelter.
Read the Sentinel’s sunny shelter spin at http://www.santacruzsentinel.
Also due to open at least for a night or two later this week is the Warming Center with downtown pick-up’s at Pearl Alley. Call 211 or (831) 234-9848 for more info.
Last Friday, Berkeley fuzz swooped down on the First They Came for the Homeless “Poor Tour” protest (again) and for the 5th or 6th time, required them to move, while seizing tents, bedding, and other property.”Progressive” City Councilmembers and a new “progressive” Mayor Jessie Arreguin promised a new deal for unhoused folks with protection for the protesters, but have taken no action to discipline the out-of-control police department there.
CITY COUNCIL SPECIAL SESSION TO SQUANDER LIBRARY FUNDING FOR A PARKING GARAGE?
Even the rabid anti-homeless website Santa Mierda (Spanish for “shit”) opposes the Mathews’ Council’s proposed pave-over-the-Farmer’s Market-and stuff-the-library-on-the-
See the critique at http://www.santamierda.com/
Come early at 5 PM and demand City Council fire City Manager Martin Bernal and his go-to guy Assistant City Manager Scott Collins for their decade of anti-homeless laws and policies. The Council won’t touch the untouchable Bernal, but the folks at home may be listening on tv.
PROTEST AGAINST POLICE VIOLENCE RESUMES SATURDAY 1:30 PM DECEMBER 10TH AT TOWN CLOCK
Last Saturday’s Speak-Out at the Town Clock featured speaker after speaker demanding release of the audio and video of the SCPD’s Sean Arlt slaying (as well as the name of the uniformed slayer).
Luke Smith’s mother spoke afterwards to a smaller group grieving for her 15-year old shot dead by an AK-15 as he wrestled with a savage police dog while surrounded by a pack of police officers. The deadly punishment was apparently in response to Smith’s refusing to follow orders to drop the 4″ knife he was holding.
Both the Sentinel and Santa Cruz Indymedia covered the event. See http://www.santacruzsentinel.
More details on the issues at https://www.indybay.org/
Activist Steve Argue, the lead organizer, announced he’d be returning each Saturday to demand the prosecution of the guilty police officers.