|COMING TOGETHER FOR JUSTICE
Activists from Food Not Bombs, the Camp of Last Resort, HUFF, the Homeless Persons Legal Assistance Project and those sleeping outside as well as independent supporters will gather at the main Post Office. We will then take the streets and make our way to City Hall. There we will prepare for a night of peaceful petitioning and protest to end the City-wide Sleeping Ban.
We are asking the City Council, the SCPD, Parks and Rec Rangers and all other enforcement agencies to leave those sleeping outside alone.
All shelter services have waiting lists. There is no shelter for 90
% of the unhoused population.
The Sleeping Ban itself (MC 6.36.010a) makes the act of sleeping after 11 PM on any public (and much private) property a $157 crime for the first offense. Unattended citations can lead to misdemeanors.
So-called “Mosquito” devices have been in place for the last year emitting high pitch sounds to drive away homeless people resting from spots lik the area under the Soquel Ave. bridge.
Hundreds of Stay-Away orders have been given to homeless people who haven’t even been to court for minor infractions–including being in a park after dark and sleeping.
LOTS OF UNUSED SPACE AT NIGHT
Santa Cruz has more than a hundred acres of parkland, including two reserved for dogs. These parks are all closed to the public at night. Authorities are issuing stay-away orders and tickets for those who fall asleep in the parks or rest in them after dark.
RESOURCES AVAILABLE AND MUNCHIES
Some sleeping bags and light tarps will be available for uses for those who want to join the protest. There’ll be sandwiches in the mid-evening and a Cafe HUFF breakfast in the morning sometime between 6:30 and 7:30 AM with yummy edibles and hot steaming coffee for the Survival Sleepers and their supporters.
We will also have petitions to circulate and sign to document the needs of those being abused under the current laws and show community support.
We hope city authorities, recognizing the emergency, will allow folks to petition at the seat of government without harassment. Leave in peace those who need to sleep there–especially since City Council offers no alternatives. We invite the community to join us as participants or witnesses.
Folks are also invited to bring their vehicles if they have them. Caution: MC 6.36.010 also makes it “illegal” to sleep after 11 PM at night in your own vehicle.
We are looking forward in the next few weeks to daytime sleepouts in the park and at City Hall as well as other as-yet undisclosed locations around town. During the day, sleeping (and petitioning) in parks and at City Hall is “legal”.
We also hope to schedule events at City Hall itself urging the restoration of constitutional rights for those outside.
What happened last time: “Despite Heavy Police and Security Presence, Campers Make it Through the Night at City Hall” at http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2015/07/21/18775182.php
Note: This is my own take on the upcoming sleep-out. Others may view it differently. Come and check it out for yourself. –R Norse of HUFF
Import this event into your personal calendar.
Distribute widely and prepare for future sleep-outs.