Four Homeless Civil Rights Events

 

Four Homeless Civil Rights Events (rescheduled)
by Robert Norse
Friday Nov 7th, 2014 11:00 AM

 A disabled activist will seek a long-refused written disability dispensation so that she can show her crafts on
Pacific Ave. without being driven away by Santa Cruz’s noxious ‘Move ‘Em Along” law on Friday November 7- 2 PM at the City Attorney’s Office 333 Church.

NOTE: (The trip to the City Attorney’s office has been rescheduled and moved to City Council 5 PM Tuesday 11-11)

4 PM 11-8 Saturday KSCO (AM 1080) Restoration of Human Rights for the Homeless advocates versus StabSantaCruz anti-homeless blogger Helbard Alkhassadeh. 5 PM 11-10 on the sidewalk near Calvalry Episcopal at Church and Cedar. out-of-town attorney Paul Cook will advise homeless people losing property and rights how to reclaim them or their cash equivalent in Small Claims Court. 3 PM Cafe HUFF and Joe Schultz will provide food for the 11-11 Tuesday City Council meeting fighting colored dot “performer pens” on Pacific Avenue and “Stay-Away” laws. 5 PM on the same day disabled activist Pat Colby will seek a long-refused written disability dispensation at City Council so that she can show her crafts on Pacific Ave. without being driven away by Santa Cruz’s noxious ‘Move ‘Em Along” law.

Santa Cruz is experiencing a crackdown on homeless people, travelers, street artists, and just those seeking to use public spaces without police harassment.

Paranoia around the Drug War is being used to futile a thinly-concealed “Scare ‘Em Out of Town” agenda against homeless people–long a target of city laws, police, and rangers.

Restoration of rights and restitution for damages is likely to come only when tenants, students, minorities, the elderly, working folks, and homeless join in a broad coalition to refocus on the white collar crimes of the 1% and the complicity of the 30%.

Steve Pleich, attorney Judy Bari, and MHCAN activist Sarah Leonard are working on filing a class action lawsuit that may stop the regular conflscation and/or destruction of homeless survival gear and personal items.

In a grim and little-noticed follow-up to NIMBY attacks on homeless recyclers, first one and then the only remaining recycling center in city limits has reportedly closed down without public hearing or notice. I am told the nearest one is now in Capitola.

We are seeing food programs driven or pressured indoors to avoid the community seeing visible poverty, prison-like conditions developing at the Homeless Services Center, harsh library regulations to step up the pressure on homeless people there, churches cutting back their programs, and massive over-policing downtown, in the parks, and at the Beach.

Against this ugly darkening picture, activists are working to document the financial and human cost of new Jim Crow laws against the poor, to speak out against them, and to mobilize legal resources to fight back.

4 PM SATURDAY 11-8 ON KSCO Folks can listen in to KSCO at AM 1080 or do so on line. The call-in number is 479-1080. We will be seeking support for strategies legal and streetside to restore basic civil rights to homeless people suffering from the massive increase in ticketing and harassment.

5 PM MONDAY 11-10 on the sidewalk outside THE RED CHURCH (Calvary Episcopal Cedar and Lincoln) Attorney Paul Cook has successfully beat back attempts to shut him down in Baldwin Park in southern California (http://alchemistcook.blogspot.com/, interview at http://radiolibre.org/brb/brb130919.mp3 –29 minutes into the audio file). He will advise people how to file claims against the city and small claims court papers to recover stolen property and rights and expose official abuses.

3 PM TUESDAY 11-11 outside CITY COUNCIL CHAMBERS Protest demanding an end to Stay-Away Orders, Performance Pens, Forbidden Zones, and other repressive restrictions on public space in Santa Cruz–particularly those impacting the poor and homeless. Cafe HUFF will serve coffee and brownies. Jumbogumbo Joe Schultz will provide savory hot vegan soup.

5 PM TUESDAY 11-11 at CITY COUNCIL (809 Center St.) Disabled activists will confront City Council and the City Attorney to demand written authorization so they can vend, perform, sit, and sparechange downtown without suffering hundreds of dollars in fines under tghe “Move every hour for 100” and begone for 24 hours” law [MC 5.43.020(2)].

Bring friends.

TO COMMENT:  https://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2014/11/07/18763899.php

 

Monterey Sitting Ban Denies Homeless The Right to Rest During Business Hours

NORSE’S NOTES:  Following in the pawprints of its elder bigoted brother Santa Cruz to the North, Monterey has reversed itself from a similar proposal a year ago and passed a Sitting Ban that is somewhat less stringent.  In 2013, a big turnout of homeless activists, housed supporters, and social service providers sent a similar Ban back to the staff, from which it has emerged zombie-like to stalk the homeless community.
                    The Monterey law, unlike the Santa Cruz law applies only from 7 AM to 9 PM, mirroring a similar law proposed (but defeated) in Berkeley. Santa Cruz’s Sitting Ban is 24-hours long (MC 9.50.012).  Like the Monterey law, Santa Cruz’s was passed with no stats proving any kind of meaningful business concerns other than the anxieties of post-earthquake Santa Cruz and the special interests of merchants, then lead by Bookshop Santa Cruz owner Neal Coonerty.
                      The sitting ban and the smoking ban are the primarily weapon used by Officer Barnett against homeless people downtown (See “Report from SCPD Corner” and the Barnett ticket citation record at https://www.indybay.org/uploads/2014/09/18/barnett_cites.pdf ).

On Monday in Monterey, sitting on the sidewalk was still OK but by Wednesday, you could be facing a citation from police for doing the same.

“They are interfering with my business,” said Joseph Aiello of people who he says are often sitting around outside his jewelry store.

The idea of a sit-lie ordinance has been a long time coming for Aiello and his business. He says that people loitering outside his shop deters potential customers.

“When they see panhandlers out on the street, they feel uncomfortable and therefore, they walk by real fast to get to where they are going,” said Aiello.

Starting Wednesday, between 7 a.m. and 9 p.m., officers have the authority to tell people to get up from the sidewalk in downtown, Cannery Row and along Fremont Street.

The first offense is a warning.

“For the next 30 days, that warning stays in effect and if you are found doing it again you get a citation,” Monterey police said.

Officers insist they won’t just be targeting homeless individuals.

“If this is something that is applied and and targets a specific group of people, we’re gonna catch a lot of flack for that,” said Monterey Police Chief Phil Penko.  “The application is the key.”

Penko say he hopes his department doesn’t have to write a single ticket even though Aiello says his business, a staple on Alvarado Street for the last 30 years, is in trouble and the loitering isn’t helping.

“The downtown businesses are struggling, struggling to stay in business and it does not help or improve having them always on the street,” said Aiello. “

There are exceptions to this rule -you may sit on the sidewalk if you have a medical emergency, are attending a parade or festival, or you’re in a wheel chair or baby stroller.

Here is the full text of the ordinance:

In response to increased complaints regarding safety concerns created by obstructed sidewalks, the Monterey City Council adopted Monterey City Code §32-6.2. This ordinance, which goes into effect October 1, 2014, prohibits sitting or lying down on the sidewalk in front of property designated on the General Plan map for mixed use areas (see map) between 7:00 a.m.  and 9:00 pm.

The ordinance contains exceptions for people: (1) experiencing a medical emergency, (2) using a wheelchair or other device for mobility; (3) for people sitting on a public bench or bus stop; (4) operating or patronizing a commercial establishment conducted on the public sidewalk pursuant to an encroachment permit (e.g., a sidewalk café); (5) participating in or attending a parade, etc. with an event permit or other applicable permit; and (6) a child seated in a stroller. It also requires that no person will be cited without first being given a warning by a peace officer that he/she is violating this section. One warning given by a peace officer is sufficient for a 30 day period for subsequent violations.

Police officers have been actively working to inform people in the designated business districts.

 

On Monday in Monterey, sitting on the sidewalk was still OK but by Wednesday, you could befacing a citation from police for doing the same.

“They are interfering with my business,” said Joseph Aiello of people who he says are often sitting around outside his jewelry store.

The idea of a sit-lie ordinance has been a longtime coming for Aiello and his business. He says that people loitering outside his shop deters potential customers.

“When they see panhandlers out on the street, they feel uncomfortable and therefore, they walk by real fast to get to where they are going,” said Aiello.

Starting Wednesday, between 7 a.m. and 9 p.m., officers have the authority to tell people to get up from the sidewalk in downtown, Cannery Row and along Fremont Street.

The first offense is a warning.

“For the next 30 days, that warning stays in effect and if you are found doing it again you get a citation,” Monterey police said.

Officers insist they won’t just be targeting homeless individuals.

“If this is something that is applied and and targets a specific group of people, we’re gonna catch a lot of flack for that,” said Monterey Police Chief Phil Penko.  “The application is the key.”

Penko say he hopes his department doesn’t have to write a single ticket even though Aiello says his business, a staple on Alvarado Street for the last 30 years, is in trouble and the loitering isn’t helping.

“The downtown businesses are struggling, struggling to stay in business and it does not help or improve having them always on the street,” said Aiello. “

There are exceptions to this rule -you may sit on the sidewalk if you have a medical emergency, are attending a parade or festival, or you’re in a wheel chair or baby stroller.

Here is the full text of the ordinance:

 

In response to increased complaints regarding safety concerns created by obstructed sidewalks, the Monterey City Council adopted Monterey City Code §32-6.2. This ordinance, which goes into effect October 1, 2014, prohibits sitting or lying down on the sidewalk in front of property designated on the General Plan map for mixed use areas (between 7:00 a.m.  and 9:00 pm.

 

The ordinance contains exceptions for people: (1) experiencing a medical emergency, (2) using a wheelchair or other device for mobility; (3) for people sitting on a public bench or bus stop; (4) operating or patronizing a commercial establishment conducted on the public sidewalk pursuant to an encroachment permit (e.g., a sidewalk café); (5) participating in or attending a parade, etc. with an event permit or other applicable permit; and (6) a child seated in a stroller. It also requires that no person will be cited without first being given a warning by a peace officer that he/she is violating this section. One warning given by a peace officer is sufficient for a 30 day period for subsequent violations.

Police officers have been actively working to inform people in the designated business districts.

 

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