NOTE FROM NORSE: The flyer is self-explanatory.
Attachment(s) from Robert Norse | View attachments on the web
1 of 1 File(s)
NOTE FROM NORSE: The flyer is self-explanatory.
Attachment(s) from Robert Norse | View attachments on the web
1 of 1 File(s)
Date: Saturday May 12
He was a long-time activist fighting the City’s anti-homeless Sleeping Ban, a social worker, a survivor of HIV, and a writer.
His colorful and persistent presence was a constant thorn in the side to the Santa Cruz Council with his fasts, speeches, organizing, and general silliness.
He died abroad in a Maputo, Mozambique hospital while traveling, following his bliss.
More information at https://www.facebook.com/
If you can’t make it to the Emergency Meeting today at 6 PM, Contact Keith and Abbi at 575-770-3377 to provide immediate support for the Survival Sleepers–now facing a round-the-clock attack, designed to drive them at the Freedom Sleepers from City Hall and expand “no homeless” zones outside the library and elsewhere in the city.
Leave your comments and questions at 831-423-4833.
If you missed the Sunday show, it ran too long for the normal archive (http://radiolibre.org/brb/
DateFriday May 12
Time6:00 PM – 6:00 AM
Location Details 809 Center St. City Hall Courtyard and Sidewalk along Center St
Event Type Protest
Organizer/Author Keith McHenry (posting by Norse)
The City Manager, Martín Bernal made a number of policy changes that will have an impact on those without housing all across Santa Cruz, the Freedom Sleepers and the Survival Sleepers at City Hall.
The City of Santa Cruz has made it illegal to be at City Hall from 6:00 PM to 7:00 AM Monday through Friday and has closed all of the City Hall grounds on Saturday and Sunday. The signs posted this morning also ban amplified sound without a permit, personal property on sidewalks, walls or pathways, bicycles or sitting, lying on sidewalks, walls, pathways or courtyard areas. There are reports that these policies will be enforced at a number of other city buildings in Santa Cruz.
Library staff have also reported that City Manager, Martín Bernal will be removing the benches outside the library and stationing two or more police officers at City Hall.
The Freedom Sleepers campaign inspired an attempt by Councilpersons Don Lane and Micah Posner to seek a change in the camping ban in March 2016 to make it legal to sleep outside, ending the law that made it a crime to sleep outside or in a vehicle from 11:00 PM to 8:30 AM.
Their proposed change failed to gain enough votes. In response to pressure from the Freedom Sleepers the council did create a Homelessness Coordinating Committee whose report was introduced at the May 9, 2017 City Council meeting.
Local unhoused people started their own nightly protest at City Hall the night after the Winter Shelter closed who are referred to as the Survival Sleepers.
Signs stating that it is illegal to participate in the activities of the protest were posted this morning at City Hall. More signs restricting the homeless were placed at the Downtown Library this afternoon.
To see the new posted restrictions go to https://www.facebook.com/
PLEASE JOIN US WITH VIDEO AND AUDIO EVEN IF YOU CAN’T STAY THE NIGHT!
Please contact Keith McHenry at 575-770-3377
Time4:00 PM Tuesday – 9 AM Wednesday
Location Details Back again to City Hall–still the dark center of Sleeping Ban law and enforcement under City Manager Martin Bernal and the Watkins-Terrazas City Council. Determined activists and a crew of homeless folks will be huddling beneath the eaves of the buildings at City Hall until being driven out into the rain , wind, and cold. Just looking for a night of community and relative safety from the Sleeping Ban, they’ll be in sleeping bags, under tents, in vehicles, whereever they can, hoping to spark conscience from the broader community. Food Not Bombs and Joe Schultz will feed. Protest goes, as ever, from mid-afternoon Tuesday to mid-morning Wednesday.
Event Type Protest
Organizer/Author Keith McHenry (story by Norse)
Folks at a recent Black Lives Matter protest in Capitola this Saturday did seem sympathetic to concerns that SCPD policies impacting black folks, immigrants, and just ordinary folks were also a matter of serious concern regarding homeless folks. See “Community Support for Black Lives Matter in Capitola” at https://www.indybay.org/
POLICE SWAMPED PROTEST WITH FLEET OF VEHICLES LAST WEEK
Freedom Sleepers return this Tuesday fresh from the harsh memory of massive police response against last week’s protest on 2-14.
During that protest, eight SCPD squad cars showed up to arrest activist Maxwell Green in the dead of night ( https://www.facebook.com/
SUDDEN POLICE INTEREST IN MAXWELL GREEN
Though Green spoke earlier that day at City Council and could have been served with a citation at that time, the city’s uniformed gunmen showed up at midnight in absurdly disproportionate force, frightening other sleepers there.
Green was charged with 184 (a) willfully obstructing an officer. He will be arraigned in Judge Denine Guy’s court on Mar 16th at 8:30 a.m. The “obstruction” incident allegedly happened over a month ago on 1/18 with the complaint and warrant suddenly issued on 2/15; right after a city council meeting when Green publicly denounced Councilmember Richelle Niroyan. Niroyan authored a failed RV nighttime ban, leading to a caustic exchange between the two of them that homeless-aphobic city staffers may still be trying to patch up behind the scenes.
Green is a mainstay of the Freedom Sleeper protest, who works and lives in Monterey, and regularly commutes to defend the rights of the Santa Cruz homeless here.
FOOD NOT BOMBS EVENTS
Food Not Bombs [FNB], which regularly feeds the Freedom SleepOut’s, is facing harassment from reactionary neighbors, who ban the organization’s street food and literature tables.
FNB will hold an Emergency Meeting 2 PM Friday 2-24 at India Joze 418 Front St.
They also urge folks to sign a petition to Mayor Cynthia Chase urging the City respect the right to share food: Sign it at https://www.change.org/p/
FNB co-founder Katzemjammer Keith McHenry also announced “Direct Action to Fight Fascism” Presentation at 612 Ocean St., Resource Center for Non-Violence 6:30 PM Free to all.
ANTI-VIOLENCE ADVOCATES DEMAND RELEASE OF D.A.’S REPORT
Homeless folks are another minority that faces police harassment and violence.
Activists pressing to end police violence are demanding the release of the police reports and the full D.A.’s investigation in the killing of Sean Arlt. In a quick closed-to-the-public press conference, Chief Kevin Vogel announced D.A. Jeff Rosell’s finding exonerating the killer–Officer Eric Bailey.
There has been no change in the SCPD’s “shoot to kill” policy, nor were details given of how close Arlt was to Bailey when Bailey shot him dead in October. The D.A.’s “investigation” has taken 4 months, and now Vogel’s SCPD announces it will “investigate” further. Meanwhile the witness accounts and the D.A.’s report remain under lock and key. The “Official Story” can be seen on line at https://www.indybay.org/
JOIN THE FREEDOM SLEEPERS
Bring lots of rain gear, blankets, and “protective” video equipment to the protest. Heavy rains may not deter police and ranger attacks on those sheltering themselves at City Hall. But documenting their behavior may awaken the community to the menace of local Trumpism against the poor.
TO COMMENT GO TO https://www.indybay.org/
NO JUSTICE WITHOUT DEMANDS
Freedom Sleepers continue their relentless pursuit of decent respect for the survival needs of unhoused people outside. Both the Sleeping Ban’s 11 PM to 8:30 AM ban on the act of sleeping for the homeless and police practice enforcing this cruel ordinance are the weekly target of this year and a half long protest.
A WAKE UP CALL FOR THE CITY COUNCIL
In a sardonic blast at the City’s cruel anti-homeless law, activists have circulated a flyer suggesting that the City Council at its Tuesday afternoon meeting will be distributing methamphetamine to help homeless people follow the City’s MC 6.36.010a and stay awake all night. See http://www.mercurynews.com/wp-
Activists are expected to make mock demands for meth at the Oral Communications period. Usually around 5 PM, Mayor Chase has failed to specify when that period will be.
PROTESTS PLANNED ON BEACH FLAT STORMTROOPER RAIDS
Activists angered by local police collusion with a Monday 4:45AM raid in the Beach Flats with armored Vehicles and soldiers with machine guns escorted by Police Chief Vogel’s SCPD. Reportedly breaking down doors, detaining women and children and checking immigration papers the military style operation searched house to house, supposedly, for M-13 gang members”. Protesters plan a 2 PM march from the Town Clock to City Council meeting.
BOOS NOT BLESSINGS FOR AN OUTGOING POLICE CHIEF
Item #3 on the day’s City Council agenda is a special Service Celebration of Vogel’s 30 years on the SCPD. Vogel’s “accomplishments” included setting loose the armored BearCat vehicle on the community; refusing to release the video of the Sean Arlt slaying as well as the identity of the police officer who killed him.
Vogel has also presided over the 2012 theft and rerouting of SCPD-confiscated bikes from the Bike Church’s redistribution plan to a City Council connected business. He personally led the massing of more than 100 cops to disperse the Occupy encampment in San Lorenzo benchlands and later coral protesters marching to City Hall in early December 2011. All this was followed by the phony (and costly) prosecutions of the Santa Cruz Eleven for peaceful support of a Wells Fargo bank occupation at 75 River St.–chilling the income inequality protest across the city.
Though this is an officially agenda-ized action, it is likely the Mayor will try to stop any public comment.
PUTTING FOXES IN THE HOMELESS-HELPER HENHOUSE
Item #9 will ratify the appointments of anti-homeless politicians to the babble-bubble of the Homelessness Governance Ad-Hoc Committee–specifically Mayor Chase (who voted to keep the Sleeping Ban last year) and an assistant City Manager–from the gang that created the “homeless-as-criminals” Public Safety Task Force, pushed anti-homeless laws on Pacific Avenue, and has attacked the Freedom Sleeper protests and protesters.
CASH FOR THE CAMPER-CRUSHERS
Item #11 will hand $90,000 to First Alarm Security thugs to fund their stalk-and-scare raids in the City parking garages to run homeless people out into the cold and rain. The language in the proposal is surprisingly candid: to combat ” a large influx in the transient population in the last three to four months and the impacts associated with encampments.” Of course, there is no expansion of shelter, reining in of uniformed thieves seizing homeless property, and/or opening needed facilities like public bathrooms and wash stations.
Other items include appointing homeless-hostile hacks (Terrazas and Mathews) to the Library Board–where they helped extend the Sleeping Ban and other repressive measures to the downtown library.
GOOD NEWS IN BERKELEY
Meanwhile homeless activists in Berkeley are maintaining self-governing encampments like First they Came for the Homeless and recruiting the legal muscle to push back against psuedo-progressive politicians, who are violating the campaign pledges they made last year. See http://www.dailycal.org/2017/
DILLYDALLYING FOR DOLLARS
Meanwhile as ACLU fund-raisers haul in heaps of money (https://www.washingtonpost.
While NAACP, SCCCCR, and the ACLU dither, Black Lives Matter will be protesting in Capitola next Saturday (https://www.indybay.org/
THE FIGHT GOES ON
Freedom Sleepers from last week (at SleepOut #83) reported successful resistance to Park and Ranger harassment of homeless people trying to illegally move them along. Uniformed heavies were met with video cameras and copies of the law, as well as “this is a protest” signs and solidarity among those trying to sleep.
There is likely to be food in the evening and coffee in the morning. And, for the first time in weeks, dry weather. All are invited.
Date Tuesday February 7 to Wednesday February 8
In spite of the broad outcry against Trump’s intensification of Obama’s anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant policies, there has been no call for the “sanctuary cities” proposal coming back to City Council this month to include our own refugees–the local homeless community.
Those without lodging face $200 citations, additional stay-away orders, and regular police harassment. Police are also targeting homeless Freedom Sleepers. One was told by police he would be cited if he joined their protest directly, so he watches from across the street.
MIXED CHARITY AND CRUELTY FROM CHURCHES
As rainstorms pound Santa Cruz, soggy folks outside report continued police harassment. Trekking in to a weekly church meal Monday at the Calvary Episcopal Church, one outsider reported being ticketed and then driven out into the rain. Others voiced continued support for the on-going Freedom Sleepers weekly Tuesday night protest.
The once-a-week Calvary meal, while ample and filling, is policed by a guard who stops anyone from leaving the room with food. Those who aren’t in the very limited Association of Faith Communities program limited to 20 people are likely to be driven away from the outside of the church building where they may be huddling against the rain.
OAKLAND-BERKELEY PROTESTS, CRACKDOWNS CONTINUE
Berkeley’s relentlessly persistent encampment run by First They Came for the Homeless [FTCFTH] maintains its small community on the Berkeley-Oakland border next to the BART line on Martin Luther King Drive. “For three weeks, we’ve been left alone,” noted one activist there. That appears to be the longest ceasefire ever, considering the more than 15 raids and eviction notices the community has suffered. “All we want is a simple secure place to put down our tents and maintain some stability and dignity while we search for housing and employment. Most of us are disabled,” noted Brett Schnaper.
Interviews with Schnaper and Mike Zint can be heard at http://radiolibre.org/brb/
Meanwhile Oakland authorities are actually providing portapotties and trash pick-up’s to another encampment several miles down the road. A six month period will run out at the end of March when the City claims it will have “housed” the 50+ residents there. Tents are crunched together, squeezed between concrete barriers to stop the encampment from growing.
Several blocks away, the “Promised Land” Village, set up by housed and homeless activists in a park under the freeway was demolished by City cops. Activists had set up wooden structures and began to provide medical and other services that the City was failing to provide. The Village, an outgrowth of the anti-Trump protests of mid-January survived 10 days before being crushed.
Meanwhile, other Obama-Trump-villes have taken root by the side of the road in Oakland, Berkeley, and other Bay Area cities. Support for the Santa Cruz encampments–where most homeless people live–remains a taboo subject here.
To make and read comments go to https://www.indybay.org/
Date Tuesday January 31
Time 4:00 PM Tuesday - 9 AM Wednesday
Location Details On the sacred turf ot the City Hall courtyard itself as well as along the cement sidewalks of Center St. from Tuesday night to Wednesday mid-morning.
Event Type Protest
Organizer/Author Keith McHenry (story by Norse
However Freedom Sleeper supporters may remember that Councilmembers and Manager alike do have offices that are–supposedly–accessible to the public that is a building near the City Council chambers.
The employees and officials have their own special bathroom(s), which may account for why they have felt so free in the past to lock the public bathrooms adjacent to City Council, even during early daytime hours when they are supposed to be open.
Some have suggested this is particularly likely on mornings when the Freedom Sleepers are awakening, tired, soggy, and groggy from midnight SCPD rousts, morning ranger harassment. and drenching rain, compliments of being driven from under the eaves of buildings.
ARM THE HOMELESS WITH VIDEO AND BEEF UP THEIR RESISTANCE WITH BLANKETS & TENTS
Interested supporters are invited to bring their video devices down to the Freedom SleepOut–Wednesday morning if you can’t make the overnight sleepout–to give power-amped park officials a wider You-Tube audience for their “you’re homeless and can’t be here” activities. Homeless folks short of survival gear also appreciate donations.
TRASH PICK-UPS AND SERVICES FOR AN OAKLAND ENCAMPMENT
Citations, property confiscations, and move-alongs for the Santa Cruz homeless. While the Oakland City Council’s assistance to homeless encampments may be limited, it’s definite. They are still flying the fantasy that they’ll move even a small number into housing by the end of March, but as with most “plans to end homelessness”, most of the funding goes to the poverty pimps, consultants, talkers, and entrepreneurs.
Still even the limited start acknowledges that even the fearsome heroin-using population will serve by hook or crook. It’s better to acknowledge reality than to deny it. With all the Housing First! chatter of the last few years (indicating get housing before worrying about drug or alcohol use), perhaps it’s time for Encampments First!–in the absence of housing.
Though it’s the usual splashy in-your-face sensationalist “drug users” headlines, still there’s some interesting information at http://www.sfchronicle.com/
VOLUNTEERS WANTED TO EXAMINE PUBLIC RECORDS
After many months, the SCPD has finally agreed to cough up records that would clarify the breadth of class profiling, discrimination, and impact that cops have had on the poor outside. It would also make clear the extent of racial profiling–where and if that is happening. Poring over the citations requires a commitment of time and energy in the bowels of the police station. HUFF (Homeless United for Friendship & Freedom) is on the lookout for volunteers. Call 423-4833; come to the HUFF Wednesday 11 AM meeting at the Sub Rosa Cafe at 703 Pacific, or e-mail rnorse3 [at] hotmail.com
FOR MORE INFORMATION AND COMMENTARY GO TO https://www.indybay.org/
Date Tuesday January 24
STEPPED UP PROTESTS IN RAINY WEATHER
Last week Food Not Bombs soupstirrer Keith McHenry and weary copwatcher “Push Back” Pat Colby reported repeated “wake up and get out” rousts by rangers and cops at Freedom SleepOut #80.
Dreamcatcher, a long-time Freedom Sleeper, reported Monday night that police told him he could sleep anywhere but at City Hall if he’d abandon his protest. This, and more property confiscation, led him to announce his departure from the protest.
Lawrence “the Viper”, on the other hand, while also reporting police theft today, insisted he’d be back to pitch his tent at Freedom SleepOut #81. His signature tent, sleeping bag, and blankets are reportedly in lockup at police HQ, perhaps to test his stamina against driving rain and near-freezing temperatures.
71-year-old Sharee—who said she slept on cardboard last week, also reported being driven out from under the protective corridors of City hall last week.
WHISPERS OF MORE PROMIENT PROTEST ACTION
Though some are skeptical, others suggest the massive Trump-activated protests may swell the ranks of local anti-poverty activists. One activists has spoken of moving the Freedom Sleepers down to a more prominent post on Pacific Avenue. Others have suggested making use of the heated City Hall buildings, wastefully empty at night. “Vacant Buildings are the Crime”, noted one.
Meanwhile it’s still hot soup Tuesday night, police harassment Wednesday morning, comforting coffee at breakfast time—all under the friendly drizzle of irregular showers. Who could ask for anything more? Bring tarps, blankets, sleeping bags, video devices, and high spirits.
TOO FRAIL, SICK OR SLEEPY TO JOIN THE PROTEST? THERE ARE OTHER ALTERNATIVES.
For those not eager to trek to the edge of town to seek a 4 PM place in the 110 person Winter Shelter program, “Big Drum” Brent Adams has announced a one-night Warming Center at the Red Church on Tuesday night.
With numbers somewhat diminished from 3 AM police roust-em-into-the-rain raids, the occasionally-open Warming Center, and the walk-to-the-outskirts-of-town-
PROTESTS AGAINST TRUMP
There are protests aplenty planned for the Trump Coronation coming up this weekend (elsewhere on this website). Missing however is any focus on halting repressive policies being pushed by both DemoRats and RepubliCons. These polices most obviously include continued warmongering, wealth privilege, police power, extensive deportations, and–most especially–attacks on the poor outside. In Santa Cruz neither Democrats, Republicans, or Greens in office have moved to stop criminalization of the homeless or acted to secure their most basic survival rights.
Between 4 PM and 5 PM Thursday January 19, Freedom Sleeper Pat Colby will be joining the 19th Annual Homelessness Marathon–which will stream on Free Radio Santa Cruz at http://www.freakradio.org or directly from their home website at http://news.
Tenant activists are planning a free meal and story-swaping session where you can ” meet other renters and learn about rights you have under state, county, and city law. Plus presentations on successful renter protection actions. Sunday at 1:30 PM – 4:30 PM at 517B Mission Street. No landlords or property managers invited!
First They Came for the Homeless Encampment in Berkeley In 16th Move: Interview with activists Mike Lee and Sara Menefee at http://radiolibre.org/brb/
A new vigil at SF City Hall and a 24-Hour vigil for the recently-dead Homeless by Homeless and Activists rather than the Traditional Annual Mourn-Today-and-Watch-’em-Die-
In Salinas the Monterey County Union of the Homeless huddled for its 1st Anniversary Strategy Session yesterday. See http://www.thecalifornian.com/
In Sacramento, city bosses respond to pressure from media and activists to open winter refuge from the storms: See https://www.newsreview.com/