Crackdown at the City Council Sidewalk and Interview with Mayor Chase 6 – 8 PM Free Radio 5-18 (tonight!) at 101.3 FM; At City Hall: Emergency Defense Meeting at 6 PM for Freedom & Survival Sleepers

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.

Tonight’s show also streams at www.freakradio.organd archives at http://radiolibre.org/brb/brb170518.mp3

 

If you missed the Sunday show, it ran too long for the normal archive (http://radiolibre.org/brb/brb170518.mp3 ).  To catch the full show go to http://huffsantacruz.org/lost/FRSC%205-14-17.MP3http://huffsantacruz.org/lost/FRSC%205-14-17%202.MP3 for six plus hours of mind-numbing sweet street chatter!  For Bathrobespierre’s Broadsides fans, other Lost shows (that missed the regular archives) can be found at http://www.huffsantacruz.org/Lostshows.html .

Emergency Freedom Sleepers Sleep Out Tonight

DateFriday May 12

Time6:00 PM6:00 AM 

Location Details 809 Center St. City Hall Courtyard and Sidewalk along Center St

Event Type Protest

Organizer/Author Keith McHenry (posting by Norse)

Email keith [at] foodnotbombs.net

Phone 575-770–3377 

PLEASE ATTEND !

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/photo.php?fbid=10155150021813820&set=a.489759988819.266614.691903819&type=3&theater

PLEASE JOIN US WITH VIDEO AND AUDIO EVEN IF YOU CAN’T STAY THE NIGHT!

Please contact Keith McHenry at 575-770-3377

Freedom SleepOut #85 To Face Wettest Winter and Squad Cars at Midnight?

 Date Tuesday February 21

Time 4:00 PM Tuesday9 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)

Email keith@foodnotbombs.net

Phone 575-770–3377

FIGHTING TRUMP EVERYWHERE BUT NOT LOCAL TRUMPISM IN SANTA CRUZ
Protests against Trump across the state and nation have failed so far to catalyze any local protests against Trumpism in Santa Cruz. Particularly concerning the most basic civil rights of our own refugees who face sweeps, property confiscations, harassment, and the nighttime Sleeping Ban–all measures designed to drive them out of town and out of sight.

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/newsitems/2017/02/18/18796619.php

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/photo.php?fbid=10154889337533820&set=pcb.10154889337793820&type=3&theater ).

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/cynthia-chase-support-the-right-of-food-not-bombs-to-share-free-food-info-and-ideas-in-public-spaces?

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/newsitems/2017/02/16/18796574.php?show_comments=1#18796616

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/newsitems/2017/02/20/18796677.php.

 

Valentine’s Day for Freedom SleepOut #84

 Date Tuesday February 14
Time 4:00 PM Tuesday10 AM Wednesday
Location Details Covering Up Warmly at City Hall 809 Center St or on the nearby steps, take your choice. The protest runs from Tuesday early afternoon to mid-morning Wednesday. Bring your sweetie to celebrate restoring civil rights for the rain-soaked renegades of Santa Cruz.
Event Type Protest
Organizer/Author Keith McHenry (story by Norse)
Email keith@foodnotbombs.net
Phone
575-770–3377

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-content/uploads/2017/02/sjm-meth-0210.jpg

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/2017/02/06/first-came-homeless-threatens-lawsuit-alleges-city-violated-constitutional-rights/ .

DILLYDALLYING FOR DOLLARS
Meanwhile as ACLU fund-raisers haul in heaps of money (https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2017/01/30/the-aclu-says-it-got-24-million-in-donations-this-weekend-six-times-its-yearly-average/), local ACLU activists give lip service but no organizing time to protecting homeless survival gear and ending the local “poverty deportations” that happen every night to those outside.

While NAACP, SCCCCR, and the ACLU dither, Black Lives Matter will be protesting in Capitola next Saturday (https://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2017/02/12/18796425.php ).

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.

Stormy Times for Freedom SleepOut #83

Date Tuesday February 7 to Wednesday February 8

Time 4:00 PM – 9:00 AM
Location Details Under tents, tarps, umbrellas, in the eaves of buildings, and in cars along the sidewalks of Santa Cruz City Hall (Public Assembly being forbidden on the City Hall grounds after 10 PM)
Event Type
Protest
Organizer/Author
Keith McHenry (story by Norse)
Email keith [at] foodnotbombs.net
Phone
575-770–3377

BACK AGAIN FOR THE 83rd TIME!
A group of unhoused folks, joined by several housed supporters, will gather again Tuesday afternoon for another night of sleeping-under-the-eaves of City Council buildings and then, after being rousted by police in the wee hours, tenting-on-the-wet-sidewalks.

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/brb170205.mp3 (Shnaper: 1 hour and 30 minutes into the audio file) (Zint: 3 hours and 13 minutes into the file)

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/newsitems/2017/02/06/18796226.php

 

Still Pushing On—Freedom Sleepers Back Again at City Hall Tuesday for 82nd Tuesday

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

Email keith [at] foodnotbombs.net

Phone 575-770–3377

 

DROP IN ON THE SHITTY COUNCIL
The new “people friendly” Councilmembers (Krohn and Brown) still decline to announce their office hours or meeting times. Niroyan, Terrazas, and Chase have responded–but only Chase has regular office hours (Monday 10-12:30 pm). The first two will meet “by appointment”; Chase suggests the same. It’s not clear if the real power in town, City Manager Martin Bernal, has “office hours” or will even agree to meet by appointment.

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/bayarea/article/Oakland-s-aid-to-homeless-camps-reveals-extent-10891626.php?cmpid=gatehp And a lesson there for Santa Cruz–both economic and moral.

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/newsitems/2017/01/30/18796033.php.

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.

Rain-Drenched and Dismissed by Mainstream Protest, Freedom Sleep #81 Won’t Quit

Date Tuesday January 24

Time 4:00 PM Tuesday9:00AM Wednesday
Location Details Expect light rain at City Hall where Freedom Sleepers will gather both under the eaves and later along the sidewalk after the likely midnight police raids driving them out to get drenched. Thousands of Women’s March protesters crowded the same area Sunday filled with righteous anti-Trump anger but visibly indifferent to City Council’s abuse of unhoused and unprotected women outside here. Denounce nationally. Ignore locally.
Event Type  Protest
Organizer/Author  Keith McHenry (story by Norse)
Email  keith [at] foodnotbombs.net
Phone  575-770–3377ANOTHER CONTENT-FREE COUNCIL CLUCK-A-THON
The 2:30 PM City Council agenda ignores homeless and housing issues as well as abusive police practices, local income equality, and discriminatory law creation and enforcement. Will bathrooms adjacent to the area likely to be locked early, facilitating staff smears of homeless folks as dirty and uncivilized in their toilet behavior? A safe bet.

Will Parks and Recreation boss Mauro Garcia’s department rope off large areas around the building to “ensure order” inside as was frequently the case last year? Perhaps not. Will the Freedom Sleepers again form their own community of mutual support, share food, and resist police harassment? Most likely.
RECORDS STILL BEING WITHHELD
Cops withheld records documenting their enforcement of homeless-hostile laws criminalizing homeless survival behavior for over a year. On Monday, the City Clerk released arrest and citation records, but removed all mention of race of address. This editing makes it impossible to document the specific selective harassment and heavy impact leveled against the poor outside. In prior years, close examination of the records has shown hundreds of $200 tickets being given out for such “crimes” as being in a park after “closing” or sleeping after 11 PM outside or in a vehicle. REPORTS FROM ELSEWHERE
Local Santa Cruz RV activist Julie, whose facebook page Santa Cruz Fulltimers carries updated stories of RV struggles, has posted stories of crackdowns in other cities. Will activists there use Coastal Commission requirements to fight back as we have done with some success in Santa Cruz? Hope so.San Rafael City and County play ping pong with homeless vehicle dwellers: http://www.marinij.com/government-and-politics/20160905/san-rafael-vehicle-dwellers-fight-parking-ban

Santa Barbara bumbuster bureaucrats convene to remove poor-in-RV’s from town:

http://www.noozhawk.com/article/santa_barbara_oversized_vehicles_enforcement_rv_parking

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.

Freedom SleepOut Enters Its 80th Week Challenging Trumpist Sleeping Ban Locally

Location Details Alongside City Hall across from the Main Library on Center St. In Vehicles, sleeping bags, and under tarps and tents. The protest runs from Tuesday afternoon to mid-morning Wednesday. Bring plenty of warm gear to use and to share. Hot soup and morning coffee are usually available.
Event Type
Protest
Organizer/Author
Keith McHenry (story by Norse)
Email keith [at] foodnotbombs.net
Phone
575-770–3377

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-to-get-sheltered-downtown Winter Shelter program, Freedom Sleepers continue their year and a half Tuesday night vigil.

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.

UPCOMING
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.homelessnessmarathon.org/2011/01/for-stations.html . More info at http://news.homelessnessmarathon.org/ . The entire broadcast runs from 4 PM to 8 PM.

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!

ELSEWHERE
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/brb170115.mp3 (1 hour and 14 minutes into the audio file)

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-Tomorrow Remembrance: https://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2017/01/15/18795366.php

In Salinas the Monterey County Union of the Homeless huddled for its 1st Anniversary Strategy Session yesterday. See http://www.thecalifornian.com/story/news/2017/01/16/homeless-advocates-invoke-mlk-spirit/96646004/

In Sacramento, city bosses respond to pressure from media and activists to open winter refuge from the storms: See https://www.newsreview.com/sacramento/storm-of-shame-social-media/content?oid=23337757

As Anger at the SCPD Rises, Freedom Sleepers Bed Down for Sidewalk Sleepout #68

Date Tuesday October 25

Time 2:30 PM Today- 9 AM Tomorrow

Location Details On the sidewalk outside the last pre-election City Council meeting in the wake of the SCPD’s Sean Arlt slaying, housed and unhoused folks are gathering again. The continuing target: the City’s anti-homeless 11 PM to 8:30 AM Sleeping Ban as a shelterless police-heavy winter looms. The safe-but-not-legal-sidewalk slumber event begins on Tuesday afternoon and goes through Wednesday morning.

Event Type Protest

Organizer/Author Keith McHenry (story by Norse)

Email keith [at] foodnotbombs.net

Phone 575-770–3377

 

While folks chow down, chatter, and prepare to bed down, the afternoon Santa Cruz City Council meeting has absolutely nothing on its agenda indicating any awareness of or concern for with the upcoming winter ordeal for unhoused folks.

And nothing on what some are calling the SCPD murder and cover-up of Sean Smith-Arlt Sunday before last when he was gunned down facing four police officers within 20 seconds for wielding a metal rake. Video and audio footage is still not being provided, nor the names of the killer(s).

Activists led by Abbi Samuels and Sherri Conable have called for a mass presence at 4 PM in front of City Hall to be followed by a public speak-out at 5 PM Oral Communications. Some have suggested that the real Speak-Out be outside when Mayor Mathews imposes her “two-minute” speaker limitation (within a total of half hour “allowed”). Repetitive staff presentations on agenda items may take up far more than half an hour.

QUESTIONS OUTSTANDING
Beyond who shot Arlt and where’s the video/audio, some activists have demanded restoration of a stronger Citizens Police Review Board process, the prior one dismantled by Mathews and others when they were on the Council in 2003. Unfortunately government run CPRB’s have been severely limited by the Officer’s “Bill of Rights” and the Copley court decision of 2006 shielding the militarized police departments of the state from public exposure. (See http://www.theinvestigativefund.org/investigations/1293/copley_v._account-ability/ ).

This has led one activist to suggest that private agencies need to take the lead in any “independent investigations” of police brutality and murder. More broadly, will the militarization of the Santa Cruz police continue to be fueled by acceptance of state and federal grants? Will the City Council keep up its refusal to require police accountability? Its current token review subcommittee is the Public Safety Committee, and its overseer–the $40,000-a-year no-info-to-the-public attorney Bob Aaronson.

A listing of this year’s fatal police shootings nationwide can be found at http://anthemrevolt.com/ . One activist has pointed out that police shootings nationally are usually 1 out of 17 of all fatal shootings. In Santa Cruz, it’s 1 out of 5 this year.


DISTURBING HOMELESS REPORTS
Meanwhile one homeless man reported his arm broken by SCPD in the midst of an arrest; another woman is going to court tomorrow to fight a year old “Resisting Arrest” charge; friends of a third fear she faces loss of her service dog as part of the “Homeless Mistreat Dogs” movement that seems to have become more overt in the past few months. More on this at the HUFF (Homeless United for Friendship & Freedom) meeting on Wednesday October 26 11 AM Sub Rosa Cafe).

SILENCE ON LOCAL SURVEILLANCE
Both the SCPD and the ACLU seem to have had little to say about surveillance devices funded by government money in Santa Cruz that look out and video record public places. A Public Records Act request for a listing of these places was initially met with the ridiculous claim that no such records exist. A second request was met with delay until mid-November–well after last night’s ACLU Surveillance Forum.

This forum, of course, reportedly had little mention of the current police surveillance–how extensive it was, how long the records are retained, whether the public has access to them. Nor has the local ACLU shown any concern about this issue (nor about homeless issues generally unless pushed to the wall by unhoused folks and activists).

OUTSTANDING QUESTIONS
Where are the SCPD audio and video tapes? What will folks do to demand their return?

How about a video-in at the police station with person after person walking up to request they be made public?
(A sign in the police lobby bans video or audio recording, something also posted in other city offices. But since there is no expectation of privacy in public places and since these so-called “public servants” are supposed to be accountable to the public, this is a complete (if often effective) bluff.

Will the public move beyond a ceremonial mourning session at the Town Clock on Sunday and a polite “stand-in-line-and-then-go-home” protest at City Council today at 5 PM?

What next public pressuring event is planned by those outraged by this latest killing (and the SCPD’s shoot-to-kill training and practice)? Or will the good liberals all trek home after a token showing today as they did when the BeatCat was slipped by the public?

HUFF will be grumbling about this issue over coffee tomorrow, as mentioned above.

This is the last Council meeting before the November 8th vote deadline when voters will decide whether to return Mayor Mathews and her slate of police apologists to office.

Organizing a demonstration /homeless mayor

Freedom SleepOut #65 on Eve of ACLU Forum,
Follows Salinas Shutdown of Flagpole Community
Date Tuesday October 04 Time 5:00 PM – 5:00 PM
Location Details At the center of City Government–where peaceful protest is only allowed before 10 PM–when peaceful assembly becomes illegal on the City Hall grounds. Folks then assemble with sleeping gear on the sidewalk at the entranceway across from the main library on Center St. between Locust and Church. It goes from late afternoon Tuesday to mid-morning Wednesday.
Event Type Protest Organizer/AuthorKeith McHenry (story by Norse)
RELENTLESS PERSISTENCE
Building on more than a year of weekly defiance to the gentrification Sleeping Ban law, Freedom Sleepers and well wishers will again gather to create a Safe Sidewalk Sleeping zone for the houseless community October 4th.

Activists elsewhere credit the Santa Cruz Freedom SleepOut’s with inspiring both Berkeley’s “First They Came for the Homeless” protest encampment at their Old City Hall last winter and Salinas’s six-month long nightly Flagpole Community at Salinas City Hall.

The latter ended Saturday night as Salinas police threatened enforcement of a new harsh anti-sleeping law passed by City Council there on September 20th. (See Final Rally at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nuNxm1BliuY and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EbVOuvpnk-I .

Flagpole freedom fighter Wes White says he’ll be continuing the fight in the courts, on the street, and in the upcoming election campaign where he is running for Salinas City Council.

FREE SPEECH FREEZEOUT
Last week, the Mayor Cynthia Mathews, defying the Brown (Public Meetings) Act, moved Oral Communications from its printed agenda time at 5 PM nearly two hours ahead shutting out half a dozen would-be speakers. With no indication of this radical shift on the printed agenda, the cranky queen of cutback ended the meeting at mid-afternoon, ignoring tenants rights, homeless suffering, and other outstanding issues that are not acknowledged, must less debated at the City Council Talk Shop.

The previous City Council practice was to hold the token speaking time for the public at or after 5 PM. If Council business were concluded before that time, the Council would recess and return. Not under Mayor “Two Minute” Mathews (so called because she has regularly cut back public comment, even when no other items were pressing and few speakers were in line).

There’s no meeting of the Shitty Council this week (though the public bathrooms at City Hall will presumably continue to be closed “for repairs” or “because of vandalism”).

AN ACTIVIST SPEAKS OUT
Santa Cruz Bus Rider’s Association Founder and Freedom Sleeper Supporter Elise Casby wrote: “Last Tuesday, I went to view the agenda for the day, which is usually posted up next to the public council chambers in glass cases. The doors to the chambers were locked, and there were two (2) notes taped up on the door. Both notices announced that the council had more or less done away with any way to participate that day. Oops.

On the notes taped up to the locked doors, in the city council chamber room where I thought an actual City Council meeting would be taking place at that time, there was something stated about an agenda item that had been pulled at the behest of a certain citizen. There was something else stated about the fact that the council would be having a closed session somewhere- in a different part of the city. There was a little more, but in truth, this was a very problematic move by Santa Cruz City Council and possibly the city attorney, and most of all, for all of us citizens.

EX-PATRIOT FREEDOM SLEEPER ANNOUNCES BOOK
Curbhugger Chris Doyen, a tireless and articulate media activist who led the 2010 PeaceCamp protest at the County Building and City Hall, has announced a new book (https://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2016/09/29/18791787.php) on his work with Anonymous.

Now going by the nomme de guerre of Commander X, Curbhugger provided a storm of media for the 3-month long protest against the Sleeping Ban that apparently forced the City Attorney and his yes-men on City Council to pass MC 6.36.055 which required dismissal of all Camping Ban tickets if victims were on the River St. Shelter or Paul Lee Loft waiting lists.

The Homeless (Lack of) Services Center Phil Kramer and the HLOSC Board have narrowed the Paul Lee loft entrance criteria to having a “pathway to housing”. This requires participants to have government or private income; additional “don’t enable the homeless” policies ban folks outside without funds from the meals during the day. The River St. Shelter under Monica Martinez’s Encompass program still “allows” phone sign-up and confirmation at 459-6644.

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