Fighting the Sleeping Ban–in the past, present, and future–in Santa Cruz


NOTE BY NORSE:  Tomorrow Free Radio Santa Cruz will be broadcasting at 101.3 (and streaming at an older debate between former Mayor Mike Rotkin and attorney/activist Ed Frey on the Sleeping Ban (MC 6.36.010a)–the law that makes it illegal to sleep on all public and most private property between 11 PM and 8:30 AM.   Ed Frey (with the assistance of HUFF) initiated PeaceCamp2010 on July 4, 2010, five years ago to the day when the Freedom Sleepers began their weekly protests at City Hall.    If you missed the broadcast/stream (or it didn’t get broadcast for some reason–we still don’t have a studio), go to and spin ahead 2 hours and 36 minutes into the audio file.

PC 2010 was the 3 month long struggle 5 years ago that successfully created the MC 6.36.055 “nullification” provision of the Camping Ordinance.   This provision supposedly requires dismissal of all MC 6.36 (camping) tickets if a person is on the waiting list of Homeless (Lack of) Services Center’s Paul Lee Loft and/or that of the Encompass River St. Shelter,.  There is no more waiting list at Paul Lee.  However River St.’s list can be accessed 24-hours a day at 459-6644, though much of the time it’s an answering machine. However, at least yesterday when one Freedom Sleeper called in to put his name on the Waiting List (so as to get tickets dismissed short of court by the City Attorney), he received a call back confirming he was on the list.  So encourage homeless friends to call up and get on the list.

So far mostly MC 13.04.011 (being on the City Hall grounds after 10 PM) have been given out to those daring to exercise their right of peaceful petition and protest there at night.  The strategy being used by many Freedom Sleepers is to be on the sidewalks with bags laid out after 10 PM–where for the last month they’ve faced bright klieg lights powered by noisy diesel engines, and–one one occasion–rousting by police “for sidewalk cleaning”.  However we’ve generally found no actual camping tickets issued there on Tuesday night, so Freedom Sleepers has decided to declare the area a provisional Safe Sleeping Zone–especially during the day.  It is generally legal to sleep on public property–particularly parks and City Hall grounds–during the day (8:30 AM to 11 PM), though abusive First Alarm Security guards, paid by the City, are rousting people there [See “Waking the Freedom Sleepers” at  for photos of the 11th SleepOut on 9-22, and “Activists hold ground at city hall for 11th week in a row” at

Brent Adams has posted a brief video of pre-protest harassment right before Freedom SleepOut #12 on 9-29  at   Steve Pleich has posted a photo or three of SleepOut #12 at .     Sleep Out #13 is coming up–as noted by the generic but dutiful calendar posting at

Title: Freedom Sleepers 13th Community Sleepout
START DATE: Tuesday October 06
TIME: 5:00 PM – 5:00 AM
Location Details:
Santa Cruz City Hall
809 Center Street
Santa Cruz, CA
Event Type: Other
Contact Name Steve Pleich
Email Address spleich [at]
Phone Number 831-466-6078
Lucky Thirteen!

Join us for our 13th Community Sleepout!

To protest the criminalization of people experiencing homelessness and to work toward the repeal of the camping and sleeping bans!

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

5:00pm – Sleepout begins
6:00pm – General Assembly
9:00pm – snacks & sandwiches
10:00pm – set up camp and sleep
7:30am – breakfast


Authorities continue to harass and cite members of the Santa Cruz unhoused community with citations.

This is happening even though there is no emergency walk-in shelter for the city’s 1500-2000 homeless; waiting lists are full and generally seem to require a “path to housing”, social worker, and/or disability check.


There will also be a set of proposed guidelines issued at the 6 PM General Assembly Tuesday, suggesting a “quiet for sleepers” and clean-up policy.

For articles about past sleepouts and the Freedom Sleepers go to

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Free Radio Santa Cruz Update

While Free Radio Santa Cruz is still on the stream and on the air, because we have lost our studio space and are still searching for another ($500 reward still!), we’ll be playing pre-recorded shows.  In my case, until I learn how to prepare shows via computer, these will be old Bathrobespierre’s Broadsides shows.

Thursday 10-1 the show will be a replay of an ancient 2004 show (selected somewhat randomly).  Specifically, the November 4th show of that year.  Which can also be heard at .

You can also hear a variety of shows (hundreds, in fact) by going to .

I’ll hope to be more selective until I can actually return to the air live or create and upload audio files that are more up-to-the-moment.  Patience, faithful listeners.

Offers of help are welcome.

Robert Norse

Future of Free Radio Santa Cruz’s Bathrobespierre’s Broadsides


Free Radio Santa Cruz, which carries my twice-weekly show Bathrobespierre’s Broadsides, is still broadcasting at 101.3 FM in Santa Cruz and

However we are not live because we haven’t found studio space.  There’s still a $500 reward for anyone who can find us a place that we negotiate a year’s lease on in the Santa Cruz area.  And our transmitter needs a space, since, as for the last few years, it’s at a foreclosed location and may be forced to close down any time with only a week or two notice.

Older shows (hundreds of them) are available for addicts at   Real old shows can be found at for all you old oldtimers.  Most of the shows at both sites lack descriptions, so you’ll have to spin through the audio files to find the content.  Those that have them are at .

Today’s show will air at the usual time (and hopefully Sunday’s too), but it will be a repeat of last week’s (or an older show).  I  haven’t yet mastered the technical expertise to post my own shows to the FRSC server, but hope to learn soon.

Much thanks to all you listeners out there over the years (and hopefully in future years).

For those who have questions, show ideas, events to announce, or reports from the street–call me at 831-423-4833 or e-mail me at .

Robert Norse

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