Tonight 7-19-18 at 6 PM Bathrobespierre’s Broadsides on Free Radio Santa Cruz at 101.3 FM, Reports from Amber of Berkeley, Seniors at Louden Nelson–the Battle for Open Bathrooms–and Brent Adams’ Survival-Storage Update

  • Update from Berkeley:  Amber Whitson Holding Ground in Berkeley for RV Dwellers
  • Lavatory-Challenged Seniors and Locals  Larry, Beverly, and Carrie Ann Give the Bathroom Blues at the Tuesday “Open the Bathrooms” Tabling at Louden Nelson.
  • Brent Adams on the Storage Struggle and Other Homeless Updates
  • Sacramento Court Throws Out The Anti-Panhandling Ordinance
  • Interviews and Music from Laurel Park Protest Petitioning for Reopening of the Louden Nelson Bathrooms

The show will archive in the near future under Lost Shows on the HUFF website at http://www.huffsantacruz.org/Lostshows.html.  
Look for Latest Show – 7/12/2018  Thursday, July 19, 2018 – Bathrobespierre’s Broadsides.

Pee & Poo Protest: Reopen Essential Bathrooms for the Public and the Poor : Tuesday, July 17 1:30 PM Louden Nelson Center/Laurel Park

While San Lorenzo Park bathrooms have finally been opened after sustained protest, Louden Nelson bathrooms remain closed to the poor unless they can prove to the satisfaction of the staff there that they are “part of a program” there–something that has never been required in the decades long history of the Center.

Alarmed visitors have suggested this results in discriminatory action against poor people, particularly impacting the most needy–those outside without shelter, the disabled, and the elderly.

The closure prompted the local ACLU (never the most forthcoming in opposing anti-homeless measures) to publicly denounce the bathroom and other recently-instituted abusive policies there (like the iron fence, new “unattended property” rules, and roaming “security” guards). And to move its meetings to the Resource Center for Nonviolence.

See “ACLU Statement of Opposition to Anti-Homeless Measures at Louden Nelson Center and Park” at https://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2018/06/09/18815564.php

Absurdly and abusively, an elderly woman forced to pee outside because denied access prompted six police officers to arrive.

See http://www.santacruzsentinel.com/social-affairs/20180530/louden-nelson-center-another-santa-cruz-public-bathroom-under-lock.

(For those unable to access this article, see the comment following this story for its full text.) Go to https://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2018/07/14/18816456.php?show_comments=1#18816457 .

HUFF (Homeless United for Friendship and Freedom) voted to begin tabling at Louden Nelson to maintain the focus on the original focus of Conscience and Action’s first series of protests.

Our goal: to sample public opinion, determine Louden Nelson exclusionary policy in action, gather signatures opposing the closing of the Louden Nelson bathrooms, and alert the community to the situation and possible alternative solutions…

We’ll be tabling at 1:30 PM Tuesday July 17th in back of the Louden Nelson Center (and registering voters as well). Anyone interested can join us.

Recently, after four delays, Parks and Recreation finally forwarded a mass of e-mails, which I’m beginning to go through to determine what the justification (other than prejudice and gentrification) is for closing the bathrooms.

Folks who want to check through these documents on their own can go to https://cityofsantacruz.sharefile.com/share/view/1751d6623671456d
http://huffsantacruz.org

Santa Cruz City Manager Refuses to Reopen Louden Nelson/San Lorenzo Park Bathrooms

Closed as part of a broader campaign targeting unhoused folks outside, the bathrooms at Louden Nelson Center, San Lorenzo Park, and City Hall remained locked and/or closed to the general public. City Manager Martin Bernal ducked an invitation to explain at a gathering a week ago. He then met the next day with Conscience-and-Action [C&A] activists and rejected suggestions to reopen the bathrooms or immediately provide additional accessible portapotties.
BUREAUCRATIC BARRICADING AT ONE PROTEST LED TO ANOTHER
Confronted with an earlier protest outside her office three weeks ago, Carol Scurich, interim Director of Parks and Recreation, rejected demands to reopen the Louden Nelson bathrooms. She promised to provide full documentation justifying the closings (vandalism, drug use, “offensive behavior”). Weeks later, she, her underlings, and her superiors had still not provided that documentation.

In response, C & A activists showed up with food, placards, literature, and chants at City Hall at high noon on Thursday, June 28th.

LOW BLOWS BY THE LOUDEN NELSON LAVATORY LORDS
Louden Nelson supervisors have not only closed its bathrooms to anyone not using its “programs” but instituted a detailed set of rules for its premises, which it now terms “a cafe”. These include proper “personal hygiene, attire, and food consumption” and a ban against “leaving personal property unattended”. In addition, uniformed Ranger and 1st Alarm security thugs now patrol the area, and the entire adjacent park is fenced off.

All of this has been done with no public or community process.

On June 29th at an hour long meeting, C & A activists asked Bernal what damage or other problems prompted the closing of six restrooms. Bernal told us he would “look into” the matter, consider opening up more portapotties, a list of reasons why the bathrooms were closed, and several other vague prospects. But he did not mention that he was leaving the next day on a vacation. Meanwhile, City officials delayed any final action on a Public Records Act seeking the chronology of incidents and decisions around the bathroom closures. The request was made over a month ago and has now been delayed three times.

THE BATHROOM BACKGROUND
Visitor’s bathrooms at Cafe Gratitude and Pizza My Heart, previously funded by the city and open to the public, are now open only to customers with a discouraging sign on the door prominently displayed. Only Bookshop Santa Cruz, Main Public Library, Metro Transit Center, the Locust and Soquel St. Garages have bathroom access and only during the day for the general public. Two portapotties on Cedar St., and one at Laurel and Front allow for 24 hour use, but are not available to many disabled people. Those using them have complained they are dirty, ill-lit, and frequently locked.

In possible response to recent outrage over the closures, city workers have unlocked the two portapotties previously open only after 10 PM on Cedar St..

PROTEST MESSAGES
The late June “Less Crap, More Crappers” protest drew 15-20 members, sporting signs reading “Right to Pee”, “Open the Damn Bathrooms” “If Not Here, then Where?”, “Toilet Liberator”, “Pay Taxes–Hold Your Pee”, and the brief but succinct “Enough Crap!”

COMMUNITY REPORTS
A number of speakers, many of them homeless, described the humiliating and unsanitary conditions created by the closed bathrooms and locked portapotties. Suggestions ranged from applying for the currently vacant permanent Director of Parks and Rec position, to the more radical idea of presenting staff with human waste cleaned up outside the locked facilities to document the extent of the problem.

Much of protest was captured on a video made by visiting Salinas homeless advocate Wes White at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NK7GJ44upIs&feature=youtu.be

Louden Nelson bathrooms remained closed to the general public; San Lorenzo Park bathrooms remain closed and locked to everyone. Portapotties and handwashing …

CITY ADMINISTRATOR BLOCKS BATHROOM USE FOR DISABLED WOMAN
Acting City Administrator/Clerk Bush herself provided sharp focus on the “no bathrooms for the homeless here” policy at City Hall. Several protesters noticed the City Hall Women’s bathroom was open instead of being locked as it had since the Freedom Sleeper protests began in mid-2015.

Pleased to see the City Hall authorities responding uncharacteristically to the obvious needs, I then asked Bush to open Men’s bathroom as well. She archly refused then quickly moved to close the women’s bathroom as well. Though the staff has its own bathrooms inside the building as well, Bush and her worker Anna Brooks added insult to injury. Minutes later they refused to allow a disabled woman access to either the privileged staff bathroom inside the Council offices or the previously public bathroom outside Council chambers. Instead Brooks handed Norse a “helpful” list of open-during-the-day bathrooms blocks away elsewhere in the City. The library’s bathroom across the street was reportedly closed.

POLICE BACK UP BATHROOM BLOCKADE
When a group of people demanded to know the reasons for this discriminatory behavior (against the homeless, the disabled, and the general public), Bush summoned the police. Four cops headed by Sgt. Mark Eveleth appeared in full uniform and weaponry. Eveleth threatened, coaxed, and herded the group outside with his four “back-up” officers standing behind him. When asked, Eveleth declined to offer any assistance in dealing with stressed bladders or irritated colons, instead stating falsely that the same Bush, who had ordered the Women’s bathroom locked minutes before, “had no key”..

NEXT DAY’S MEETING FUTILE
The subsequent meeting with Bathroom Boss Bernal resulted in lots of smooth ducking and weaving, but no commitment to do anything definite other than “look into” providing more of the disabled inaccessible portapotties. Those interested in following the smelly dialogue can review the audio soon on “Latest Shows” under huffsantacruz.org (for July 1 and July 5).

KEEPING UP THE PRESSURE
Proposals at a recent meeting of the C&A group included tabling outside the scene of the criminal bathroom closures–the Louden Nelson Center. There HUFF activists hope to poll community members on their reaction to the “no poo for the poor” policy now in force. Tablers would also monitor and document discriminatory access to the bathrooms and provide an opportunity for folks to voice their views in petition and on the radio.

Contact HUFF at 831-423-4833 if you’re interested or e-mail at rnorse3 [at] hotmail.com.

HUFF’S VIEWS
The views expressed in this article are mine and do not necessarily represent those of others in Conscience and Action. However, the group is pretty much united in demanding that the closed bathrooms be reopened.

HUFF has for decades demanded more bathrooms be made available and began its own “Give a Shit” campaign a year ago protesting Bernal’s closure of the City Hall bathrooms in 2015 apparently designed to drive away the Freedom Sleepers and Survival Sleepers who gathered outside.

HUFF meets Wednesday July 11th at 11 AM at the Sub Rosa Cafe (703 Pacific) to discuss creative ways of raising a stink. Subsequent meetings: July 25, August 8. CONSCIENCE AND ACTION MEETS July 18 and August 1 at the same place

PREVIOUS STORIES
“Open the Bathrooms!” at https://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2018/06/26/18816025.php
“City of Santa Cruz Confiscates Food Not Bombs Portable Toilet” at https://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2018/06/18/18815755.php
“Conscience and Action Speak Out at Parks and Rec” at https://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2018/06/14/18815686.php
http://huffsantacruz.org

Speak Out to Bathroom Boss Bernal–Community to Confront City Manager 1 PM Thursday June 28th City Hall Courtyard

Open the Bathrooms!
Thursday June 28 1:00 PM3:00 PM
City Hall Courtyard  809 Center St.

BACKGROUND:

Louden Nelson bathrooms remained closed to the general public; San Lorenzo Park bathrooms remain closed and locked to everyone.

Portapotties and handwashing stations are no longer available in San Lorenzo Park as they were last fall.

The nighttime-only portapotty on Cedar St. is not disabled accessible.

City Hall bathrooms remain closed to the public except during public meetings, while staff has its own commodious bathrooms closed to the public.

Locust Street garage bathrooms have the exposed peek-a-boo spaces in the stalls that compromise the privacy and dignity of user. Staff and cafe patrons are given keys to the cleaner, more spacious, closed private bathroom nearby owned by the City.

The portapotty rented by Food Not Bombs two weeks ago for use as a 24-hour facility by the Community at the intersection of Front, Pacific, and Mission streets has been removed, apparently on orders of the City and not replaced.

No new Sharps containers have appeared in any bathrooms to deal with the problems of needle disposal.

Parks and Recreation boss Carol Scurich has not revealed any documents specifying the reasons, costs, and private discussions resulting in the closing of the Louden Nelson bathrooms to the general public in spite of promises to do so.

City Manager Martin Bernal is Scurich’s boss and has been invited to answer obvious questions about this public health and safety threat. It impacts the local elderly and disabled as well as tourists and the broader community. It also seemed to be part of a sustained and direct attack on unhoused people, scapegoating them in response to unsubstantiated fears by some pressure groups in the community.

THE PROTEST:

Come to the City Council Courtyard Fountain area at 1 PM Thursday June 28th to speak out on the issue, direct questions at Martin Bernal and other city officials.

Food and refreshments will likely be available as will music.

Be creative in your dress and accessories. Bring TP and other sanitary necessities.

The protest may involve a Downtown Toilet Tour as well, led by HUFF (Homeless United for Friendship and Freedom’s “Give a Shit” Committee).

Those unable to attend the protest can reach Martin Bernal at mbernal [at] cityofsantacruz.org . Carol Scurich is at cscurich [at] cityofsantacruz.org . The City Council’s e-mail is citycouncil [at] cityofsantacruz.org . Please cc Conscience and Action at rnorse3 [at] hotmail.com if you write.

Conscience and Action was formed as a tribute to long-time Sleeping Ban fighter David Silva who died last spring overseas.

More info at:

https://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2018/06/18/18815755.php (City of Santa Cruz Confiscates Food Not Bombs Portable Toilet)

The City of Santa Cruz confiscated the Food Not Bombs community funded portable toilet on Saturday, June 16. Access to public toilets is a human right. Every person deserves the dignity of relieving themselves in a private sanitary way.

https://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2018/06/14/18815686.php (Conscience and Action Speak Out at Parks and Rec)

A speak out and rally was held on Thursday, June 14 at noon protesting the closure by Santa Cruz Parks and Recreation Department of bathrooms at San Lorenzo Park and Louden Nelson Community Center. The action, attended by 23-30 concerned citizens, began at City Hall and moved to the Park and Rec …

https://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2018/06/13/18815669.php (Bathroom Baloney–Expanded Speech to City Council on its anti-homeless restrooms policies)’https://www.facebook.com/Downtown-Santa-Cruz-Bathroom-Task-Force-886531701404169/?hc_ref=ART4FlzjtK2pSeCMtZTxcYhhbQyvS8uvBWZ5qabsV_eoyxJFijDPccsJsS69t76b0FU&fref=nf (Downtown Santa Cruz Bathroom Task Force)

even_the_poor_need_to_poo_and_pee.pdf_600_.jpg

Download PDF (519.6kb)

Schedule Change: “Unlock the Bathrooms” flyering and tabling will start at 2:30 PM today at the Poor People’s Campaign at the Main Post Office

Conscience and Action  activists will be joining the Poor People’s Campaign rally at the main post office today in downtown Santa Cruz. 


This will be at 1 PM (not Noon as previously scheduled) to table, make signs, and distribute flyers. 


We are slated to speak between 2:30 PM and 3 PM when the main gathering begins.

For more details on the campaign  Unlock the Louden Nelson and San Lorenzo Park bathrooms, see “Conscience and Action Speak Out at Parks and Rec” at https://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2018/06/14/18815686.php

A speak out and rally was held on Thursday, June 14 at noon protesting the closure by Santa Cruz Parks and Recreation Department of bathrooms at San Lorenzo Park and Louden Nelson Community Center. The action, attended by 23-30 concerned citizens, began at City Hall and moved to the Park and Rec ..

 

City of Santa Cruz Confiscates Food Not Bombs Portable Toilet” at https://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2018/06/18/18815755.php?show_comments=1#18815828

The City of Santa Cruz confiscated the Food Not Bombs community funded portable toilet on Saturday, June 16. Access to public toilets is a human right. Every person deserves the dignity of relieving themselves in a private sanitary way.

Audio of the 6-14 protest can be found at http://huffsantacruz.org/lost/1%20FRSC%206-17-18.MP3 (1 hour and 9 minutes into the program) and http://huffsantacruz.org/lost/FRSC%206-21-18.mp3 (the first half of the show).

Protest to Cleanse a Constipated City Hall and a Speech About It: Protest noon June 14th 323 Church St.

I gave a shortened version of this speech to City Council Tuesday afternoon.

We will be gathering tomorrow (Thursday June 14th) at City Hall in the Courtyard to prepare signs to demand reopening of the public bathrooms throughout Santa Cruz.  The protest, organized by Conscience in Action  will gather in front of the Parks and Recreation Department at 323 Church St. at noon.  Sign-making begins in the City Hall courtyard at 11 AM.  HUFF plans a Tour of Shame.  Bring signs, costumes, noise makers, etc.

To restore the right to take a shit, we must give a shit!

See also https://www.facebook.com/events/221444365117802/

Comments and more info at:

https://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2018/06/13/18815669.php?show_comments=1#18815670

Less Crap, More Crappers—Restore Decency to Santa Cruz

Modified  & Extended Speech to Santa Cruz Community and Council  6-12-18 by Robert Norse

Lots of budget blathering, but no specifics on emergency shelter for those to be made internal refugees on June 30th when the Barbed Wire Boneyard Campground closes down, not to mention the many others being cited, harassed, and stripped of their property by cops, rangers, security thugs, and—no doubt—the return of the merchant private goon squad—the Hosts, slated to return in half a year.

Others have proposed the obvious—open the bathrooms to stop people from shitting and pissing all over town.   I see as part of the usual genteel masquerade, you’ve opened up the bathrooms outside City Council briefly for this meeting, so middle class people don’t have to do their business in their pants or on the ground—as you force those outside to do.

A hug and a handshake to activist Ed Frey who provided a nighttime portapotty for the PeaceCamp 2010 Sleeping Ban protesters in front of the County Building more than three months.

… to the many Occupy Santa Cruz activists in 2011 whose San Lorenzo Campground provided shelter and facilities to several hundred at the same time Mayor Coonerty’s Council refused to keep the Park’s bathrooms open at night.

…to the 2015 Freedom Sleepers who brought  a portapotty to City

Hall when City Manager Martin Bernal shut down the bathrooms there to “discourage” the protesters.

…to Bathroom Task Force Activist Brent Adams who has constantly worked to provide sometime emergency facilities for a warming center at night, a newly-opened 24-hour homeless storage program, cleaner portapotties, and video documentation of the City’s dubious doodoo doings.

…to former Councilmembers Posner and Comstock—who opened up—however briefly and in spite of staff obstruction an overnight restroom (Soquel-Front garage) & a still surviving 24-hour portapotty (Laurel and Front).

…even an acknowledgment to former Parks and Rec boss, Mauro Garcia—who addressed the Hepatitis A epidemic.  He set up portapotties and wash stations along the San Lorenzo walkway during the campground last fall.  Outrageously, they are all gone now and the regular Park  bathroom there locked. 

…plus particularly honorable mention to Zav Hershfield, Pat Colby, and others who unsuccessfully tried to talk reason to City Council with their “Give a Shit” campaign last year trying to restore City Hall bathroom access.

But many bathrooms remain closed during the day, and all are closed at night.

Those of you who are tired of this crappy situation are of course welcome to help Conscience in Action.  That’s the Coalition offering ideas, suggestions, and impromptu assistance to those trying to hold their bowels and their water.  I’ll be joining them Thursday at noon across the street in front of the P & R Dept.at 323 Church St. in search of public restrooms.

How explicit do we have to be to shame the shameless politicians and staff?   I don’t know.  Do we have to bring breathing gear and bags of poop to the next Council meeting?

(Mayor David Terrazas has regularly cut back public speaking time during Oral Communications from three minutes to two minutes.  Much of this speech was not given because of Terrazas arbitrarily imposed a 90 second limit on each speaker, violating promises given. He also made a dozen or more people wait 45 minutes beyond the scheduled time to speak—and then announcing the shortened time.)

More info  HUFF (Homeless United for Friendship & Freedom) 831-423-4833 www.huffsantacruz.org 309 Cedar PMB #14B  Santa Cruz  6-13-18

 

 

 

Emergency Meeting–OUTSIDE THE SUB ROSA TODAY on Pacific Ave noon Today April 14 NO WAR ON HOMELESS, NO WAR ON SYRIA !

THE ISSUES

  • Trump has escalated Obama’s War on Syria with multiple rocket strikes last night.  With few exception, there is no indication Democratic or Republican politicians have any serious objections to the “more foreign wars” policy.
  • This war affects everyone, but disproportionately the poor of Santa Cruz and Syria.
  • No one is safe from the Foreign War machine operating out of Washington, D.C. which has continued and expanded wars for decades.   Time to say, NO.
  • A houseless disabled elderly woman called HUFF an hour ago, calling for a protest tonight.
  • The Winter Shelter program ended its 100+ spaces for the homeless last night.  Local homeless people are calling for an alternate shelter/protest program tonight.
  • While Police Chief Andy Mills has suspended Sleeping Ban enforcement, survival camps are being swept away, Stay-Away orders regularly issued in parks at night, and other “trespass on public property” citations are being issued regularly.
  • There is no shelter for the 1000-2000 outside other than the full River St. Campground, the full Association of Faith Communities 20-person program, and the “no room without a ‘pathway to housing’” policy of the Homeless (Lack of) Services Center.


  • HUFF (Homeless United for Friendship and Freedom)  will discuss a resumption of the Vigil Against Two Wars, which the group as done in the past.

Meet outside the Sub Rosa Cafe at 703 Pacific Ave. in Santa Cruz at noon today to discuss a response.

The Sub Rosa is also the site of the Really Free Market today and we may be able to meet indoors.  the weather is expected to be cool to temperate.  Coffee may be available.

For more visual info, go to https://www.facebook.com/HomelessOutsideSantaCruz/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=czrBJkSE2z4&t=9s

Free Radio Santa Cruz will be covering these issues in a pre-recorded show Sunday morning 9:30 AM for several hours afterwards on Sunday, April 15th.

More info: call 831-423-4833.

Sunday 3-4-18 9:30 AM-2:30 PM Bathrobespierre’s Broadsides at 101.3 FM & freakradio.org: Flashback Free! All Current Calamaties with special focus on the Destruction of the San Lorenzo Benchlands Campground and the new Barbed-Wire Boneyard

Current Stuff:

  • Interviews aplenty from City Manager-created refugees on the last days of the San Lorenzo Campground
  • Big Drum Brent Adams on the Boneyard River St. Campground with additional remarks by employees there
  • First They Came For the Homeless self-run encampment activist Stacy on the Berkeley Alternative
  • “Push Back”  Pat Colby on the Santa Cruz Street Scene
  • L.A.’s Peggy Lee Kennedy on the Fight Against the Beach Curfew
  • Gloomy gobs of grim from the last City Council meeting
  • On-going updates and looks back from Food Not Bombs activist Keith McHenry

This show archives tomorrow or perhaps later today at http://www.huffsantacruz.org/Lostshows.html

Leave your comments and questions at 831-423-4833.

Contact 575-770-3377 to volunteer to help Santa Cruz Food Not Bombs locally through Facebook. Donate blankets tents, and tarps to folks directly on the street (80% of the homeless population) either directly or through the Warming Center Project  at 831-234-9848.

Check out Homeless Outside in Santa Cruz  on Facebook for grim details of the Boneyard River St. Campground.
HUFF (Homeless United for Friendship & Freedom) meets Wednesday 3-7-11 AM at the Sub Rosa Cafe (next to the Bike Church at 703 Pacific).  Coffee on the house.

Call 423-4833 to volunteer for or learn more about civil rights work on homeless civil rights issues.