Indybay Story with Flyer On Upcoming “Save the Ross Campground” Events

Save the Ross Campground
by Robert Norse & Keith McHenry (rnorse3 [at] hotmail.com)
Monday Feb 18th, 2019 5:23 PM

The Heroes encampment behind the Gateway-Ross area is under threat of “abatement” according to resolution passed at the 2-12-19 S.C. City Council. The flyer here describes some actions discussed by HUFF (Homeless United for Friendship & Freedom).
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Download PDF (329.1KB)
Recently Chief Andy Mills of the SCPD visited Ross Camp and gave stern warnings to campers that they would all have to leave by March 15. Some would have to leave town and not return. No future encampments of this sort would be permitted.

Official-looking notices have already been posted (https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10156853392903820&set=a.489759988819&type=3&theater).

There are no clear records of any Ross campers being housed elsewhere as was supposedly offered by city bureaucrats Susie O’Hara and Tina Shull at Council on February 12th.

Nor do Ross campers feel they want to leave for the proposed waiting lists, night-time only shelter, and other inadequate alternatives being spoken about (though not actually offered).

One camp resident gave her chilling account of Mills’s threats at https://www.facebook.com/alicia.lusterkuhl/videos/2407437002622069/ with an additional short piece at https://www.facebook.com/alicia.lusterkuhl/videos/2407443555954747/.

The federal Miller v. Boise decision, whose precedent is applicable here, bars cities from enforcing laws that criminalize sleeping, camping, resting, or lying where they have no shelter comprehensive alternatives.

Conscience and Action and HUFF will be meeting Wednesday at the Sub Rosa Cafe at 703 Pacific next to the Bike Church 11 AM to 1 PM. Join us.

Broken Promises, Buses to Nowhere: the City Council’s Homeless Solution–the Nationwide “Homeless Bound” Scam

NOTES BY NORSE:   “Liberal” SCPD Chief Andy Mills showed up at the Ross Encampment last week around the time “Abatement” notices were being posted, to give warnings.
            If you live in distant towns, you will be given (one-way) tickets; if you live in outside Santa Cruz City Limits, you will be forced to leave; if you live in here, you will be evicted by March 15th.  You will never be allowed to form another Ross Camp style survival encampment again.   These were his words as remembered by Mama Shannon, a long-time homeless activist and resident of Ross Camp and as reported to me last night
            Thanks to the key vote that killed a proposal to restore last year’s rent freeze and just eviction protection law, hundreds of Ross camp residents are facing loss of their lodging, belongings, privacy, and safety.  New Councilmember Justin Cummings voted with the Mathews-Watkins majority  to back a slippery City-County plan to offers phantom floor spaces and uncertain prospects of future shelter.  Why?  A cosmetic cover for the joint City-County “eliminate the eyesore” Ross Camp which prompts anxiety from nearby housed residents and tourist-seeking businesses at the Gateway Plaza.
              Cummings made an apparent promise on February 12th that the announced “abatement” might be altered at the February 26th or March 12th Council meetings if it became (even more) obvious that there was insufficient shelter to meet the needs of the Ross residents.  However he also voted for the provision that allowed for closure notices to be posted immediately and has not responded to repeated requests tostop the forced eviction until real guarantees can be provided.
              Santa Cruz also uses the deceptively-termed “Homeward Bound” as part of its one-way-trip-to-nowhere plan to lawlessly deport homeless folks, often in collusion with law enforcement authorities, social service “providers”, business interests, and courts.  This provides the charade with both humanitarian and legal cover.  Last year’s Boise v. Martin decision makes laws that enable arresting homeless folks for sleeping, resting, sitting or lying likely unconstitutional here.
              The makeshift Ross Camp Community was created largely by the unhoused themselves. This was prompted in part by the shameless reduction in even token winter shelter space.  In part by city staff betraying promises to keep open the small and cramped River St. Camp until next April (while actually closing it in October=–thank you  City Manager Martin Bernal, Susie O-Hara and Tina Shull).  And partly by the inevitable explosion of the local homeless population as rents escalate, jobs disappear, and services shrink.
               Police and rangers may have had a plan to use the camp as a concentrating device.  Numerous survival sleepers report being (illegally) driven to the camp under (false) threat of arrest and property seizure.  However, once there, saner and more compassionate heads in the community began to provide food and shelter support.  The City and County were forced by the numbers to provide minimal portapotty, trash, and needle disposal services.
                Keith McHenry of Food Not Bombs announced a nonviolent direct action campaign to establish temporary survival campgrounds in downtown parking garages  (See “This is a Homeless Emergency” at https://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2019/02/15/18821195.php )
                 Tomorrow (Tuesday February 19th) is a Special City Council meeting behind held at the Harvey West Clubhouse  326 Evergreen St. at 9 AM where there will be a brief public comment period (http://scsire.cityofsantacruz.com/sirepub/mtgviewer.aspx?meetid=1230&doctype=AGENDA).
                   Wednesday Conscience and Action meets at 11 AM at the Sub Rosa Cafe followed by HUFF at noon to firm up strategies.  Councilmember Glover is reportedly going to be going to an open meeting that night at the Felton Community Hall  6191 Highway 9 in  Felton (6:30 – 8 PM)
                  The Guardian article below documents how widespread the homeless-dumping practice is throughout the U.S.  For more details, video, and commentary, go to https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/ng-interactive/2017/dec/20/bussed-out-america-moves-homeless-people-country-study .

Protest and Evening Battle Likely at City Council -Tuesday 2-12-19

NOTES BY NORSE:   This article by Councilmember Glover and attached commentary gives some important background on the evening session coming up at City Council for Tuesday night.  A speak-out and protest outside Council chambers will begin at 6:15 PM with food supplied by Jumbogumbo Joe Schultz of India Joze.
                 Originally, the protest was intended to focus on continued harassment by SCPD and P & R rangers harassing and citing homeless folks in public places, with some reports that folks living in their own camps were being driven to the Ross Camp.  Though the Ross Camp has been provided with some more (but still inadequate) facilities in the last month, it is still badly overcrowded and under severe pressure from raging neighbors.
                 In response, HUFF called for additional campgrounds, laundry and shower services, and the end to citations for being in a park after dark, reopening public bathrooms during the day and at night city-wide, and protecting the rights of those whose homes are their vehicles.
                 Councilmembers Glover and Krohn were rebuffed on rent control/just eviction and then by the City Manager and Mayor Watkins for not putting homelessness on the last January Council meeting.  In response, Glover mobilized his interns to propose 6 measures in consultation with homeless activists, and folks from Ross Camp and the RV community itemized in the PDF’s attached to his Indybay story  “The Fierce Urgency of Now”.
                  Glover and Krohn may have a 4-person majority on City Council not just to pass the homelessness resolutions, but also to rein in Mayor “One Minute” Martine Watkins censorship proclivities which were in full foul flower at the last Council meeting.  Speaking times were reduced to one minute, speakers were excluded, speakers were interrupted, and oral communications was crunched and contracted in her desire to “welcome” a foreign delegation from Japan.  There was little protest if any from the “Progressives” at the January meetings.
                   Unless members of the audience demand it vocally, there’s no guarantee we won’t see a repeat of this disgraceful performance on February 12th.  Folks need to come in numbers, ready to speak out, unroll sleeping bags, hold up signs, and stand their ground.
                    Note that there is no mention of rent control or just eviction, just a fig leaf proposal for yet another Task Force that will babble while tenants and their supporters get driven out of town.
                    Review Glover’s article and the attached documents.  Check also the “Flyer for 2-10-19 City Council Protest” which gives more details.
                    Come on down to City Council on Tuesday at 6:15 PM.  Form connections with folks at the Ross Campground.  Contact City Council by e-mail (citycouncil@cityofsantacruz.com )or phone (831-420-5020) .  And contact HUFF at 423-4833 or rnorse3@hotmail..com to be advised of upcoming flash protests and to resist the demolition of the Ross Campground.
The Fierce Urgency of Now
by Santa Cruz City Councilmember Drew Glover
Friday Feb 8th, 2019 10:45 PM
This Wednesday I went to the “Ross Camp” with some of the interns that work with me at the Resource Center for Nonviolence to get an update on the situation and to engage people in a conversation about poverty. As we arrived we met Mel Nunez, a dedicated advocate for the poor and representative from our local faith communities. [Photo: The view of the Ross Camp from the River Street side.]
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We joined him in passing out anti-microbial “Bombas” socks, fresh apples, salad greens, spinach and water. It was almost immediately after we arrived that people began to approach us expressing their need for food, materials and clothing…
Story continues at https://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2019/02/08/18821045.php and the comments that follow.

Vote for the Best Spot to Camp as City Council Abandons the Homeless Camp November 15th

Polling Folks Outside for November 15th
by Robert Norse (rnorse3 [at] hotmail.com)
Tuesday Nov 6th, 2018 9:06 AM
This poll was distributed yesterday at the Red Church meal and will be made available to unhoused (and housed) folks throughout the City to provide input for the march on November 15th to begin at the Town Clock and lead to a Campsite.
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Download PDF (663.7kb)

Download and Distribute

You may also e-mail your vote to rnorse3 [at] hotmail.com or leave it at the Food Not Bombs literature table Sat/Sun 4-6 PM just outside the main Post Office fence or at the Sub Rosa Cafe at 703 Pacific Ave. when it’s open.

More info at https://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2018/11/01/18818652.php (“More Fences, More Tickets, Less Winter Shelter, More Cruelty”)

Even more info: https://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2018/10/24/18818475.php (“Campground Crisis As Winter Approaches”)

§History of the Campground Controversy

by Robert Norse Tuesday Nov 6th, 2018 9:06 AM
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Download PDF (227.4kb)

A detailed account of the last year’s slitherings of the City Council and staff to present the illusion of shelter which actually covers only a small fraction of those outside in Santa Cruz. And even less this winter than last winter.
TO DOWNLOAD THESE FLYERS AND MAKE COMMENTS,

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.

HUFF in the Wilds: Special meeting 10:15 AM Wednesday 2-28-18 at San Lorenzo Benchlands Look for the Protest Signs

We will be moving from our usual Sub Rosa location next to the Bike Church to the San Lorenzo Benchlands as the City forces campers to leave.

  PLEASE COME DOWN TO SAN LORENZO PARK TODAY TO ASSIST FOLKS:

    •   Help document the mass deportation to nowhere with audio and camera
    •   Assist, if you wish, in helping move homeless gear
    •   Support the Warming Center, Food Not Bombs,  HUFF and other activists in documenting, providing resources, & publicizing the situation.
    •   Back up homeless efforts to organize either as in protest or to demand adequate and accessible facilities.
    •   Exchange information with other supporters there to generate more communication and better solutions in the future


    UP FOR DISCUSSION AS WE EYEBALL THE BENCHLAND EVICTIONS:

  • More Reports from Santa Ana Riverbed Encampment,
  • Communicating with Other Encampments to the North and South
  • Stories from the Street Around Us

 

Several Suggested Strategies for Those Left Outside

A double-sided flier I circulated today and will do again tomorrow, energy willing. The San Lorenzo Benchlands area contains scores of tents which now face eviction. The “humanitarian” cover for this removal operation is a $90,000/month fenced off area on the edge of town at 1220 River St. with unclear access policies and three levels of policing (internal hosts, First Alarm Security outside, and a nearby mobile Police Substation.

The deadline for eviction tomorrow, according to workers at the River St. campground, is 11 AM. While I found numerous City-funded workers helping move homeless property from San Lorenzo to River St. today, there is clearly no place for most homeless people in the City to go.

HUFF (Homeless United for Friendship & Freedom) activists will be down at the San Lorenzo Campground to observe and document the eviction of the poorest in our community 10:15 AM Wednesday 2-28.  Join us and post any video you take.
Read more and make comments at

https://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2018/02/27/18807021.php

Flyer is at https://www.indybay.org/uploads/2018/02/27/campground_evictions__side_one.pdf
and https://www.indybay.org/uploads/2018/02/27/campground_evictions_side_two.pdf

LAST DAY OF THE SAN LORENZO CAMPGROUND? COME DOWN TO DOCUMENT THE CREATION OF INTERNAL REFUGEES!

According to Channel 8, today, Tuesday February 27th, is the last day for survival campers in the San Lorenzo Benchlands.  


      The only immediate campground alternatives is a barbed wire-ringed fenced-off space at the edge of town at 1220 River St.  It looks to be 1/3 the size of the current San Lorenzo campground.   Homeless people are considered too dangerous to be able to walk to and from the campground, so those using it must be ferried to and from.  It is reportedly already almost completely filled.  It costs $90,000 a month–which is likely far     more than was spent on San Lorenzo, with only a fraction of its clients.  Homeless advocates and homeless people were not consulted in its creation.  Its existence seems more of a fluffy PR cover for the elimination of the San Lorenzo campground with no real alternatives..

       The other “shelter alternative” is the Winter Shelter program slated to end in mid April. It involves body searches, strict entering and leaving times, and other aspects that make it unsuitable for many outside.  It is current limited to around 110 people.  There are no plans for a summer shelter program other than the “have your ‘Path to Housing’ cash or vouchers” ready program of the Homeless (Lack of) Services Center.

        Given these sober facts, it’s nonsense to believe government claims that San Lorenzo campers are being given a real alternative –at least for most.  Much of the ballyhoo around these “shelter proposals” seems simply to be a way of dressing up mass eviction & possible crackdown city-wide.

        The San Lorenzo campground was initially created as a “toleration” zone given the Hepatitis A epidemic.  Won’t removing the campground recreate the bad conditions?


       PLEASE COME DOWN TO SAN LORENZO PARK TODAY TO ASSIST FOLKS.

  •   Help document the mass deportation to nowhere with audio and camera
  •   Assist, if you wish, in helping move homeless gear
  •   Support the Warming Center, Food Not Bombs,  HUFF and other activists in documenting, providing resources, & publicizing the situation.
  •   Back up homeless efforts to organize either as in protest or to demand adequate and accessible facilities.
  •   Exchange information with other supporters there to generate more communication and better solutions in the future.


This e-mail is from HUFF and does not necessarily represent the views of the Warming Center or Food Not Bombs
.

A LONGER E-MAIL WITH MORE DETAILS WILL FOLLOW

       PLEASE COME DOWN TO SAN LORENZO PARK TODAY 

    •   Help document the mass deportation to nowhere with audio and camera
  •   Assist, if you wish, in helping move homeless gear
  •   Support the Warming Center, Food Not Bombs,  HUFF and other activists in documenting, providing resources, & publicizing the situation.
  •   Back up homeless efforts to organize either as in protest or to demand adequate and accessible facilities.
  •   Exchange information with other supporters there to generate more communication and better solutions in the future.

This e-mail is the opinion of HUFF and does not necessarily represent the views of Food Not Bombs or the Warming Center.

Speaking Back to the Sentinel on the San Lorenzo Campground

A Response to Jessica York’s Latest Sentinel San Lorenzo Campground Story
by Robert Norse (rnorse3 [at] hotmail.com)
Saturday Feb 3rd, 2018 9:24 AM

TO LEAVE OR VIEW COMMENTS, GO TO: https://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2018/02/03/18806465.php

Jessica York’s front-page story in today’s Scent Anal “Camp Cleanups Shuffle City’s Homeless Population” breezes over the destruction of homeless property and survival gear. It does indicate that City bosses colluded with Cal-Trans in the latest “destroy their stuff” campaign. Those bosses, of course, would be City Manager Bernal, Police Chief Mills, P & R head Garcia, and nominally Mayor Terrazas). Perhaps it’s just raw meat for the Next Door/Take Back Santa Cruz crowd, but it’s criminal cruelty nonetheless.

Most of this was left as a Disquis comment to the article. I’ll also be covering some of this on my Sunday Free Radio Show at 101.3 FM at 9:30 AM (also freakradio.org) which archives at http://www.huffsantacruz.org/Lostshows.html .

Those who want to can leave comments on the Sentinel story at http://www.santacruzsentinel.com/social-affairs/20180202/camp-cleanups-shuffle-santa-cruzs-homeless-population-around-city.   Beware the bigot barrage likely to follow, since the Comment section is largely a Bigot’s Banquet.   I’m also reprinting the story below, since who wants to pay $1.50 to buy this rag, and it’s no longer free on line.

The “clean-up” was actually wholesale property removal that refused to provide temporary storage. Brent Adams mentions this and the prior “force the folks to move and dump the property that remains” process during the previous clean-up (but not during the first one). See https://www.facebook.com/Ho… .

The City’s ridiculous justification for this policy (some storage unclaimed in previous clean-up’s) reveals its real motivation. This is akin to the apparent agenda of most posters here–to thin out the homeless population by forced removal and property destruction. That should increase the homeless death rate, already high this last year.

York’s irrelevant inclusion of the storage problems of a camper not necessarily connected with San Lorenzo Park reveals her own bias, but also ironically is an example of the problem that many campers and the fearful residents who complain about then, have: storage.

This is a problem that Adams and the City arranged to deal with, but that storage agreement the City backed out on at the last minute, claiming it needed to “prepare” the ludicrously inadequate “Boneyard” barbed wire campground at 1220 River St.. This small space can house only a fraction of those at San Lorenzo (itself only a fraction of the homeless) and will require users being bused in and out twice a day to pander to the paranoia of businesses nearby.

Activists in the community need to consider providing trash pick-up’s and portapotty rental for the many existing campgrounds that reappear after every sweep. I also suggest better communications with the campgrounds in order to document that illegal property theft and destruction of survival gear that the City is colluding with Cal-Trans to do.

If they get hit in the pocketbook with some hefty lawsuits, like Fresno, perhaps we’ll see a little less city-funded theft (http://abc30.com/archive/61....

Camp cleanups shuffle Santa Cruz’s homeless population around city
By Jessica A. York, Santa Cruz Sentinel

http://www.santacruzsentinel.com/social-affairs/20180202/camp-cleanups-shuffle-santa-cruzs-homeless-population-around-city

SANTA CRUZ >> Santa Cruz’s homeless population was put on the move this week, as separate encampment cleanups around the city coincided.

Santa Cruz Police Deputy Chief Rick Martinez told the city Public Safety Committee on Monday to expect Caltrans cleanups along Highway 1 to have rippling impacts throughout the rest of the city, relocating the city’s homeless to parks and open spaces, downtown and the neighborhoods.

“Hopefully we can find that magical place called ‘somewhere else’ where those can receive a system of care and get them off the streets,” Martinez said. He said “hundreds of people” were residing along Highway 1, past the bypass to Santa Cruz Memorial and uphill to Mission Street.

Caltrans crews began their Santa Cruz cleanup efforts on Jan. 26, said Caltrans District 5 spokeswoman Susana Cruz. Caltrans has targeted properties along Ocean Street, along the San Lorenzo River, Swift Street and Western Drive since then, she said. More cleanups are scheduled for Shaffer Road and Plymouth Street in coming weeks, Cruz said.

Martinez told the commission that Santa Cruz officials had asked Caltrans to address the growing number of encampments on their properties since October or November of last year.

“This has been going on for years,” Cruz said of Caltrans crews’ efforts to address trash buildup and homeless encampments in Santa Cruz. “They (Caltrans workers) do do this, but they have a list of work that they have to do, so every once in a while, they have to stop and just take care of the encampment thing, the homeless issue.”

Separately, residents of the city’s largest homeless encampment, comprised of 70 or more people in tents along the San Lorenzo Park benchlands, were temporarily evicted Tuesday evening through Thursday morning for a semi-regular city site cleanup effort. While past city camp cleanups have extended for only 24 hours, an extra half day was allotted this week due to the extended duration of time needed by campers to clear the area, city Parks and Recreation Director Mauro Garcia said.

By the conclusion of the cleanup Wednesday, city Public Works and Parks and Recreation workers had loaded some 2.6 tons of debris into a packer truck, Santa Cruz city spokeswoman Eileen Cross said. A 20-yard Dumpster on site has been averaging 2.5 to 3 tons of trash per pickup, for a cumulative 17.2 tons of trash collected since Oct. 30, Cross said.

Homelessness issues advocate Brent Adams has been posting videos of day-to-day experiences of people living at the benchlands through his Homeless Outside in Santa Cruz Facebook page. During this week’s camp clear-out, Adams spoke to several people who relocated to temporary camps near the Water Street Bridge.

When campers returned to the benchlands Thursday, they saw the nearly 60 outlined campsite spaces reduced by one space that had been damaged by a camper who dug deep trenches around and through their site, Garcia said. Though his department’s general rule has been to restrict one tent per campsite, city workers have been “flexible in enforcing this rule, depending on the situation.” Some campers have been allowed to set up secondary “E-Z Up” tent structures to extend their shelter space, Garcia said.

During the benchlands cleanup, the city dispensed with offering overnight storage space for campers’ possessions, an amenity officials had previously provided, because “several storage bins from previous cleanups have not been claimed,” Garcia said.

In a likely unrelated occurrence, storage-related issues came to a head for one man who told officials he had been evicted from an Eastside private storage space and then opted to store his possessions on Santa Cruz City Schools’ property at the Branciforte Small Schools campus Thursday and Friday.

Though an on-site school administrator was aware of the man’s actions and permitted it temporarily, his extended stay caught the attention of local residents and Santa Cruz police, said department spokeswoman Joyce Blaschke. The man was cited by police and his possessions picked up by a moving truck Friday afternoon, Blaschke said.

Impending Uprooting on San Lorenzo Campground?

Eviction Notice Posted for Santa Cruz Benchlands Hooverville
by Free Speech Matters   Sunday Nov 5th, 2017 11:40 AM

After being rousted from downtown Santa Cruz and given San Lorenzo Park, homeless people are being told to move again.
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The Hooverville-type camp on the benchlands in San Lorenzo Park now faces eviction. A notice was posted closing the park for “maintenance” on Thursday 9 November 2017.

Homeless people began occuping the benchlands after the Santa Cruz police vowed to “clean-up the downtown area”. When asked were they could go, the police told the homeless that they could go to San Lorenzo Park. Police Chief Andrew Mills declared, From the Clock Tower to Laurel Street, from Front to Center Streets, SCPD will spend the resources needed to ensure order. “

Now the City Parks Department says it is time to move along.

§Hooverville-type Camp Santa Cruz Park Benchlands

by Free Speech Matters Sunday Nov 5th, 2017 11:40 AM
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Homeless people moved here after being rousted from downtown

Gorillas in the Mist: Are the Goonsquads Coming?

by Robert Norse  Monday Nov 6th, 2017 4:18 AM


CAMOUFLAGE FOR ELIMINATION?
The danger that this is an eviction and not a one-day relocation for “park maintenance” is real.

It’s not really clear what kind of “maintenance” is required here. I’ve never heard of the park being closed totally to the public (other than the usual privatized-for-a-day financial scams) for this purpose.

I suppose it could be a genuine “clean up” operation since San Lorenzo hasn’t seen so massive a continuous occupation since the Occupy movement of Fall 2011.

However there’s been no reassurance (whatever weight that would really have) from Police Chief Andy Mills and Parks Czar Mauro Garcia–much less from the City Council–that the “maintenance” will be followed by restoration of the campground tolerance (and portapotty/washing station/trash pickup support).

So this could be a dress rehersal for an evict-and-deport operation timed to operate with the opening of (as usual very limited) Winter Shelter program on November 15th.

BERKELEY CRACKDOWN
This also comes at a time when Berkeley’s successful “Sanctuary Village” style encampment “Here…There” (earlier known as First they Came for the Homeless) was driven off last Saturday by BART goon squads after a peaceful period of ten months there with community support.

See “No Justice. Just Law. A Tale of Homelessness and Eviction.” at https://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2017/10/30/18804059.php, “Homeless Eviction Farewell Party to South Berkeley ” at https://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2017/11/02/18804141.php

The law, in its majestic equality, forbids rich and poor alike to sleep under bridges at HERE/THERE, beg in the streets or steal loaves of bread. Tomorrow morning …

See also http://www.berkeleydailyplanet.com/issue/2017-11-03/article/46218?headline=The-Poor-Tour-Hits-the-Road-Again–Carol-Denney,

On the upside, note the unusual order by the federal judge Alsop.

While denying the camp’s call for a stay of execution, he also demands of Berkeley and the campers that by late November they come up with “a practical plan for shelter for its homeless during the coming winter…. Do not simply recite the programs the City purports to offer, for they are admittedly insufficient. Submit a plan that will shelter substantially all of Berkeley’s homeless. ..Be specific. Name soccer fields and open spaces [that could be converted].. to tent cities.”

This is a rare call for information from an otherwise-hostile Federal judge (he denied the campers attempt to stop the BART demolition of the camp).

See http://www.berkeleydailyplanet.com/issue/2017-11-03/article/46206?headline=A-Judge-Allows-an-Eviction-but-Sends-a-Signal–Carol-Denney

ORGANIZING RESPONSE THERE BUT NOT HERE?
In Berkeley the Here…There camp had a history of being stalked and attacked by police agencies over a dozen times. http://www.berkeleyside.com/2016/12/21/berkeley-removes-homeless-camp-from-adeline-st-median/

The cat-and-mouse game between Berkeley and a homeless activist group continued early on Wednesday when city officials rousted about 25 people from their tents and …

City authorities finally realized–as Portland authorities did with the Dignity Camp that became Dignity Village in 2002–that they weren’t going to destroy the integrity and determination of the camp. So for ten months, they stopped the police raids, even yielding under pressure to allow a nearby portapotty to be set up.

Now displaced camp residents have already set up camp again at City Hall. See https://www.facebook.com/firsttheycameforthehomeless/ . The determination not to end the protest-and-survive camp has been renewed with community support.

First they came for the homeless. 4,194 likes · 430 talking about this. Action campaign for human rights.

CAN SANTA CRUZ RISE TO THE CHALLENGE?
In Santa Cruz, the same support kept the Freedom Sleepers going for 2 years until City Manager Martin Bernal unilaterally declared new “laws” banning constitutional protest there after dark.

Food Not Bombs, newly strengthened with volunteers, has brought food to the Freedom Sleeper encampment every Tuesday. Some activists there have discussed solidarity with the campers when the police come to remove the survival campers on (or before) November 9th.

Weekend warriors can e-mail Mills at amills [at] cityofsantacruz.com and Garcia at mgarcia [at] cityofsantacruz.com. Not to mention citycouncil [at] cityofsantacruz.com .

Of course, the more direct course is to go down to San Lorenzo Park and offer support and solidarity to the campers themselves.

Or contact Food not Bombs at the Santa Cruz Food Not Bombs facebook page. You can also reach HUFF at 831-423-4833.