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.

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