Another new Bathrobespierre’s Broadsides 9:30 PM today 11-29


More from last week’s Freedom SleepOut #20 at City Hall, 12 Cops Descend to Force a Homeless Man Out Into the Rain,  Checking in with the Victim the Next Day,  plus Music, Interviews, and lots of Commentary.

Streams at  broadcasts at 101.3 FM  archives at

Call to add your thoughts to the next show at 831-423-4833 or respond by e-mail to

$500 reward to anyone who helps us find a local studio to lease (10′ X 10′ space either indoors or outdoors with electricity and internet access (bathroom availability would also be great).

Berkeley Activist Interview; Review of Freedom SleepOut #20 at City Council coming up 6 PM tonight on Free Radio Santa Cruz

101.3 FM on your radio dial or on your computer.   

The show also archives at

in case you miss it tonight.

Interviews, analysis, and even humor.  Tune in. 

E-mail your comments to

or give a call to 831-423-4833.


HUFF: Come in out of the Cold to Sub Rosa 11 AM Wednesday 11-25-15

Coffee and chat at HUFF tomorrow (11-25) as we view remains of the wreckage from City Council’s ‘decisions’ on the Warming Center, the “No Homeless RV’s law, and the aftermath of Freedom SleepOut #20.   Also on the agenda:  the California Rural Legal Assistance Lawsuit Against the Manteca Sleeping Ban; Berkeley’s Ongoing SleepOut Outside City Hall,  New Strategies of Survival and Resistance as Winter Descends…

Berkeley Battles While Santa Cruz Shivers


NOTE BY NORSE:   The Berkeley City Council passed its 1st reading of its latest merchant-generated anti-homeless laws early Wednesday morning over extensive opposition testimony.  The law faces a second and final reading at another City Council meeting. The majority reportedly also claimed the new “cram your possessions into 2′ X 2′ during the daytime on the public sidewalks or face a heavy fine” and other “homeless get gone” laws won’t  go into effect until storage spaces and accessible bathrooms are created.
  Santa Cruz has its own attack on RV residents coming up on November 24th as well as some reassuring noises from staff that they may be looking for Warming Center spaces as well as RV parking spaces for some lucky homeless folks.  To follow my thoughts on this, go to “Freedom SleepOut #20: City Council Chatters While Folks Freeze ” at .   Singer/writer Other-abled activist Daniel McMullan and Singer/satirist Carol Denney comment at length on the situation at and (in a day or two)  The full audio and video of the November 17 Berkeley City Council meeting can be found at–much of it filled with passionate and moving testimony to the deaf ears of the Council majority.    We’re likely to see something similar tonight in Santa Cruz (also archived at .    While politicos posture and preen outside, homeless folks will be setting up their safe sleeping zone (in the rain and cold) outside as Freedom Sleep #20 assembles.

November 18, 2015 11:45 ambyFrances Dinkelspiellu
At 10:30 pm, dozens of people were still lined up to address the city council about proposed homeless laws. The testimony went on until around midnight. Council adjourned at 12:40 a.m. Photo: Frances Dinkelspiel ear
At 10:30 pm on Tuesday, dozens of people were still lined up to address council about proposed street behavior laws. The meeting had begun at 7 p.m. Testimony went on until around midnight and council adjourned at 12:40 a.m. Wednesday. Photo: Frances Dinkelspiel

The Berkeley City Council passed a series of measures early Wednesday morning to address issues raised by the behavior of some members of the homeless population, including a new rule that will limit the amount of space on which people can spread their stuff on the sidewalk.
Under the new law — which won’t go into effect immediately — people on sidewalks or plazas will have to confine their belongings to a 2-by-2-foot area between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m. This does not include cushions or dogs.
To make this work, council pledged to provide convenient and secure storage bins in which homeless people can store their possessions. The new rules will kick in only after the city installs the bins. Berkeley has not yet determined where they might go and how many there will be, although there will be 50 to 100 to start.

Homeless advocates sleep in sleeping bags overnight in front of old City Hall to protest proposed measures which they say will make life more difficult for the homeless, in Berkeley, on Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2015. The temperature was to drop to 46 degrees Fahrenheit overnight. Photo: David Yee ©2015Homeless advocates slept in sleeping bags overnight on Monday Nov. 16 in front of old City Hall to protest proposed measures which they say will make life more difficult for the homeless, in Berkeley. Photo, taken early in the morning on Tuesday Nov. 17, by David Yee

The new laws also ban urinating and defecating in public and lying in planters or on their rims. People with shopping carts will only be allowed to leave them in one place for an hour at a time, from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m, among other regulations. The new laws are estimated to cost about $300,000 a year to implement. Council has not yet indicated from where the money will come.
To minimize the chance that homeless people will get a citation they can’t pay, and then see their fines escalate substantially, the council, on a suggestion made by Councilman Kriss Worthington, voted for the citations to be infractions, not misdemeanors. The city will also make sure there are bathrooms downtown that are open 24 hours a day, an option not currently available, according to many who testified Tuesday night. The city will also strive to provide public showers.

Read more coverage of homelessness in Berkeley.

Council members Linda Maio, Lori Droste and Laurie Capitelli, as well as Mayor Tom Bates, co-sponsored the new laws.
Council voted 6-3 to adopt the regulations around 12:30 a.m. Wednesday after listening to four hours of testimony by dozens of citizens. The three dissenting votes came from Worthington, Max Anderson and Jesse Arreguín.
In the video below, Carol Denney, a veteran activist of social justice movements, demonstrates what the 4-foot-square space people will be allowed to occupy on sidewalks would look like.
Council also voted 7-0, with Anderson abstaining, for a “Protect Our Parks” measure initially directed at Ohlone Park. Councilwoman Maio put forward some new laws in response to neighbors’ complaints that the park – which has long been a retreat for the homeless – had attracted a new type of occupant, often referred to as “campers,” or “travelers.” These people appear to use drugs openly, leave trash, needles, empty alcohol bottles, bedding, condoms and human feces in the park. They can also be contentious, according to information provided by Maio. The new laws will improve signage and lighting, allow the Health Department to cordon off unsanitary areas for cleaning, and permit police to drive through the park at night to enforce rules and ordinances. The city will also explore installing more portable toilets. A neighborhood group, The Friends of Ohlone Park, will look at the feasibility of building permanent bathroom, among other issues.

Passionate testimony

The early morning votes came after people had lined up for hours to talk. Others had been holding vigil outside City Hall since early Monday. Some speakers talked about how the city needed to establish some common norms for public behavior. Others said the new laws would criminalize the homeless and threaten Berkeley’s chance of getting federal funds to help the homeless and build more housing. They decried the city’s push to harm people who are already helpless, stating that the approach was not the Berkeley way.
Olivia de Bree, a nurse practitioner, and a member of Friends of the Adeline Corridor, talked about how the new laws would disproportionately affect homeless who are African-American. She said a recent study showed that 49% of the homeless in Berkeley are black. Many of them are afflicted with diabetes, other health conditions and mental illness and are doing all they can to cope and stay alive, she said. Housing costs are rising, making it ever difficult to remain in Berkeley. Imposing these new laws will only make their lives harder, she said.
“Berkeley is engaging in an effort to deter black people from living and working in the city,” said de Bree.
Her colleague, Katrina Killian, agreed: “It’s clear there is a hidden agenda here; these are undesirables that the council is supporting the removal of.”
Others called the council’s proposed laws “mean-spirited.”

Homeless advocates held a rally outside city council chambers on Tuesday night to call attention to proposed laws they said would criminalize the homeless. Photo: Frances DinkelspielHomeless advocates held a rally outside city council chambers Tuesday night to call attention to proposed laws they said would criminalize the homeless. Photo: Frances Dinkelspiel

But there was also a different narrative presented at the meeting. A number of people who live near Ohlone Park said that for years they had been living peacefully with their homeless neighbors. They made them sandwiches, allowed them to use their showers, and knew them by sight.
But the composition of the group living in Ohlone Park has changed, they said. The “new” homeless are so aggressive that their children are afraid to play in the park, a number of people said. Many are wary of even walking downtown with their kids. One man said that people are coming into his backyard to defecate.
Bill Williams, the father of two young children, said his family has been physically and verbally threatened by some homeless. He said that the proposed measures were a “workable first step,” that would establish “common civility in Berkeley.”
“I don’t think these measures criminalize the homeless, said Williams. “I think we are trying to set a standard of behavior for people in Berkeley.”
At times the lengthy meeting became unruly, both because of people shouting out from the audience or from Bates and Worthington fighting at the dais. One woman stood at the back of the room and hurled insults throughout the four-hour comment period, directed at the councilmembers, particularly Bates. At one point, another woman across the room joined her. The shouting and catcalls got so loud at times that it was difficult to hear those testifying or to hear the council’s discussion.
Bates and Worthington had frequent clashes as well (See video below.)

Op-ed: Support the recommendations of the Homeless Task Force (11.17.15)
Council battle brews over street behaviour, homelessness (11.17.15)
Op-ed: Striking a balance for the homeless in Berkeley (11.16.15)
Op-ed: Let’s share responsibility for welcoming sidewalks (11.16.15)
Ohlone Park neighbors brainstorm about homeless influx (10.26.15)
Ohlone Park concerns prompt meeting Saturday (10.23.15)
IKEA donates ‘makeover’ to shelter for homeless families (08.27.15)
Berkeley council postpones street behavior proposal (07.01.15)
Berkeley open to proposals to end homelessness, but questions how to pay for them (06.24.15)
Op-ed: Religious leaders support compassionate services, housing for the homeless (06.22.15)
Berkeley authorities respond to fire near Ashby, I-80 (05.22.15)
Berkeley launches donation boxes for homeless people (05.08.15)
Berkeley council votes to curb impacts of homelessness (03.18.15)
Berkeley to grapple again with homeless on sidewalks (03.16.15)
Streamlined housing crisis center slated for Berkeley (10.01.14)
Homeless move to railroad tracks after Gilman ‘clean-up’ (07.30.14)
Rodents, trash prompt city clean-up of homeless camp on Gilman; residents ‘scattered’ (07.18.14)
City of Berkeley gives Gilman Street homeless a reprieve (07.10.14)
Caltrans fence forces homeless to find new camp (04.10.14)
Berkeley considers ‘visionary’ homeless housing project (09.11.13)
New talks on homelessness in Berkeley start Thursday (08.14.13)

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Still Shivering After all These Weeks: Freedom Sleep-Out #20 Tuesday November 24th at City Hall

Title: Freedom SleepOut #20: City Council Chatters While Folks Freeze
START DATE: Tuesday November 24
TIME: 3:00 PM – 3:00 PM
Location Details:
In front of City Hall and in the sidewalks around City Hall at 809 Center St. Freedom Sleepers will be on hand from midafternoon Tuesday to mid-morning Wednesday to deter or document new SCPD harassment tactics used to discourage homeless people from protesting the City’s Sleeping Ban–and to establish the usual (sort of) Safe (from Citation) Sleep Zone.
Event Type: Protest

On the afternoon agenda coming up sometime between 3 and 5 PM is Item #21. It directs city staff to make available a facility for up to 10 nights this winter free if a “Warming Center Organization” agrees to find facilities and commit to 30 nights of Warming Center use. No budget is proposed until a site is “identified”.

Last month, defying the wishes of hundreds who marched there, City Council refused to consider eminent domain or other pressures to get the Seaside Company to allow the continuation of the Beach Flats Garden at its present location and size. Instead they passed their staff’s prefabricated sell-out to Canfield’s Seaside Company. Should we expect anything more from them here?

The staff’s “Warming Center” proposal lacks any committed funding or real acknowledgment of the upcoming (and ongoing) shelter emergency. It instead throws all the responsibility on private charity groups, abdicating its responsibility for City’s 1500-2000 homeless. Instead it continues to fund police and rangers harassing, citing, and arresting folks for sleeping, covering up with blankets and other survival behavior.


The last item on the evening agenda, Item#3–the RV Parking ordinance–would ban RV parking city-side unless vehicle owners get a permit.

Its definition of “resident” seems to exclude travelers and unhoused people. It reads: “[“Resident”] shall not mean a
person who maintains an address at a post office box, mailbox drop, or who rents a room without it being the primary place of abode.”

The 10 PM to 5 AM on all RV parking is another extension of the NIMBY “no homeless vehicles allowed to park at night” signs posted in many areas throughout the signs (with the word “homeless” discreetly omitted).

It sets up “no parking” zones within 20′ of an intersection or 30′ of a traffic light. Why?

Exempted are hotel guests, government vehicles, and folks who buy 72-hour permits (only 4 periods per month, not continuous).

“Residents” as defined above, can buy permits for parking outside their residences–no sleeping or camping, of course, even in a vehicle specifically outfitted for that purpose.

Hotels who allow non-paying guests to park their vehicles will be fined; likewise if anyone sleeps in their vehicle.


IN 45 DAYS, staff is asked to return with proposals for “safe zones for non-resident owners”. That’ll be some time in mid-January with nothing mandated for the winter. THERE IS NO PROPOSAL FOR FUNDING OR EVEN A SPECIFIC RV PROGRAM.

There is no move to eliminate the sleeping, blanket, or camping bans–as promised by Posner many months ago. Nor is there any move to decriminalize by suspending ticketing for non-crime crimes like being in a park after dark./


Indeed though the Klieg lights and “no parking” restrictions used to attack the Freedom Sleeper protests in September and October have disappeared, SCPD used a new tactic last Tuesday.

A squad of six cops descended on homeless people sitting legally in the City Hall courtyard in the daylight hours before the protest and confiscated “unattended property” which one person was watching for others. A similar sweep took place the next morning after most of the protesters had left with tickets issued both before and after but not during the protest.

Freedom Sleepers will be in front of City Hall through the night nonetheless.


We will also be inviting unhoused folks to attend a meeting Tuesday December 1st before Freedom SleepOut #21 to ask them “Do you Want the Freedom SleepOuts to Continue?” and if so, in what form?

As the weather worsens and rain descends, Freedom Sleepers is considering moving inside city buildings to establish emergency shelter (unless the proposed Warming Centers are actually available on those nights).


Unhoused folks in Berkeley gave hours of angry testimony against new anti-homeless laws in Berkeley (which passed in diluted form: see ).

Inspired by the Freedom Sleeper movement here and by their own First They Came for the Homeless encampment up there, Berkeley activists were still camping out at City Hall every night since the Council moved to expand criminalization there.

I’ve broadcast a discussion of the Berkeley fight against the anti-poor laws at You can also follow the full debate on line at .


The ever-popular Peanut Butter ‘n Jelly sandwiches, hot coffee, and perhaps hot soup will be available at various points throughout the night.

Bundle up–it’s likely to be cold and possibly rainy. We encourage donations of food, tarps, blankets, and sleeping bags. We suggest folks bring their own gear (if it hasn’t been taken by police or thieves).

For more background go to “Fight Cold Hearts and Cold Weather: Freedom SleepOut #19 ” at

The opinions expressed here are mine and likely shared by many of my fellow Freedom Sleepers.

Bathrobespierre’s Broadsides Show to Feature Berkeley Anti-Poor Law Fight

 Coming Up Sunday November 22:  Short clips from the last month at Freedom Sleep-Out’s 17-18, at City Council, and on the Street, phone interview with Daniel McMullen-difabled Berkeley activist fighting with SAFE (Streets Are For Everyone) in Berkeley,  Reports from the Red Church, and Voices from the Berkeley City Council fighting the “cram yourself into 2′ on the sidewalk” law.   9:30 AM – 1:30 PM  101.3 FM and .

Bathrobespierre’s Broadsides Today Will Cover the Latest Freedom Sleepers Protest (#19) 6 PM -8 PM


Today’s show on 101.3 FM (and has old 80’s tunes from Uncle Bansai and new audio clips from last Tuesday night’s Freedom Sleep Out on the sidewalks at City Hall on 11-17.Check out new repression strategies used by police to ticket protesters and steal their property–before and after the protest, but not during it while the activists with camera and internet are present.Freedom Sleepers will be meeting tomorrow as usual at the Cafe Pergolesi. 11 AM to 1 PM  for anyone interested in joining or supporting Freedom Sleep #20.

Phone in your reactions to the show at 831-423-4833.  Or any reports from your area about homeless rights-related stuff.

The show will archive at

HUFF hunkers and huddles at 11 AM Wednesday 11-18 at the Sub Rosa Cafe

 After two outdoors coffee-scarce meetings at the Sub Rosa, we’ll be trying again tomorrow

If the place is still closed, we’ll move to the Cafe Pergolesi. 

Likely subjects:  Transportation up to UCSC to troll for student HUFF volunteers up at the Housing Conference on campus 5:30 PM  Kresge Town Hall where Pat Colbe and Steve Pleich (among others) will be speaking; updates on court wrangles & prospects around the Freedom Sleepers; report from the Berkeley Freedom Sleeper-like SleepOut and City Council meeting there; prospects of fighting the RV bans likely to come up at the next Santa Cruz City Council meeting; impact of the Armory opening and deepening cold weather–HUFF responses…and more

Snoring Against Stupidity: Freedom Sleep #19 to Nestle on City Hall Sidewalk Tuesday Night

Title: Fight Cold Hearts and Cold Weather: Freedom SleepOut #19
START DATE: Tuesday November 17
TIME: 5:00 PM – 8:00 AM Wednesday
Location Details:
Another all-nighter in front of City Hall on the sidewalks, the bricks, the grass, and in vehicles parked nearby from dusk Tuesday to morning Wednesday at 809 Center St.
Event Type: Protest
Contact Name Robert Norse
Email Address rnorse3 [at]
Phone Number 831-423-4833
Address 309 Cedar PMB 14B S.C. CA 95060
The protest continues apparently to provide a temporary emergency “safe from tickets” zone on the sidewalk (and recently on the red bricks) from ticketing for survival sleeping. Or such has been police practice for the last month or more.

Last week the usual harassing klieg lights, “no parking” jackets, and even police harassment were absent. And the 1st Alarm “security patrols” were reduced. The City Hall Courtyard grounds still posted A-frame signs and yellow tape cutting off day and night use.

Officer “Winter” however is also battering at the protest, so bring cold weather gear and any donations you may have.

Coffee and the usual barebones pb&j supplies will be available as well as some prospective addition edibles from generous donors.

The beloved Freedom Portapotty will be available for welcome relief since City Hall is locking its bathrooms at night–again.

Berkeley activists have drawn strength and resolution from our struggle against the Sleeping Ban here and are holding their own 11-16 Sleep-Out and 11-17 Speak-Out at their City Council. (See ).

More on the Berkeley protests today and tomorrow at—Elisa-Cooper

Additional articles are at

Students and union activists at UCSC will be throwing a Housing and Homelessness Forum on campus Wednesday night where Freedom Sleepers and HUFF will be speaking. It will begin at 5:30 PM at Kresge Town Hall.

Police citations for MC 6.36 (the Camping Ordinance) seem to be down for October (to 43 compared to 79 in September by a rough count). (This does not take into account eager Parks and Recreation Ranger harassment though).

Outgoing Mayor Lane (due to rotate out in December though he will still be on the Council) has made no further public statements nor taken any actions to agendaize elimination of the Sleeping or Blanket bans.

His facebook statement and my response (as well as other Freedom Sleeper info) can be found at .

Tickets and stay-away orders are still being given out for being in a park after dark to unhoused folks elsewhere in town.

The Winter Armory Shelter begins operation today, however it only houses 100 and has many restrictions.

The Homeless (Lack of) Services Center continues to ban the majority of homeless people from its campus, meals, bathrooms, showers, and laundry services under the new director Phil Kramer unless they are “on a path to housing”.

Photographer Alex Darocy, who has regularly covered these sleep-out’s is facing charges for photographing the student/community protest against police brutality and tuition hikes in the Highway 6 case. (See ).

Alex was also cited for MC 13.04.011 (being on the City Hall grounds after 10 PM), but that citation was reportedly dismissed.

Trials for Freedom Sleepers on the same charges will be coming up in the weeks ahead. Watch this website for information.


The need to provide indoor protection from the cold is coming into clearer focus as the weather worsens. In the face of El Nino winter, City Council has made no provision for warming shelters, campgrounds, car parks, or a lifting of the camping bn to allow unhoused folks to formtheir own protective community and shelter.

On the horizon at the next City Council meeting (11-24) is a nasty Niroyan-initiated plan to restrict or ban RV’s, requiring residential permits and eliminating parking spaces.

City Council indifference to public opinion can be seen in its ignoring the massive outpouring of support for the Beach Flats Community Garden on 11-3. The community needs to take its own independent direct action on issues involving community space and local human rights.

HUFF (Homeless United for Friendship and Freedom) will hold its usual sleep-deprived meeting at 11 AM at the Sub Rosa Cafe at 703 Pacific the morning after the sleep-out.

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First New Sunday Show from Bathrobespierre’s Broadsides 9:30 AM- 1 PM Today


After many hours of cranky weary turmoil, a new edition of Bathrobespierre’s Broadsides, the 20-year old Free Radio Santa Cruz show largely concerned with homeless civil rights and local Santa Cruz political shenanagans is coming your way.  

Featured on the show:

  • More poetry by Berkeley poet Julia Vinograd,
  • Interviews from the last Freedom Sleeper SleepOut on the cold cold sidewalk and bricks adjacent to City Hall,
  • Steve Pleich’s analysis of the Water Study Session at City Council,
  • Jeffrey Helms account of an SCPD gun drawn and (mis)fired at him,
  • Mama Shannon’s grim account of homeless sweeps on the tracks, deadly abuse at the Homeless (Lack of) Services Center, and her sticks-to-your-ribs poem “Peanut Butter”
  • Selections from Studs Turkel’s musical Working

                                            ….and more

If you miss it this morning (at 101.3 FM in Santa Cruz and on the net)  but want to hear it, go to