HUFF Warms Hearts and Chairs 11 AM Sub Rosa Wednesday 3-30

On the agenda:   Post-meeting tabling for the “Give a Shit” campaign to open the City Hall Bathrooms at Night,  the Latest from the Salinas Struggle to Save the Chinatown Encampment,  Wheelchair Chris Memorial on the Horizon for next Tuesday; Food and Sleep Reports from Freedom SleepOut #38; Public Be Damned!–Exclusion at the City Funded “Visitor’s Bathroom” at Bookshop Coonerty…and more!

Coffee and other questionables will also be available.

Freedom Sleeper Dies; Activists Celebrate His Memory with Food and Sleep at Sleep-Out #38

Title: BBQ with the Banbusters: Freedom Sleep-Out #38 Sizzles Into Sight
START DATE: Tuesday March 29
TIME: 5:00 PM – 5:00 AM
Location Details:
In the supposedly public area outside City Hall near the Center St. sidewalk across from the main library.
Event Type: Protest
Contact Name Toby Nixon (posted by Norse)
Email Address tobynixon [at]
Phone Number 408-582-4152
There won’t be another City Council conclave of creepies until April 12th (two weeks from Tuesday). But homeless folks have to sleep every night and continue to receive $158 citations.

To bolster weary spirits and nagging appetites, Freedom Sleepers (mainly Toby, Zav, and Pat) have arranged for a barbeque as dusk falls. Bring some food to cook if you’re able. Troublemaker Toby Nixon claims to be a serviceable chef.

At the same time Paul Seever of the AFC (a faith-based group) is holding a second meeting at Trinity Presbyterian Church, Fireside Room, 420 Melrose, last door to the west of the lower building, near Poplar St., 5:00 to 6:30 PM.

The notables conferring are apparently building on hopes that Councilmember David (“no sleep for the homeless”) Terrazas’s proposed “Homeless Study Task Force” to be proposed April 12 is actually more than smoke, mirror, chatter, and pretense.

City Council stonewallers created an earlier Homeless Issues Task Force, which came up with all kinds of good recommendations–including the most obvious: repeal the Camping Ordinance until there is adequate shelter. Read it and weep at

It seems a little disingenuous to hook up with a “blame the County” initiative from “shift the responsibility” Terrazas when it’s the City that has the most repressive anti-homeless laws (all of which he voted for).

Word from the street is that some churches have expanded their protective reach with meal and sleeping options both downtown and on the Westside. No question these religious worthies are good-hearted–and a number of them spoke in favor Councilmember Lane’s “strike sleep from the camping ban” initiative of March 8.

Other cities like San Jose and Sacramento–under street and legal protest pressure– are seriously considering open air encampments. Salinas activists continue to fight the demolition of the Chinatown encampment (half swept away). Supporter are encouraged to join a nightly protest encampment outside City Hall at 200 Lincoln St.

Salinas officials councilmembers themselves have decriminalized nighttime sleeping (even camping with tents), though they’ve harshened the ban against setting down homeless property.

Christian Sean Bezore, a homeless Freedom Sleeper often present in a wheelchair, who died on March 17, will be memorialized by Freedom Sleepers, Food Not Bombs, HUFF, and others on April 12th. See and for more details.

Activist Abbi Samuels has released a report of her research into Chris’s death, which append to this calendar entry.
The SCPD only allows pick-ups of pilfered property Tuesdays and Thursdays between 12:30 and 2:30 PM. The pick-up’s happen at the back door of the SCPD on Washington St. where Pat will be waiting every other Thursday (call HUFF at 423-4833 if you wish to arrange for her support).

The absurdly short amount of time when property reclamation fro the anti-homeless sweeps is permitted has never been adequately explained but seems yet another kick in the face to homeless folks with the usual “get out” message.

The unannounced closing of the only full-service (sort of) 24-hour bathroom last December has prompted HUFF activists to hit Pacific Avenue with petitions to demand that the City Hall bathrooms be kept open 24-7, See ,

HUFFsters who are still conscious will get together at 11 AM at the Sub Rosa at 703 Pacific to sip coffee and brood over the night’s events.

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Salinas Homeless Struggle at Chinatown and City Hall Continues n Bathrobespierre’s Broadsides show at 9:30 AM – 2 PM

Coming Up on this edition of Bathrobespierre’s Broadsides: Interview with Alene Smith, “Dangerous” John and “Do or Die” David Silva on the Louis La Fortune Memorial, Randy Girard on River St. Shelter vs. the Winter Armory Shelter, Hope for the Homeless on the West Side says “Shout it Out” Sharon,  Andy Carcello blasts the Homeless (Lack of) Services Center, Interviews with Salinas activist and mayoral candidate Amit Pandya, and Assemblyman Louis Alejo, “Punch Back” Paul Cook–the Boxing Lawyer on his latest victory in Baldwin Park, and the struggle for justice in Salinas’s Chinatown Nighttime Campout at City Hall & Daytime Defense of Chinatown continues. 

The show broadcasts at 101.3 FM, streams on the internet at at 9:30 AM today (March 27)   It will archive at

More on the Salinas Struggle to Defend the Homeless in Chinatown on Bathrobespierre’s Broadsides show at 6 PM

 The show broadcasts at 101.3 FM, streams on the internet at at 6 PM tonight (March 24).   It will archive at

Coming Up on this edition of Bathrobespierre’s Broadsides: the protest outside the Salinas City Hall with the homeless residents of Chinatown as well as activist Wes White, attorney Anthony Prince and Councilmember Jose Castillo.


All Hail to HUFF–Meets Today at Sub Rosa at 11 AM

Coming up for discussion and action:  Solidarity with the new Freedom Campers at Salinas City Hall, which began tonight; Salinas’s Jose Castenada–a Councilmember worth noting; Give A Shit!–Organizing and Marching to Open Up the City Hall Bathrooms,  Freedom SleepOut #37 Update, and more…  All between free cups of coffee, spats, snarls, and smiles.

Fighting Back Against Bigotry in Santa Cruz and Salinas: Freedom SleepOut #37 and the Chinatown Resistance

Title: Parallel People Power: Freedom SleepOut #37 at City Hall While Salinas Activists Protest
START DATE: Tuesday March 22
TIME: 5:00 PM – 5:00 AM
The City Hall Courtyard grounds, torn up and ribboned off for “replanting” with much of the rest of the area near the City Council chambers roped off to isolate protesters from their elected “representatives”.

That’s until 10 PM or thereabouts when straight-out exclusion from the entire City Hall area to quash protest forces protesters onto that old cold sidewalk in their fight against the Sleeping Ban.
Event Type: Protest
Contact Name Toby Nixon (posted by Norse)
Email Address tobynixon [at]
Phone Number


FNB activist Keith McHenry says he will be on hand in the afternoon with the Food Not Bombs table to let the Council and Community know that activists have not been driven away by citations, “closed area” announcements, sleeping bans, stay-away orders, security thug bullying, floodlights and other instruments of repression.

Others are urged to bring food, blankets, friends, and photo-capable equipment at night to document police behavior at and around the protest–in anticipation of future legal action.

Santa Cruz Freedom Sleepers and their allies confront City Council in the afternoon (meeting starts at 2:30 PM, Oral Communications at 5 PM, Evening “Study Session”at 7 PM).

Salinas Chinatown Defenders will be rallying at their City
Council (2 PM–the rally, 4 PM–speakout at CityCouncil at 200 Lincoln Ave.).

On Wednesday the 23rd at 7 AM, the Chinatown Resistance will gather at 38 Soledad St. with civil disobedience in the air to stop the massive deportation of 200-300 homeless people at what may be the largest and longest City encampment there.

On the same day in Santa Cruz at 11 AM , HUFF (Homeless United for Friendship & Freedom) will meet 11 AM at the Sub Rosa Cafe to further organize the “Give a Shit” campaign, demanding the City open the City Hall bathrooms at night.

The only 24 hour bathroom in the Soquel Ave. garage was closed in mid-December on the pretext that homeless people were “sheltering themselves” there.

HUFF activists have gathered scores of signatures for a planned march April 6 to the Public Works Department demanding safe and sensible sanitary facilities for the community (both housed and homeless). More info at 423-4833

Recent relevant stories about the Sleeping Ban struggle on indybay:

“Rumblings of Resistance After the Council Crushes Reform?” at

“Business as Usual: SCPD Targets Homeless after City Council Re-Affirms Camping Ban” at

“Shame On the City Council of Santa Cruz for Maintaining the Sleeping Ban!!!” at

Video and audio downloads of the March 8 Council Meeting:
“March 8 challenge to Santa Cruz sleeping ban media archive” at

“City of Santa Cruz debates criminalization of sleeping” at

Ongoing Free Radio Santa Cruz interviews with homeless victims and reports from other cities:




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Sunday Bathrobespierre’s Broadsides show packed with interviews on Salinas Fight-Back 9:30 AM

Coming Up on this edition of Bathrobespierre’s Broadsides Multiple Interviews with Sleeping Ban victims, street performers, and protesters; an hour long special phone interview with Salinas activists including Salinas Councilmember Castenada about the March 23 resistance to the Chinatown Demolition; and more…

The show broadcasts at 101.3 FM and streams on the internet at at 9:30 AM today (March 20).  It will archive at

Sacramento Activist Kathleen Williams on Bathrobespierre’s Broadsides show at 6 PM


The show broadcasts at 101.3 FM, streams on the internet at at 6 PM tonight (March 17).   It will archive at

Coming Up on this edition of Bathrobespierre’s Broadsides SHOC (Sacramento Homeless Organizing Committee) protesting continuously outside City Hall since December day and night; activist Kathleen Williams gives extensive background.   Updates on the Planned Civil Disobedience Resistance Supporting the Chinatown Encampment in Salinas Tuesday March 22nd and HUFF organizing at the Saturday Project Pollinate event at San Lorenzo Park (all day) Also on tap:  Latest word from the Red Church refugees, and the Tuesday’s Clock Tower Protest Against the Sleeping Ban.

Due to power outages and equipment problems, the usual Sunday morning Bathrobespierre’s Broadsides show was not available at its usual time.    The March 6 show intended for broadcast includes interviews with Food Not Bombs co-founder Keith McHenry, Berkeley singer and activist Carol Denney on the history of People’s Park, and my analysis of Lane’s Camping Ordinance amendments.

It is now available.

Go to  and then click on the link under Lost Show – 3/6/2016Sunday,March 6th 2016, part 1Sunday,March 6th 2016, part 2 .   Note that this is not the usual place the twice-weekly show is archived (which is ).  Barring unusual transmission problems, the shows will continue to appear there.

In the Wake of Bigotry: Freedom SleepOut #36

Title: Speak Out Against the Sleeping Ban
START DATE: Tuesday March 15
TIME: 3:00 PM – 6:00 PM
Location Details:
Town Clock–Downtown Santa Cruz
Event Type: Protest
1. Meet up at the town clock at 3 pm, (and bring a sign) for the brief “mike check” style speak out!

2. at 3:45 pm we will move out to march down Pacific Ave.
-we will march down pacific ave to Laurel St.
-we will turn right onto Laurel, and then march over to Center St. and turn right onto Center St. Then march up Center to City Hall.

3. We will meet up at City Hall for a longer speak out and open mike with a “mike check” style speak out for all at about 5

4. Everyone who supports the right to sleep and the decriminalization of the sleeping ban is welcome to join us!

5. We will be in solidarity with the Freedom Sleepers there!

Please bring signs, make signs, everyone make your own sign and bring it!

NOTE FROM NORSE: I received the above e-mail, requesting me to post it with the psuedonym Dogwood. An activist speaking at the Red Church Monday reaffirmed the time and place of the march. I have no further information on it.

Title: Rage Against City Council Bigotry–Freedom SleepOut #36
START DATE: Tuesday March 15
TIME: 5:00 PM – 8:00 AM Wednesday
Location Details:
809 Center St. Outside City Hall and City Council Offices
Event Type: Protest
Contact Name Toby Nixon (posted by Norse)
Email Address rnorse3 [at]
Phone Number 408-582-4152
A week after City Council enraged and disappointed a room full of activists, Freedom Sleepers resume their regular weekly protest and invite the disenfranchised to join them. If supporters hold fast, there will be coffee in the morning.

Homeless folks at the Red Church and on Pacific Avenue Monday night continued to report citations for sleeping, being driven out into the rain, and regular harassment.

Meanwhile “Dogwood”, a homeless activist seeking to generate a more visible and public response, has announced a protest to begin at the Town Clock at 3 PM with a march down Pacific Avenue to City Hall to join the Freedom Sleepers. See “Speak Out Against the Sleeping Ban ” at

“Push Back” Pat Colby has announced she’ll be at the police station Thursday March 17 at 12:30 PM to help folks reclaim their property from the police. At present, police only allow folks to pick up their seized property 12:30 -2:30 on Tuesdays and Thursdays. This restriction severely impacts unhoused people whose survival gear is confiscated–still a grim occurrence here.

HUFF (Homeless United for Friendship & Freedom) will be present at the Project Pollinate day-long event on Saturday the 19th at San Lorenzo park between 11 and 1 PM to help organize resistance to the criminalization of the homeless.

HUFF hopes to organize a caravan to Salinas on March 22nd to support the Salinas Union of the Homeless resisting the planned destruction of the Chinatown encampment (see below).
We’ll be signing up people and looking for vehicles.

HUFF will also be assisting people to call the River St. Shelter at 459-6644 to get on the Waiting List, which immunizes those on the list for three days from camping ticket prosecution.

Insider, Silver-Tongued Steve Pleich’s predictions of higher City Council support for the right to sleep proved overly optimistic. He notes that City Councilmember Micah Posner may be introducing a call for City staff to find legal places to park RV’s in town. Several months ago, City Council, under the leadership of Councilmember Richelle Niroyan criminalized homeless RV parking at night.

Sacramento activists, after weeks of protest, seem much closer to forcing its local politicians to legalize if not support encampments. See “Let Sacramento’s homeless have their tent city”–an editorial by the conservative Sacramento Bee at

In addition, Sacramento housing activist Paula Lomazzi notes on her facebook page that the Justice Department is moving to block local and state fines for poor people in actions arising out of the Ferguson struggle:

In Salinas, National Lawyers Guild attorney Anthony Prince has filed a second lawsuit demanding police leave homeless property alone. He has called for making Salinas “the Selma of 2016” recalling the civil rights struggles of the 60’s.

Specifically, he wants folks to stand up to a scheduled police raid on the long-standing homeless encampment in Salinas’s Chinatown on March 23, by having a mass rally on the 22nd and sleepout there. See .

For more information, contact Wes White at 831-296-0042 . See the flier below for additional details.

§Salinas Flier

by Wes White (posted by Norse)

Monday Mar 14th, 2016 11:27 PM

Sacramento Authorities Bending to Protest Actions in Tent City Fight ?

NOTES BY NORSE:  After weeks of protest camping out in front of its City Hall, Sacramento homeless activists have forced change.  Sacramento is discussing and its chief newspaper backing a Tent City as interim emergency shelter.  The San Jose City Council is doing the same.  Salinas activists, attorneys, and homeless residents of their Chinatown encampment have filed two lawsuits and announced a massive resistance campaign to begin March 22nd against gentrification deportation slated by greedy city bureacrats the next morning (HUFF activists may do a caravan–call 831-423-4833 if you’d like to join the resistance).  San Francisco supervisors are calling for a State of Emergency there ( )  has significantly (though not adequately) improved shelter capability and conditions–while moving to disperse the Division St. encampment after pressure from right-wing columnists and the usual crowd of NIMBY’s.

                         Santa Cruz continues to make sleep at night a crime & close off all parks and green belt areas with uniformed ticketeers roaming the area to drive away the poor.  Freedom SleepOut #35 will continue its nine month long weekly protest in front of City Hall tomorrow evening (March 15th).   See for more details.   Independent activist Dogwood has called for a march from the Town Clock to City Hall beginning at 3 PM on that day.  HUFF activists will be discussing further protest and speak-out activity at the Project Pollinate gathering this coming Saturday March 19th at San Lorenzo Park at noon.  What’s next here depends on all of us.


March 11, 2016 10:00 PM Sacramento Bee

Let Sacramento’s homeless have their tent city

City-sanctioned camp is worth a try over the summer
Pilot program would help with short-term housing needs
Long-term solutions still need to happen, but will take time

Rows of tents fill an authorized lot at Tent City 5 in the Interbay neighborhood of Seattle. Sacramento officials toured the city-sanctioned homeless camp as they consider whether to authorize a similar one in the capital.
Rows of tents fill an authorized lot at Tent City 5 in the Interbay neighborhood of Seattle. Sacramento officials toured the city-sanctioned homeless camp as they consider whether to authorize a similar one in the capital. Lezlie
By the Editorial Board

Imagine there were tents on a grassy lot in Oak Park, Meadowview or Del Paso Heights. Dozens of them, pitched for homeless men and women with nowhere else to go.
If such a scenario makes you uneasy, we understand. For years, Sacramento officials have been talking about whether to sanction a homeless encampment. And for just as many years, the idea has been dismissed as inhumane.

Now, though, the inhumanity of homelessness has spread across the city and the county for all to see. Permanent housing, the true solution, remains elusive if not illusory. The idea for a “safe ground” is gaining ground. With other, more traditional solutions still falling short, it’s time for the City Council to stop talking about this and try it – if only for a few months, in a cautious and controlled manner.

We suggest a pilot program for this summer. A permit should be granted for one agreed-upon site that’s big enough to house a few dozen adult campers in tents. Use of drugs and alcohol should be banned inside the camp, but pets should be allowed. Sex offenders and people who are prone to violence also should be banned.
Access to basic amenities such as portable toilets, water and trash collection, would be a must. So should access to services so campers can take advantage of treatment for addiction and mental illness, and get on a list for permanent housing.

To be clear, this isn’t a long-term solution to homelessness in Sacramento. Critics accurately point out that it remains unclear whether these camps actually help get homeless people into permanent housing. The experiment in Seattle, where a large delegation from Sacramento toured its legal camps last month, is ongoing.

But to go a step further and say a camp – even a temporary one – would do nothing but provide a distraction from other, more legitimate methods for solving homelessness is inaccurate.
It’s a stopgap measure that can be put into place quickly and relatively cheaply, and address some shorter-term problems associated with homelessness while the infrastructure for longer-term solutions is put into place.

The way Seattle Mayor Ed Murray put it, the authorized camps in his city are “an answer to nothing except a warm and safer night to some people.” And for homeless people who would otherwise camp outdoors – disconnected from services, risking arrest, getting robbed and even death because there aren’t enough shelters or because mental illness makes it tough to sleep indoors – being warm and safe is indeed something.

In other words, a city-sanctioned camp is far from ideal, but for the time being, necessary. Consider the alternatives.

Last summer, in the midst of another year of drought, homeless campers trying to cook instead set fire to large swaths of the American River Parkway. The blazes were costly to put out and threatened nearby apartment complexes, prompting the county to spend even more money to hire more park rangers to confiscate cooking equipment and break up large campsites amid the dry trees and brush.

That said, people have been camping illegally and in unsafe, disgusting conditions on the parkway for decades – to Sacramento’s ever-lasting shame when Oprah Winfrey singled out the city for it in 2009.

Since then, the city has ramped up its stock of permanent housing with links to social services. But on any given night, there are still about 1,000 people outside in Sacramento County, most of them in the city. Homeless-rights advocates readily tell stories of fruitless efforts to get people into shelters and onto lengthy lists for housing.

Things are improving. There’s talk of rearranging space at existing shelters to accommodate more people, and work is being done with landlords to get them to accept more tenants. But these things will take time, and summer is coming.

In the meantime, homeless people, once primarily downtown and in midtown, have started to migrate into surrounding neighborhoods as the city has redoubled its efforts to spruce up the central city. Many of those neighborhoods are the same ones being eyed as potential sites for sanctioned camps: in City Council Districts 2, 5 and 8.

The group Safe Ground Sacramento is pushing for District 5, which covers Oak Park, Curtis Park, Hollywood Park, South Land Park and neighborhoods near Sacramento Executive Airport. For those neighborhoods, the question isn’t whether residents want homeless people milling about. That’s already a fact of life, even for the NIMBYs.

The question is, do those residents want to deal with homeless men and women one on one, particularly those wandering the streets with untreated mental illness and addiction problems? Or do they want to deal with homeless people living in a camp in their neighborhood, where the environment is so controlled that everyone is screened before they are allowed to enter?
There’s also the bigger question of whether those mostly poor neighborhoods should be forced to bear the entire burden of city’s homeless problem. We think not.

Whatever neighborhood the City Council chooses if it authorizes a camp next month, it should take the advice of Seattle Councilman Mike O’Brien and get residents involved early in the process to enlist their help selecting an appropriate site. The result, he told The Sacramento Bee’s Ryan Lillis, has been that many of the business owners who thought a homeless camp would drive away customers now acknowledge their fears “don’t seem to be materializing.”

A collection of tents on a plot a land in some Sacramento neighborhood is not a solution to homelessness. It is an admission that society has failed the thousands of people who have no roof. The notion of a safe ground, flawed though it is, could help and, therefore, it’s worth a try.

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