Tuesday Protest at City Hall 2 PM: No Internment Camps Nationally–Restore Survival Rights for Santa Cruz Homeless 809 Center St.

NOTES FROM NORSE:  The Tuesday protest organized by Keith McHenry of Food Not Bombs [FNB] will reportedly be providing muffins and likely provide an outdoor forum with opportunity to speak out on local repression of those on the streets, in the shelters, and in other poverty pimpsky services.McHenry’s own perspective can be read at https://anarchistcook.blog/2024/02/17/yes-they-are-coming-for-the-homeless/ .   The flyer for the protest can be found at https://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2024/02/27/18863521.php . While the police did threaten  FNB last year when we held a protest at City Hall and prevented us from serving food, they did not interfere in the recent Gaza ceasefire sell-out at City Hall, perhaps embarrassed to bully and steal food in the presence of long lines of people waiting to talk to a deaf Council majority.   HUFF (Homeless United for Friendship & Freedom) is concerned with intensified local, state, and national repressive efforts to broaden police powers to criminalize homeless presence in public spaces, community survival camps under regular attack in Santa Cruz, and a growing disregard for the most basic constitutional of poor folks living outside.  Under cover of “protecting the environment”, “public safety”, and more recently “mental health”, legislators have recently added so-called CARE Courts to the “plead guilty and take your whacks” Homeless and Drug Courts  In spite of the expansion of very limited super-regulated shelters and some housing remaining from the COVID period, Santa Cruz is now harassing and ticketing those whose only home is their vehicle as well as the ground sleepers, who make up the majority of the Santa Cruz homeless.   
City Manager Matt Huffaker’s police under the direction of Police Chief Bernie Escalante drove folks out into the rain trying to take cover in parking structures and illegally used the City’s new Camping Ordinance (MC 6.36) to destroy encampments that have been regular connection points for those providing vital food, shelter supplies, human contact, and mutual support.    Portapotty facilities and wash stations previously somewhat available during the COVID period have been removed.  City workers have bulldozed campsites and seized or trashed property seized, and falsely claimed  (as they have in other cities like San Francisco) that they are providing the shelter and storage facilities required under MC 6.36. 
City Council has scheduled an abbreviated meeting starting at 2:20 p.m. with nothing on its agenda addressing these issues.   As it has with the U.S. support of the advancing genocide in Gaza, City Council has made no demand to stop govt. funding the slaughter, nor looked into its own investments in funding sources that do business with Israeli apartheid.
The protest was announced on short notice (Saturday), so HUFF has had no time to formally meet to endorse it, but I and others will be coming to it and invite you to do the same.   Hope to see you there.
Bathrobespierre Robert Norse  rnorse3@hotmail.com