Friday, April 10, 2009

Copwatch a Regular Feature of downtown Santa Cruz Saturday

posted on Santa Cruz Indymedia

Title: Copwatch Forever!
START DATE: Saturday April 11
TIME: 5:00 PM - 6:30 PM
Location Details:
In front of Borders Book Store on Pacific Ave. between Soquel and Walnut Sts. in downtown Santa Cruz
Event Type: Vigil/Ritual
Contact NameRobert Norse
Email Addressrnorse3@hotmail. com
Phone Number831-423-4833
Address309 Cedar PMB #14B Santa Cruz 95060
Join the jovial jackboot jousters! Come listen to music, sip cocoa, and keep an eye on the big-badged bluebellies.

The new Copwatch Santa Cruz Blog still needs lots of help updating it. Give a call to HUFF at 423-4833 if you'd like to help or e-mail rnorse. Or sign in and add your own comments.

Downtown, we'll be taking accounts of police behavior and videoing cops on the beat as they drive poor people away and give out tickets they can't pay.

Homeless vets are a significant proportion of the community without shelter outside. Please bring us any accounts of police harassment and ticketing of local vets--or discrimination at the local Vet's Building.

This is both a budget and civil liberties issue locally. Police must be discouraged from being a part of the local War on the Poor, and the merchant community that supports these outrages confronted.

The new anti-homeless Downtown Ordinance public assembly constrictions are now being enforced by police. They criminalize more than one hour's sitting on a city bench, make 3 unpaid infractions a jailing misdemeanor, and expand the notorious "No Go" zones downtown for sitting, sparechanging, political tabling, and street performing.

Anti-homeless ticketing for sleeping at night continues with shelter for less than 10% of the homeless community. If one forms, we'll also be supporting calls for a Tent City when the Armory Winter Shelter closes in several weeksl as is already happening in Sacramento, Fresno, and Ontario CA.

We will also be gathering accounts of harassment in hopes of joining Santa Barbara and Sacramento in challenging anti-homeless Sleeping Bans. Successful lawsuits and political pressure have already ended Sleeping Bans in Fresno, San Diego, Los Angeles, Laguna Beach, Richmond, and Palo Alto.

We hope to encourage media to counter the City's persecution of those outside using massive police overkill and a new city attorney crackdown with a civil injunction. Please contact attorney Jonathan Gettleman at 427-2658 if you have had positive experiences with Anna Richardson and Miguel deLeon, currently under City Attorney attack.

We have video cameras and tape recorders; bring your own as well.

If you want to volunteer for Public Records Act request work and other behind-the-scenes Copwatching, call 423-4833.

To help plan future events, come to the Human Rights Organization meetings Saturday 3-4:30 PM at the Sub Rosa Cafe 703 Pacific Ave. Or check out HUFF (Homeless United for Friendship & Freedom) at the same place Wednesdays 9:30 AM -11:30 AM.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Weekly Copwatch on Pacific Avenue in Santa Cruz

Copwatch Report from Last Saturday
by Robert Norse
Wednesday Apr 8th, 2009 8:34 AM
A sunny Saturday Copwatch table in front of Borders for several hours gathered reports, served soup, and distributed questionaires. The mood was merry and several new activists signed up. We'll be back Saturday the 11th in front of Borders again and invite the public. The results of the questionaire we gave out are below
4-4-09 Copwatch Questionnaire survey:

#1 Do police in Santa cruz enforce laws differently depending upon...?
race: 12 gender identity: 3 appearance: 19 class (if homeless): 19 sexual orientation:3 religion:1

#2 Have you ever been the victim of selective enforcement based on descriptions provided above ?
Yes: 13 no: 7 I don't know: 1

#3 Have you ever witnessed selective enforcement based on descriptions provided above?
Yes: 18 No: 3

#4 Are you aware that it is illegal for a person to sleep outside between 11 PM and 8:30 AM when no shelter is available?
Yes: 15 No: 7

#5 Do you support the ticketing, harassment, and confinement of persons who violate the above ordinance?
Yes: 0 No: 19

#6 do you think the SCPD is...
too powerful: 13 just enough power: 4 not powerful enough: 2 don't know/no answer: 3

#7 Do you support the HUFF boycott of the Bookshop Santa Cruz unless and until former Mayor Coonerty changes his position, acknowledging that homeless people in Santa Cruz must have the right to sleep—not anywhere and everywhere—but somewhere.
Yes, I support the boycott: 14 No, I don't: 2 Undecided : 6

22 responses

This questionnaire was originally prepared when Coonerty was Vice-Mayor and was originally distributed at our table in front of his Bookshop Santa Cruz. His positions, and that of Neal Coonerty, Supervisor and owner of the Bookshop Santa Cruz, have not changed, however. Nor, apparently, has public support among those who answered the questionnaire for a boycott.