Defend those without homes! campaign page [link]
Santa Cruz is attacking houseless people [link]
"Expose the Local ACLU: No Help for Homeless Rights"
by Robert Norse
Protest Against ACLU's Inaction on Local Civil Liberties Violations!
START DATE: Monday December 02
TIME: 12:00 PM - 12:30 PM
Location Details: Santa Cruz Louden Nelson Center at Center and Laurel St.
The local ACLU Board of Directors is having its monthly meeting at 7 PM in Louden Nelson Center. While ACLU's in other cities file law suits against anti-homeless laws and issues public statements, the Santa Cruz chapter does nothing.
Previously open to the public, the ACLU's chair Peter Geldblum, apparently nervous about public view or participation, closed the meetings. An attempt by Steve Pleich to open the meeting was rejected.
The ACLU has declined to make any public statements in the last two decades about the Sleeping Ban, criminalization of the homeless, theft of homeless property, or laws restricting access to public space generally (but intended to selectively target the homeless). It has been approached repeatedly and urged to do so to no avail.
Bring signs and warm clothing and a readiness to be locked out of their meeting, even though most of their business doesn't deal with personnel or litigation matters.
For more background, check out "Local ACLU Rides...er...Hides Again!" at http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2013/07/23/18740295.php .
2013-06-27 "Arizona ACLU Fights Back; Santa Cruz ACLU Snores On..."
from NOTES BY NORSE:
Check out 2013-06-25 "ACLU-AZ Files Lawsuit Against City of Flagstaff for Arresting Poor, Homeless Panhandlers" [www.acluaz.org/issues/press-releases/2013-06/3853].
The Santa Cruz ACLU, presented a year ago, with concerns about the criminalization of the homeless has taken made no public statements nor forwarded any requests to the northern California ACLU in search of legal assistance. At the last meeting, Board of Directors member Mike Rotkin urged the board to be "friendlier" to the SCPD and other police agencies. (The ACLU has made zero criticisms of the SCPD in the last decade to my knowledge).
Glenda, a woman in a wheelchair with a gaily colored sign, who can be regularly found on Pacific Avenue across from New Leaf Market, reports she was told by a police officer she could not panhandle on the sidewalk near the West-Side safeway because "neighbors had complained" and had to leave.
In spite of the ratsnest of restrictions passed by succeeding City Councils, eager to drive visible poverty out of sight and pander to noxious NIMBY's, it is quite legal to peacefully panhandle on the sidewalks if one is 14' from a building, 14' from an intersection, 14' from a bench, etc. If Glenda's account is accurate then the SCPD is not only enforcing cruel and unconstitutional ordinances, but also spreading terror under color of law.
If you see a poor person being harassed for panhandling, please pull out your cellphone and video the incident, then post it on you-tube with a link to [www.indybay.org/santacruz].
2013-06-25 "Santa Cruz ACLU Silent on Anti-Homeless Abuses"
NOTES BY NORSE: The "Official Story", the Santa Cruz politician-and-police position, is that Parks and Rec and other agencies don't destroy homeless property but hold it as required by state law (and the 4th & 8th Amendments).
However that's not the experience of numerous homeless people as Mayor Bryant's hand-picked Take-Back-Santa-Cruz orchestrated Public Hysteria campaign marches on. The CHP towed Robert Brunett's home-and-car at the behest of Aptos neighbors and SC County Deputies intent on removing his right to park on the public streets in a residential neighborhood. He reports not even being given the required vehicular hearing, being denied access to his papers and possessions, and watching his vehicle become unrecoverable as the towing yard fines mounted.
Tomorrow the Public Hysteria Citizens Task Farce (which calls itself the Public Safety Citizens Task Force--meets (see http://www.cityofsantacruz.com/Modules/ShowDocument.aspx?documentid=32862)
to continue its legalization of the criminalizing of the homeless community in Santa Cruz under the fantasist "Public Safety" label.
The monthly Board of Directors meeting last night of the local ACLU was a usual gum-flapping session--though this time they did not exclude the public generally and homeless complainants specifically as Chair Peter Gelblum had done the month. The Board continued to ignore any substantive action (or even specific public statements) denouncing the City's violation of human rights for homeless people around the Sleeping Ban, the parks and levee curfews, sweeps of homeless encampments, destruction of homeless property, and the many concerns sent to them over a year ago (seehttps://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2013/05/21/18737162.php#18737164 ).
Meanwhile at City Council today there'll be another 7 PM Dead Officers Memorial instead of the usual Public Meeting as the Robinson/Comstock faction uses public fears and grief to push its right-wing agenda--with silence from the "progressives" in Santa Cruz.