Friday, July 30, 2010

Homeless camp out at Santa Cruz courthouse

by Lisa Amin Gulezian July 29, 2010

(Log onto website to view video)


SANTA CRUZ, CA (KGO) -- In Santa Cruz, there is a jurisdictional dispute over an ordinance that bans sleeping in public, but many are wondering who is enforcing it, since the homeless have been camping out for weeks.

There are a lot of homeless people camped out in front of the county's courthouse steps. They are supposed to first get a warning, then a citation, but when ABC7's cameras were there, they didn't see anyone out enforcing the ban Thursday night.

"We started July 4th and will continue to do it until we get justice," said protest organizer Ed Frey.

The homeless are protesting Santa Cruz's camping ban, which stops anyone from sleeping outside overnight. However, the protest is now moving into week four and the homeless present outside the courthouse 24/7.

"We get yelled at. When we come in, they make remarks to us. We had a guy wielding a machete the other day," said court supervisor Linda Sepulveda.

County workers have had enough of the close quarters, where they say, drug deals are also going down regularly.

"We're becoming a magnet for alcoholics, the criminal element; this is not our doing and not our fault," said Christopher Doyon who is homeless.

Those who work here don't care, they just want it to stop and they're letting the homeless know it.

Courthouse employee Pat Hammermaster said to a homeless man, "We think it's a slap in the face, this is where we have justice and we have to watch this happening out front where nobody does anything about it. I come to work every morning and I'm sick of it."

County workers have filed complaints with both the police and Sheriff's department. They say they haven't gotten much of a response.

"It's kind of a jurisdictional battle right now, between the Sheriff's department and the police department as to who is going to enforce the ordinance," said Hammermaster.

The county admits, there was some confusion over enforcement. The ordinance is a Santa Cruz city law, but the courthouse is on county property.

"You have to all talk it through and look at ordinances and what does the city ordinance say about who is authorized to do it," said Santa Cruz County spokesperson Dinah Phillips.

The county has now decided it will start enforcing the ban. Santa Cruz Mayor Mike Rotkins is calling the move long overdue.

"Now it's gotten completely out of hand and it's mushroomed in size and a lot of illegal behavior is going on," said Rotkins.

Camp organizers say that's not true. They vow to fight any citations or arrests that come their way.

"If you don't have a house, you still have to sleep, so why not somewhere& well, this is a good place?" said Frey.

The outside of the courthouse really transformed late Thursday night. There's a Porta Potty, a wash area, and a lot of sleeping bags, so people say they will continue to camp out until the ordinance changes.

(Copyright ©2010 KGO-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved.)

Earlier Media Posts

by Robert Norse


PeaceCamp2010 Marches to City Hall

Night-Time Only Community Peace Camp in Santa Cruz County

4th July 2010 Sleepout/Camping Ban Vigil at S.C. County Bldg.

Live Coverage of Protest to Legalize Sleep


Street Shit Sheet #169

Sunday August 12th Know Yr Rights, Feed, Film, and Sleep-Out at City Hall

Long-Time Santa Cruz Tenant and Homeless Activist Explains the City Hall Sleep-Out

Trash Orchestra & "Santa Cruz Sit Ban" Video Tonight at Homeless City Hall Sleep Zone

Sleep Ban Fighters Regroup after Saturday Morning Police Raid

More Notes on the Homies for the Homeless Protest at City Hall

City Council Passes Resolution Preventing Vigilante Justice Against Homeless
[a satirical article]

Striking Back Against Sentinel/SCPD Smears and "Progressive" Silence on the Sleeping Ban

Thursday, July 29, 2010

"Troublesome and Unpleasant" Protest may face crackdown....or not

Santa Cruz camping law applies to demonstration at county courthouse, officials say

SANTA CRUZ -- The legal loophole that has allowed dozens of protesters to camp in front of the county courthouse for more than three weeks closed Wednesday when city and county officials determined the city's camping ban applied to the county property because it falls within city limits.

However, it remained unclear how the ordinance would be enforced.

"I think what they're going to do is notify all the folks and encourage them to move along," said county spokeswoman Dinah Phillips, who issued a statement Wednesday saying the city's no-camping ordinance would be enforced.

But sheriff's deputies were still formulating a response and city police said it's not their call.

"Why would we go? It's the county's property," Deputy Santa Cruz Police Chief Rick Martinez said. "We're not going to take action on our own on their property."

Demonstrators called the announcement a "scare tactic."

"It's not going to work," camp spokesman Christopher Doyon said. "We're not going. We're not afraid."

The demonstration, which protesters call Peace Camp 2010 and which is led by homeless advocates Robert Norse, Ed Frey and Becky Johnson, kicked off July Fourth and has continued unabated on the county-owned swath of land in front of the courthouse.

Sheriff's deputies enforce laws on county property, and there is no county ordinance that prohibits camping on that lawn. City law bans sleeping in public places from 11 p.m. to 8:30 a.m.,

but the initial thought was that Santa Cruz ordinances didn't apply to the county's territory. So the camp has grown from an overnight sleep-in to a 24-hour hangout while government officials, law enforcement officers and legal experts sort out what rules apply to the property.

Santa Cruz Mayor Mike Rotkin said that city laws apply to county property that falls within Santa Cruz city limits, and there has been a long-standing agreement that sheriff's deputies would provide law enforcement outside the courthouse and county building.

After several meetings with county and city officials, "all parties now agree" that county authorities can enforce city codes on their property, Rotkin said. In fact, he said sheriff's deputies always have had the right, as does the California Highway Patrol or any other police agency, to enforce city laws.

Rotkin was clear, however, that the push to enforce the camping ban now -- 24 days after the camp was established -- didn't come from the city.

"Nobody from the city is putting pressure on anybody about this," Rotkin said. "We have enough on our plate."

The atmosphere at the camp-in was calm Wednesday afternoon. Someone brought the protesters burritos, doughnuts and coffee, and the "traditional Santa Cruz Wednesday drum circle" was under way, according to tweets from the so-called Peace Camp 2010.

Word that they might be ousted from their camp didn't surprise demonstrators.

"There were several of us who figured that, that the laws are applicable here and they can cite us," said Doyon, 45, who is homeless. "We were prepared for that."

But, he said, sheriff's deputies have told him they have no intention of breaking up the camp, a place that Doyon said has given some homeless people the first safe night's sleep they've had in months.

On Tuesday, sleep-in participants marched to City Hall to demand the City Council revoke the city's no-camping law. The arguments were presented during oral communications, which allows comments on any topic, and the council took no action.

"I saw the fear of God in Mike Rotkin and Ryan Coonerty," Doyon said. "We definitely made our presence known. I think we're getting a lot of traction on this, and we're going to keep up the pressure."

Doyon said demonstrators will not leave voluntarily.

But court employees think it's time for the demonstration to go.

Labor unions are considering filing complaints about employees' work environments because of the camp-in. Employees working late or on weekends have reported more people inside the county building and courthouse who don't have authorization to be there.

Tim Newman, spokesman for the local court branch, said the protest has gotten more troublesome and unpleasant. While it hasn't blocked access to the courthouse or the adjacent county building, Newman said the demonstration seems to be beyond the control of the peaceful activists who launched it.

"It's seeming to attract a different element," he said. "We've had fights out there between campers."

Someone urinated on a trash can and one camper was arrested for public intoxication. The demonstration also accumulates a lot of trash, there's been some drug use and, on Tuesday, someone brandished a lead pipe, Newman said.

"People have the right to represent their views," Newman said, "but at some point I think some order needs to be restored out there."

Sheriff's deputies and city police are working on a plan to address the problems created by the camp, according to a prepared statement by sheriff's Lt. Craig Wilson. He said the area isn't designed for camping and lacks appropriate facilities, which creates health and safety concerns. Also, people are complaining about the demonstrators.

"We understand their rights," Sgt. Dan Campos of the Sheriff's Office said. "We also have some responsibility to the community."

City attorney John Barisone has agreed to help prosecute campers, should they be ticketed and taken to court, said Martinez with the Santa Cruz Police Department.

However, there is no time line to take action, according to the Sheriff's Office.

"Hopefully we can get this thing resolved sooner or later," Martinez said. "It's really going to come down to us working together."

Ed Frey responds to County Counsel

to: Rahn Garcia, Chief Deputy County Counsel
701 Ocean St. Ste. 505
Santa Cruz, Ca. 95060

re: courthouse sleepers

Dear Mr. Garcia,

I am responding to Jason Heath's letter of July 27th regarding the Courthouse Sleepers. In my brief conversation with him today, he told me he is leaving on vacation and that I should contact you instead.

Concerning th reason for locating the sleep-in at the Courthouse plaza, I chose that location for two reasons. First, that is where governmental power to apply Constitutional principles resides, and secondly the Santa Cruz County Superior Court in June, unilaterally postponed the three-judge appellate hearing in People v. Facer (Appellate case no. AP 001565) for three months beyond its originally scheduled hearing date., and the law's delay is intolerable here. At stake is a person's right to be left alone and free from cruel punishment when he or she is not guilty of any crime.

Mr. Heath would not answer my question as to whether County authorities will be taking any steps to obtain law enforcement action against those sleeping at the courthouse, but the County authorities are hereby notified that such enforcement action (whether carried out by City or County Peace Officers) will result in federal court civil actions against any and all governmental entities which sought such enforcement.

For far too long the City of Santa Cruz has ignored the fact that the necessity defense exonerates all sleepers automatically (unless shelter space is available, which is almost never the case). Despite this law, the peace officers, at the behest of merchants, are sent forth every night to breach the peace by waking up and hassling innocent sleepers. Infraction tickets are issued only rarely, but depriving the innocent person of peaceful sleep constitutes government-imposed punishment having an adverse impact on the sleeper's health. This mission of harassment serves the merchants' goal of keeping the houseless feeling stressed and unwelcome despite their innocence.

I urge you to read all three briefs in the Facer appeal before you or other County authorities decide to obtain such unconstitutional enforcement action. I would be happy to discuss these matters with you.

Yours truly,

Ed Frey

cc: District Attorney and City Attorney

tel (831) 479-8911 fax (831) 479-8174
2820 Porter St. Soquel, CA. 95073

Cabale News reports on Peace Camp 2010

found online here:

...And finally, in Santa Cruz California
, also known as "Silicon Beach" due to it's vacation-ready location just 'over the hill' from the Silicon Valley and San Jose, the LEGAL homeless camp-in at the county courthouse, known as "Peace Camp 2010" enters it's 24th night of legal sleep for travellers and the displaced workers of the city after a march to city hall the day before.

The city government, whom the sleep-in is targeting due to unconstitutional laws such as a total prohibition, (a "blanket ban" if you would) on sleeping outside at night, is sweating it out in an election cycle full of nightmare publicity aimed at showing the so-called 'progressive' city's government seamy authoritarian underbelly.

In a currently headlining desperate attempt, the city says the County courthouse steps are under the jurisdiction of the City's Parks and Recreation department, giving them jurisdiction to break up the camp-in. But at this point, and to their credit, the Santa Cruz Police Department is not impressed with the dual-jurisdiction interpretation:
SANTA CRUZ -- The legal loophole that has allowed dozens of protesters to camp in front of the county courthouse for more than three weeks closed Wednesday when city and county officials determined the city's camping ban applied to the county property because it falls within city limits. However, it remained unclear how the ordinance would be enforced. "I think what they're going to do is notify all the folks and encourage them to move along," said county spokeswoman Dinah Phillips, who issued a statement Wednesday saying the city's no-camping ordinance would be enforced. But sheriff's deputies were still formulating a response and city police said it's not their call. "Why would we go? It's the county's property," Deputy Santa Cruz Police Chief Rick Martinez said. "We're not going to take action on our own on their property." [In Full]
Visit Peace Camp 2010's blog, and see this IndyMedia article for more information.

Office of the County Counsel contacts Ed Frey

Local Attorney, and Peace Camp 2010 co-founder, Ed Frey, received the following letter faxed to his office on July 28, 2010. Ed had previously applied for a permit for Peace Camp 2010 but had been turned down because "We don't host events at night." Below is a transcription of the letter:

to: Ed Frey, Esq.
2820 Porter Street
Soquel, Ca. 95073

re: individuals camping out on the courthouse steps

Dear Mr. Frey,

The County has become aware of statements attributed to you in the Santa Cruz Sentinel indicating that he Santa Cruz Municipal Ordinances are not enforceable at the County Governmental Center (701 Ocean St). We want to dispose of any confusion concerning this. It is the County's position that the Santa Cruz Municipal Ordinances prohibiting camping ARE enforceable on County property located within the City of Santa Cruz, including the County Governmental Center. To the extent that you are representing the individuals currently camping on the courthouse steps, or acting as their spokesperson, we request that you notify them that they are subject to citation and subsequent prosecution for violating any of the City's municipal codes related to their activity. If you have any questions concerning this issue, please feel free to call me at 454-2049.

Dana McCrae, County Counsel

but signed Jason M Heath, Assistant County Counsel

An Open Letter to President Barack Obama from Peace Camp 2010

Photo: Christopher Doyon
sleeps on the courthouse steps
each night to protest Santa Cruz'
Sleeping Ban at Peace Camp 2010.

Peace Camp 2010
Santa Cruz County Courthouse
701 Ocean Street
Santa Cruz, CA 95060

Telephone: 831-675-6096


The President Of The United States
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
Washington, DC 20500

Telephone: 202-456-1414

Dear Mr. President --

My name is Christopher Doyon, and I am a homeless man living in Santa Cruz, CA. This message is a plea for help with a man-made humanitarian crisis. Peoples lives and liberty are at stake, poor and homeless people are sick and dying from a terrible tyranny here in Santa Cruz. The brutal ban on sleeping anywhere in Santa Cruz, CA - even on private property, is tantamount to the criminalization of poverty and homelessness. We have gathered in the one last safe place in all of the City, the County Seat. Due to special rules this small property is exempt from the City of Santa Cruz campaign of terror against the most vulnerable of it’s own citizens. We have named this small sanctuary “Peace Camp 2010” and we have a web site at -- where you can learn more of our plight.

I write to you as an ambassador of Peace Camp 2010. And I write to you not just as our President, but as a Nobel Peace Prize winner. I beg of you, PLEASE do not turn a blind eye to the plight of Peace Camp 2010. We ask only that you call the Santa Cruz County Sheriff and ask him not to brutally crush us. We are a non-violent and PEACEFUL assembly. And if you could spare just a moment, would you please phone Mayor Mike Rotkin and simply ask him to TALK to us.

There are elderly, disabled, veterans - young and old here at Peace Camp 2010. We have been driven from all over the city like some sort of class cleansing in a horrible campaign of extreme gentrification, and truth be told there is no where left for us to go. We are truly under siege, and at any moment they could come for us - please hurry, we need your help so desperately.

Christopher Mark Doyon

Peace Camp 2010 Ambassador

Earlier Posts on Santa Cruz Indymedia


PeaceCamp2010 Marches to City Hall

Night-Time Only Community Peace Camp in Santa Cruz County

4th July 2010 Sleepout/Camping Ban Vigil at S.C. County Bldg.

Live Coverage of Protest to Legalize Sleep


Street Shit Sheet #169

Sunday August 12th Know Yr Rights, Feed, Film, and Sleep-Out at City Hall

Long-Time Santa Cruz Tenant and Homeless Activist Explains the City Hall Sleep-Out

Trash Orchestra & "Santa Cruz Sit Ban" Video Tonight at Homeless City Hall Sleep Zone

Sleep Ban Fighters Regroup after Saturday Morning Police Raid

More Notes on the Homies for the Homeless Protest at City Hall

City Council Passes Resolution Preventing Vigilante Justice Against Homeless
[a satirical article]

Striking Back Against Sentinel/SCPD Smears and "Progressive" Silence on the Sleeping Ban

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Homeless Protest SC City Council

NOTE TO READER: This article makes a number of factually incorrect statements. First, we are not demanding the right to sleep "wherever, whenever." And our protest is 8PM to 8AM, not 24/7. The Sleeping Ban applies to all lands out of doors, both public and private property within the city limits. We have asked that in a shelter emergency (thrice declared by the City and never rescinded) homeless people be allowed to sleep SOMEWHERE. Mayor Rotkin claims the City pays for homeless services but neglects to reveal there is walk-in, emergency shelter for 6% of our houseless population 8 months of the year. Be sure to log onto the KSBW site and view the video. ---Becky Johnson, Editor

Protesters Demand Right To Sleep Wherever, Whenever

POSTED: 12:17 am PDT July 28, 2010
UPDATED: 8:48 am PDT July 28, 2010

found online at:

A group of homeless people in Santa Cruz marched to Tuesday's City Council meeting and demanded the right to be able to sleep wherever, and whenever, they want.

Demonstrators have been camping outside the Santa Cruz County Courthouse protesting the city's no-camping law for about a month. The law bans anyone from sleeping outside between 11 p.m. and 8:30 a.m. Protesters said they just want to be able to sleep without getting ticketed by police.

Sam Muller, who is 28 years old and homeless, said economic stress has caused him to lose jobs and not be able to work. Muller is one of the youngest in the group Peace Camp 2010 -- a group of homeless protesters that has set up a 24-7 demonstration outside the Santa Cruz County Courthouse. The group is asking council members to revoke the city law.

"In the daytime, if you're seen with a blanket over you or sitting too long in one place, you could still get ticketed," Muller said. Christopher Doyon, who is also homeless, said a fourth ticket makes someone eligible for up to a year in prison. Homeless advocates said they wanted to voice their frustration at the city council meeting.

"The (law) itself is hideously unconstitutional and ludicrous," Doyon said. But workers at the courthouse where people have been camping out for over three weeks said the protest should be limited to after work hours when the sleep-ban is actually in effect.

"It's scary to me, people yelling at us sometimes when we're coming in," said court supervisor Linda Sepulveda. "(People say) off the wall things. We've seen drug deals happen out here." The camp has also expanded to the courthouse steps and outside lawns. Court workers also said it's becoming less of a peace camp, with recent tension nearly erupting into several fights. Santa Cruz County courthouse spokesman Tim Newman said there are reports that someone was wielding a pipe that they had with their personal belongings.

"We (are) trying to reign that in (and) keep it under control," Muller said. Meanwhile, Mayor Mike Rotkin said the sleeping ban protects the community.

"I think it's strongly supported by our citizens of our community. We put out a lot of services for homeless," Rotkin said. Muller, however, said there are long waiting lists to access those services, and said he is just looking for compassion during these hard economic times.

"Everybody is just one letter away from being in the same position we are," he said. Rotkin said he understands the tough situation the homeless are in, but adds most cities have a similar ban in place. Rotkin said there is a city ordinance that could be enacted to kick protesters off of the property outside the courthouse, but that the sheriff's office would be in charge, not city police.

Peace Camp 2010 marches to City Hall

Ed Frey, "Curbhugger" Chris Doyon, and Orbit hold signs at a rally outside of the Santa Cruz City Council meeting demanding an end to the Sleeping Ban.
SENTINEL photo by Julia Moore

Homeless campers plead
with Santa Cruz city leaders
to change sleeping law

found online at:

SANTA CRUZ -- The people camped out on the courthouse lawn at the County Government Center on Ocean Street since July Fourth protesting the city's camping law vow to stay put until Santa Cruz leaders lift the ban that restricts where someone can sleep during the day or night.

But no change in the law is in the works, according to city officials.

About a dozen members of the group dubbed Peace Camp 2010, led by homeless advocates Ed Frey and Robert Norse, marched to City Hall on Tuesday to berate the City Council into overturning the ban that has led to several homeless people in recent years receiving tickets from police who find them snoozing

Peace Camp 2010 participants arrive at City Hall. SENTINEL photo by Julia Moore

in parks or on beaches and sidewalks.

The group made a show outside City Hall with signs that said "Sleeping is not illegal" and songs criticizing city rules.

"Santa Cruz has a liberal reputation, but it's actually very conservative on this issue," said Norse, wearing a bath robe. "It is one of our most fundamental abilities and rights to sleep somewhere safely at night. Instead, they have a law to criminalize it."

Several homeless people and their supporters spoke during the "oral

Steve Argue protests the Sleeping Ban outside City Council. SENTINEL photo by Julia Moore

communications" portion of the council meeting, which allows comment on any topic not already under discussion by the council.

However, council members are not allowed to engage in issues brought up during that time.

Still, Councilman Ryan Coonerty, after being asked by a reporter, said he was not swayed by the group's comments that were often harsh and belittling.

"Desperate publicity stunts don't change policy or help those in need," Coonerty said.

Chris Doyon, 45, believes it's part of his "freedom and right" to sleep almost anywhere outdoors without harassment from police.

He said his request to the council was an easy one.

"We're not asking for money. We simply want them to lift the sleeping ban and let us sleep," he said. "It won't cost them a dime."

Doyon and others in his camp believe their protest is making a difference in public opinion.

"Surely, the City Council should be ashamed that they would treat poor people like this," Doyon said. "We should run them all out of office."

After 23 nights, an area near the county courthouse steps is filled with sleeping bags, coolers, food, books, backpacks and other personal belongings campers have brought with them.

Organizers say some nights have seen 55 people sleeping on the courthouse lawn.

Though the County Government Center is in city limits, it is county property and the county doesn't have a ban camping there.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Tenacious Peace Camp braces for what comes next

by Becky Johnson
July 27, 2010

Santa Cruz, Ca. -- In what has become an amazement even to themselves, Peace Camp 2010 is still happening, having completed its twenty-third night on Monday night. And not a single citation has yet to be issued. "We're trying to keep a handle on things here," offers one of the Camp's organizers, "Curbhugger" Chris Doyon, "but it's like herding cats." Doyon and others each take a four hour shift to guard the porto-pottie left each night by local attorney, Ed Frey.

Mayor Mike Rotkin, interviewed by KSBW Television, told interviewer, Phil Gomez "I must say that what's happening at the County Bldg. certainly proves my point that I've been making for decades, now. If you give people any ability to camp out of doors, it will expand to a level where you won't be able to handle it."

But is that the case? On July 4th, 3 activists slept out with six homeless people making the number sleeping there the first night as nine. Then following night, thirteen slept out. On July 6th, 20 slept out. On July 7th, 30 slept out. On July 8th 27, slept out. But on July 9th, only 20. On July 10th, 21 slept out. July 11th, 24 slept out. July 12th, 22 slept out. July 13th, 29 slept out. July 14, 27 and one kitten slept out. July 15th, 18 humans and 1 kitten and one dog. On July 16th, 28 slept out. On July 17th, 28 people, 1 kitten and 1 dog. July 18th, 27 people, 1 kitten and 1 dog. July 19th, 31 people, 1 kitten and 2 dogs. July 20th 26 people, 2 dogs, and 1 kitten. July 21st, 33 people, 1 dog and 1 kitten. July 22nd, 30 people and 1 dog. But on July 23rd, the number jumped to 45 people, 1 dog and 1 kitten. July 24th 47 people. July 25th, there were 55 people, 1 dog, and 1 kitten. On the night of July 26th, 52 people, 4 dogs, and 1 kitten. So far Peace Camp 2010 has provided a total of 662 shelter/sleeping spaces by utilizing existing public facilities and augmenting this with volunteer labor and a donated porto-pottie providing a clean, well-lit area for legally sleeping for an average of 29 people per night.

The census for Peace Camp 2010, taken every night, does show that the numbers are increasing, but not steadily. It appears that there is a core group of about 30 people who regularly sleep there with a fluctuating population of both travelers and young people. The biggest jump in numbers was triggered by police sweeps along the river levee which drove a number of displaced people to the courthouse steps from another part of the City.

Max, Danny, and Brian arrived as refugees from one of those sweeps. "They told us that anything we left behind would be destroyed," they told HUFF members. "We're glad we're here. Last night I had the best night of sleep I've had in a long, long time," Danny said.

But along with the street kids, several chronic alcoholics have also arrived with their debris, noise, and unsteady gaits. While Peace Camp 2010 asks that participants refrain from using alcohol or hard drugs while on site, there is no way to prevent those who come from using. Even at 3AM, a rowdy group of drinkers, new to the site that night, talked and bellowed long into the night disturbing the sleep of dozens who slept there.

Internal frictions have also arisen. A group of homeless hoarders has alienated itself from the rest of Peace Camp and has set up on the little traffic island in front of the courthouse. Despite no longer being part of Peace Camp, they still utilize the porto-pottie. A pregnant woman who had found housing briefly, was back again last night. She looks as though she is very close to delivering. Another woman went by ambulance to the hospital and came back in a cab the same day. "They just don't have any better place to put me," she said.

Blankets remain in short supply with a few who come in late at night with nothing to keep them warm. HUFF members help out as much as they can, but there never seems to be enough.

Are homeless people from Maine to Florida, to Los Angeles, to Seattle arriving daily to sleep on the courthouse steps?? In a word: no. But those who've been moved along from various parts of town are finding their way to the steps, and finding a warm welcome: something they forgot exists for them.

On Sunday morning, the parking lot quickly filled with cars as thousands participated in the annual Wharf to Wharf race. Suddenly, a long line formed at Ed's Porto-pottie, as the runners lined up to empty their bladders prior to the race.

"I'd have liked to have accomodated them" Chris told HUFF, "but the porto-pottie was already badly in need of service and I had to lock them out explaining that it was there for the folks who were sleeping out with us. There were some tense moments." Chris ended up calling Ed Frey who drove down and removed the porto-pottie ending the standoff.

"Those people got a little taste of what it's like for us all the time, trying to find a place where we can use the toilet. This time the shoe was on the other foot."

Ed Frey talked with HUFF members and campers and determined that with the increased use, the solution is simply to have it serviced more often.

Mayor Rotkin claims this increase was "inevitable" and predicted by him "for decades" but in the end, it appears that Peace Camp 2010 is serving the same number of people Rotkin had no problem leaving out in the cold for decades and the major influx coming from the City driving folks from other areas of the City. I could "predict" what I am doing too.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

President Obama unveils Plan to End Homelessness

NOTE TO READER: "Curbhugger" Chris Doyon is attempting to make contact with President Barack Obama in order to get his support to end Sleeping and Blanket Bans as a way to deal with issues regarding homelessness. Santa Cruz County has a number of social service organizations that provide a network of services for homeless people, but, with the continued high cost of housing juxtaposed with chronically low wages, homelessness will continue into the foreseeable future without an infusion of federal dollars. Hopefully many of the restrictions put on federal funds can be eased to allow more to be sheltered. Log onto the KSBW site to view the video report.

----Becky Johnson, Editor

President, SCC On Same Page With Homelessness
Obama Administration's Homeless Plan Unveiled Tuesday

POSTED: 4:15 pm PDT June 22, 2010
UPDATED: 7:39 am PDT June 23, 2010

found online at:

SANTA CRUZ, Calif. --
The Obama administration's proposed plan that has a goal of eventually ending homelessness was unveiled on Tuesday.

The proposal, called "Opening Doors," was announced at the White House. The proposal promises smarter coordination among the many agencies that try to help people find stable housing and economic security.

The plan suggests a big shift is needed so that programs targeted to solve homelessness are integrated with health, education and human services efforts.

Local Attorney, Ed Frey delivers the porto-pottie to Peace Camp 2010 in front of the steps of the Santa Cruz County Courthouse as part of a protest/sleep-in against the City's infamous "Sleeping Ban" which criminalizes homelessness. Photo by Becky Johnson July 4 2010

It is estimated that 640,000 Americans do not have a place to live.

Some agencies in Santa Cruz County have already adopted a 10-year plan to end homelessness, and said they are on the same page as the president.

Agency employees said that there is already transitional housing and permanent housing plans offered, but what is needed is more affordable housing and support services.

"We've done a pretty good job of that," said Paul Brindel, of the Community Action Board. "We've seen some reduction in numbers over the last few years, but you can't end it without increasing people's income or reducing the cost of housing."

According to the 2009 Santa Cruz County homeless census and survey, there are about 2,260 people who are homeless in Santa Cruz County.

The Obama administration's plan calls for the end of chronic homelessness -- the problem of people cycling through shelters and hospitals -- in five years. It seeks to end homelessness among veterans in five years.

And it calls for preventing and ending homelessness among families and children in 10 years.

Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press contributed to this report. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Peace Camp 2010 demo enters 3rd week on courthouse steps as county officials weigh their options

Peace Camp demonstration enters third week on courthouse steps as county officials weigh their options

SANTA CRUZ -- Four people sit together playing bongos and a tambourine while a puppy lounges nearby.

A man wearing a bolo hat rollerblades in tight circles as tie-dyed fabric hanging from a tree flutters in the breeze.

Several people tucked into sleeping bags snooze, but the man who hung his hammock from the handrail has taken off.

No, it's not a summer music festival. This was the scene in front of the Santa Cruz County Superior Courthouse just before noon Tuesday, where demonstrators have been sleeping nightly since the Fourth of July to protest the city's camping ordinance in what they call Peace Camp 2010.

"This is a humanitarian issue," said Christopher Doyon, a 45-year-old homeless man who has been participating in the protest for about two weeks. "Folks have a right to sleep."

Demonstrators are protesting the city's camping law, which prohibits sleeping outside between 11 p.m. and 8:30 a.m. But the protest is squarely on county property and county code does not list the courthouse property among locations designated as no-camping zones like Paradise Park and Carbonera Creek.

Although the city's "sleeping ban," as opponents have dubbed it, has been a point of contention for years, frustrations hit a high mark earlier this summer when police said a man set fire to the city attorney's office because of the law. The city also is pursuing a permanent injunction against a homeless couple repeatedly ticketed for camping downtown.

A measure recently approved by the City Council allows the city attorney to increase ignored municipal code citations to misdemeanors.

But more than two weeks into the demonstration, city police have taken no action and don't intend to, unless the protest moves off county property, Santa Cruz Deputy Police Chief Rick Martinez said.

So the so-called Peace Camp, which includes 30-50 campers a night, presents a conundrum for city and county officials.

Some would like to see demonstrators move on. For example, court spokesman Tim Newman said the protest hasn't caused problems for the county court branch, but he was concerned campers may have impeded people's ability to access the local justice system.

However, in the 17 days since the protest began, the campers haven't caused significant problems. Trash cans fill up faster and sometimes the aroma of marijuana floats through the air, but the camp has its own portable toilet to mitigate issues with human waste, officials said.

"It looks like a slumber party," said county spokeswoman Dinah Phillips, who can see the protest from the window of her office in the county building. "They line their sleeping bags up."

Still, county officials spent much of Tuesday afternoon in meetings discussing the demonstration.

"We are keeping an eye on it, and we're evaluating our possible responses," Phillips said. "At this point, I don't know what actions we might take, but we're looking at them, evaluating them."

Demonstrators said Tuesday they have no intention of leaving. What had been billed as an 8 p.m. to 8 a.m. sleep-in has grown to a daylong hangout in what protesters have deemed the Peace Garden, a tranquil sitting area in front of the courthouse and surrounding lawn. And the demonstrators have a Twitter account to alert supporters of any attempts to end the protest.

Beyond drawing attention to the plight of homeless people in the city, organizers said the demonstration has given people a safe place to catch a few winks. Doyon said some fellow campers have told him staying on the courthouse lawn allowed them to have their first safe night's sleep in weeks or months.

"We have everybody coming here," said homeless advocate Becky Johnson, who helped organize the protest. She said the campers include the chronically homeless, travelers stopping in for a night, and a younger crowd that parties until 2 or 3 a.m., then comes by to crash.

One elderly, ailing woman joined the campers after sleeping on the San Lorenzo River levee, where she lived in fear of being raped or robbed. The woman, who uses a cane to get around, now sleeps with friendly faces at the courthouse, Johnson said.

Doyon said the group hopes their demonstration will lead local government officials to establish a safe, legal place for the homeless to camp.

"We've got fantastic support," said Doyon, dressed in mismatched camouflage gear and sporting a reddish beard and shaggy hair. "We're going to be relentless."

Phillips said county officials have not opened a dialogue with the group and don't plan to discuss moving the camp to another, more permanent location because the county already funds homeless services.

"Again, we're somewhat puzzled at the fact they have an issue with the city ordinance and we don't know why they're here on county property," Phillips said. "We wish they'd take this issue back to the city where it belongs."

All photos: Dan Coyro, SENTINEL July 21 2010

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Former Mayor, Scott Kennedy, weighs in on Peace Camp 2010

Editorial by Becky Johnson
July 18, 2010

Santa Cruz, Ca. -- Many people know that I have taken sides in the Israeli/Palestinian conflict and often oppose the point of view expressed by the Resource Center for Nonviolence. The co-coordinator for its Mideast program is Scott Kennedy, a former mayor of Santa Cruz. On July 16th, Kennedy wrote to Robert Norse and myself and asked that his letter not be published. Because of his request, I will only address the points he made without publishing his entire letter per his request.

Kennedy, who has decidedly leftist credentials, has been far more right-wing when it comes to managing homeless issues. When on the council and while serving as mayor, Kennedy supported the Sleeping Ban and the Blanket Ban. Kennedy acted in concert with current Mayor, Mike Rotkin back in 1995 to forcibly shut down the
Coral Street Open Air Shelter displacing the remaining 35 people to go live under bridges and in the bushes. Kennedy pushed to expand the sitting ban from 6' to 14', even on sidewalks that are less than 14' wide. And Kennedy has tangled with HUFF before.

In 2004, Scott Kennedy ordered Robert Norse arrested for whispering in the ear of a man attending a City Council meeting. Norse was arrested for "disrupting a public meeting" despite that the official city council recording of the "disruption" was completely inaudible. Norse was never prosecuted. Norse briefly added Kennedy to his federal lawsuit against the City for a false arrest in 2002. That case, minus the Kennedy portion, is currently being considered by an en banc panel of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. The case has already cost the City over $100,000 to defend the City councilmembers and counting. If Norse wins, the City will be forced to pay much more.

Kennedy ridicules us for choosing the Courthouse steps which, although located within the City limits, are managed by the County of Santa Cruz and county ordinances apply. Our Sleep-in has managed to find the one piece of land within the City limits where the Sleeping Ban does not apply. That, in essence, makes it an oasis from Santa Cruz' Sleeping Ban.

I suppose his argument makes sense if we were TRYING to get arrested for sleeping. The opposite is true. We don't want anyone arrested or even disturbed for sleeping. Our Sleep-in is AGAINST the Sleeping Ban, and those tickets do eventually wind up being adjudicated in that very same courthouse.

In his letter, Kennedy writes that his Palestinian intern would " be far more interested in seeing illegal settlements located themselves in the USA than in his homeland."

Is Kennedy saying that the homeless of Santa Cruz who have no legal place to sleep at night are similar to Orthodox Jews in the West Bank who have staked out homes on their ancestral lands despite a Palestinian government which is hostile to such settlements?

Well, most of those experiencing homelessness in Santa Cruz last had housing in Santa Cruz County. So it IS their homeland. Are they allowed to live in their own homeland? Not according to Kennedy and the current City Council. Kennedy is against allowing his own economic refugees the right to sleep at night, or to cover themselves with blankets in order to keep warm, and considers a peaceable assembly of the dispossessed akin to "an illegal settlement." Maybe the shoe does fit.

The other point Kennedy makes in his unpublished correspondence is this:

"Oh yeah, and declaring that the protest will continue until the camping ban is lifted
establishes an expectation that many reasonable
people think is beyond possible achievement. "

This is Kennedy warning us against trying to achieve too much. And to do so, he has to mis-characterize our demands as "demanding the lifting of the Camping Ban." Kennedy is counting on his middle-class supporters finding the idea of a tent city abhorrent. When on the West Bank, Kennedy points to tent cities as evidence of Israeli malfeasance. But locally, when in power, he sends in his own jackboots to shut them down and banishes the inhabitants to a shadowy existence where sitting on a sidewalk only 13' from a building is a crime and to close your eyes at night to sleep is against the law.

When in Gaza, Kennedy rails against Israeli bulldozers used to destroy homes.
When in Santa Cruz, Kennedy has no problem bulldozing red-tagged properties and then bills the property owner for the expense of the demolition. When in Israel, Kennedy denounces "apartheid" but when at home, Kennedy supports a war on the poor that provides shelter to 6% (in summer) and criminalizes the rest when they try to sleep at night discreetly in public places.

The Resource Center for Nonviolence sponsored a blanket drive in 2002 to send to relieve Afghan refugees fleeing American troops in snowy mountain passes. Those same blankets, if used by a homeless man in Santa Cruz could rate them a $97 citation with the blanket seized as "evidence" of the "crime" of keeping warm. Kennedy has made no move in 20 years to suspend or repeal the Sleeping Ban or the Blanket Ban, the subsections of the Camping Ban which constitute a human rights violation of the order that local attorney, Ed Frey, HUFF, concerned citizens, and about 25 homeless people continue our Sleep-in for Justice on the courthouse steps. We just completed our 12th night and no one is talking of quitting.

This is what we are seeking:

The suspension of ticketing under MC 6.36.010 section a, also known as the Sleeping Ban, MC 6.36.010 section b, also known as the Blanket Ban as cruel and unusual punishment serving no public benefit.

Some of the residents of Peace Camp 2010 think we should add yet another demand: amnesty for past tickets. I support that as well.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Santa Cruz Homeless Stage Protest at County Courthouse over Camping Ban

Two homeless men sleep on the courthouse steps in Santa Cruz to oppose the Sleeping Ban which makes the act of falling asleep after 11PM out of doors a crime. Photo by Becky Johnson July 12,2010

EDITORS NOTE: This coverage can be found in the California County News.

found online at:


Santa Cruz Homeless Stage Protest at County Courthouse over Camping Ban

The Santa Cruz County courthouse is becoming the scene of a nightly protest against a city ordinance that prohibits camping within city limits. The protest is spearheaded by the county’s homeless rights advocates and several homeless men. The protest is being called “Peace Camp” and will reportedly continue until the city does away with a law they call a “sleeping ban.” The protestors have also argued that many homeless in the county have nowhere else to go, so additional shelter space should be created. It is believed there are around 2,260 people in the county who are homeless. In terms of providing beds at shelters for homeless in the area, there are reportedly around 400 available each night. Mercury News reports:
“Santa Cruz Vice Mayor Ryan Coonerty said the city attorney automatically dismisses any citations handed out for illegal camping, provided there is proof that all available beds at the various shelters around the city are full. ‘He'll dismiss it,’ agreed Ed Frey, a local attorney who helped organize the protest, ‘but he won't stop the police from waking people up, writing them a ticket, making them go to court twice, and go over to the homeless services shelter and get an affidavit to the effect that there were no beds available that night. And then the law, in its majesty, will grant you a not guilty verdict.’”
One homeless man who was protesting the ordinance called it “draconian” and another stated that homeless should not have to jump through hoops to get fines dismissed. While the ordinance was implemented by the city, the protestors chose to stage their gathering on county property. Read more here.

Gus Ceballos: "Rid this town of the derelicts!!"

EDITORS NOTE: Not everyone loves Peace Camp 2010. This was posted on the website for City Council candidate, Gus Ceballos. Ceballos has apparently set his sights on ending the necessity defense. Good luck with that, Gus!!

found online at:

Homeless sleep at County Courthouse in Protest of ban

The most eye popping part of this article is how easy it is for homeless people to circumvent the laws and regulations our city currently has in place. According to Ed Frey, all the homeless have to do is sweet talk a homeless advocate at a homeless shelter for a “no bed tonight” note and his ticket thrown out.

These people make a mockery of our law system.

This city needs to get serious about creating and enforcing laws that will rid this town of the derelict. We need to let the police do what they need to to protect our streets and not treat criminals (any homeless person that willfully breaks city/state/federal law is a criminal) with kid gloves like they are currently asked to do.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Peace Camp sleep-in a protest for freedom and justice

Sleeping protesters demonstrate against Santa Cruz' Sleeping Ban on the steps of the Santa Cruz County Courthouse with Peace Camp 2010, on July 10th. Photo by Becky Johnson

Ed Frey: 'Peace Camp' sleep-in a protest for freedom and justice


by Ed Frey

In response to your July 8 "Misguided Mission" editorial, I initiated the "Peace Camp 2010" night-time-only sleep-in 8 p.m. to 8 a.m. every night at the courthouse grounds because the Superior Court postponed Robert Facer's three-judge appeal hearing from June to September. I am Mr. Facer's lawyer, and have watched justice be delayed over and over, in this case and others.

More than a year ago, a Santa Cruz policeman, who testified that he had been sent forth in the night by his supervisor because of "complaints from the business owners," shook Mr. Facer awake in the middle of the night, told him to sign a promise to appear or be hauled off to jail, then, after the signature, told him to leave the area and take his belongings with him. He was innocent, because there were no shelter spaces available that night.

A few nights later the same thing happened, and once again, he was innocent. The trial judge found him guilty in both cases, though, because she disliked his attitude toward using publicly provided shelters. When he arrived in Santa Cruz a few years ago, he tried many times to obtain shelter space, but he faced one hurdle after another, and finally gave up trying. Instead, he slept in his own hand-hewn outrigger whenever he could, and on the two nights when he was cited, he was sleeping on the Santa Cruz main beach to guard the anchored craft from a repeat of the kind of vandalism it had recently suffered. In all other cases, the judge automatically dismisses the case if there was no shelter space.

But here's the funny part: Even when she dismisses a case, the system punishes the innocent sleeper: the peace officer breaches the peace by shaking the sleeper awake and threatening jail, depriving him of sleep and health sleep deprivation attacks one's health.

And that's not the end of the punishment: the accused must run three separate errands: to court, where the judge instructs him to obtain proof there was no shelter space; to the shelter center for the no-space affidavit; then, back to court for the official dismissal by the judge.

If the government respected the dignity of each individual, the Police Department would be instructed to merely telephone the Homeless Services Center each night to find out whether there were any shelter spaces available, and when the usual answer comes no spaces, set aside the impulse to please the business owners. Only then will we avoid the pre-judgment punishing of the innocent sleeper.

Our federal and state constitutions prohibit this unreasonable invasion of privacy, this cruel punishment, this perversion of the due process of law.

If we need further guidance, we can look to the first clause of the Preamble to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights: "Whereas recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world ..."

We set our protest at the courthouse, for one simple reason: That is the only place left where freedom, justice and peace in the world can start.

Ed Frey is the attorney for Robert Facer. More information:


The following letters to the editor were published on July 9, 2010 in the Santa Cruz Sentinel. The letters can be found online at:

Stop the loitering

Neither the homeless nor anyone else should be sleeping on public property, whether it is considered city, county, state or federal property. The property does not belong to a select few to do with as they please. Once officials let this go unchallenged, others will join this sleep-in and the numbers will soar. Oh, and by the way, sleeping or not, the group who hangs out on the levee are also too much. My husband and I used to walk there on a daily basis. We no longer do that. Once again, the sleepovers and loiterers seem to have more rights than the rest of us in Santa Cruz. This mess needs to come to an end.

Lillian Puccinelli, Santa Cruz

Homeless are people, too

As a kid growing up in New York, I remember seeing winos passed out on the sidewalks and people just hurrying by as if they weren't there. Now it's 2010 and we have homeless people. People still hurry by as if they weren't there. We label them lazy, drug addicts, mentally ill; they are no longer human beings in our eyes. We wish they would go away. Imagine waking up one day and finding you can no longer afford your comfy lifestyle. There is no place to go but the streets. And now that Santa Cruz has a camping ban, I recall the quote in the Bible by Luke: "Foxes have dens to live in, and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head." We are all the sons and daughters of man. We should all be able to have a place to rest.

Martha Dolciamore, Soquel

Take humane approach

In the July 6 article, "Homeless, their advocates sleep at county courthouse to protest Santa Cruz's camping ban," Vice Mayor Ryan Coonerty is quoted as saying, "If they think it's unconstitutional, they should challenge it." Isn't that what they are doing? I hope Mr. Coonerty doesn't think an expensive lawsuit is the solution. The 2009 Santa Cruz Homeless Census and Survey report states, "It is hoped that the 2009 Santa Cruz County Homeless Census and Survey will help policy makers and service providers to develop effective programs to serve the county's homeless population." The complete report can be found at The annual estimate of homeless people in our county is 4624; 55% had at least one mental-health issue; 34% had a physical and/or developmental disability; 31% had a chronic health condition; 73% had a disabling condition. The No. 1 reason for homelessness in our county was due to loss of a job. The report cites the majority of the people who were homeless at the time of the survey were living in Santa Cruz County when they became homeless.

Since the tickets are allowed to be dismissed anyway, wouldn't a more effective, humane and constitutional policy be to drive a homeless person to a shelter, if a bed is available, or just let him/her sleep?

Carla Sikan, Santa Cruz

Advocates off base

I agree 100 percent with the Sentinel's editorial regarding the sleeping-ban protesters. Such advocates do more damage than the poor homeless. My questions to such homeless advocates is why aren't you and the plethora of homeless legal representatives taking actions that could directly help the homeless rather than going for your own media glory? Actions such as petitioning for portable toilets in select areas that you will clean. Requesting more trash cans within and outside city limits that perhaps you will have to empty. The possibilities of real, productive, meaningful help for us all is unlimited if only such advocates would get out of the way.

Teren Ellison, Santa Cruz

Monday, July 12, 2010

Mayor Mike Rotkin debates Ed Frey on Free Radio Santa Cruz

On Sunday, July 12th, Mayor Mike Rotkin debated local attorney, and Peace Camp 2010 founder, Ed Frey on a radio program hosted by Robert Norse. KSBW filmed the debate and put together a short piece marking the highlights.

KSBW coverage can be found here:

The entire 1-hour debate can be heard here: http://www.radiolib

Sunday, July 11, 2010


'til we end the Sleeping Ban!

(Becky says)

1. First and foremost, our purpose here is to allow homeless people to sleep without being disturbed. So please do not disturb those who are already sleeping ( if you wish to stay up and talk, the suggested area is the lower steps near the porto-pottie).

2.Do alcohol or hard drugs somewhere else. Peace Camp 2010 is set up as a safe place to sleep
3.First come, first served in terms of bedding location to set up
4.Don't steal
5.Do not set up until after the building has closed for the day. We prefer you not lay down bedding until 8PM unless you are sick.
5.Have everything neatly stowed and all trash picked up by 8 AM
6.Do not block or obstruct locked or unlocked doorways, sidewalks, or wheelchair ramps at any time. Doors must open in case of fire. Make sure the door can be opened.
7.Share your things
8.Don't fight.
9.Respect all Sheriff's deputies, bailiffs, court personnel, county building workers, maintenance staff and members of the public who come to use daytime services. We want their support.
10.bring water and food whenever possible, but we have very little storage for food, so don't go crazy bringing food donations that cannot be consumed directly.
11.Beware the sprinklers!!! All lawns are heavily watered. Prepare in advance if sleeping on the lawn to protect yourself from sudden, expected showers, rain heavy at times.
12.The world is watching. We can be the change that people want to see. Don't be an idiot.
13.Talk to media. Allow all photographs, video, audio recordings. This is a public place and you have no expectation of privacy. You can ask not to be interviewed or photographed and they might respect your wishes. Ask for their business card so we know who we are talking to.
14.Bring sheets of cardboard to sleep on
15.Watch your stuff. Do not leave it laying all over the place. Keep your stuff confined to your bedroll area and try to keep that area somewhat tidy. The media will take photos of the messiest person and put that on the front page.
16.Smoking is allowed in the area. Please use some of the last existing public ashtrays in the City of Santa Cruz.
17.Wash your hands. Ed's porto-pottie has a hand washing station. The number one way to prevent the spread of disease is hand-washing. You may brush your teeth there as well, but do not drink the water.
18.The County camping ordinance does not apply to the courthouse lawns. You may sleep or cover yourself with a blanket and no police officer has the authority to prevent you. Technically, setting up a tent is legal, but we ask if you do so, to take it down by 8AM on weekdays.
19.Our success depends on not generating complaints or ill will toward county staff. Focus our criticism on the City government ,City police, and Downtown Merchant Associations as the main obstacles to ending the Sleeping and Blanket Bans.
20.All are welcome. There no legal way to discriminate anyway, so get over it. To bring about peace, we must ourselves be peaceable. We can accomplish great things with Peace Camp 2010. We need to keep our eyes on the prize and don't give up until we win.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

6.36.010 Camping Prohibited Municipal Code

Chapter 6.36 CAMPING
6.36.010    Camping prohibited.
6.36.020    Camping permitted.
6.36.030    Permit for camping in city parks.
6.36.040    Penalty – Single offense.
6.36.050    Penalty – Subsequent offense within forty-eight hours.
6.36.055    Citations issued when winter shelter armory is full.
6.36.060    Public nuisance declared.
No person shall camp anywhere in the city of Santa Cruz, whether on public or private property, except as hereinafter expressly permitted. “To camp” means to do any of the following:
(a)    Sleeping – 11 p.m. to 8:30 a.m. To sleep at any time between the hours of 11 p.m. to 8:30 a.m. in any of the following places:
(1)    Outdoors with or without bedding, tent, hammock or other similar protection or equipment;
(2)    In, on or under any structure not intended for human occupancy, whether with or without bedding, tent, hammock or other similar protection or equipment;
(3)    In, on or under any parked vehicle, including an automobile, bus, truck, camper, trailer or recreational vehicle.
(b)    Setting-up Bedding – 11 p.m. to 8:30 a.m. To establish or maintain outdoors or in, on or under any structure not intended for human occupancy, at any time between the hours of 11 p.m. to 8:30 a.m., a temporary or permanent place for sleeping, by setting up any bedding, sleeping bag, blanket, mattress, tent, hammock or other sleeping equipment in such a manner as to be immediately usable for sleeping purposes.
(c)    Setting-up Campsite – Anytime. To establish or maintain outdoors or in, on, or under any structure not intended for human occupancy, at any time during the day or night, a temporary or permanent place for cooking or sleeping, by setting up any bedding, sleeping bag, blanket, mattress, tent, hammock or other sleeping equipment or by setting up any cooking equipment, with the intent to remain in that location overnight.
(Ord. 99-01 § 1, 1999: Ord. 78-29, § 2, 1978).

Santa Cruz Courthouse Sleepout Day 3

by Skidmark Bob
Wednesday Jul 7th, 2010 2:16 PM

Day 3 of Courthouse Sleep out interviews with Ed Frey, Robert Norse and other campers continuing with their civil disobedience in violation of the City of Santa Cruz sleeping/camping ban approx 15-20 people protesting the ban.

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Skidmark Bob interviews Robert Norse at the Peace Camp 2010 on the courthouse steps:

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Homeless Break The Law In Santa Cruz To Make A Point

Posted: 10:04 pm PDT July 6, 2010Updated: 1:48 am PDT July 7, 2010

found online at:

SANTA CRUZ, Calif. -- For the third night in a row, there are people breaking the law and camping out in front of the Santa Cruz County Courthouse. They are calling this a Peace Camp.

Protest organizer attorney Ed Frey said they are deliberately breaking the law. "It's in the city limits of the city of Santa Cruz, so it's definitely a violation of the city ordinance which is called the camping ban."

Santa Cruz's 40 year old camping ban makes it illegal for anyone to sleep out in the open in public places.

The demonstrators say they want the law scrapped or have the city create more shelters.

"I don't think it's right because you have to go somewhere. They have no where to sleep and they have to have somewhere to sleep," said Carolyn Delvecchio, who is homeless.

Frey organized the protest after a judge ruled a client of his violated the sleeping ban. He even brings a portable toilet and says they clean up the area before they leave at eight in the morning and don't interfere with courtroom operations.

"We assert the right to be free from cruel punishment under the California constitution and the Geneva convention. It is torture to deprive people of sleep," said Frey.

KTVU could not reach any city officials Tuesday night.

But the Santa Cruz Vice Mayor told the Sentinel newspaper: "If they think it's unconstitutional, they should challenge it. If they want to change the policy, they should have people run for city council. I don't think camping out is the most effective way to create the change they want."

"There's plenty of homeless places they can go. There's facilities that people will take them in," argued Ann Pfaff of Santa Cruz.

A census count listed some 200,000 homeless in Santa Cruz County but just 200 shelter beds available in the city of Santa Cruz.

One woman brought some potato salad for the campers. "There's so many people that need a place to sleep if there's a reasonable place for them to be seems to be reasonable to me," said Barbara Ginsberg of Santa Cruz.

A sheriff's department spokesman told KTVU while the campers are breaking the law, there have been no complaints and there is no need to do anything about it right now.

A similar demonstration three years ago lasted six days before police started confiscating belongings.

Copyright 2010 by All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Endorsements for PEACE CAMP 2010 at Santa Cruz County Courthouse

We the following endorse the effort of Peace Camp 2010 to lobby for the suspension of ticketing under MC 6.36.010 section a, also known as the Sleeping Ban, MC 6.36.010 section b, also known as the Blanket Ban as cruel and unusual punishment serving no public benefit.












DAN McMULLAN* (510) 688-2342



JEREMY ALDERSON, Founder of the Homelessness Marathon

HERMAN I. KALFEN, JD, REA, NAEP, Kalfen Law Corporation, San Francisco, Ca.

PROTEST” BOB AND NANCY McCRADIE, formerly of Homes on Wheels, Santa Barbara

ALEX DAROCY, Longtime Santa Cruz resident, currently a Felton resident, Photographer/Artist

MIKE RHODES, Editor, Community Alliance Newspaper, Fresno Ca










TIKI MILBERTA RANDLE, member Safeground, Homeward Bound, SHOC, Sacramento, CA.







LINDA JOLLEY, landscaper/activist San Mateo, Ca.


GAIL BOWEN, Secular Humanist*, Santa Cruz, Ca.

GAIL WILLIAMSON, Secular Humanist*, Santa Cruz, Ca.


KIMBERLY KAUSS, Santa Cruz County, Ca.


JASON CORDERO, Santa Cruz, Ca.






CORAL BRUNE, “Tangerine Dreams” --Free Radio Santa Cruz




DAVID BUSCH, Co-founder, WorkingDemocracy! (!)




*Disabled People Outside Project

*Psychiatric Inmates Rights Collective

*Homelessness Marathon

*Secular Humanist Association of Santa Cruz County

*Housing Now! of Santa Cruz County


Peoples' Action for Rights and Community (PARC)

Sacramento Homeless Organizing Committee (SHOC)