Thursday, August 19, 2010

Floodlights, noise, 24 hr security guards placed at Peace Camp 2010

NOTE TO READER: Our protest is a legal demonstration attempting to redress the government grievance of the Sleeping Ban. Claiming the lights make anyone "safer" is ludicrous. Not mentioned in the article is that a private security guard has been stationed at Peace Camp 2010 for almost 2 weeks now. When asked, the guards will not say who has hired them. Despite this scrutiny, people continue to sleep and be cited for Sleeping, illegal use of a blanket, illegal "lodging", and for setting up a campsite with the intent of spending the night. It's impossible to determine why one code is used for one person, a different code for another person, and some only get more and more citations while others are arrested. ---- Becky Johnson, Ed.

Santa Cruz police light up camping protest with floodlights
By Jennifer Squires
Posted: 08/19/2010 01:30:51 AM PDT

found online at:

SANTA CRUZ -- The day a convicted child molester was arrested at a homeless camping demonstration on the City Hall lawn, Santa Cruz police officers hauled in large floodlights to illuminate the protest.

Deputy Santa Cruz Police Chief Kevin Vogel said the aim of lighting the protest is to protect public safety. The lights went up Tuesday night and will be there until the demonstration ends.

"The lights at City Hall are simply an additional security measure and were put in place for the safety of our community," Vogel said Wednesday. "With yesterday's arrest of the convicted child molester at City Hall, it's apparent that the City Hall protest has reached new proportions."

Mark Greer, a 29-year-old local transient, was arrested at the demonstration Tuesday under the state anti-lodging law but he gave the officer a fake name, according to police.

The discrepancy was sorted out at County Jail, where he was fingerprinted and his real name popped up. Jail records showed he is registered sex offender and has five warrants from San Luis Obispo County.

As part of his child molestation conviction, Greer is required to register with police every month, but hasn't checked in with law enforcement since June, police said.

Vogel said Greer's arrest, along with fights, trash and other issues at the camp-in demonstration, show participants can't police themselves.

The so-called Peace Camp protest launched July Fourth at the county courthouse
and moved to City Hall a week ago. Participants are calling for an end to the city ordinance that prohibits camping outside between 11 p.m. and 8:30 a.m.

Police have been going to the demonstration nightly to ticket and arrest participants. Two people were ticketed around 2:30 a.m. Wednesday for violating the camping law. Vogel said it seemed there were fewer protest participants than on prior nights.

Illuminating the demonstration with floodlights costs about $100 a day, police reported.

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