Friday, August 6, 2010

Santa Cruz Homeless Protest Concerns

Posted: Aug 06, 2010 11:58 AM PDT
Updated: Aug 06, 2010 11:58 AM PDT

SANTA CRUZ, Calif. -- City officials are raising serious health and safety concerns over the homeless protest that continues to drag on at the county courthouse.

"Peace Camp 2010" protests the city's sleeping and camping ordinances by taking the issue right to its front steps. Now, they have been sleeping there for more than a month.

Santa Cruz Mayor Mike Rotkin said the protesters are only hurting their cause, saying these grave concerns prove the city's ordinances are necessary.

Friday, a county worker who tends to the courthouse grounds said he picks up about 100 pounds of garbage a day on site, up dramatically from just 20 pounds a week.

He also told Central Coast News he regularly finds human excrement on the sidewalk.

Protest organizers said they didn't have any knowledge of that, instead pointing to a port-a-potty and the courthouse bathrooms.

"We've had 60 some odd people here last night and we've had hundreds upon hundreds of people here for 34 days," said Christoper Doyon with Peace Camp 2010. "You found one turd on the grass, so, I don't think that's doing so bad."

Santa Cruz County Sheriff's deputies visited the site twice this week. Sheriff's officials said they are conducting a preliminary investigation, informing protesters they are breaking the law.

No word yet on further enforcement.

Submitted by Matt de Nesnera, Central Coast News Reported

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