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Santa Cruz Indymedia

Groups protest downtown rules

Groups protest downtown rules


September 10, 2002
Sentinel staff report

SANTA CRUZ About 100 protesters walked down Pacific Avenue on Monday evening chanting ‘We’re here, we’re poor, we’re not going shopping.’’
The group was protesting downtown ordinance revision scheduled to take effect Thursday, banning hacky sack and after-dark begging, and increasing space limits for panhandlers, musicians who busk for money and political tablers.
Protesters including Uncle Sam, a Statue of Liberty on stilts and two women who went topless say the rules limit freedom of expression and discriminate against the poor. Supporters of the rules claim the ordinance revisions target aggressive panhandling, crowded sidewalks and rudeness downtown.
‘‘The rules are crazy,’’ said protester Marlene Winell. ‘‘Public space is public space, not shopping space.’’
The City Council meets tonight on an advisory group’s recommendation that the city postpone downtown rules affecting street musicians and tablers.
Several activist groups sponsored the protest, including a group that wants to see parts of Pacific Avenue turned into a pedestrian mall, at least temporarily.

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