Santa Cruz Indymedia :
Santa Cruz Indymedia

Re: Police Infiltrate Peaceful Parade Organizers

copy of email sent to Santa Cruz City Council
Subject: Undercover Police Surveillance

Dear Mayor and Council Members:

I imagine this is not the only letter you will receive on this topic, and I hope you will take the matter very seriously.

In a city feeling ever poorer, using our precious tax dollars for undercover police surveillance of groups dedicated to peace and a joyful, spontaneous celebration of the community of Santa Cruz seems a rather sad and appalling fact. Even in the best of economic times, it would be a sad and appalling fact.

I believe this is not the first time SCPD has engaged in undercover surveillance of local groups. Just prior to the invasion of Iraq, I witnessed regular photo surveillance being conducted from unmarked cars, by men in plainclothes, driving through the intersection of Ocean and Water Streets during the weekly Friday Peace Vigils there. I am almost certain that I recognized at least one of those men as an officer of the SCPD.

As Council Members, I hope you will insist immediately on the following three actions:

1) an open discussion of this matter, during an evening session, with staff present to answer questions, at the next Council meeting

2) a full investigation into and disclosure of any undercover efforts that have been conducted by SCPD in the past three years and focused on peace and social justice groups, antiwar groups, free speech groups, or groups dedicated to community based and controlled events

3) a letter of apology from the SCPD to be sent to the organizers of the Last Night DIY event, an event which drew hundreds of participants, hundreds of onlookers, and was one of the most peaceful, creative, and joyful events I have ever been a part of in my 28 years in Santa Cruz

This buck cannot be passed - whatever the structure of city government, and no matter who answers to whom, we have elected you to represent us and to run this city according to principles of democracy, transparency, and the highest regard for constitutional and civil rights - please exercise your oath and your duty of office vigorously and speedily!

Sincerely, and Peace Now!

Sherry Conable
a thankful participant in the Peace Walk that was the silent vanguard of the Last Night DIY Parade!
and a member of WILPF of SC, Women in Black of SC, Code Pink SC, the Santa Cruz Peace Coalition, and the Coalition for Impeachment Now! (COIN!)

cc: Last Night organizers, activist groups, the press

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