Santa Cruz Indymedia :
Santa Cruz Indymedia

Robert Norse has a long list of accomplishments

As a longtime friend and co-worker of Robert Norse, I am well aware of the types of accusations that have been leveled at him over the years. We at HUFF have a rather thick file filled with Norse-bashings. As to his accomplishments, Robert Norse has produced over 600 radio shows on Free Radio Santa Cruz 96.3FM featuring on the street interviews with local poor and homeless people -- effectively giving them a voice ---their own!

In 1996 he went to jail on a 60-day sentence for giving free food to homeless people in San Francisco's Civic Center Plaza free food with Food Not Bombs. Amnesty International at that time declared their intent to declare him a prisoner of conscience in a letter to Governor Pete Wilson. Robert served 28 days of that sentence when jail authorities urged him to leave early after he successfully circulated a petition in English and Spanish in all cellblocks in the jail, not just his pod, demanding that prisoners have access to a law library, per their legal right. Apparently jail designers forgot to include one in County Jail 8.

Robert Norse was arrested with Sister Bernie Galvin in San Francisco for a home occupation in the Presidio with Religious Witness for Peace. He was arrested twice with Rev. Scott Wager in San Jose by occupying both the mayor's office and refusing to leave the podium at a City Council meeting until Mayor Ron Gonzales provided more shelter for homeless people.

In addition to hundreds of articles written by Robert Norse in Street Spirit, a San Francisco-based homeless newspaper, he has edited a homeless newspaper of his own, the Street Shit Sheet which he has self-published over 160 issues.

His on target accurate and detailed reportings on the actions and inactions of the City Council of Santa Cruz, the SCPD, the Redevelopment Agency, the County Board of Supervisors, the Parks and Rec, and the courts have been invaluable to activists throughout the years. At least one city councilmember would never have gotten elected if it weren't for Robert Norse.

More recently, Robert Norse was one of 13 arrested in Capitola while protesting at the military recruiting center on 41st Ave.

Since he is not paid to do any of this, and in fact funds many of these activities himself, it is amazing to hear the chief criticism Jerry has is that Robert Norse does not work for money. However, one cannot say that Robert Norse does not work.

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