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News :: Resistance & Tactics

NO DAY IN COURT: Capitola 13


Loose Scruz

It’s tough being a nonviolent activist in Santa Cruz County. Because we live in a veritable Xanadu for political activism, protestors just don’t get the proper respect of, say, Seattle or Chicago or some place where they’d pull out the tear gas and rubber bullets and make it a media field day.

Case in point: The so-dubbed “Capitola 13? dutifully showed up at the county courthouse last Wednesday as their citations instructed them to do. The motley crew of long hairs and grandmothers held a press conference and spouted their anti-war rants to a couple of reporters on the steps of the courthouse. But when it came time to face the judge, what happens? Their names don’t even appear on the docket.

The Capitola cops arrested the 13 for trespassing in March when they refused to leave an office building on 41st Avenue, where recruiting offices for the U.S. Armed Forces are housed. More than 100 sign-carrying protesters showed up there that day to protest war in Iraq. The cops and the Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s deputies showed up too—the deputies were decked out in riot gear head to toe.

Now it seems that Santa Cruz County District Attorney Bob Lee isn’t sure what to do with the 13 rabble-rousers. He asked the group to return on May 2 and promised to send out letters to appear. But as of press time, 13-er Linda Crouse says she hasn’t heard hide nor hair from Lee, and the naughty DA had not returned Scruz’s repeated phone calls. SCruz speculates that Lee wants to drop the charges—really, what’s the point of forcing a bunch of dissident grandmas to perform community service—and that the Capitola cops are giving him static.

Whatever the case may be, at least one lawyer is hoping his client will be denied his day in court. Says Dana Scruggs, attorney for one of the 13: “I respect Bob Lee, and I’m sure he’s carefully considering these groundless charges and will elect not to file charges against any of these patriots.?

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