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Kennedy's Last Hurrah

Former Mayor Scott Kennedy, co-founder of the Resource Center for Non-Violence, showed his stuff last night by refusing to agenda-ize, much less support the "U.S. Out of Iraq NOW" resolution.
At the final afternoon session of the Kennedy Council yesterday, Frances Markovich again brought forward, with support from Vets for Peace, the "U.S. Out of Iraq NOW" resolution similar to the one passed by the Arcata City Council in July.

The resolution had been brought to Kennedy two weeks ago as an urgency matter just after the Fallujah slaughter began. At that time (on November 9th)he refused to agenda-ize it then and declined to discuss it after it, and urgency findings with it, were presented at oral communications.

Similarly silent as the bombs fell were "peace activist" Emily Reilly, "arrest the tape recorder" Ed Porter, "Green Party member" Tim Fitzmaurice, and "feminist-socialist" Mike Rotkin. (The silence was, of course, shared by the outgoing "no phone calls please" Mark Primack, and "no Unions at Planned Parenthood" Cynthia Mathews).

When the issue was raised again yesterday as the U.S. and its Allawi regime initiate new violence in Iraq in support of "free elections", Kennedy moved Oral Communications from the originally announced time of 3 PM to 5 PM--which may have discouraged 3 vets from speaking.

When Fran spoke during the 2 minutes Kennedy allowed her during Oral Communications, he repeatedly tried to cut her off before she could finish announcing the names of the Santa Cruz County dead. True, she'd gone over her time, but other speakers--such as SEIU spokespeople--were allowed to go far over their time.

Afterwards Kennedy had no apologies for his behavior, leading some to suggest that his personal grudges may take precedence over any supposed commitment to peace activism. He wrote the following e-mail to Fran after he'd received the "U.S. Out of Iraq NOW" resolution for the second time in two weeks:

"From: R Scott Kennedy <kenncruz (at)>
To: Franmark (at)
Cc: tfitzmaurice (at), cmathews (at), skennedy (at), mrotkin (at), mprimack (at), electmadrigal (at), eriley (at), ryan (at), citycouncil (at), eporter (at)
Subject: Re: Resolution
Sent: Tuesday, November 23, 2004 12:17 PM
You may perhaps be the only person (or persons) in the USA or Iraq who didn't see the attack on Fallujah coming. It is too bad you didn't submit something in a timely fashion after the last meeting or find a councilmember to sponsor the item on the agenda.

I don't think this is very serious political work.

The people of Fallujah and here require much more from those who would presume to speak for peace.

Scott Kennedy
City of Santa Cruz
809 Center Street
Santa Cruz, CA 95060 USA
(831) 420 - 5028 office
(831) 457 - 8003 home & messages
kenncruz (at)"

More serious and more important, of course, is the response of the rest of the City Council--such as incoming Mayor Rotkin and the rest of the PC but voiceless gang, who had nothing to say about Iraq.

It should also be noted that SEIU members at the meeting in force, with one honorable exception, declined to look at the petition being passed around and refused to wear "U.S. Out of Iraq NOW" buttons, even though this is the official position of their local and national.

I support their general position urging action before December 3rd on a contract, but despair at their attitude towards the national (as well as their silence on the Sleeping Ban fight).

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Re: Kennedy's Last Hurrah

Of course nobody wanted to be a part of Norse's 'US out of Iraq' resolution, why give energy to the hate-mongers? There are peaceful means to bring peace to Iraq that don't support the war-like Norse. You can't bomb people into democracy and you can't flame people into understanding.

Arcata City Council = Warmongers ?

Attacking me is another way of avoiding the issue. Those concerned with passing this (or any similar resolution need to contact the City Council at 420-5020 and ask just what they do support in Iraq---if not a speedy withdrawal of U.S. troops.

Not quite clear how withdrawing the troops is a form of warmongering. Perhaps old "peaceful means" can enlighten us?

Re: Kennedy's Last Hurrah

Once again Mr. Norse shows that if you want to get something done, keep him away from your cause. Norse can rant and rage about people "attacking him," but the fact is he has attacked so many people in the community that no one is willing to work with him.

The sad thing is that issues, such as this one, get left by the wayside because of Norse's political ineffectiveness.

It's as though Norse, by becoming involves in issues, wants them to fail. Can you say cointelpro?

420-5020 is still the number to call.

Have I been successful in diverting the peaceloving Anon from calling the Santa Cruz City Council to support a "U.S. Out of Iraq" resolution?

Another victory to bring to my cointepro masters!

Re: Kennedy's Last Hurrah

While the previous two posters are being a bit smarmy, they do have a point that is valid. It is notoriously difficult for individuals outside of your circle to work with you, as you are constantly on the lookout for positions/statements/subtle movements that are not exactly what you believe. This leads you to be sarcastic and mean in your writings (such as always having some nickname for councilmembers, as if they were all baby-killing wife beaters or something) and thus provides no incentive for anyone to work with you. I've seen it before, Robert- even when people in some position of power agree with you (or, you agree with them) 97% of the time, you still harp on the 3% and use that as a way to name-call and chastise. It's counterproductive, as I would think you would see by now. Does this mean that you should roll over and become a "yes-man"? No, of course not. I just think that the points that are trying to be made are valid, and may help explain why the Council doesn't generally want to work with you on any issue.

The Why and the Wherefore

While I appreciate the moderate tone of Jerry's comments, I disagree with the substance. Most homeless advocates, I think, agree that the Santa Cruz City Council is wretched on issues of homeless civil rights and emergency shelter--given the need (1500-2000 homeless per night) and the resources (endless bucks for the police, developers, Pogonip bond issues, etc.).

That's been my main focus of activism. Related subjects come up when Council uses undemocratic processes to shut down or manipulate its agendas. This prompts another legitimate and important level of criticism. It happens when we try to bring up issues they don't want to address, or when people they don't want to hear from approach them.

The issues range from police misconduct to gentrification to the war in Iraq that's bleeding away all the social services (as well as that blood of 100,000 Iraqis) to rent control to constriction of city public spaces.

This is not a progressive Council, however much many wish it would be, nor has it ever been.

I see my role as being a clear and persistent critic of Council in areas where they refuse to work, not just with me, but with anyone. They didn't "work with" Clear View Court or De Anza residents; they simply sold them out. They didn't "work with" the CPRB; they simply beheaded it.

I think the reason for the hostility that the Council and some of its allies have towards me is that my nicknames, for instance, aren't irrelevant personal attacks (such as "baby-killing wife beaters"), but specifically target particular behaviors and policies that detrimentally impact the community and typify the Councilmember.

I do think that calling Councilmembers on these issues in stark terms has positive benefits: we got rid of Kennedy and Primack at the last election, and that may begin to penetrate the consciousness of schmooze-and-schlock maestros like Emily Reilly that they are not invulnerable.

Jerry's criticisms might also more weight for me if they were a part of a response to the substance of my concerns--supporting or, at least, addressing the basic issues I repeatedly raise.

Finally, it encourages the worst side of City Council to suggest to them, and to activists in the community, that it's okay to ignore the issues I raise because of who I am, how I speak, or the manner I raise these issues.

Rather, I would think, if someone were seriously concerned with those issues, they might raise them in an alternative manner or, perhaps, disavow my colorful language, but agree with the substance of what I say.

To shift the focus (as Jerry often does) to me is to let the Council off the hook and to pass over the issue.

But then, perhaps, after all--and this may be the real point--Jerry (like the Council) doesn't feel the issues I raise are sufficiently pressing anyway.

For those concerned, I suggest maximum pressure on the Council to act on the reasonable long-overdue "U.S. Out of Iraq" resolution which comes, after all, not from me, but from the Arcata City Council.

That 24-hour number is 420-5020. Leave your name and ask for a callback. This week, not next week.

Remind Fitzmaurice that he claims to be a Green Party member and might look to Arcata's Green party majority for action.

Remind Porter that his earlier "U.S. Out of Iraq" resolution a year and a half ago (that was stalled by Kennedy) is just as valid as it ever was.

Remind Reilly that her prancing around like a peace activist at public events means little if she won't try to muster city support where she actually has some power.

Remind Madrigal that his own union--the SEIU--both locally and state-wide has called for the U.S. to get out of Iraq immediately.

Remind Rotkin that remaining silent on the War on Iraq at City Council month after month looks pretty peculiar for a self-described "feminist-socialist".

As for Coonerty and Mathews, I am reduced to silence--though I suspect they supported the massive February 2003 demonstration (biggest ever in Santa Cruz) urging "no war in Iraq".

If it makes you feel better, preface your phone message with "I hate Robert Norse, but you need to take some action..."

I also encourage people to support HUFF's Vigil Against Two Wars--which links the war in Iraq to the war against the poor in Santa Cruz. I received second-hand word that a 57-year old man died near City Hall yesterday; how many more such deaths do we need to establish minimum facilities and relax draconian restrictions that make such deaths more likely?

Re: Kennedy's Last Hurrah

Norse can be an ass - we all know this.

However, it is not the job of the city council to arbitrarily work only with whom they like. It's not a fucking tea-and-biscuit social. If.. *if*.. the city council cant focus on the issues, then they are negligent to a childish degree in performing their duty.

That being said, the duty of the Santa Cruz City Council is to rule over SANTA CRUZ. Anyone who wants public declarations against Washington DC's plundering of Iraq, should address their *federal representative* Sam Farr.

And then paint a bed sheet and head to the nearest overpass.

The Santa Cruz City Council are your elected representatives for issues here in Santa Cruz - not for life in general.

You're a citizen of Santa Cruz AND of America. You have local representatives, and you have federal ones.

You have local responsibilities, and you have federal responsibilities.

The condemnation of Washington DC's unjustified attack upon Iraq is important. It is valid. And as American citizens, it is our business. As American citizens, on their own time, it is also the business of the members of SC City Council. ON THEIR OWN TIME.

Leave the Council to do its job - run SC. Then take your complaints to Sam Farr, Anna Eshoo, and whatever other representatives to DC that we have, and tell them to start doing their job by condemning DC's invasion of Iraq.

6 Billion in Iraqi War Bucks Every Month Has Some Effect on Our City

"Priorities" is right in suggesting people give Farr, Eschoo, and the other congressional hacks a call (Farr's number is 429-1976).

We need, however, to call for immediate withdrawal of the occupation wehrmacht, not some meaningless Kerry-like assertion that the invasion was a "mistake".

Indeed Kerry lost the election by lurching to the right as he tred to rope in deluded pro-war voters, while herding nowhere-to-go lefties. H ended up with a contradictory, unpersuasive, and wiffle-waffle position: "the war was the wrong war at the wrong time" but "help is on the way" cause the great Vietnam War Operation Phoenix "Swift Boats" hero could win the war...etc.

Getting back to Santa Cruz, the action of city representatives--acting on behalf of their constituents--can have a significant impact in sparking similar action in other cities and pressuring the national war machine.

City government can also consider other alternatives, such as disinvesting in war related industries, directly supporting draft resistance counseling, etc.

The federal government has to consider the level of resistance at cities throughout the land before it sends more troops, dumps more money, unloads more phospherous bombs, occupies or destroys more hospitals, creates more Abu Graib's, in support of "democracy".

It is well to remember we are talking about a national government of war criminals backed by a fatally coopted national media. Anything we can do to separate ourselves from this cesspool of blood is worth doing.

It's also important to hold locals who ran as "progressives" to their progressive positions--at least for progressive voters. The hypocrisy of the Rotkin Council on a host of local (as well as national issues such as the Patriot Act and the war) needs to be laid bare so we can see exactly what we've bought and paid for.

Madrigal and Coonerty, to be fair, should not be prematurely judged, but I am prepared to wager heavily that they will flow along with the rest of the sewage.

If taking these positions makes me an ass, then I can only say "hee-haw".

In the meantime, perhaps "priorities" will take the lead in action, against either local or national war criminal supporters, rather than pummeling those of us who are trying to get things moving.

Out of context and backwards

Madrigal and Coonerty, to be fair, should not be prematurely judged, but I am prepared to wager heavily that they will flow along with the rest of the sewage.

Similarly silent as the bombs fell were "peace activist" Emily Reilly, "arrest the tape recorder" Ed Porter, "Green Party member" Tim Fitzmaurice, and "feminist-socialist" Mike Rotkin. (The silence was, of course, shared by the outgoing "no phone calls please" Mark Primack, and "no Unions at Planned Parenthood" Cynthia Mathews).

Come on Robert, stop being so judgemental. Cynthia Mathews after all almost single-handedly almost gave us fluoride in the water in Santa Cruz. Maybe Kennedy should also be characterized as "soft on fluoridation" Kennedy (for being the ONLY canidate who publicly announced at a 2004 campaign debate on TV that he would not support Santa Cruz'es Measure N against a State challenge, because Watsonville's pure water inititative failed against a simillar State challenge in Superior court).

Our local representatives should involve themselves in making resolutions about national politics, just as they should resist a state mandate that is unjust. Kennedy seems to have made an about face on both of these fronts. Let us hope that at least the new and re-elected city council people stick to their word about supporting measure N. I would also like to see them support a US out of Iraq resolution.


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