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Fighting Back Against Privatizing Pacific Avenue

Tabling resumed Saturday to urge a boycott of Sushi Now!, Cafe Campesino, and New Leaf Market until they agree to return the "forbidden fence" sidewalk area to public use at Lincoln and Pacific.
I and Thomas Leavitt (a Green Party activist who ran for City Council in the last election supporting street performers) tabled Saturday afternoon in front of New Leaf
Market with the following flyer and petition, which I also include as an attachment. That traditional tabling and performing area will be largely closed to tablers if the Mathews 10' rules go into effect on January 14th---which will also hobble street performers.

Matisse Selman of Sushi Now! immediately called the police on our arrival, apparently to have us arrested for "blocking the sidewalk" Hosts began to cluster. The law however still allows that tabling is legal (until January 14th) if you're at least 6' from a building, 10'
from a crosswalk, etc. So they left after a stern admonition or two from an elderly Host.

We then gathered signatures and gave out literature (as well as some anti-war literature). Many folks expressed sympathy for street performers. I'll be playing some of
their interviews tomorrow on Free Radio Santa Cruz as well as some of the December 10th Council "debate" (96.3 FM, 10 AM - 1:30 PM, call-in: 427-3772). Even Matisse Selman himself had apparently gone on the Community TV
show last Thursday night Voices from Village along with Sheila Coonerty and Sherry Conable to speak out for the performers, according to Sherry.

Thomas Leavitt noted that every single street performer he saw this afternoon was performing illegally (either within 6' of a building, or soliciting with a sign in a seated position, or sitting on a bench, etc.). I saw the same thing New Year's Eve. Mike True played illegally "after dark" with a container while folks "hopscotched for peace" in front of the Costa Brava planter area on an "illegal" sidewalk chalk pattern. It's certainly positive, and shows the absurdity and alienness of the 10' laws.
Robert Norse


TEXT OF FLYER DISTRIBUTED DOWNTOWN:

Boycott Businesses That Seize Public Spaces !
Remove the Forbidden Fence ! Downtown For All !

* Sushi Now! , Cafe Campesino, and New Leaf Market have privatized most of the
previously public sidewalk, turning what was once an area for meeting, music playing, and
political tabling into their private preserve. These activities are now barred not only within
the “Forbidden Fence” area, but along the sidewalk nearby. This was done at taxpayer
expense with no meaningful public process.

*The planter area--one of only four on Pacific Avenue where one can legally sit without
getting a $162 ticket-- is barred from public use. This was done to rid the City of the
“youth scene” in front of New Leaf Market without meaningful public input, debate, or
process. Laws against hackeysacking, ‘amateur’ bubbleblowing, ballplaying, and
unattended backpacks followed. Benches at Borders and Cookie Co. were taken out.
Police have cracked down on street performers.

*Sushi Now! owner Matisse Selman in collusion with the SCPD had two activists
handcuffed, arrested, and dragged into court for bogus “blocking the sidewalk”
charges--ultimately dropped after 8 months of court harassment. Activist Robert Norse
plans to sue Selman, the SCPD, & the City in federal court for deprivation of civil rights
and false arrest to get an injunction against future violations.

*Sitting down anywhere on the sidewalk throughout the previously public area in front of
New Leaf is now banned except for customers and friends of the three businesses. They
plan no policy change.

*In collusion with the SCPD, Selman had two activists handcuffed, arrested, and dragged
into court for bogus “blocking the sidewalk” charges--ultimately dropped after 8 months
of court harassment.
*Santa Cruz City Council now plans even more restrictive Downtown Ordinances that will
ban street performing and political tabling completely in the traditional New Leaf,
Bookshop Santa Cruz, and most other areas of Pacific Avenue. Call City Council at
420-5017 to oppose these new laws.

*Sushi Now! , Cafe Campesino, and New Leaf Market won’t support removing the
Forbidden Fence which blocks the public sidewalk. Activists have proposed a Code of
Conduct, which would allow the public to use the public sidewalk that would address
behavioral problems and concerns on all sides, though the kind of mediating process
currently being used by street performers.

*The Street Performers Guidelines have been successfully used for 20 years to voluntarily
regulate disputes between merchants, musicians, activists, and artists on Pacific Avenue
(in spite of the abusive “no sitting” Downtown Ordinances passed in 1994 and intensified
last summer). Oppose bad laws & Support Voluntary Guidelines. Come to Council 7 PM
January 14th.

*Harassment of young people, street performers, political tablers, and the homeless
displaced by the Forbidden Fence and the Downtown Ordinances has intensified with
removal of public benches, ever-restrictive laws, “cowboy” police actions, & draconian
Drug War attacks on small marijuana sales.

*Activists using erasable chalk have been jailed. Becky Johnson faces a February 14th
trial on two counts of “defacing the sidewalk” for drawing a peace sign and writing “End
the Sleeping Ban”. Mayor Reilly has declined to restore First Amendment rights for
chalkers downtown.

Sign the Boycott Petition to Press Sushi Now!, Cafe Campesino,
New Leaf Market, & Santa Cruz City Council to restore a Downtown For All.

Tell them you’ll buy again when they Restore the Public Space!

Pledge Not To Purchase at Cafe Campesino, Sushi Now!, or New Leaf Market :
“Until these businesses enter into good faith negotiations to return the public sidewalk to
public hands, I will not buy there. I support peaceful mediation to resolve differences that
do not involve evicting one group or criminalizing innocent behavior.”

The businesses below supported the Repressive Downtown
Ordinances this summer with e-mails and letters:

Jackson’s Shoes Artisans Jon Michael Studio Santa Cruz Travel Logos Books
Santa Cruz Jewelry & Gift Pacific Trading Company Lenz Arts, Inc. Miss Jessie
May Antiques Palace Art & Office Supply Camouflage Corbin Gallery Cotton Tales
Plumlee’s & Nelson’s Flowers Volume Vintage Clothing Pacific Cookie Co.
Chefworks Redtree Properties ImageSnap Cinema 9 The Hat Company Gateway
Books


These businesses supported the original Downtown Ordinances:
Bookshop Santa Cruz The ID Building Game-A-Lot Atlantis Fantasyworld

Look for Downtown-For-All on Merry Mondays 3:30 PM at Cooper & Pacific
Call Mayor Emily Reilly at 420-5022 to return compassion & sanity to Santa Cruz!

Join the Merry Monday March to the Mayor at 4:30 PM to sign up for a visit with the
Mayor to educate her on the real needs and problems in Santa Cruz!

Come to City Council 3 PM Tuesday January 7th to Restore Civil Rights NOW (absent
from the Bureaucrat’s “5 Year Plan to end Homelessness”)!

HUFF meets Wednesdays 8:30 AM Baker’s Square Restaurant at 1107 Ocean St.


Table Poster Perform Protest Politick Copwatch Chalk Cavort

Stroll Sing Strut Sit Smile FightBack !


TEXT OF PETITION CIRCULATED ON THE MALL:

Boycott Petition to Press Sushi Now!, Cafe Campesino,
New Leaf Market, to regain a Downtown For All.

Tell them you’ll return when they Restore the Public Space!

I Pledge Not To Purchase at Cafe Campesino, Sushi Now!, or New Leaf Market until those businesses enter into good faith negotiations to return the public sidewalk to public hands. I support peaceful mediation to resolve differences
that do not involve evicting one group or criminalizing innocent behavior.

Name Phone E-Mail Offer Help With Mediation Campaign?

Call Mayor Emily Reilly at 420-5022 and tell her to restore the sidewalk to public use. Sign up for a 15 minute period of time to talk with her. Join the Merrie Monday March to the Mayor at 4:30 PM on Mondays.
 
 


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