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-Progressive- Reilly And Her Violence Against The Poor

The following letter was sent by the Coalition to Free Mumia Abu-Jamal and All Political Prisoners.
Mayor Emily Reilly has held a rabidly anti-homeless record in the city of Santa Cruz. That record has included keeping the law on the books that keeps sleep illegal for the homeless and presiding over a police department that systematically harasses, steals from, and brutalizes the homeless. The following letter from the Coalition to
Free Mumia Abu-Jamal asks she not be the featured speaker at a demonstration opposing war on Iraq. --STEVE ARGUE

Dear Santa Cruz Peace Coalition:

The Santa Cruz Coalition to Free Mumia Abu-Jamal and All Political Prisoners would like to go on record as being opposed to Emily Reilly being included as a featured or designated speaker at the Feb 15th rally.

She has been extremely anti-homeless including a voting record that has made life more difficult for the homeless population including the introduction of the early morning no parking zones at Harvey West area.

She has been a major participant in creating the new downtown ordinances.

She has not introduced any legislation to expand availability of medical marijuana or to repeal the sleeping ban.

As mayor, she is playing a role in destroying the civilian police review board without any meaningful alternative being proposed to replace it.

We wholeheartedly endorse the Feb 15th rally as a peace rally and welcome discussion of the necessity of linking local politics to national politics. We believe that local politicians need to be held accountable on general non-violent issues.


John Thielking
Santa Cruz Coalition to Free Mumia Abu-Jamal and All Political

Steering committee:
Melanie Wilkinson
Bernard Klitzner
Greg Uba

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ALL political prisoners?

Given that non-violent drug offenders are successfully applying for asylum as "political refugees" in Canada and elsewhere, wouldn't that make all prisoners on non-violent, drug-related charges "political prisoners"? I look forward to press releases from the Santa Cruz Coalition in support of Ed Rosenthal and the tens or hundreds of thousands of "political prisoners" now in US state and federal prisons.

Resist the War Against the Poor, the Drug War, and the Iraqi War

We need a joint Resistance Against the War: both the War on the Poor locally and the War in Iraq. Because Reilly has lent herself (in fact, led) the War Against the Poor by spearheading the Downtown Ordinances this summer (and again this winter), the attack on Camp Paradise a year ago, the Harvey West criminalization of parking, and the insidious destruction of public process at City Council meetings under cover of Smile and Decorum that disenfranchises not merely homeless people, but activists of all stripes.
The recent publicity around the judicial lynching of Ed Rosenthal reminds us that public information outside the courthouse has the potential to be a very effective tool in derailing the local Drug War. That War, which funds prosecutors, police, courts, and white-collar criminals of all kinds, depends on plea bargaining, which depends on folks accepting deals instead of taking cases to trial.
I propose a two-fold educational campaign outside the courthouse urging all people who face drug charges to take their cases to jury trial, and urging all juries to acquit (unless violence or minors are involved). I would be willing to be a part of such an effort if anyone is interested.
HUFF (Homeless United for Friendship & Freedom) has long advocated fighting Drug Prohibition, informing the public of their right to nullify, and medicalization and decriminalization of all drugs. Give a call to 423-HUFF, come to a HUFF meeting Wednesday mornings at 1107 Ocean St. (Baker's Square) at 8:30 AM, or e-mail me at rnorse (at)
We also need to fight phoney Progressive symbolism locally (City Council's oppressive medical marijuana zoning law) that keeps most medical marijuana patients criminals and allows only WAMM to operate legally. There's a good letter on this issue (somewhat peripherally) in the current Metro by Theodora Kerry and Andrea Tischler.
Finally it may be time for a second Right to Sleep Summit. Last year we had a successful gathering that brought together homeless, houseless, and nomadic peoples from Tent City in Portland, Camp Paradise in Santa Cruz, Isla Vista's Teepee Village, Santa Barbara's Home on Wheels, Seattle's Tent City III, Sacramento's Homelessness Organizing Project, San Francisco's Coalition on Homelessness, and Berkeley's People's Park Pillowlovers. Fighting the City's 11 PM- 8:30 AM Sleeping Ban is something most sane people can agree on--along with fighting aggressive warheads in Washington.

Robert Norse

Response To Jack

I'm sure the coalition would not be at all adverse to making such a statement in support of Ed Rosenthal. Good idea Jack.


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