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Sex for Peace Event a Big Success!! SCPD officers attend and leave satisfied

When the 24-hr Vigil Against Two Wars announced civil disobedience "Sex for Peace" at midnight, four police cars and six officers arrived at Cooper and Pacific Ave. at 11:58PM.
Santa Cruz, Ca. --- At the stroke of midnight, the demonstrators at the Vigil to End Two Wars, began their event, Sex for Peace. Inspired by groups of mostly
young males who continually drive by the Vigil at unsafe speeds shouting something like "F__K peace!!", vigilers were inspired to schedule a very special round of civil
disobedience for the cause of world peace.

"A piece for peace!" vigil-goer, Yani proclaimed. Throughout the day, vigilers invited people to return at midnight and have Sex for Peace. "Bring the sexual partner of your choosing and come to Cooper St. and Pacific Ave.
at midnight!" announced Robert Norse of HUFF. Most members of the public seemed keen on the event.

One man, who admitted sadly that he had no sexual partner, offered to attend and provide backup if asked.

Two minutes to midnight, Sgt. Pruger and five other police officers arrived in four police cars, temporarily interrupting some heavy necking for peace. Officer Kline , when informed that the SCPD had arrived just in time for the "Sex for Peace" event, advised vigil organizers that the indecent exposure ordinance would be enforced. "Its a misdemeanor, and I highly recommend against it,"
warned Officer Kline.

The organizers explained that sometimes at demonstrations, people do commit civil disobedience for the cause of the greater good. Police officers then examined the two non-commercial display devices for conformity to the 6 foot
by 3 foot rules that limited the size of a table. Police left satisfied for the moment.

One very dedicated couple disappeared beneath the HUFF protest table, and vigilers placed several protest signs around the table. They proceeded to give it their all for the greater good of mankind. Such was their dedication
and perseverance, that long after 1PM they were still actively pursuing the cause of peace. "Take that Ashcroft!" the dedicated peace worker mumbled from beneath the table. One elderly onlooker commented "When they say
'Make Love, Nor War', they ain't kiddin'."


Around 5 a.m., three police officers, arrived with the determination that sleeping as well as making love was forbidden, and warned the dozen vigilers to stay awake or face citation and arrest. The City's current emergency
shelter capacity is 160, including the Armory, which is due to close March 15 (and may close sooner if Bush begins his Iraq invasion).

The Homeless Census 2000 estimated the number of homeless and nomadic people in Santa Cruz City limits at 1500-2000. With increasing unemployment and soaring rents, HUFF activists suggest that number is at the top end.
Two hours later around 7 a.m. six officers and a lieutenant showed up to enforce the "no sleeping" edict. They also insisted that the two tables were illegal even though run by different groups. Unable to cite the
appropriate "illegal display device" law, Lt. Tom Vlassis nonetheless coaxed and pressed the sleep-befogged protesters, saying he would clarify the issue with City Attorney John Barisone today.

Vlassis was accompanied by a police van and two squad cars. Vlassis said the assistant police chief had ordered his squad to confiscate the literature, signs, & petitions as well as the candles, sleeping bags, backpacks, & blankets of the participants, who were in their 4th cold night of a demonstration that began Friday noon to contain the vigiling menace as needed. Tablers shook their heads and again combined the tables, festooned with "Vigil Against Two Wars" and "Honk for Peace" placards. Vigilers
praised Vlassis for friendly delivery of a harsh and contradictory message.

Vigil flyers urge resistance to the war in Iraq as well as to Santa Cruz's Ashcroft-era restrictions on tabling, sitting, sleeping, and peaceful sparechanging. Participants are opposed to the War against Iraq and the war against the poor at home. Other civil disobedience activities (made criminal by City Council) include blowing bubbles, playing hacky-sack, tossing a frisbee, playing hopscotch, and bouncing a ball.


Today, beginning at 2PM will be a showing of the film of the "Fight to Save Hippie Planter" featuring Robert Norse, arrested and handcuffed for allegedly obstructing the sidewalk on January 30th, 2002.

At 4 PM today Anti-Wars Vigilers are also expected to speak out this afternoon at City Council today against a proposed city-wide parking permit plan that will criminalize parking in unmetered zones and threaten seizures of those whose only home is a vehicle.

Noon Thursday, March 13th at noon in front of Sushi Now! at
Lincoln and Pacific Ave., Robert Norse, Kate Wells, and Thomas Leavitt will be holding a press conference to announce the details of a federal lawsuit filed against Matisse Selman, owner of Sushi Now! , Sgt. Loran "Butchie" Baker and the City of Santa Cruz for a false arrest and
imprisonment when Selman made a citizen's arrest of Norse for allegedly obstructing a 20 foot sidewalk with a 2 and half foot card table. Sgt. Baker and Officer Teaford also dragged off the diminutive Zoe Einbinder screaming in pain from a pain-compliance hold. Einbinder's case is still
awaiting trial and likely dismissal according to attorney Kate Wells.

4PM Thursday March 13, 2003 -- The appeal of the chalking conviction for Tim Rinker and Becky Johnson, represented by Attorney Ed Frey will be arguing before an appeals court in Dept. 9. Johnson was citizen-arrested for chalking a
peace symbol on the sidewalk on June 28th.

The City pulled out all the stops with a prosecution team involving over half a dozen people for a trial that cost taxpayers over $15,000, though City Attorney John Barisone acknowledged in court that the clean-up cost was
negligible, since chalk can be removed within moments with cold water. Joseph's ruling that chalking is defacement is now up for appeal.

At its monthly Monday Assembly yesterday, the Green Party of Santa Cruz County condemned "the use of municipal ordinances or state laws to arrest or fine individuals for the use of erasable chalk ("Sidewalk Chalk") on public
sidewalks." Johnson has been cited three times for chalking and was handcuffed and jailed once with a $1000 bail on charges that were later dropped. She says the law is being used repressively and selectively against disfavored homeless activists. "Chalking the sidewalk is not defacing it; hopscotch is not a crime," she said. Informants report that Johnson was seen playing hopscotch at the vigil several times without a permit.

10 AM Friday, March 14, 2003 --- Becky Johnson returns to be tried for more chalkcrime for a July 21, 2002 educational display. SCPD Officer Phelps will
testify. The trial will take place without a jury or defense lawyer in Dept. 1 before Commissioner Irwin Joseph, after being delayed several times. The police
department has resisted releasing an audio tape made by Officer Phelps, though ordered to do so by Commissioner Joseph on February 14th. On March 11th, Joanne Hopkins of the SCPD told Johnson, "Officer Phelps took the tape; we
don't know where it is."


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What is HUFF

The article would be better if it defined HUFF, which is used several times in the article.

What HUFF is.

Sorry, this article was taken from a press release, which gave the full name of HUFF at the top. HUFF is Homeless United for Friendship & Freedom, a civil and human rights organization for poor and homeless people. HUFF meets every Wednesday 8:30 AM at Baker's Square Restaurant at 1107 Ocean.


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