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Trash, trash-talking abound at 24-hour vigil

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Trash, trash-talking abound at 24-hour vigil

<www.santacruzsentinel.com/archive/2003/March/15/local/stories/06local.htm>

March 15, 2003
By DAN WHITE
Sentinel staff writer

Protesters at a round-the-clock vigil are preaching peace and love.
But police say they’ve heard too many complaints about junk piles, wafting pot smoke, spitting and bellowing at pedestrians. The group, ranging in size from three to about 25 people, has been protesting since March 7.
So on Thursday night, responding to complaints, officers forced the group to move from Pacific Avenue and Cooper Street, enforcing a city ordinance about “non-commercial display devices.”
They’ve now set up shop near Lulu Carpenter’s coffee shop on Pacific Avenue.
The protest is against a possible war on Iraq and the city’s homeless policies. The handful of core activists say they’ll stay indefinitely.
The protesters, however, have complained about a relentless fire-and-brimstone street preacher. Police, though, say activists share part of the blame.
Officers have received complaints about some of the protesters getting aggressive with passers-by and personal belongings strewn along the sidewalk.
At one point Thursday night, things got so bad that one of the organizers, Olivia Brownrabbit, was overheard praising police for restoring order. She blamed some of the problems on trouble-making “hangers-on.”
But the group’s new location is still causing problems.
At one point Friday morning, Lulu’s owner, Manthri Srinath, walked over to the group and doused a protest sign with coffee.
A protester named Banyon, whose pants got doused, told police he wanted a citation for assault issued and that he was prepared to make a citizen’s arrest.
Prior to the coffee incident, the group had ordered about $70 of food at LuLu’s. They said their offer to pay with a personal check was accepted initially then rejected. In response, they drew up a “Boycott LuLu’s” sign.
A LuLu’s employee insisted the group was behaving obnoxiously, holding up the line and ordering lots of food with no means of paying. Srinath said the establishment doesn’t accept personal checks.
As of Friday evening, the protesters were still outside LuLu’s.
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Contact Dan White at dwhite (at) santa-cruz.com
 
 


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