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LOCAL Announcement :: Resistance & Tactics

Brownies Against Bigotry: the Boycott Bigotry Debate

Munch a BROWNIE AGAINST BIGOTRY Thursday July 24th from 12:30 PM to 3 PM in front of the Pacific Trading Company at 1224 Pacific Ave.
Both the PTC, Jackson's Shoes, and other businesses supporting the bigoted Downtown Ordinances are the target of a peaceful boycott.

An exchange of e-mails between two activists.
A LETTER FROM GUITARIST MICHAEL TRUE AND A RESPONSE FROM ROBERT NORSE

Michael True was arrested for displaying his CD's a year ago on Pacific Avenue. He is suing Sgt. Baker and the City of Santa Cruz in Federal Court for False Arrest.

Robert Norse was arrested for tabling ("obstructing the sidewalk") a year and a half ago in front of Sushi Now!/New Leaf. He is suing Sgt. Baker and the City of Santa Cruz in Federal Court for False Arrest.

Both are working actively to stop police harassment of performers, politicos, and poor people downtown.

>From: Michael True <mstrue1 (at) earthlink.net>
>To: downtownforall (at) yahoogroups.com
>CC: "Noddy, Tom" <TNoddy (at) aol.com>, "Norse, Robert" <rnorse (at) hotmail.com>
>Subject: Re: [downtownforall] Boycott Debate Downtown
>Date: Wed, 23 Jul 2003 17:33:51 -0700 (PDT)
>
>To all,
>
>Although it has taken me a few days to get to this mail, I am happy to see that there is (hopefully) a renewed focus on the merchants who have been complicent in sanitizing the downtown area. This does call for more public awareness. Too many people believe that groups such as HUFF are only going after one or two local businesses. The reality is really quite different. When you start adding up the names, you find that the majority of businesses downtown have conspired and enticed our local political system to support making this a city, not of Diversity, (as is noted in the City's motto), but a city of commerce. I have personally been told that the downtown business district was just that, a business district. And that anyone going down there with any other activity on their mind was missing the point.
>
>The people of Santa Cruz and visitors from afar should not buy into this dismal vision of the once colorful and playful community center.
>
>Perhaps a new small flyer could be developed to be handed to the general public upon their visit to the street. Armed with factual information they could fill these out and leave them at boycotted stores they might otherwise have visited. Here is a sample:
>
>
>This is to notify you that you have made one less sale today because of your attitude towards the so-called "undesirable" element of our community. It has therefore become undesirable for me to purchase your products or services on this date_______. Santa Cruz was and needs to continue to be free of bigotry, hatred, and discrimination. If and when you will post a sign within your establishment saying you support the recending of the new repressive ordenances and an increase in places for people to sit and/or congregate on the sidewalks of this neighborhood for the purpose of leisure and social interactions, I will resume doing business here. Until then, when I am in the area, deciding not to support your denial of basic human rights and freedoms, I will occasionally enter your store only to give you another notice of my concerns and nothing more.
>
>Signed_______________________
>
>
>Post the names of all of the stores/merchants who have been negatively impacting policies for the past five years! It is certain that collectively they are still controlling the situation on Pacific Ave from their backrooms!
>
>P.S.
>
>This past weekend I had a guitar case full of my own CD's and some framed art work. I was playing music on Beech St. Although a couple of police officers looked over the contents of my case, none interfeared with my right to display. One Parks ranger asked me if I was selling the items in the case. I told him no, but I did occassionally give things away for donations. His only response was, "You do know that that is all you can legally do?" I answered, "yes, of course I know!"
>
>This should be a green light to any artist who may have items to exhibit, whether to generate contacts, (pass out cards), or to seek donations. My only question is, does this mean that a guitar case is the only legal form of display device, and if so do you need to be playing the guitar while hanging about???
>
>Mike True
>
>
>Michael True, Independent Life Resources
>www.ilresources.com - mstrue1 (at) earthlink.net
>
>If you benifitted in some way from your visit to Independent Life Resources, please consider making a donation to keep this service available to all. Go to: www.ilresources.com/Funddrive.htm for details. Thank you.


Michael:

HUFFsters including reknowned CDskee Mathew Hartogh will be down at Pacific Trading Company tomorrow (Thursday) between 12:30 and 3, giving out "Browns Against Bigotry". We had a successful guest appearance of Swami Y in a "Why, Swami Y?" on Saturday afternoon in front of O'Neill's. We'll be distributing a flyer announcing Mathew (and perhap's Steve Argue's trial dates).

I like the idea of a broader boycott---or, at least, educational campaign giving merchants a cautionary heads-up. Last summer we planned a boycott, by offering merchants graphic posters supporting human rights in Santa Cruz, as well as an informational flyer. We planned this at Downtown For All Meets at the Wired Wash Cafe. Few merchants wanted to take them, and the boycott didn't seem to take off at that time. I did make up a list of businesses that had sent e-mails supporting the Downtown Ordinances. I've reposed that list on www.santacruz.indymedia.org for those interested.

Call in tomorrow night (or bring your guitar downtown tomorrow afternoon). 6-8 PM is my show at 96.3 FM 831-427-3772. I'd also be happy to print up and distribute your flyer to folks who want them (the "This is to notify you..." one).

Congrats on being left alone on Beach St. when you were displaying your CD's for donation (something that had previously been considered a crime). Of course, according to the Lederman decision in NYC, you should be able to openly sell them.

The exemption for performance is only for the solicitation ordinance. The display ordinance still seems to consider an guitar case an "display" requiring it be placed more than 10' from the building, though Cosmic Chris reports that the performer himself (at least with him) can stand next to the building and play, while his case is out in the street. In addition, police have been in many cases keeping a low-profile (since their absurd arrests of Argue and Hartogh on July 6th, and the City Council's over-the-top praise for the Pacific Trading Company on July 8th). Keep me advised on your experience and what you've heard.

Thanks for the inspiration. I'm taking the liberty of posting this exchange on www.santacruz.indymedia.org .

Robert Norse

P.S. A flyer I wrote today and distributed at the Farmer's Market read:

BROWNIES AGAINST BIGOTRY'
on the sidewalk at 1224 Pacific Ave.
Thursday, July 24th, 12:30 PM

Just beyond the read of...
THE PACIFIC TRADING COMPANY and JACKSON'S SHOES

The Two Businesses that supported...
the "Don't Sit Down 14' from a Building" Law
the "No Political Tabling 10' from a Building" Law
the "No Unattended Backpacks" Law
the "No Chalk on the Sidewalk" enforcement
the "Move Along Musicians & Activists" Law
the "No 'Spare Change' Signs after Dark Law
a blank check for the Police Harassment of Poor and Homeless People downtown
the $6600+ Fencing off of 20 seating spaces !

All in the name of PUBLIC SAFETY and MORE COMFORTABLE SHOPING !

Y U M M Y B R O W N I E S Y U M M I E R C I V I L R I G H T S
"BOYCOTT BIGOTRY" BUTTONS
COMPLAINT FORMS FOR POLICE MISCONDUCT!

Drop the "Move Along" Misdemeanor Charges Against Matt Hartogh and Steve Argue !

Boycott Anti-Homeless Shops Downtown!

End the U.S. Occupation of Iraq & The SCPD/Merchant Occupation of Pacific Avenue !

Flyer by HUFF 423-4833 7-23
 
 


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Comments

Re: Brownies Against Bigotry: the Boycott Bigotry Debate

It's about time someone cleaned up the fucking vagrant mess. Oh, I am sure the merchants are really going to worry about your boycott. We all know tired hippies and vagrants have lots of money to spend. Why don't you all just go live in the woods?
 

Re: bayman

the world is not here so that people can spend lots of money. there is still some compassion left in santa cruz. bayman's comments reflect his own insecurities.

freedom to speak and converge now includes metal cages and "protest zones." police state anyone?
sf.indymedia.org/news/2003/07/1629975.php
 

Jaywalking Ticket Orgy Wednesday

The Boycott Bigotry table received its first official police complaints (filled out on official police complaint forms) as a massive Jaywalking sting on Wednesday afternoon around 7 pm. When the kids sitting on the benches in front of Borders bookstore tired of the nearby high-profile police surveillance, they walked across Pacific Avenue.

In response two police officers physically detained a deaf man: Deaf Jamb, as he's called and--ironically--jaywalked him back across the street.

Jamb's friends crossed back over Pacific Avenue, concerned about Jamb, and received jaywalking tickets for doing so. One man got a ticket for putting out a cigarette on the sidewalk (after he was told in so many words to do so). Three others were taken to jail (and later released) on the jaywalking charges. One man was physically seized when he attempted to leave. Witnesses confirm 13 or 14 cops there, with 7-8 squad cars, five of them parked on Pacific Avenue.

The next day, several hours after the Boycott Bigotry table folded for the day, police returned (about 7 of them) to again surveille and stand next to the Borders benches youth crowd.

I began a bit of public speaking, asking if this was where the new police budget (up $1.7 million while other departments are being slashed) was going. Officer Eric Seiley and his partner parked their squadcar blocking traffic next to the Walnut (Pacific Trading Company) planter for about half an hour while they "hung around" staring at the crowd. No tickets that I was aware of.

Please post any incidents of harassment by police on the web and/or call HUFF (Homeless United for Friendship & Freedom) at 423-4833. I'll be playing some more audio tape of this and other incidents on Sunday July 27th 9:30-1 p.m. on Free Radio Santa Cruz at 96.3 FM (www.freakradio.org).
Call in with your reactions and reports. 427-3772
 

Re: Brownies Against Bigotry: the Boycott Bigotry Debate

The City of Santa Cruz uses the policing model presented by right-wing think tanks which concocted the "Broken Windows Theory" as method to use police to prevent blight. The first panhandler is effectively the "first broken window" which if allowed to exist willonly bring more of "his kind". and the xenophobia proliferates. Ironically, Islam, Christianity, and Judaism all teach caring for the poor, but these religious values are abandoned as a human being is redefined as blight. Check out Police Chief Steve Belchers annual report to the City. He explains how useful the "Broken Windows Theory" is to successful police work in santa Cruz.
 

Re: Brownies Against Bigotry: the Boycott Bigotry Debate

Dear "downtown"; The world is not here for people to spend a lot of money. Maybe so, but the people who are trying to run a business in Santa Cruz are having their income reduced because shoppers don't want to come downtown and be harrassed to death by vagrants and the mentally ill. Don't try to rationalize this as being anti-poor. Poor people work and they also buy things. They do NOT spend their days sitting on the sidewalk panhandling. Bums do that. I don't care how much to try to distort the fact, vagrants produce nothing, bother people, and waste tax dollars in welfare and law enforcement. I don't care where they go, just get the fuck out. And, I have lived in SC all my life. Get a life or get out of mine.
 

Re: Brownies Against Bigotry: the Boycott Bigotry Debate

Bayman,

Your latest argument defies logic. While there are a certain percentage of people who panhandle and are capable of working, there are those who for whatever reason (severe abuse, crime victim, unfortunate military experience to name a few) are rendered incapable of joining this fine community that we have here.

Let's not forget those mentally ill folks walking around with not too bright a future ahead of them.

You ever run into any of these people yourself? Got any in your family? Got friends who do?

Come to think of it I got friends who don't want to walk on the mall because of the groups of young men who accumulate there. They probably work, and this is only a guess, patronize food, liquor, cigarette, and clothes outlets. They can be more intimidating than panhandlers.

But they got a right to be there don't they?
 

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