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Santa Cruz Indymedia

LOCAL Announcement :: Civil & Human Rights

Steve Argue's "Move Along" Trial Friday 3-12 10 AM Dept. 2

Steve Argue faces trial on charges stemming from his arrest under the City's Move-Along law, Santa Cruz's disguised anti-loitering law. This may be the first Constitutional challenge.
Those interested can finally see the court trial of Steve Argue before Judge "Barricuda" Barton in Dept. 2 Friday March 12th 701 Center St.

The City has spent thousands of dollars prosecuting Argue in this latest court merry-go-round. He was twice-arrested for peaceful flyering and tabling downtown last summer.

The issue was the presence of a political table on the sidewalk calling for the boycott of the Pacific Trading Company for its part in destroying public seating space ($7000+ in public money spent to move a railing 4" on the nearby planter to deny seating space for "undesireables").

Argue was arrested twice for refusing to move his table "every hour" as demanded by the Kennedy-Rotkin law, which targeted street performers, homeless people, and political activists, essentially giving police more power to choose who they want to harass.

for an earlier account, check out: Steve Argue Arrested By The Santa Cruz Police For Literature Table! by Steve Argue 24 Jun 2003 on this website.

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Steve Argue Arrested By The Santa Cruz Police For Literature Table!


Constitutional Issues May be Decided Friday the 19th

Argue's attorney, Tony Bole, made the constitutional argument that the Santa Cruz Municipal Code treats commercial and non-commercial speech unequally. (I.e. it allows you to buy a permit to engage in commercial speech all day, but forces you to move along every hour for non-commercial speech and has no permit available).

Judge "Barricuda" Barton found this the only argument worth considering and scheduled the announcement of his decision for Friday the 19th in Dept. 2. Barton suggested that appeals from his constitutional ruling (whether in favor of Argue or against) could be made then, delaying further the actual trial (since these are all pre-trial motions).

A decision in the case of Mu the Flute Player (taken to court for playing within 10' of a building with an open flute case on ticket from CSO Pam Bachtel) will also be announced at the same time.

Re: Steve Argue's "Move Along" Trial Friday 3-12 10 AM Dept. 2

Robert, if you are going to report on my free speech case please get the facts right. The trial was last Friday and the final ruling will be made this Friday. At the trial Judge Barton was favorable towards my attorney's arguments on the constitutional issue, but decided to allow the City Attorney's Office another week to respond.

This means that Judge Barton may overturn the City law this Friday, and he has clearly stated that he is favorable towards doing so.

I don’t know what experiences you’ve had with Judge Barton to call him a “barracuda" (your spelling corrected), and I‘m not saying that you may not be justified, but I don’t particularly enjoy that characterization at this moment in reference to my case when so far he has been nothing but friendly towards my case.

Re: Steve Argue's "Move Along" Trial Friday 3-12 10 AM Dept. 2

I do, however, thank you for your support Robert.


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