Archive for September, 2012

The City of Santa Cruz, California Wages Campaign Attacking Homeless Camps

The City of Santa Cruz Wages Campaign Attacking Homeless Camps
by Brent Adams
Thursday Aug 23rd, 2012 8:21 PM

For 6 weeks the City of Santa Cruz has Cited more than 300 people and has demolished dozens of camps trashing personal property.
No alternatives have been created.

busted_camper.jpg
busted_camper.jpg

Its summertime in Santa Cruz and its good vibes all around, unless you are sleeping outside.
Since early July the Santa Cruz Police Department has been attacking homeless camps and trashing personal belongings while they write hundreds of citations, arrest dozens of the most vulnerable people in town and destroy more than 100 campsites.
In the first six weeks of this program police and parks officers have racked up quiet a destructive tally and have ruined the lives of many who’re struggling at the bottom of the economic strata.

More than:
300 citations have been issued.
120 Arrests have been made.
170 Camps have been marked for removal
70 camps have been removed and all contents have been disposed of.

The warm climate attracts a million tourists who flood the beach and downtown, but as the economy tanks, more people are unable to make rent and jobs are less plentiful. More people compete for fewer jobs while restaurants and motels bustle with out of towners living the good life, or whats left of it.

In this self described liberal beach town its illegal to sleep outside between 10pm and 8am when parks close and the open spaces in the green belt surrounding town shut their doors to visitors. Some of the wooded areas have been closed indefinitely. To maintain a more stable existence out of the eyes of townsfolk, people who’ve lost their homes often take refuge in the wilds of the woods and the river levee.

As one who has been without housing before, I know its a very cumbersome existence. Some people carry possessions in a backpack or even on a set of wheels while others have found space off the beaten path to store items so they aren’t so identifiably houseless and can move around with more ease. For many, the problems are manifold. Just as it is with the “housed” population, some homeless folks have problems with drugs, alcohol and mental issues. Some are chronic abusers who need social services and the compassion of the community as they live their lives out of doors.

The police and city parks department have been running a “pilot program” to eradicate these camps and those who inhabit them. Community members have expressed distaste for these camps at City Council Meetings and while city leaders fail to address the problem of lack of shelter for these people, they clearly are eager to trash tents and the temporary makeshift homes they’ve created for themselves.

Folks who have lost everything and have no other options than to camp in the dark areas of town can begin to accumulate citations. When in this downward spiral, it is difficult to make it to the courthouse to address the citation. Police have compiled a list of 130 people who have more than 3 citations that have not been dealt with. Warrants for their arrest been issued. This doesn’t help the individual who is already suffering from economic and social problems, it only makes it worse.
Police claim they put people who’re camping in the woods in touch with social services and that may be somewhat true, but what kind of help is it to a person who is facing arrest just for survival camping?

Police are obligated to keep the personal belongings they find for 90 days before trashing them, but in these sweeps they trash belongings immediately. Many have lost important personal documents, irreplaceable keepsakes and the basics of survival to the dumpsters of the police department. This is a very dispiriting experience and it can be difficult to recover from.

There really is no place for these people to safely and legally sleep. There are not nearly enough beds in the emergency shelter that opens in the winter for folks who need them and once it closes in early spring, there is a woefully insufficient number of beds for even the most desperately homeless folks who need help because of failing health, old age or other issues.

In June, the city and county began the Homeward Bound Program which offers homeless folks a free bus ticket out of town. Nearly 400 people have taken the agencies up on the offer. The program costs $25,000 and seeks to simply rid the local area of the homeless people by sending them to other areas.

For a community that considers itself as compassionate and liberal, conducting sweeps of homeless encampments, arresting people and trashing personal belongings seems anything but helpful.
While there is no shelter available and its illegal to sleep outside at night, the only thing that the city of Santa Cruz is really offering these folks is a free bus ticket out of town.

§Photo Information: Karen Ellfson in San José
by Source: Metro Newspapers Thursday Aug 23rd, 2012 9:52 PM
Karen Ellfson says she will be ready when the city clears her camp from Guadalupe River, but she doesn’t know where she will go.

A slap shot from HP Pavilion, through Guadalupe Park and into the neighboring creek bed, a rooster makes its home. He lives among shopping carts, deflated tire tubes and toilet paper rolls, empty beer cans and coolers, a Negro Modelo sign lodged in the fresh mud and a half-dozen people who spend their nights sleeping in tents.

Karen Ellfson is one of these people. She lives here with her husband. At 30 years old, a month shy of her next birthday, the Morgan Hill native knows that in two weeks she’ll need to find a new home. She’s one of several dozen homeless people with targets on their backs.
http://www.sanjoseinside.com/news/entries/…
§Still No Response
by Robert Norse Friday Sep 7th, 2012 1:02 PM
Mayor Don Lane (also Head of the Board of Directors of the Homeless [Lack of] Services Center) has still not responded to either my request for a follow-up forum on HLOSC polices re: the disabled, and due process for all clients there. He has not responded to Sandra Leigh of Community TV’s request either, as far as I know.

I’ve also invited Don to come to the Candlelight Vigil Against the Crackdown For those who want to leave him a message and arrange for an appointment to chat, call 420-5022.

Hopefully he can then explain how the City’s current policies and how they help the safety of the community and respect the rights and dignity of the homeless population.
Add Your Comments
LATEST COMMENTS ABOUT THIS ARTICLE
Listed below are the latest comments posted about this article.
These comments are anonymously submitted by website visitors.
TITLE AUTHOR DATE
Many of San Jose’s homeless return to camp after cleanups repost Friday Sep 14th, 2012 12:06 PM
stay at the shelter there is always an empty bed Tuesday Sep 11th, 2012 7:37 PM
The More you alienate us, the easier pickings we are for fascists to use in the future artingmyself Saturday Sep 8th, 2012 12:47 PM
Where are they supposed to sleep? RazerRay Wednesday Sep 5th, 2012 12:30 PM
Regards to the many Santa Cruz homeless advocates brentugly Sunday Aug 26th, 2012 4:55 PM
Don’t Give Away Your Power Angry B. Sunday Aug 26th, 2012 9:36 AM
Imagine Sleeplessly Seeking Renewal Saturday Aug 25th, 2012 8:59 PM
Still Unanswered Questions Robert Norse Saturday Aug 25th, 2012 2:14 PM
Personal Vendettas against Don Lane aren’t helping brent adams Saturday Aug 25th, 2012 1:56 PM
Split -Make a Class of People Disappear CReef Saturday Aug 25th, 2012 12:48 PM

Ralph Nader: Obama’s a ‘War Criminal’


Ralph Nader: Obama’s a ‘War Criminal’
by Patrick Gavin

It’s no surprise that Ralph Nader isn’t a fan of former President George W. Bush. After all, the longtime activist ran against him in both 2000 and 2004. But Nader’s even less a fan of President Barack Obama, if only because he thinks Obama was capable of so much more.

On issues related to the military and foreign policy, Obama’s worse than Bush, “in the sense that he’s more aggressive, more illegal worldwide,” Nader told POLITICO, going so far as to call Obama a “war criminal.”

“He’s gone beyond George W. Bush in drones, for example. He thinks the world is his plate, that national sovereignties mean nothing, drones can go anywhere. They can kill anybody that he suspects and every Tuesday he makes the call on who lives and who dies, supposed suspects in places like Yemen and Pakistan and Afghanistan, and that is a war crime and he ought to be held to account.”

Nader called Obama “below average because he raised expectation levels. What expectation level did George W. Bush raise?… He’s below average because he’s above average in his intellect and his knowledge of legality, which is violating with abandon.”

“I don’t know whether George W. Bush ever read the Constitution,” said Nader. “This man taught the Constitution, and this is what we got.”

Nader gave Obama this much: He’s the lesser of two evils when compared to GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney. But he said Obama is “the more effective evil because he brings credibility, he brings the democratic heritage to it, he has legitimized the lawless war-mongering and militarism abroad of George W. Bush.”

When asked to highlight some positives about Obama’s presidency, Nader said, “I like the way he’s emphasized renewable energy, even though he still supports nuclear and fossil fuels, as if they’re all the same, all of the above. But he does speak more about renewables than any president perhaps since Jimmy Carter.” (Nader will be speaking at the Green Festival in Washington, D.C., later this month.)

And: “He wanted to have a public works program, he really did want to have a jobs program and the Republicans crushed it and that would have created a lot of jobs that couldn’t be exported to China.”

Nader doesn’t let Republicans off easy, either, calling them “the worst Republican Party in history.”

“We’re dealing with a real sick, decaying Democratic Party that can’t defend the country against the cruelest, most ignorant, most anti-worker, most war-mongering, most Wall Street–indentured Republican Party in its history, since the 1850s.”

As for Romney, Nader said “he’s not the old Romney, governor of Massachusetts. He’s had a character and personality makeover. He’s just bought into the extreme right wing of the Republican Party, represented by Paul Ryan, and I don’t think he’s going to be able to shake that. He’s basically a corporation running for president masquerading as a human being.”

For the first time in a long time, Nader is not running for president this year. From the way he puts it, he may be through with such campaigns.

“I’ve run several times and we’ve documented the two-party tyranny, which means they’re very adept at excluding, with a whole variety of ways, third parties.”

It’s not, however, because he’s been billed by some as a political spoiler.

“That’s a politically bigoted words, as if we’re second-class citizens,” said Nader. “Since we’re all trying to get votes from one another, either we’re all spoilers of one another or none of us are spoilers.”

NSA Plunges World to Level 8 Hell

The US National Security Agency (NSA) has transgressed ALL bounds. Not only
has this institution illegally spied and surveilled US citizens personal electronic
communications, this agency is willfully and maliciously censoring and blocking e-mail
accounts, blogs and online shopping accounts.

The world is now plunged into Level 8 Hell due to the illegal and vicious online
actions of the so-called, “National Security Agency”.

Instead of using information technology to help liberate mankind and build a peaceful,
advanced, moral, just and prosperous New World Order, this evil, dark agency (in collusion
with Google Inc) is working feverishly to control, enslave and purposely dismantle and destroy
the informational infrastructure necessary to create a survivable and sustainable future for the human species on Earth.

To the NSA and all its tangential national security/fascist police state agencies, institutions
and corporations: Every single one of your CRIMES has ALL been written down in the eternal books on high.
You will NOT escape the eternal damnation of Hell at the Judgement.

Jonas the Prophet
Messenger of the Covenant
Planet Earth

——————————————————————————————————-

The Federal Reserve, a Privately Owned Banking Cartel, Has Been Given Police Powers, with Glock 22s and Patrol Cars

The Federal Reserve, a Privately Owned Banking Cartel, Has Been Given Police Powers, with Glock 22s and Patrol Cars
September 17, 2012 |

By mid morning on Monday, September 17, as Occupy Wall Street protesters marched around the perimeter of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, all signs that an FRPD (Federal Reserve Police Department) existed had disappeared. The FRPD patrol cars and law enforcement officers had been replaced by NYPD patrol cars and officers. That decision may have been made to keep from drawing attention to a mushrooming new domestic police force that most Americans do not know exists.

Quietly, without fanfare or Congressional hearings, the USA Patriot Act in 2001 bestowed on the 12 privately owned Federal Reserve Banks, domestic policing powers.

Section 364 of the Act, “Uniform Protection Authority for Federal Reserve,” reads: “Law enforcement officers designated or authorized by the Board or a reserve bank under paragraph (1) or (2) are authorized while on duty to carry firearms and make arrests without warrants for any offense against the United States committed in their presence…Such officers shall have access to law enforcement information that may be necessary for the protection of the property or personnel of the Board or a reserve bank.”

The police officers are technically known as FRLEO, short for Federal Reserve Law Enforcement Officer. The system has its own police academies for training, their own patch and badges, uniforms, pistols, rifles, police cars and the power to arrest coast to coast without a warrant. They have ranks of Sergeant, Lieutenant, Captain and a recruitment ad campaign with the slogan: “It’s about respect and recognition from your peers. It’s you.”

According to a former St. Louis Federal Reserve Law Enforcement Training Instructor, the officers are trained on pistol, rifle, auto-rifle, sub-gun and shotgun with manufacturers encompassing Smith & Wesson, Glock, Remington and Armalite.

The FRLEOs employed by the Federal Reserve Board of Governors in Washington, D.C. are considered employees of the Federal government since the Board is a government entity. Each of the 12 Federal Reserve Banks, as settled law under Lewis v. United States confirms, is a private corporation owned by commercial banks in its region. An email to several of the Federal Reserve Banks confirmed that they regard their FRLEOs to be privately employed by the bank.

The San Francisco Fed ran an ad for Captain Specialist, noting that “you will be charged with gathering and disseminating law enforcement intelligence information to the District.” It also noted that the individual would need to “obtain and maintain top secret clearance.” Typically, that clearance level is reserved for only the highest positions in the Federal government.

A recruitment ad for the Richmond Fed indicates their FRLEOs would be plugged into the nation’s criminal databases: “The Law Enforcement Unit has an immediate opening for a Communications Center Operator, reporting to the Center leadership team in Richmond, Virginia. The pay is $32,458 — $40,573…[the officer will query] “information from a variety of law enforcement data bases for information, wants/warrants, intelligence, driver’s license and vehicle information, etc.” The Cleveland Fed notes that the job “may include, but would not be limited to: use of deadly or non-lethal force…”

FRLEOs now even have their own Federal Reserve Policemen’s Benevolent Association, Local 385. The group’s Facebook page [3] carries the statement that it is a “government organization.” The site says the group “was established to create a fraternal organization for its membership and to act on behalf of the members as a liaison between the New Jersey State PBA and all other police agencies within the state and the country.” The connection to New Jersey likely stems from a now deceased police officer, James Rose, from Moonachie, New Jersey, who was a FRLEO in New York and helped to establish Local 385. In addition, the Regional office of the New York Fed is located in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

In addition to regular policing functions, the Federal Reserve police have been observed in airports with rifles, functioning as dignitary protection teams. Various recruitment ads confirm that this is sometimes part of the job.

Buttressing the private nature of the Federal Reserve Banks, the Maiden Lane building that the Occupy Wall Street protesters were swarming around this morning, chanting “F*** the Fed,” was purchased on February 28, 2012 by the New York Fed, which had previously been leasing the building. According to the press release the “Federal Reserve Bank of New York (New York Fed) today announced that it has acquired the building at 33 Maiden Lane for $207.5 million from Merit US Real Estate Fund III, L.P. and established a new, wholly owned limited liability company called Maiden & Nassau LLC to serve as owner of the building.”

The Federal Reserve Building up for sale at 301 Rosa L. Parks Avenue in Nashville has this slogan engraved on the building: “Federal Reserve System Through Which Our Banks and Government Join Hands to Further the Enduring Prosperity of American Commerce, Industry and Agriculture.”

There is nothing in that motto that shows a concern for the average American. And that’s the problem inherent in the continuing venting of anger against Wall Street banks and their perceived crony patrons at the Fed who gave them trillions of dollars in low-cost bailout loans and then fought a court battle to keep the loans a secret. That domestic policing functions have now been added to the mix can only create more suspicions and hostility.

There is also the obvious question as to why the expense, training and potential liability of armed police would be necessary when all of the Federal Reserve Banks are in cities with large municipal police forces. With private bankers sitting on the Boards of each of these Reserve Banks, many of whom are officers of banks under criminal investigation, there is the serious need for Congressional investigation into how the Nation’s criminal databases are being used by the private sector as well as the further chilling of protest and dissent from another new sheriff in town.

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