The General Assembly of Occupy Santa Cruz will continue to gather at 6 PM weekdays despite County Sheriff orders to leave the courthouse steps by 7 PM, demonstrating the citizenry’s First Amendment rights of assembly, speech, and petition of grievances in the face of targeted curfew.
The protest encampment at San Lorenzo Park was torn down by riot police with five arrests for failure to “evacuate”. Several tons of personal belongings were sent to local landfill. Now County officials have cordoned the lawn area on the Water Street side of the courthouse, effectively creating a restricted “free speech zone” of 1000 square feet.
Street parking has been suspended and a 7 PM to 7 AM curfew is being actively enforced. Saturday night authorities dispersed protests at the courthouse then later at the Clock Tower. The sprinkler system is turned on at 2 PM, during the start of weekend General Assembly.
Occupy Santa Cruz will now en masse refuse to comply with the County’s arbitrary curfew, which was enacted by the courthouse’s “landlord” without direction from the County Board of Supervisors. As in the City’s office of Parks and Recreation in recent weeks, rules are being arbitrarily created and enforced by individual County employees to repress free political expression, often to the detriment of the health and welfare of both protesters and the city’s homeless.
Occupy Santa Cruz meetings pose no threat to public safety and denies no access to any County service or facility.
The public is encouraged to attend General Assembly in solidarity with Occupy Santa Cruz nightly at 6 PM weekdays, 2 PM weekends, to discuss predatory bank practices, Constitutional rights, public spaces, the movement’s agenda, and other topics brought forward by attendees.