Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Support Evicted Market Drummers AGAIN

Last time we won! In January, Santa Cruz Police tried to evict the ever-present market drum circle from their spot under the tree, and with the help of Trash Orchestra, the drums drove the cops away. And they stayed away... until now.

Last week the drummers were evicted AGAIN by police using the ridiculous 15-minute law (persons cannot be in any city parking lot longer than 15 minutes). Join us to protest that eviction and reclaim that public space!

Support for Market Drummers
Wed Sep 10th 3:30pm
Santa Cruz Farmer's Market
(Bring percussion - resonant trash or a drum)

The City of Santa Cruz's parking lot panic law is in effect and being enforced. For those unfamiliar the law restricts the use of downtown parking lots and garages to parking and retrieving of vehicles (the person must be in and out in 15 minutes), and for pedestrians passing directly through from one sidewalk to another or a bordering store. Anything else (waiting in your car for a friend, eating lunch, talking to friends, playing music...) is trespassing, illegal, will get you hassled by Santa Cruz's finest, and, ultimately, fined.

Ostensibly to create a safer downtown, this absurd law is a further attempt to create a sterile downtown for smooth undistracted shopping. It criminalizes creative uses of public space for art and recreation.

From this article on Indybay:

On two successive Wednesdays, police have ordered the peaceful drum circle to leave their traditional spot in the public parking lot [alongside the Farmer's Market] using Mayor Coonerty's Ban on Public Assemblies in parking lots. The new merchant-backed law prohibits lingering in a parking lot or garage unless you have a vehicle there (and then only for fifteen minutes). It removed ten blocks of public space from public use.

A twisted and unjust law, but only words on paper until enforced. Uniformed fascists (some very friendly and decent, of course, as they oppress you) will try to enforce it with what they believe to be legitimate power. But we are really the ones that make the choice whether to legitimate that power or not. We choose not to go along with the program.

This is merely the newest battle of a war in Santa Cruz. A war against dissent, against the poor, against the homeless, and now against people making music. We challenge these laws and the police crackdown on undesirables -- an effort to "clean up" the streets of Santa Cruz of the young, the very old, immigrants, the unemployed, homeless, the insane, and anyone who resists.

Join us in solidarity with other musicians and friends playing music together.