[Hpn] Homeless Activists Celebrate Court Victory

Becky Johnson wmnofstl@cruzio.com
Fri, 1 Jun 2001 21:22:25 -0000


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Hey Everybody!

The City of Santa Cruz lost their case!  Judge Samuel Stevens found no =
merit in the temporary restraining order sought by administrative =
assistant, Anna Brooks, which banned the Koffee Klatch 3 from Mayor Tim =
Fitzmaurice's office.  We had been engaged in a 17 consecutive day =
lobbying effort to end Santa Cruz' Sleeping Ban -- the law which makes =
homeless people criminals every night from 11PM to 8:30 AM should they =
sleep or cover themselves with a blanket to keep warm.

In a victory for the First Amendment, the Judge found no merit in the =
use of a TRO alleging harassment from the Koffee Klatch 3 --Robert =
Norse, Bernard Klitzner, and myself, Becky Johnson.  We had been accused =
of "stealing pens" with an estimated value of $2.10 and "helping =
ourselves to office supplies" which, according to Brooks and John =
Barisone, the City Attorney who represented her claimed constituted =
harassment.  Defendants estimate the legal costs, billed to the City's =
taxpayers, of course, to be over $12,000. =20

On Tuesday and again on Wednesday, Mayor Tim Fitzmaurice testified that =
the Koffee Klatch 3 were an annoyance to his office and were harassing =
the women staff.  He also testified he had no idea how upset Ms. Brooks =
was until he found her weeping 16 days into the lobbying effort.

Judge Stevens, after hearing all the evidence from the City and Mayor =
Fitzmaurice, ruled to dismiss the suit.

Testifying today was Suzanne Haberman, Anna Brooks immediate supervisor. =
 She testified that in early December a homeless and hungry man had =
asked Ms. Haberman if he could have some food from the 2nd Harvest Food =
Donation barrel.  "I told him the food was for 2nd Harvest." She refused =
to give him any food and had the barrel moved out of the public seating =
area shortly thereafter.

This is a great victory for homeless activists and for the rights of =
concerned citizens to petition for redress of government grievances, =
freedom of speech, and the right of the people to peacably assemble.

I really want to thank our two great attorneys, Kate Wells and David =
Beauvais for their dedicated effort to defend activists who are fighting =
for the rights of homeless people.

--- Becky Johnson, ex-codefendant


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<BODY bgColor=3D#ffffff>
<DIV><FONT color=3D#000000 size=3D2>Hey Everybody!</FONT></DIV>
<DIV><FONT color=3D#000000 size=3D2></FONT>&nbsp;</DIV>
<DIV><FONT color=3D#000000 size=3D2>The City of Santa Cruz lost their =
case!&nbsp;=20
Judge Samuel Stevens found no merit in the temporary restraining order =
sought by=20
administrative assistant, Anna Brooks, which banned the Koffee Klatch 3 =
from=20
Mayor Tim Fitzmaurice's office.&nbsp; We had been engaged in a 17 =
consecutive=20
day lobbying effort to end Santa Cruz' Sleeping Ban -- the law which =
makes=20
homeless people criminals every night from 11PM to 8:30 AM should they =
sleep or=20
cover themselves with a blanket to keep warm.</FONT></DIV>
<DIV><FONT color=3D#000000 size=3D2></FONT>&nbsp;</DIV>
<DIV><FONT color=3D#000000 size=3D2>In a victory for the First =
Amendment, the Judge=20
found no merit in the use of a TRO alleging harassment from the Koffee =
Klatch 3=20
--Robert Norse, Bernard Klitzner, and myself, Becky Johnson.&nbsp; We =
had been=20
accused of &quot;stealing pens&quot; with an estimated value of $2.10 =
and=20
&quot;helping ourselves to office supplies&quot; which, according to =
Brooks and=20
John Barisone, the City Attorney who represented her claimed constituted =

harassment.&nbsp; Defendants estimate the legal costs, billed to the =
City's=20
taxpayers, of course, to be over $12,000.&nbsp; </FONT></DIV>
<DIV><FONT color=3D#000000 size=3D2></FONT>&nbsp;</DIV>
<DIV><FONT size=3D2>On Tuesday and again on Wednesday, Mayor Tim =
Fitzmaurice=20
testified that the Koffee Klatch 3 were an annoyance to his office and =
were=20
harassing the women staff.&nbsp; He also testified he had no idea how =
upset Ms.=20
Brooks was until he found her weeping 16 days into the lobbying=20
effort.</FONT></DIV>
<DIV><FONT size=3D2></FONT>&nbsp;</DIV>
<DIV><FONT size=3D2>Judge Stevens, after hearing all the evidence from =
the City=20
and Mayor Fitzmaurice, ruled to dismiss the suit.</FONT></DIV>
<DIV><FONT color=3D#000000 size=3D2></FONT>&nbsp;</DIV>
<DIV><FONT size=3D2>Testifying today was Suzanne Haberman, Anna Brooks =
immediate=20
supervisor.&nbsp; She testified that in early December a homeless and =
hungry man=20
had asked Ms. Haberman if he could have some food from the 2nd Harvest =
Food=20
Donation barrel.&nbsp; &quot;I told him the food was for 2nd =
Harvest.&quot; She=20
refused to give him any food and had the barrel moved out of the public =
seating=20
area shortly thereafter.</FONT></DIV>
<DIV>&nbsp;</DIV>
<DIV><FONT color=3D#000000 size=3D2>This is a great victory for homeless =
activists=20
and for the rights of concerned citizens to petition for redress of =
government=20
grievances, freedom of speech, and the right of the people to peacably=20
assemble.</FONT></DIV>
<DIV><FONT color=3D#000000 size=3D2></FONT>&nbsp;</DIV>
<DIV><FONT size=3D2>I really want to thank our two great attorneys, Kate =
Wells and=20
David Beauvais for their dedicated effort to defend activists who are =
fighting=20
for the rights of homeless people.</FONT></DIV>
<DIV>&nbsp;</DIV>
<DIV><FONT color=3D#000000 size=3D2>--- Becky Johnson, =
ex-codefendant</FONT></DIV>
<DIV><FONT color=3D#000000 size=3D2></FONT>&nbsp;</DIV></BODY></HTML>

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