Sheriff's Office Lists Complaints Against Occupy Santa Cruz

Sheriff Phil Wowak is building a case against the Occupy movement, which has taken over the side of the courthouse and San Lorenzo Park.


There have been roughly 85 disruptive and criminal activities in
Santa Cruz allegedly associated with the 'Occupy Santa Cruz' encampment  during the past month, the Santa Cruz County Sheriff's Office announced last week.

The disruptive incidents include fights, an assault on a
maintenance worker, thefts, drug use, vandalism, and restroom flooding in and around the Santa Cruz County Government Center, according to the sheriff's office.

The incidents also include harassment, public drunkenness,
urination and defecation, bathing in public sinks, use of and damage to power outlets, and camping outside permitted areas.

The sheriff's office released a statement today saying that since Oct. 6 deputies have distributed notices of unlawful lodging, issued citations, and made several arrests on the courthouse steps where the protesters assemble.

"The Sheriff's Office supports the rights of freedom of speech and assembly," the statement read.

It went on to say that the office recognizes "there are
individuals who have opportunistically associated themselves with 'Occupy Santa Cruz' as cover for criminal and anti-social behavior."

--Bay City News--

Robert Norse November 21, 2011 at 02:46 PM
See my comments at "Responding to Sheriff Wowak's Whitewash of Abuse By His Deputies" http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2011/11/20/18700294.php . We have yet to see the actual complaints and incident reports. The real background to this, however, is the blatantly abusive sheriff's raids of a week ago seizing property, giving out false citations ("lodging" for protest activity), and using tactics now widespread and infamous throughout the country against Occupy protests. See "Calling Deputies "Puppets"--Cause For Arrest? Updates from the War Zone " at http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2011/11/15/18699561.php . The use of bogus health-and-safety issues stands in sharp contrast to the supportive work actually being done by Occupy Santa Cruz in contrast to failed or overburdened local services. See http://occupysantacruz.org/2011/11/20/occupy-helps-those-fallen-through-the-cracks/ . The City pioneered this approach here with its bogus permit requirements (denouncing public defecation and urination) while simultaneously refusing to open its park bathrooms at night and refusing permission for OSC to put in portapotties (a position it's now been forced to change). It followed up on this media smear campaign with a unilateral Injunction very quietly introduced at a closed session of City Council and brought to the Courts. OSC attorney Ed Frey has now moved the case to federal court and will hopefully put forth a counter-injunction to stop police and deputy attacks.
Robert Norse November 21, 2011 at 03:08 PM
Further background on the Coonerty-Lane Council and Sheriff Wowak's dirty dealing: Two Protests at City Hall Monday and Tuesday http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2011/11/06/18697972.php Alert: Sheriffs Demand Breakdown of OSC Geodesic Dome in Next Two Hours http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2011/11/07/18698111.php Occupy Santa Cruz Stands Up to Order to Leave on November 16th http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2011/11/07/18698120.php City Manager and Vice-Mayor Stonewall OSC Activists http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2011/11/08/18698276.php "...Mock Nazi Salute at City Council Meeting" http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2011/11/09/18698345.php
Brian Friesen November 21, 2011 at 05:28 PM
Check the police blotter history. Those kinds of things go on all of the time in downtown Santa Cruz, and have nothing to do with the Occupy encampment.
Brian November 21, 2011 at 05:49 PM
drunks, drunkeness, drug addicts etc, were on the river in front of the courthouse before all this occupy santa cruz protest started. And it seems that psizophrenic drunks/drug addicts have a thing for terrorizing other peoples camps all night and fighting. Theres simply no way to stop that madness done in the occupy camp, other than confronting the 'terrorist' and fighting the person in some cases. The people down in that camp are there mostly because they need a safe place to camp and they feel theres safety in numbers, and like clockwork in santa cruz, whenever you have a good thing going people show up to ruin it.
Brad Kava (Editor) November 21, 2011 at 07:12 PM
Thank you guys for your input. We want to present this all FAIRLY.
Mac November 21, 2011 at 07:28 PM
I can attest first hand to the fact that this has given some people just an excuse to "drop out" and participate in something they know nothing about. My child left home and has been hanging out in the encampment for over a month now, ignorant to the cause, never being directly affected, or even part of the 99%. I am all for protesting, but it seems to attract lots that do not need to be there, and definitely shines a bad light on those who are truly affected. JMO...my child may as well have joined the "circus"....
Daniel Wootan November 21, 2011 at 08:16 PM
No "like" button on Patch yet but awesome comment, "MotherLove(?)."
Linda Milgate November 21, 2011 at 08:36 PM
It is difficult during these times to do this, we all hope that the OWS movement will continue and progress when it moves away from occupying a piece of public land. Unfortunately, that there are this many people--homeless, untreated mentally ill, and self medicating with drugs and alcohol is part of the problem within our communities. If we lived in a gated community and had private security, we would not be touched by this. But we don't. People need health care, jobs and a decent safety net, then perhaps we wouldn't see this many people drawn to where there is food and some kind of community. Don't blame all of OWS for something that has been in our community for a long time.
Willow November 21, 2011 at 08:37 PM
Yes, the "Occupy" group, as well as any other, have the right to peacefully assemble and protest. That is an American right. However, they do not have the right to camp out in a public park, to disrupt nearby businesses, to harass individuals trying to use the park for that for which it was designed. The movement started with high ideals but has since disintegrated, and the core members are overshadowed by those who simply want to hang out/drop out. Get back to organized protesting without the encampment and the negative activities spawned by the hangers on.
Willow November 21, 2011 at 08:41 PM
Linda, I do not blame OWS for something that has been in our community for a long time. However, the OWS campsites have encouraged certain elements to integrate themselves among them, and cause problems. Remember Oakland's violence? That was premeditated and carried out, not by the core group of sincere protesters, but by a group who were able to infiltrate the movement. A peaceful protest is one thing; the kinds of negative activities that grow from the illegal encampments is quite another and does not enhance the original message.
Linda Milgate November 21, 2011 at 08:43 PM
I should add that I appreciate how difficult this is for our police, part of the 99% and we don't want them to be laid off because of budget cuts. We want them to be able to deal with our community problems without being under unnecessary stress in a positive manner. Just had to say!
Mac November 21, 2011 at 11:17 PM
Yes, Daniel it is "MotherLove" - maybe tougher love at times than others. It's been devastating to say the least! B well..
Daryl Tempesta November 22, 2011 at 06:41 PM
Direct Democracy is the purest from of Speech. Our worth is measured by the way we treat the most vulnerable and disenfranchised. There are lots of reasons why we should not help others but there are more important reasons why we should, and that is you never know when it will be your turn. The kindness and patience extended now becomes the destination you will land if it happens to you or your family or friends. It's time to show compassion instead participating in a smear campaign against a group of people who are more like us all than many want to admit - and the message machines would prefer remain polarized. The time to come together and protect your neighbor is now. We need the Denver owned Sentinel to become local once again so we can have local voices and local representation of the issues. Turn off the Denver Sentinel. 100% Fairness for 100% of the people.
Willow November 22, 2011 at 09:54 PM
While I knew that the Sentinel is no longer locally owned/operated, I was not aware it was an out-of-state publisher who controlled it, and thus the San Jose Mercury News. I do agree that a local newspaper, such as the Sentinel was, is far better than an outsourced one disguising itself as local. The Sentinel has become a sad shadow of its former self. However, wanting and doing are two far different things. It takes money to operate a newspaper, especially a successful one. It's far more than the coins in the newspaper kiosks or the costs of the delivery people. When a newspaper cannot support itself, and make a profit to continue to support itself, it folds, or is taken over by some entity which can keep it going. If there were such an organization within Santa Cruz who/which could establish and maintain a daily paper, I would be 100% behind him/her/it. Who is going to step forward and chance sponsoring/running a newspaper, especially in these times when a great number of people prefer getting their news via television or the Internet? The printed word, sad to say, is fast becoming archaic.
Robert Norse November 22, 2011 at 10:13 PM


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