Friday, November 18, 2011

Occupy Santa Cruz Questions City Manager Bernal

Occupy Santa Cruz marched to city hall on November 7 to deliver a response to the city manager's unsolicited attempt to issue the group an event permit for its San Lorenzo Park occupation location. The video shows Occupy Santa Cruz questioning city manager Martin Bernal after the following response was read by the group:

An Open Letter from the General Assembly of Occupy Santa Cruz to the People of Santa Cruz

While the General Assembly of Occupy Santa Cruz appreciates the City authorities' public recognition that our assembly is within our First Amendment rights, we want to make known that the unsolicited permit issued to us violates these rights.

Our permit is the First Amendment.

We desire an open dialogue with city officials. Occupy Santa Cruz has both attended city council meetings and invited city officials to our meetings. No city official has yet participated in our General Assembly, which gathers daily at 6 PM and Sundays at 2PM on the courthouse steps. Please join us.

In addition, the permit and press surrounding the permit has misrepresented our movement. Our camp is neither unsafe nor unsanitary. We pack our trash and provide toilet facilities.

As people of the United States of America, our rights to freedom of speech and assembly do not end at a certain time of night, nor at noon on November 16th as indicated in the permit.

Occupy Santa Cruz is calling everyone to join us; therefore we cannot accept limits to the size of our assembly. We are an open and dynamic assembly of American people, horizontally organized through a process of direct democracy. Thus, no one person or group of persons can be designated as leader, permittee, or event coordinator.

We are seeking cooperation from city officials to prevent police repression of our assembly.

As the First Amendment of the United States Constitution clearly states:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Exercise of this Constitutional right does not require a permit.

Occupy Santa Cruz does not accept the implicit assertion made in the demand made by the City of Santa Cruz to sign a non-requested permit for use of the park land currently being occupied -- namely, the assertion that the Santa Cruz Municipal Code trumps the First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America.

Approved by the General Assembly of Occupy Santa Cruz on November 6th 2011.

Also present in the lobby of the city clerk's office were the Raging Grannies, who start singing about 14 minutes into the video.

No comments: