Transformation Highway-Stop the Sweeps-Abbi Samuels and Hannah
Stop The Sweeps Santa Cruz: Activists Discuss Resistance Against Closing San Lorenzo Park
Human rights activist Abbi Samuels, and unhoused activist Hannah, discuss resistance against the Santa Cruz city manager’s Dec. 17, 2020 executive order to close San Lorenzo Park, currently the site of a homeless encampment of about 200 people. There are currently no beds available in local shelters.
Abbi Samuels explains that she contacted Gail Newel, health director of Santa Cruz County, about the park eviction and Newel said that if the public health department had been contacted she would have advised against moving the homeless encampment out of the park because it violates CDC guidelines that recognize that dispersing encampments during the pandemic may lead to a spreading of the Covid-19 virus.
These interviews with Abbi and Hannah were recorded on Sunday, December 20, 2020 and originally broadcast on Thursday, December 24th on “Transformation Highway” with John Malkin on KZSC 88.1 FM at the University of California Santa Cruz.
Update: On Monday, December 20, 2020 unhoused and housed activists acted in solidarity to create Stop The Sweeps, an organized effort to resist Santa Cruz police efforts to evict the on-going encampment in San Lorenzo Park. Since Monday police officers have been stopped from evicting the homeless encampment and closing the rest of the park. Activists used fencing to barricade the police away from the encampment, stopping the eviction. And on December 30 a lawsuit was filed in federal court by the California Homeless Union and the Santa Cruz Homeless Union on behalf of Food Not Bombs, Alicia Avalos, Hannah Hegel, Chris Ingersoll and Randolph Tolley. As a result, a temporary restraining order was issued to stop the city from closing San Lorenzo Park.
Stop the Sweeps Santa Cruz petition: