Saturday, November 19, 2011

Open Letter from Occupy Eureka to Humboldt Supes and Eureka City Council

To: Members of the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors
Members of the Eureka City Council

Date: November 18, 2011

... Re: Protests in Humboldt County and the City of Eureka

Greetings. As the elected mediator for Occupy Eureka, I am submitting this letter to notify you that the members of Occupy Eureka, by vote at their November 16, 2011 and November 17, 2011 General Assemblies, have asked me to respectfully request that the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors (the “County”) and the Eureka City Council (the “City”) publicly discuss and respond to the following requests for discussion and action regarding the ongoing Occupy Eureka protest and the fencing (the “Fencing”) currently in place on the Humboldt County Courthouse lawn (the “Lawn”). In addition, I have been asked to write this letter with the hope that the rules and regulations regarding future protests and other items specifically outlined be examined, clarified, discussed and revised as needed.

Specifically, the items for which examination, clarification, public discussion and revision are requested are as follows:
1. Whether the Fencing can be removed.
2. Whether the City or the Board has any objection to a 24/7 presence on the Lawn for the purpose of peaceful protesting and exercise of Constitutional rights and, if so, why.
3. Whether camping on the Lawn may be allowed for protestors and, if not, why.
4. Whether camping on the Lawn may be allowed for those who do not have homes and, if not, what options the City and County have in place for those who do not have housing and whether or not those provisions, if any, are adequate.
5. What are the rules currently in place applicable to protests in the City and County?
6. What are the rules currently in place in the City and County regarding camping in their respective jurisdictions?
7. What are the existing policies or directives of the City and County regarding how their respective law enforcement agencies are asked to handle alleged violations of law by protestors in their respective jurisdictions?
8. Are there any restrictions regarding the use of, or policies supporting the confiscation of, educational materials, and any structure erected to protect same against the elements at any protest within the jurisdiction of either the City or County?
9. What restrictions exist regarding the distribution and/or consumption of food, and any structure erected to protect same against the elements, at any protest within the jurisdiction of either the City or County.
10. Are there any existing requirements for the engagement in a protest, including any permit that may be required and the process for obtaining same?
11. Are there any existing requirements for the distribution of food to the needy in either the City or County?
12. Whether the City and/or County will grant permission to Occupy Eureka to hold an event on Thanksgiving Day to provide food and support to those in need.
13. Whether the City and County can direct the appropriate law enforcement agencies in their jurisdictions to provide an itemized list of those items confiscated in the past month from protestors on the Lawn that identifies what items are available for release, which are not, and the reasons for any item not being returned as well as clarification of exactly how and when those items that may be retrieved will be accomplished.
14. Whether the City and the County will consider adopting an ordinance similar to that adopted in Santa Rosa regarding the allowance of camping at protests.
15. Whether it is possible to get public bathrooms in Humboldt County and/or a porta potty at the protest.

Please note that each request being made herein is being made individually. In other words, if there is some reason it is problematic to respond to any particular item, the request would be that the objection be stated and a discussion ensue regarding how the issue can be reframed to enable discussion, but that discussion continue on other issues. In addition, it would be appreciated if time could be reserved at any future public meeting to add other items that may have been inadvertently omitted.

Finally, it is respectfully requested that a public meeting be set with all due speed. It would be appreciated if an initial meeting could be arranged prior to the Thanksgiving holiday.

Please do not hesitate to contact the undersigned with any questions you may have or with specific requests regarding anything that can be done to speed this process along. Thank you so very much for your anticipated attention to these matters.

Respectfully Submitted,

Laura J. Cutler

1 comment:

  1. Thanks, Tom. We gave Laura a shout out in our column, too.

    Fellow readers: sharing a bit of the lesser reported news and local Occupy Haps archived in the Humboldt Sentinel column here has been a steady work in progress-- with your comments and criticisms not only being appreciated, but sought after. Please give it a read, offering some valuable feedback if you’re inclined.


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