Santa Cruz Good Times

Apr 01st
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From the Editor

greg_archerS2sPlus Letters to Good Times
May Day Riots: The Aftermath
From The Hub ...
City Council Too Reactionary
The Mayor Says ...
Knowing SubRosa Better
The race is on. Well, almost. The much heralded AMGEN Tour of California kicks off this week and heads right into Santa Cruz Tuesday, May 18. Once again, GT has a great deal of information about the prestigious cycling race, which came through town for the first time last year. (And we’re so glad they’re heading back.) Thousands of people are expected to attend. This year’s Stage 3 finish line is right in front of the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk. Some things to know: take note of this week’s AMGEN tour pullout. It has specific information on the event, including road closures, where to watch, the whole schedule and so much more. (You may even learn a few biking tips, too.) There’s plenty there, so dive in. In the meantime, with cycling fever in the air, we searched for inspiring locals making an impression on the cycling scene. You can find our star in this week’s cover story where Karen Kefauver explores the unique nature of cyclist Shelley Olds Evans. The woman is a dynamo and has her sights set on the 2012 Olympic Games. Here’s to her bright vision and many miles of cycling ahead. See you at the race.

A few more things to pay attention to this week. The first is the Santa Cruz Film Festival. The fest is enjoying a robust season this year so be aware of all the happenings as the fest comes to a powerful close this weekend. Turn to page 36 for a roundup of the films playing this week and head to for more deets. (Is that actually an official word now? I can just see Walter Cronkite shaking his head at modern journalism, but more on that at another time ...) Also, visit GTv for behind-the- scenes video coverage of the fest.

Where was I? Oh yes, the second noteable: This week’s Letters (below). Take a look and continue to send us your thoughts on the May Day riots.

And this week: Have a smooth ride.  
Greg Archer | Editor-in-Chief

Letters to Good Times Editor

May Day Riots: The Aftermath
Regarding the article on the May Day riots (GT 5/6), the saddest aspect of the recent rioters is how amazingly dumb they are. The only thing worse than a dumb person is a dumb person who becomes angry and violent.
Oh, anarchist rioters, way to smash corporate and capitalist power by attacking a downtown of largely locally owned, independent small businesses, in a city that is one of the most tolerant of your antics in the country. Many of the people who own businesses and live in Santa Cruz probably share your disdain of America's chain store homogenization, corporate abuses, and financial sector crime—that's why they live here in the first place! Santa Cruz gets national recognition for anti-growth initiatives and resistance to big box-ification, and this is the place you choose to stick it to the man? Your choice of venue is as mind-bogglingly stupid as your violence is unacceptable. You are like an organic food zealot burning down a local farmer's market instead of McDonald's headquarters. Take a lesson from the Greeks: if you're going to cause ineloquent mayhem, at least direct it at the financial institutions and houses of government that contribute to the inequalities you rage against. To make it easier for you: riot on Wall Street, not Pacific Avenue, morons.
I hope this whole shameful experience serves as wake-up call for Santa Cruz. The tolerance for vagrancy, drug-dealing, and gang warfare (what we will refer to collectively as the Santa Cruz Bull Shit, or SCBS) that the citizenry exhibits has to have a breaking point. The SCBS, like a flesh-eating bacteria infesting a body, can only exist as long as the local economy and quality of life attract enough responsible grown-ups to keep the system alive. If the SCBS drives away enough citizens who want a decent place to live, work, raise children, and enjoy life, there won't be anyone left to subsidize the foolishness. Don't you cowardly "anarchists" realize you are living and breathing and eating in one of the few places in the country that wouldn't run you out of town? To make it easier for you: don't bite the hand that feeds you, morons.
Oh, anarchists, it's all just so pathetic: the true centers of "capitalist oppression" didn't hear you at all, not in the slightest, and all you did was hurt your neighbors and make your town just a little shittier. Hoping for the end of SCBS.
G.T. Norman
Santa Cruz

From The Hub ...
We are writing on behalf of the Santa Cruz Hub for Sustainable Transportation to make clear our position and feelings regarding Saturday night's (May 1) acts of vandalism and property damage. We do not in any way approve or condone these acts.  They are harmful not only economically, but socially.
We live and work downtown, and value good relations with our neighbors. These riotous acts were childish, macho and seemingly pointless.
We do not appreciate the indiscriminate backlash against radical andalternative organizations. Members of the SubRosa collective, PeoplePower!, and The Hub's landlords (who are longtime residents, businessmen,and property owners in the county) have all received threats of physical violence and harassment online and in person. What a response to senseless violence—threats of more violence directed at innocent parties.
Last year, The Hub's offices were repeatedly burglarized and our windows smashed. We wouldn't wish such wanton vandalism on anyone else. We struggled not to look out at the street and resent all the people who looked scruffy, or different from us. However, responding by blaming doesn't help the community or the individuals affected to recover. It only spreads the hurt around.
The Hub for Sustainable Transportation
(a non-profit community center including the Bike Church, People Power!, Green Ways to School, and PedEx.)

City Council Too Reactionary
The article written in GT (May 6) by Ryan Coonerty and Lynn Robinson is an example of knee-jerk, reactionary behavior not befitting an elected member of the city council. Their misuse of their elected position in the community is irresponsible and damaging to community well-being.  
Despite one's position in these matters, it is your job as members of the council to foster healing of rifts and good communication, not fuel the slanderous and hateful rants of all those using public blogs and forums. To lump anarchists in with gang activity and drug dealing is totally reprehensible.  
Our community thrives on its diversity. Of course, we all want an end to violent and destructive behavior, but their words misassign culpability for these acts to “anarchists” as if there is such a group of cohesive individuals representing a common viewpoint. We do not know what the intent of those destructive individuals was since there has not been a public statement. One could just as correctly called them “whites,” no?  
We need less divisiveness in these troubled times and more community building, but not of the name calling, exclusive variety I have seen represented by the Take Back Santa Cruz group.  Whether you differ with a person's ideology or social standing is not reason to exclude them from our community.
You are by oath required to serve your community, all of it.  You owe those who are damaged by your reckless words an apology.
Nita Hertel
Santa Cruz

The Mayor Says ...
Regarding the letter by Ms. Hertel, excuse me (and my colleagues) Ms. Hertel, the people who systematically organized the destruction of downtown properties on May 1, are self-identified as anarchists. While they have no particular relationship to gang violence, they did do more than $100,000 worth of damage to buildings, including those owned by small business people, and sprayed anarchist slogans on the walls. As someone who has taught classes on the anarchist tradition, I can certainly agree with you that while many anarchists do not share the views held by this particular group of anarchists, there is certainly a major tradition within anarchism that supports the destruction of symbols of authority (and the authorities themselves by assassination in some cases).
The fact is that our community is full of lots of revolutionary wannabes who self-identify as anarchists. The philosophy they offer suggests (insanely enough) that if you attack authority and its symbols, it will "inspire the masses to rise up and take control of society for themselves." I'll leave it to other anarchists (and yourself, if you see yourself in the anarchist tradition) to separate themselves from these destructive fools who share at least some claim to the anarchist tradition. But it is accurate to say that the group of 15-20 individuals who came to the May 1 demonstrations prepared with black costumes, masks, spray paint, and tools to break windows were self-identified as anarchists. There is nothing wrong with my colleagues identifying them as such.
Mike Rotkin
Mayor of Santa Cruz

Knowing SubRosa Better
I understand that SubRosa has been blamed for the incidents on May Day. SubRosa had nothing to do with the May Day event and, not surprisingly, few are interested in the motivations of people who did break windows downtown as a form of “protest.”
While people are quick to blame SubRosa “anarchists,” the mass media continues to show violence as a solution to all our problems, more policing and more military intervention in Third World countries to support capitalist profits while ignoring the cost in human suffering, destruction of the environment and loss of biocultural diversity. The “anarchists” oppose corporate capitalist states’ acts of violence and destruction. They are basically against violence and destruction.
SubRosa is a community-based non-profit information shop dedicated to encouraging people to be creative in music, arts, gardening, education, and developing alternatives to capitalist relations. They need support in putting on free classes, food for thought, and entertainment. The SubRosa puts on free events such as freeskool classes, Food Not Bombs feedings, theatre, open mics, the Santa Cruz Underground Music Festival, and other non-profit events for the whole community. If you want to know what SubRosa is about, go down to the end of Pacific Avenue and see the trees they have planted, the tables and chairs they have recycled, drink a cup of coffee and talk to the all-volunteer staff, use their computers for free or read a book at their library. These people have taken a corner away from the drug trade and built a positive influence for the whole community. Do you really want to attack people engaged in constructing a better community by associating them with misguided vandals?
Jeffrey Alyn Smith
Adjunct Professor of Anthropology
San Jose City College
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