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The Santa Cruz Eleven are local community members who have been charged with an unprecedented variety of offenses arising from their alleged involvement with the occupation of a long-time vacant bank building late last fall, 2011.
These defendants are either journalists, members of our local press, and/or activists supportive of the Occupy movement.
The Santa Cruz Eleven defendants were participating in constitutionally protected activities either as news gatherers, observers, or as supporters, including a mediator between police and activists inside the occupied building.
Each of these defendants has been charged with the following four charges: (1) felony conspiracy to commit a misdemeanor, (2) felony vandalism, (3) misdemeanor trespass by entering and occupying, and (4) misdemeanor trespass by refusing to leave private property.
Hundreds of individuals, if not more, entered and exited the bank building during the 75-hour occupation, including local elected officials, corporate press and “citizen journalist” bloggers. Only the Santa Cruz Eleven have been charged.
The Santa Cruz Eleven are being selectively prosecuted because of their past activism relating to independent media publishing, adversarial relationships with law enforcement and prior public direct actions on issues of social justice that have been critical of the local police department, local government, and the District Attorney’s office for over a decade.
These defendants posed no threat to public order and community safety by their actions, either as chroniclers of the events, or as supporters of the occupiers and the occupation.
Supporters of the Santa Cruz Eleven are seeking local, regional, national and international support for the defense of these community members.
The Court must ensure that these activists are not being selectively prosecuted. All charges based on this constitutionally protected activity should be dropped immediately.
The cost of these prosecutions (including the prosecution and defense attorneys, court costs, and police costs for testimony) is costing taxpayers upwards of a million dollars, with judges dropping charges, and the DA refiling based on no additional evidence.
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The creators of this website do not speak on behalf of the Santa Cruz Eleven, and the defendants do not necessarily endorse its contents.