A critical mass bike ride of about 15 cyclists made its way through downtown Santa Cruz on February 25, 2005, the last Friday of February, before heading east to the Branciforte overpass for a spontaneous bicycle hanging over Highway One. About ten cycles, including a tandem, were hung on the fence as a silent suggestion to the autobots that they change their destructive ways.
On February 14, 2005, Santa Cruzans for Responsible Planning (SCRAP), a local grassroots organization backed by former Santa Cruz Mayors, held a news conference at the entrance to the Santa Cruz City Wharf. This was the official kickoff for a community-wide referendum campaign to halt the single largest development in the city since UC Santa Cruz. If the group can acquire at least 4,000 valid signatures, the “Coast Hotel” issue will be placed on the ballot for a city-wide vote.
Opposition to SCRAP’s referendum campaign includes the developers (of course!), current employees of the Coast Hotel who would like to have more work in the winter months and SEIU Local 415.
The proposed development calls for a 270 room hotel, 6-level parking garage and a 23,000 square foot Conference Center.
On February 12, 2005, animal rights activists protested at the KFC on Mission St. (Hwy 1) in Santa Cruz to call attention to the horrendous practices of KFC chicken suppliers. About 25 people and two chickens marched from the health food store on Laurel and Mission to the KFC a half mile down the road.
On February 7, 2005, there was a School Board Meeting at Scotts Valley High School in response to complaints made by Don D’Andrea, a parent of a SVHS student. D’Andrea feels that posters inside of classrooms with sayings such as, “Safe Person, Safe Safe” and “Respect All Families” are discriminatory towards heterosexual students.
At the center of the controversy were upside down pink triangles posted inside of classrooms.
A pink triangle was worn by prisoners in Nazi Germany whose only “crime” was being born homosexual. It has been adopted by the GLBTI movement both in memory of oppression in the past and as a symbol of hope for a better present and future.
On February 3, 2005, Mattilda, a.k.a. Matt Bernstein Sycamore, spoke at Bookshop Santa Cruz. Mattilda is the editor of a 37 author anthology called, That’s Revolting! Queer Strategies for Resisting Assimilation.
Mattilda spoke on a variety of topics, including gay marriage and assimilation, challenging power, and the rejection of queer youth from established gay districts such as the Castro in San Francisco. I began recording as Mattilda was talking about a recent book reading in Atlanta, Georgia.