On March 19, 2011, a day which began with a heavy hail storm in Santa Cruz, dozens of people rallied at the Town Clock to protest the eighth anniversary of the U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq. The rally was also a demonstration against the incarceration of Bradley Manning, the increasing militarism of society, and the war at home against the poor and houseless. Protests were taking place in other cities as well, including San Francisco and Fresno.
On March 13, 2011, the Sunday prior to the International Day Against Police Brutality, Santa Cruz anarchists organized a family-friendly BBQ in Grant Street Park “for a world without police.” Dozens of people showed up to grill food, socialize, and listen to Know Your Rights and Copwatch presentations. A bounce-house was set up, but quickly deflated by order of the Santa Cruz Police.
Organizers say the BBQ provided a space for people to “kick it in the park and explore ways that we can rely on each other, rather than on the police.” Furthermore, “We don’t need the police to be safe. Police are often an invasive or violent presence in our communities.”