By Maureen Smith
Posted on July 12, 2013 by the Santa Cruz County Central Committee
Santa Cruz County Peace and Freedom Party organized a July 4th protest to greet the thousands of cars coming into Santa Cruz for the holiday. We reached out for cosponsorship and found several willing local sponsors in Code Pink, Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, Palestine Israel Action Committee, Santa Cruz Against Drones, Women in Black and Occupy Santa Cruz.
Mike Smith worked on making twenty-three large new signs to be held up, beginning with "Declare Independence - Demand Freedom." This was followed by "freedom for" signs and "freedom from" signs. The "freedom for" signs included messages such as: "Freedom for the Press", "Freedom for Lynne Stewart," "Freedom for Edward Snowden and All Whistleblowers," and "Freedom for Bradley Manning and All Political Prisoners."
The "freedom from" signs included: "Freedom from Guantanamo," "Freedom from ICE," "Freedom from War," "Freedom from Hunger," "Freedom from Torture," "Freedom from Drones," "Freedom from Nuclear Power and Weapons," "Freedom from the National Security State," "Freedom from Corporate Rule," "Freedom from Monsanto," "Freedom from Austerity Economics," and "Freedom from Occupation." All signs had the Peace and Freedom Party logo.
Our publicity was lacking in as much as we did not have PSAs on radio and TV. We did list in Indymedia and the Good Times locally, and our cosponsors helped with emails to their respective groups. This eventually brought out about fifty people from 10:00am to noon on the 4th.
We were able to give flyers to a small portion of the hundreds of cars entering Santa Cruz. Many were receptive, honking, giving thumbs up, peace signs, etc. Many were not receptive, staring ahead, but only a couple were demonstratively negative.
Remarks from the participants were all very positive and one even wanted us to come back in the evening when he thought the cars would all be leaving Santa Cruz in order to remind them on the way out.
We were exhausted but happy with the results of our efforts.
Maureen Smith is chair of the Santa Cruz County Central Committee and a member of the State Executive Committee of the Peace and Freedom Party of California.