I was arrested yet again, last night, while protesting the sleeping ban at the Santa Cruz County Courthouse. After warning law enforcement that they could be violating core Constitutional protections, referenced in 602(o), the powers that fee decided to switch to 647(e) and 602(l)(1) charges (unless I am mistaken, I couldn't find an (L)). But...
If one bothers to actually read California Penal Code 602(o) there is a surprise at the end.
this subdivision shall not apply to persons on the premises who are engaging in activities protected by the California or United States Constitution
Sure, Constitutional protections aren't what they used to be, but 602(o) seems (belatedly) specific. During the latest arrest, I explained this detail to the sheriff and he responded by taking out his 'cheat sheet' and having me read along with him. I did. The text of 602(o), as it appears there, was incomplete! Interestingly, the 'cheat sheet' version of the 602(o) text leaves out the discussion of Constitutional protections. When I pointed this out, the sheriff said he would check the law. After doing so (he may have chatted with others too, I'm not sure, I was trying to take a nap in the patrol car), he proceeded to cross out the 602(o) charge and add 647(e) and 602(l)(1) charges. He also said that the next time I was arrested, he would contact a judge and ask that my bail be revoked. That didn't stop me from returning for the closing hours of the protest, after being booked and released (sheriffs drove past, none stopped to cite me a second time), although I was very worried about being trapped in jail again, unable to escape the clutches of 647(e).
Bummer. The potential for 647(e) abuse has already been demonstrated (pending appeal), and 602(l)(1) doesn't mention Constitutional protections. Ah, but wait, there is more!
602. Except as provided in subdivision (u), subdivision (v), subdivision (x), and Section 602.8, every person who willfully commits a trespass by any of the following acts is guilty of a misdemeanor:
602.8 [...] (c) Subdivision (a) shall not apply to any of the following: [...] (2) Any person on the premises who is engaging in activities protected by the California or United States Constitution.
I had no idea Constitutional protections were so ex post facto!
So, the time for half measures has passed. If Santa Cruz or California truly wish to declare a basic physiological need a crime, then they must be prepared to incarcerate me for the rest of my life, for I will not stand down until the unjust laws against sleep are struck down, because everyone must sleep.
If you think I am kidding, you don't know me very well.