Dense fog

Occupy Santa Rosa stages 'flash nap' at City Hall

  • Adrienne Lauby participates in a "flashnap" on the lawn at Santa Rosa City Hall to protest the city's ordinance against sleeping in public places on Tuesday afternoon, July 24, 2012.

Nobody got any shut-eye at a "Flash Nap Protest" held Tuesday on the lawn outside Santa Rosa City Hall.

For the third time in four months, Occupy Santa Rosa members staged a flash-mob of nappers to protest a city ordinance prohibiting sleeping outdoors, which they say unfairly penalizes the homeless.

But pillows and blankets went unused Tuesday, with the grumbling buses at the temporary First Street transit stop, the blazing sun and 20 singing protesters.

And that may — unintentionally — have been the point.

"Every day is a struggle to live," said Katherine Zagainoff, 49, who said she's been homeless for the last year. "People beat you up ... you have to buddy up with people. It's not the most relaxed sleep, not the best sleep."

Santa Rosa adopted an ordinance in 1994 that prohibits camping on city property, aside from public campgrounds, without a permit.

In 2004, Sonoma County banned camping without a permit or sleeping in vehicles after residents and business owners in Guerneville complained about squatter encampments.

The laws have left people who can't get into shelters, or don't care to, without an alternative, said Attila Nagy, 65, of Santa Rosa.

"Imagine this: you just lost your home, your relatives are far away ... so what do you do at night? Where do you sleep?" Nagy said.

Kenneth Spangle, 61, said he received a citation from Santa Rosa police earlier this month for sleeping in his car near Santa Rosa's Rural Cemetery.

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