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As part of a vast national response in 37 cities to The Ferguson, Missouri shooting of 18 year old Michael Brown, Los Angeles saw two protests over two days. Citing LA's own tragic losses and police abuse of Ezell Ford, Omar Abrego, Damon Jackson and Barry Montgomery the streets hosted two wildcat marches. The first was on Sunday August 17th outside of LAPD Headquarters and the second was the following day in front of both the Ford family home and the Abrego family home in South Central Los Angeles.
The story of police abuse is being seen by most as a a black male issue but these crowds gave pause to that notion. The protesters were a very mixed crowd both racially and culturally.
There were families of the slain and abused men holding large photos of their brothers, fathers and sons.
Three of the deceased men were challenged mentally. Two of them Ezell Ford and Damon Jackson were killed by Los Angeles police while a young schizophrenic named Barry Montgomery was beaten and hidden inside the Los Angeles jail system for days while his family searched for him frantically.
The police response was very light. There were bike cops and motorcycle police along with a fair amount of regular LAPD at the first action. Some streets were roped off while others streets were quickly blocked to traffic as the crowd sporadically wound it's way wildcat style through downtown. The response was essentially the opposite of the Ferguson display of force.
Story and photos: LA Fields Two Marches Against Police Executions Photoset 1of 2 | Photoset 2 of 2 by Robert Stuart Lowden
More: Los Angeles Declares "Hands Up!" in Peaceful Protest of LAPD Murder of Ezell Ford by Los Angeles People's Media
It’s a sweet, but sad victory. This recently overturned unconstitutional Los Angeles City law, LAMC 85.02, has been used over the years to harm many more people than the four plaintiffs in the Desertrain vs. City of Los Angeles appeal.
Harassment, arrests, tickets, vehicle tows, pets taken to the pound, stay-away orders, intimidating city attorney meetings, unnecessary court appointments, warrants for those who could not show up, inappropriate fear mongering by the city and homeless hate groups - these are some of the injustices connecting the victims of this unconstitutional law. We have a systemically broken city government in Los Angeles that criminalizes poverty.
Carol Sobel, the civil rights attorney who won this important case, remains positive and believes “Not only is this a victory for unhoused individuals, but it is also a very important step in the judicial recognition of the need to address any legitimate issues the City seeks to remedy by some more humane means than criminalizing poverty.” And she is so right. There are plenty more humane means to addressing homelessness than ticketing, arresting, towing, and police harassment.
Full story: LA Living in Vehicle Law Found UnConstitutional by Peggy Lee Kennedy
"The Che, which is a worker-owned collective residing on the University of California campus in San Diego, is being threatened with eviction," Chris Burnett, a former collective member, said on Indymedia on Air
. "The Che Cafe has been run by students since its foundation in 1980. Many will likely have heard of the Che Cafe as a music venue, which has hosted artists from all over the world; some may have eaten there their famous all-you-can-eat vegetarian dinners; while others may have gone to a political solidarity event.
"During the 1980s, the Che hosted countless events in solidarity with the people all over Central America and worked to bring down Apartheid. In the '90s the Che served as an organizing hub for those in solidarity with the Zapatistas and hosted countless events to oppose the first Gulf War. Today it continues in that tradition, still hosting artists [and] events and is still run collectively. For many of the hundreds of people who have joined the collective, it introduced them to the concepts of collectivity and consensus decision-making.
"The Che to this day serves as a model for a new society, teaching the building blocks of organizing and working together outside of traditional capitalist relations, specifically, the soul-sucking existence of a top-down boss-worker relationship. . . ."
Discussion with collective members (past and present): Indymedia On Air - Che Cafe show by Chris Burnett
More: Save the Che: Letter from Zack de la Rocha by Chris Burnett
Calls for action: Save the Che (Facebook) | Petition
Resources: Che Cafe website | Blogspot
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