LOS ANGELES: QUIET BEFORE THE STORM
by Jim Smith
L.A. Labor News
Like a dry, hot desert wind in late summer, a oppressive layer of foreboding hangs over the city of the angels on the eve of the clash of two opposing social movements.
Anti-globalization, pro-democracy workers, students, socialists, anarchists and veterans of battles in Seattle, D.C., and Philadelphia are poised to confront those torchbearers of civilization and empire, the leaders of the Democratic Party. They will confront each other on political, ideological and physical levels. It is the latter that has ordinary citizens of Los Angeles convinced that we are on the verge of a Big One, magnitude 7.5 or greater. Depending on their political persuasion and color of their skin, Angelinos are girding for either a police riot, or they are anticipating anarchists and/or terrorists running wild in their downtown streets. As a result, no one except delegates, demonstrators and police will be showing up on the highrise field of battle for the next week. However, 3,000 National Guard troops are standing by to join the fracas.
Poor L.A. She began as a paradise of mountains and fields. Later she contracted a hacking couch from the SMOke and foG. Her Native California Indians were nearly extinguished. Her Mexicans were conquered by manifest destiny and her African-Americans saw their good union jobs disappear in the late 70s as auto, rubber and steel plants