at the anti-war "academy awards for peace" march on sunset and orange, a breakaway march of a few hundred people left to head towards hollywood and highland where the pro-war forces were gathered. they were forced well to the south by the LAPD--all the way to the intersection of willoughby and one block west of orange, where they were corralled by the cops. chanting "whose streets? our streets!" they were surrounded by cops on bikes, cops on motorcycles, and sheriffs, all armed. THE COPS, AFTER FORCING THEM INTO THIS REMOTE CORNER, ORDERED THEM TO DISPERSE "ONE BY ONE". (that is so ridiculous!) the protesters refused for a while, chanting, "we all leave together! we all leave together!". the protesters were entirely nonviolent for as much as this observer could see. then the cops forced the people to leave, in two separate lines, one heading to the east, one heading to the west. the cops said, "IF YOU DISPERSE WE WONT ARREST YOU." the protesters started to disperse, not "one-by-one" exactly, but in a line, sometimes one person, sometimes two, on the sidewalk. at this point my friends and i crossed the street to monitor the dispersal. the guy with the megaphone, who had been leading the chants, was walking toward the east, along with many of the other demonstrators. we were taking pictures and video (to be posted later), and then the next thing we knew, the cops ripped the megaphone away from the guy, and slammed, yes, slammed him, face first, on the ground. his face pressed on the pavement, there were at least 4 cops on top of him making the arrest.
he was talking back to the cops, and i squatted on the ground to tell him that he didn't need to tell them anything, and to try to get his name and a phone number. at this point i was pushed into the line of people who were being dispersed, along with my friends.
as soon as they had this one guy on the ground, they went after another dude (who, not coincidentally, was brown). i am so pissed off right now. they kept saying that nothing would happen if people dispersed, AND AS WE WERE DISPERSING (AFTER THEY CORRALLED FOLKS), THEY WENT AFTER US--CLEARLY TARGETING THE ORGANIZERS--tactics to intimidate, i guess.
during the dispersal we were almost at a run and there were tens of armed cops on the streets around us and directly behind us. one pushed me, and i turned around and said "please don't push me," and he growled, "keep walking!". but it was really hard to walk any faster and they were pretty much on top of us. i got a billy club in my back, my friend got a bicylcle on her head and shoulder, and i know that we two white women had it easier than most others.
i am soooo pissed. i have bicycle tracks on my arm right now. this is actually my first "encounter" with LAPD. i shouldn't be surprised, i guess.