Free speech crackdown by Councilperson Perry
Written by Administrator
Wednesday, 02 August 2006
Under the smoke screen of “Decorum” the City Council has managed to further free themselves from any public accountability. These new addendums to Chapter II, Public Notice, Attendance and Comment (City Council Agenda for 7/28/06 Items 06-1205 and 06-1514) to the rules further embark us on a road to repression.
Three years ago, when the South Central Farmers were notified of their forthcoming eviction, from 41st and Alameda, land that was mitigated by Bradley after the 1992 uprisings to the community; we were unaware of the repressive tidal wave moving through city council, especially in the 9th district.
The fear that bore out from the 1992 uprisings is being addressed through agents sponsored from the small segment of society that holds power. In the case of the 9th district this would be pre-dominantly real estate developers, religious groups (like the Metropolitan Churches), government officials, and small grassroots organizations dependent on the status quo which constitute this power strangle hold. This inherent psychological disposition of the oppressors’ fear of retribution by the oppressed has created agents like Councilperson Perry who have moved resolutions that dehumanize, demonize, strips a community of identity, and passed new laws to divide a community based on race, and class. These new laws keep the divergent groups in the community from coming together as they did in the South Central Farmers’ encampment of 2006.
Arrival at recently losing 2 minutes from public comment at City Council (proposal to reduce speaker time from 3 minutes to 1 minute) should not be a surprise. While we as stakeholders of the 9th district might have neglected the Councilperson’s actions we can begin to piece together an identifiable pattern described by Dr. Lawrence Britt, in the 7 conditions that foster and fuel repression.
The 1992 uprisings have certainly created financial instability in the way that real estate developers use to profit in the community. The churning demographic has given rise to declassed social elements. In the post years there has been an increase of stripping of rights and wealth from the community, see Leslie Radford’s, “Race, Class and the Battle for South Central Farm”. The patchwork of programs that came out of the uprisings have done absolutely nothing to reduce the discontent amongst the different sectors of the 9th district. Consider the increased homelessness, the racial tensions among the different groups, and the increase use of race by politicians to fuel this discontent. Homeless people and the South Central Farmers have experienced great pronouncement, and perpetuation of hate. Merely based on the fact both of these groups are without resources and are attempting to assert their stakeholder rights.
In analyzing this on coming tidal wave we can look to Robert O. Paxton’s quote on fascism as, “…a form of political behavior marked by obsessive preoccupation with community decline, humiliation or victim-hood.” After the 1992 uprising in South Central Los Angeles there was an obvious concern from its middle class membership, which eventually put forth a resolution through its proxy, Councilperson Perry. In early 2003 in a 14-0 vote the city council moved forward a motion of segregation. This motion would, “In the future, all city documents will refer to the historically-Black neighborhood that houses mansions as well as housing projects as South Los Angeles.” Even though for more than a decade it has had more Latinos than Blacks. Many Asians also call the area home, as well as Whites.
We should not be under any illusions that we live in an open and democratic society, at least not in the 9th district or South Central Los Angeles. Let us strip away the mythology, the propaganda, and the "decorum". Its tough to survive in South Central Los Angeles, even if you call it something else..
 Dr. Lawrence Britt, a political scientist, wrote an article about fascism which appeared in Free Inquiry magazine -- a journal of humanist thought. Dr. Britt studied the fascist regimes of Hitler (Germany), Mussolini (Italy), Franco (Spain), Suharto (Indonesia), and Pinochet (Chile). He found the regimes all had 14 things in common, and he calls these the identifying characteristics of fascism. The article is titled 'Fascism Anyone?', by Lawrence Britt, and appears in Free Inquiry's Spring 2003 issue on page 20.
 Robert Paxton, the Columbia history professor whose research changed the historical understanding of France's Vichy Regime, won the American Historical Association Award for Scholarly Distinction. Paxton, in launching the first historical investigation of the Vichy regime, revealed its inner workings and its collaboration with Nazi leadership. His 1972 book, Vichy France: Old Guard and New Order, 1940-1944, has had a profound effect on French national consciousness.