11:00am to 12:30pm - The demonstration begins at the corner of 6th and Pine Avenue (in front of the main military recruitment center). Protesters are playing drums, passing out fliers critical of the U.S. military industrial complex, holding signs with anti-war/anti-recruitment statements, chanting and talking with people passing by. Long Beach Police Officers are positioned in their normal uniforms across the street from us. There wasn't an official count of the officers (as far as I know), but it appeared to be a grouping around 20 to 25. Between 11 and 12:30pm, demonstrators continued, at some point, breaking into groups that would legally cross the streets to cover other corners of the 6th and Pine intersection. There appeared to be one to two counter protesters. No major conflicts between demonstrators and counter protesters took place, even though we weren't separated from each other.
12:30pm - The demonstrators decide to peacefully march
South on Pine Avenue on the sidewalk with our drums, fliers, signs, and chants. As we are approaching 5th and Pine Avenue, LBPD have a unit of officers who are now in riot gear, blocking Pine Avenue. At this point, demonstrators begin to yell at the police to "let us through." "We are peacefully marching" "This is a violation of our first amendment rights." "Why are you so fearful of us" etc. One white police officer who came up to us every now and then told us that we were "an unlawful assembly and that we had to disperse". None of the officers seemed to have a
response for our assertion of our rights as demonstrators.
Two youths, who were not a part of our demonstration, approach the intersection where the police are blocking Pine. One of the youths tries to cross to the other side, but the riot police at the line tell him he can't pass. He tries to go around them at which point a rubber bullet is fired in his direction. Some of the demonstrators say they saw this officer loading bullets with an "ear to ear" smile on his face. The youth is immediately tackled and arrested after the shot was fired. His friend is obviously upset and
M and A approach him to get his contact info. We tell him that we have it on videotape and we are willing to support in any way we can. We offer his friend bus money to get home. At this point, the read the Dispersal order over a megaphone (this might have been around 12:45pm?).
12:45pm - We make the decision to march to Cesar Chavez Park after hearing the dispersal order. Considering the number of LBPD all around Pine Avenue (including a possible LBPD helicopter above), the group does not feel comfortable dispersing into small numbers. We feel that if we stay as a group, it would be safer for all of us. We, as a group, follow the order and head North on Pine, planning to march to the park. Many of us are yelling at the police that we are going to Cesar Chavez Park over and over as we are headed back. The Riot police follow closely behind us as we march back. They begin to start swinging their
batons and demonstrators directly in front of them. It seems that they are mainly targeting the women at the march. As we approach 6th street (while on Pine) the light to cross was red. So the front of the march decides to stop at light and wait for our legal chance to cross. The riot police are still behind and as they meet us stopped at the light, they beginning swinging batons at more women demonstrators. (What appears to be) Traffic police in the middle of the intersection begin to tell us to keep moving
forward. As we approach 7th st. they order us to head West on 7th street (a left for us). Again, we cross while the light is still a red hand. LBPD in riot gear are still following closely behind, pushing us and swinging clubs when the group slows. As we keep marching forward toward Cesar Chavez Park, LBPD stop their line on 7th in between Pine Avenue and Pacific.
Police straighten their line and stop following us. We turn around and one Copwatch member, Emmanuel Flores, tells the police "So this is where you leave us, you don't follow us into the Ghetto?!!!" He had been frustrated and angry with the LBPD throughout the march, as many of us were. He had been yelling at them from the back of the march the whole time. They seemed really intent (even from the cross street of 6th and Pine) on harming him.
(at this point, I don't know what time it was) After Emmanuel yelled the statement above, one white officer behind the line of Police charges on his own towards Emmanuel. Seconds after he charges, the whole line seems to run at us, splitting the group in different directions, down streets and alleyways in the neighborhood.
Some demonstrators/witnesses, saw five to six officers jump Emmanuel, punching and kicking him. Emmanuel is the second person arrested.
The group I was with, ran to the left down an alley. A police car pulled up in front of us from the end of the alley and stopped his car aggressively. He was a white officer. He forcefully and angrily told us to disperse. We told him that we were already headed, as a group to the park. He said, "THEN GO TO THE PARK!" We are headed down W. 5th Street at this point. Going in the direction of the park. One community member (a passerby earlier to our demonstration) recognized as we walked passed his house. He asked us what was going on, as he went home to get a drum and had planned on coming back to join us in the demonstration. We began to tell him what took place and he offered his backyard to us as a safe space.
It's definitely after 1pm by now and we are trying to call other demonstrators to see if they are okay and to let them know the address of where we were. We eventually begin to call a meeting and start taking notes.
We all find out the Emmanuel Flores was charged with a 409 PC Failure to Disperse (Remaining at the scene of a riot). We made plans to head down to the Long Beach Police Station. This was where he was being held. The other arrestee (not a part of the demonstration) was not at the Long Beach Police Department. We still have his friend's contact info.
Since then, Copwatch Los Angeles and the Youth Justice Coalition have been checking in with Emmanuel. He called us later that night at our office space in South Central. He is doing okay. We looked into info about bailing him out. His bail was set at 5,000, and 10% of that is 500. Since 1am in the morning (Sat. Dec. 9th) we have been trying to bail him out. His family and friends have been notified about the incident.
As of right now (Dec. 9th at 11:30am), members of Copwatch LA and YJC are in Long Beach near the Police Station. They already put up the $500 bail to a bail bonds agency. We are waiting for Emmanuel to be released to us. I will send out a follow-up email once he is released. We need donations to help with his bail money. Please email email@example.com
to see how you can help.
Otherwise, get the word out. Get ready for a legal