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Downtown Long Beach Protest Gets Attacked by Police, CWLA Member Arrested

by Cop Watch Los Angeles Monday, Dec. 11, 2006 at 2:42 AM
copwatchla@riseup.net 1877 8 NO COPS

First Hand Accounts from Demonstration in Downtown Long Beach Against Military Recruiters in our Communities Friday December 8th

Caught Up in the LBC

By Emanuel Flores

Member of the Youth Justice Coalition

And Cop Watch L.A.

I’m going to tell my story about what happened on Friday, December 8th,

2006 in Long Beach. I went to Long Beach to support the action where

people were going to put pressure on the Military recruitment center.

Some

people said "we're gonna march down Pine Ave". They said "you guys

don’t

have to go with us." They where talking to some of the members of CWLA.

I

thought that we would be safer if we would stick together. Half way up

the

block I heard someone say "Oh they're in riot gear." I looked up and

there

was the LBPD crossing the intersection in a pack blocking traffic going

north bound making it a bigger deal then what it was. In other words no

one was getting out of control.

Some guy that happened to be at that corner was trying to get by to the

other side when one of the white cops felt it was necessary to shoot

this

one guy with a beanbag. The LBP grabbed him by the back of the neck

pushing his head down. As I started to yell "Let him go" they began to

put

the guy in handcuffs and in the back of a cop car that was behind the

police line.

The police said "The people of California order you to disperse." Those

few words got me thinking "What the fuck?! This fucker!" That’s when I

yell "but we are the people of California!" Which other people started

to

say too. It seems that when the group marching was beginning to

"disperse"

the LBP started to follow the group. When we got to the corner of 6th

and

Pine we found police in front of us and the ones in that the back of

the

group got closer. We came to the intersection and a chunk of the cops

that

where at the back of the group broke off to begin marching down the

street

past the group positioning themselves so the group was almost

surrounded.

During this whole time the LBP was telling the group to leave the area.

I

was facing N. on Pine Ave when the LBP on my right started to push

forward

forcing the group to begin walking W. on 6th St. (the cops on my right

lined up with police on both sides of the streets and started sweeping

the

street, blocking traffic, and pushing people). There was only one way

that

we could all go. All this was going on, and my brain was trying to keep

up. It looked like a western movie, the way they round up cattle and

force

them into the corral.

As they pushed us down the street, I saw the cop that shot the other

youth

with a bean bag pointing me out to the other police officers, and

targeted

me because I wasn’t dressed in black and wearing a mask, so I stood

out.

They pushed us up one more block, and they suddenly stopped. Then I

turned

and yelled to them, “Now that you pushed us into the ghetto you stop.

You

are afraid to come in here.” Then I heard one of the commanding

officers

yell, “Go get him!” and a line of cops 10-15 strong rushed me. People

dispersed, but 5 cops jumped on top of me. They hit me in the face with

the baton once and kicked me in the right side of my face with their

boot.

I was punched in my back numerous times, yelling at me not to not

resist,

when my hands were at the side in plain view.

They arrested me for supposedly “Remaining at the Scene of a Riot”

Penal

Code 409. I was taken to the Downtown Long Beach Police Station and was

held there for 24 hours. If it wasn’t for other members of Cop Watch

Los

Angeles, and my employer the Youth Justice Coalition raising bail, I

would

be still in jail today for something that was against my civil rights

and

unjust.

In jail I was talking to people detained about what had happened. I met

different people in jail, one was a street vendor who could be possibly

be

facing deportation, who’s only crime was trying to survive. Other

inmates

there were supportive of me and understanding of the reason why we were

out there voicing our opinions. They all nicknamed me, “Freedom

Fighter.”

My court date is on December 20th at the court house at downtown Long

Beach on 415 W. Ocean Blvd. at 8am, I’m calling for people to come out

and

show solidarity not only for me but for all those that can’t voice

their

opinions.



==============================================

First Hand Account from Demonstration in Downtown Long Beach Against

Military Recruiters in our Communities Friday December 8th

This demonstration was organized by the BASE

Collective (http://www.basecollective.org) and

attended by BASE members, Copwatch LA

(http://www.copwatchla.org) members, Youth Justice

Coaliton members, students, passersby who joined in, and

one to two counter-protestors.

The following notes were collected after the

demonstration/march was dispersed violently by

officers of the Long Beach Police Department.

Friday, Dec. 8th

Notetaker: Austin Delgadillo (CWLA - Boyle

Heights/East LA Chapter)

Demonstrators Present: - this might not be everyone, some people came

in late

11:00am to 12:30pm - The demonstration begins at the

corner of 6th and Pine Avenue (in front of the main

military recruitment center). Protestors 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

protestors. No major conflicts between demonstrators

and counter protestors 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 ammendment 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 were

blocking Pine. One of the youth 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

Miguel and Austin 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 the 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 begin 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. LBP 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 LBP 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 crosstreet 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.



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 safespace.

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.

Later on...

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. The 1st arrestees name is

Irving Vazquez. His friend who gave us his contact

info is Luis Reyes.

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.

Otherwise, get the word out. Get ready for a legal

battle.

Emmanuel was released today December 9th around 1:45pm from the

Long Beach Police Station Downtown. His bail was set

at 5,000 dollars. Copwatch Los Angeles and Youth

Justice Coalition went through a Bailbonds place and

put down 10% of the 5,000.

Emmanuel has a court date set for December 20th at the

Long Beach Court House (District 7). Currently, he has

a misdemeanor charge of 'Failure to Disperse'

(Remaining at the scene of a riot).

When we get more information, we will post it to this

list. In the meantime, feel free to send around the

account I posted earlier. Make sure to get rid of the

roll call of names. Including the names of those

arrested should be okay though (both Irving and

Emmanuel).

REMINDER: If you haven't already, we would appreciate

it if people who attended send us their own personal

accounts of what took place on Dec. 8th in Long Beach.

This will help us if we plan to sue the LBPD/City of

Long Beach and also to support Emmanuel in his case.

Send info either to copwatchla@riseup.net

or to my personal email abatisvras@yahoo.com

Peace.

Austin Delgadillo, CWLA and CR Los Angeles

==================================================

Footage from the protest in Long Beach against Military Recruiters

attacked by the LBPD

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=USsL3Hx3B4A

===================================================

Protest on Pine

Anti-war group gathers at recruiting center

By Felix Sanchez, Staff writer

LONG BEACH - About 20 anti-war protestors gathered at a military

recruiting center downtown late Friday morning, triggering a smaller

counter-protest, authorities said.

The protest, at the corner of Sixth Street and Pine Avenue, was

dispersed

by Long Beach police without incident, said spokeswoman Jackie Bezart.

Members of the Base Collective from south Los Angeles organized the

protest against "capitalist ideologies" and because the military

unfairly

targets minorities in its recruiting, said a group member who declined

to

be identified.

The group's member said two people were arrested, but a police

spokeswoman

was unable to check records to determine if anyone had been detained

from

the protest, Bezart said.

Collective organizers said the protest drew about 50 people.

Felix Sanchez can be reached at felix.sanchez@presstelegram.com or

(562)

499-1297.





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