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Skid Row Activist on Trial --Anti-Brutality Protest this Saturday

by unhoused Saturday, Feb. 17, 2007 at 9:57 PM

Downtown L.A. Hotel Attempts to Ban Homeless People from It's Public Areas --Meanwhile, this Saturday will see continuing demonstrations against police brutality on Skid Row in front of LAPD Central Division Headquartes:

Skid Row Activist on...
busch.jpg, image/jpeg, 320x240

Jury deliberations are expected to begin Tuesday January 20, at 10 a.m. in the Los Angeles criminal trial of Skid Row homeless community activist, David Busch, on criminal charges for attempting to use the pay phone in the public lobby of downtown Los Angeles’ Standard Hotel.

Busch has been homeless for over 14 years, and has started several ongoing L.A. foodlines for hundreds of homeless people --with nothing but shopping carts --and while sleeping on doorsteps –and is currently leading weekly Saturday demonstrations against police brutality on Skid Row: http://www.orgsites.com/ca/wd!/SkidRow.htm

Says Busch, “This case on Tuesday represents just the sort of extremity that downtown business and the LAPD are going to in downtown LA now to deny homeless people here our human and civil rights. This case should have never come trial –that Standard lobby is open to everybody --but now they want to say “everybody but the homeless”

Busch has been taken into police custody or arrested scores of times, and been represented both by the ACLU, and lawyers with the National Lawyers Guild; who’ve defended him against several trumped up anti-homeless charges --but the activist has never been convicted of breaking any law, except on the first night he was homeless, in 1992, when he says he was forced to break a bank window at 9 at night in Orange County, in order to get shelter in the only County facility available that night to homeless people, the jail, where he would not have been coerced to attend a religious service.

States Busch about this newest trial; “Right now, downtown , Mayor Villaraigosa and Councilwoman Jan Perry are demanding criminalization now --for almost all the homeless people here. And, while claiming to be ‘liberals,’ they are leading in this massive push to criminalize all of us here on any charge they can get: jay-walking; sleeping past 6 a.m.; petty parole violations; littering; and even attempting to throw all homeless people downtown, and entitled to drug treatment, into the State Prisons. All this is in order to send a message loud and clear –if you are homeless, and in downtown Los Angeles, you are going to be hounded; you are going to be harassed; you are going to be beaten, or framed, or brutalized, by LAPD.”



“And you will be denied entrance even into the public areas of downtown businesses, if you dare even come down here anymore,” asserts Busch about the current situation.



Adds Busch, “I refused to back down from my right to be treated equally at the hotel, and we are simply not going to stop our weekly protests either --until these unfair sweeps stop. ”

Information about the weekly Saturday Vigils can be found here:

www.orgsites.com/ca/wd!/SkidRow.htm



Jury deliberations in the trial will begin at about 11 a.m. on Tuesday in Judge Lawrence Cho’s courtroom at the 1945 S. Hill Street. . Busch is being represented by Public Defender Terri Yen.

“This whole trial is really just the sort of harassment of a homeless person that never should be happening. But forcing me to go to trial on this trumped up arrest, is the sort of extremes that public officials in Los Angeles will now go to under the so-called “progressive” politics of Democrat Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.

In Santa Monica, in 1998, when I faced similar charges there, the city, under then City Manager Susan McCarthy and Police Chief James Butts, retrained all police officers there to advise proprietors of public accommodations that attempting to exclude people simply because they were homeless was not supported by law. In 2000, similarly, LAPD West Division accepted my citizen’s arrest of the head of the Getty Museum’s Security Department, Michael Moore, for attempting to exclude me because I was homeless. My attorney at that time was Robert Myers, the then former City Attorney of Santa Monica --who was fired from his job prior to representing me –for going so far as to refuse to write any anti-homeless laws in Santa Monica whatsoever. After my arrest of Moore at the Getty was supported by LAPD, the museum formally agreed to retrain their entire Security Staff in homeless sensitivity training,” states Busch.



“But that citizen’s arrest by me also took place when James Hahn was City Attorney of Los Angeles: his office refused to prosecute me; and helped convince the Getty of my rights. Hahn, also, afterwards when he became Mayor, and other city officials even before him, had a long policy being significantly more respectful of the rights of homeless people --because they recognized that we are living in crisis situations here; where our basic right to housing is being denied; and we are primary targets for community frustrations and hate. Meanwhile, under Villaraigosa, according to the Los Angeles Coalition to End Hunger and Homelessnes, now --despite Villaraigosa’s claims to be leading in anti-homelessness –for instance, we have almost a complete standstill in any city progress towards the City’s official Bring LA Home 10-year commitment to eradicate the need of people to sleep on the street. Moreover, Villaraigosa, in league with Perry, is actually leading a homeless hate campaign here --to drive us from downtown into surrounding communities without adequate support –even while he poses for incredible visual stunts: like washing the feet of the homeless on Thanksgiving; and making sure that the TV cameras get notice of it,” adds Busch

Concludes Busch, “This Mayor is really deceiving many on homelessness;; I am not looking for publicity –what I am looking for is for the law and the media to step in, however, and pull the mask of hypocrisy off this Mayor, and Police Chief William Bratton, and Councilwoman Jan Perry, and also City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo’s distracting “dumping” lawsuits, and declare that this city cannot waste more and more police and court time on these sorts of false arrests and misdirected lawsuits simply to roll over for rich downtown developer interests at the expense of outlying communities --not yet capable of handling all of the downtown’s homeless now being driven there.



STOP THE SWEEPS RALLY THIS SATURDAY; 1 p.m.., Feb. 17, 2007

WHEN: This Saturday, Feb. 17th

Starting at 1 p.m.

WHERE: Gathering will be in front of LAPD's

Skid Row (Central City East) LAPD Division Headquarters



Address: 252 E. 6th St. (6th Street two blocks east of Los Angeles

St.)



Latest Rally update:

http://la.indymedia.org/news/2007/01/191954.php

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