imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Subscribe Calendar Publish RSS
Tell the NSA: StopWatching.US

Features
latest news
best of news
syndication
commentary


KILLRADIO

VozMob

CopWatch LA

ABCF LA

A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List

LAAMN List





IMC Network: www.indymedia.org africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech
printable version - js reader version - email this article - view hidden posts - tags and related articles
link:

LAPD ATTACK PEACEFULL MAY DAY CROWD WITH RUBBER BULLETS AND TEARGAS

by ANNA AND THE INDYMEDIA COLLECTIVE Wednesday, May. 02, 2007 at 7:04 PM

It looked like the cops were just running unnecessary drills; scare tactics to freak people out and intimidate them, but it wasn’t really working.

That’s the way it looked from my viewpoint from about the middle of the long May Day march as we approached Macarthur Park on Alvarado. The March had been high-spirited and positive; a wonderful diverse mix of thousands of people of all ages; the 2nd of two major marches on the same day. Everybody was well behaved, and even the cops directing traffic on their bicycles seemed to be enjoying the day.
But as we entered the park there was suddenly a mad rush of sirens, patrol cars and motorcycles that seemed to come out of nowhere. Nobody near me could see anything, and there didn’t seem to be any reason for all the excitement, so everybody pretty much ignored it, chalked it up to one of those weird unknown things that the cops are wont to do, and continued in good spirit into the park where many took advantage of water and food vendors. It had been a long day and many people had participated in the earlier march downtown, chalking up many march miles in the sun.

What we couldn’t see from Alvarado and 7th Street however, was that on the other side of the park, on Parkman and Wilshire, the cops had rushed into a group of people on the street with their motorcycles for no known reason, breaking up the people entering the park from that side. OK, so they didn’t want people in the street. But there were thousands of people converging on the park from all sides, and everybody had been happily following directions all day. There was no reason to use those kinds of tactics on a perfectly mellow peaceful crowd.

Then the cops did it again, rushing a throng of people on Wilshire Blvd. Where it cuts through the park. The street was blocked off from traffic, and people were dancing and celebrating to drum beats in the street, when the cops rushed them , with motorcycles and patrol cars, again seemingly for no reason and with no warning. I was standing there watching, and just managed to see a cop seeming to leap into the crowd breaking people up in all directions before a friend pushed me over a short stone wall and into the park where I had my vision blocked by taller heads than mine. We hung out near there until it looked like the march organizers had showed up to take control and calm things down, and satisfied that everything was cool, we walked down the slope and into the festivities in the park.

It was great. There was a band playing cumbias on a large stage, and all around there were thousands of people doing festival stuff. The kids that play Son Jarocho were there getting into the spirit with their Jaranas, traditional instruments from Veracruz, Mexico that look and sound a little like ukulele’s. There was a theatre group doing a silent skit that looked something like the statue of liberty in a sweatshop. There were all the activist tables where pamphlets and books were available about all the socialist workers groups in town, and how each one is better than all the others, and there were thousands of people milling around: Spanish speakers from many countries, Asian Pacific natives, Aztec dancers, Anglos and others. Ages ranged all the way from in baby strollers to on walkers. It was colorful and celebratory. There was no alcohol and everybody seemed to be in good spirits and mellow.

Then I saw a group of people coming in from the street being led by a smaller group with sound coming out of some kind of big speaker on a tall pole. The sound was the voice of one of the event organizers talking to the crowd following and surrounding him.

“You don’t want to fall into the cop’s game,” he was saying in Spanish, “they want us to fight with them so that they can say that we’re unruly, that we start riots, and that for that reason, we don’t deserve to have papers.”

Oh, I realized, this is the crowd from the street, and this guy, whose name I never found out, was working brilliantly to get everything under control.

“But,” he continued, “We’re smarter than that; and we have something to prove. Because, what do we want?” he asked the crowd, “Justice”, came the answer. “And are we good hardworking people?”
“Yes!” screamed the crowd,
“And do we want to live here and raise our children here?”
“Yes” came the answer.
And it went on like that, involving the people in the spirit as he worked them into the larger crowd where people were speaking from the bandstand.

That’s nice, I thought, but suddenly I broke a tooth on a frozen ice cream bar and had to start working my way towards the Metro on Alvarado on the east side of the park and leave before finding out who this great organizer was. That will have to wait until another time.

On the east side of Alvarado I was confronted with another police action. There was a knot of people who didn’t seem to be doing anything standing on the green medium by the sidewalk, with another knot of cops standing in front of them in the street, and then suddenly there was a rush of motorcycle cops and patrol cars with sirens blaring, and then what seemed to be a small army of cops running up in perfect military formation, all converging on this knot of people standing on the grass. Then I saw a young guy holding an American flag up in the air stand up on a bench and hold a pose, (American and Mexican flags were a big theme of the day), and another guy lift both arms up in a proud and defiant victory salute. Then somebody threw a soda bottle into the street where it smashed with a rush of orange soda, and all hell broke loose for a second. More patrol cars came rushing around the corner with their sirens screaming, and a rush of officers on foot came storming out from behind the subway structure and ran through the crowd standing on the sidewalk, and across the street. Now there were literally hundreds of LAPD cops milling around in the street mostly looking bored, with this knot of people in front of them; the young guy still standing up on something with the flag in his hand looking like a male statue of liberty symbol.

I saw someone I knew standing there, and I asked her if she had been there for a while, and if she had any idea what was going on.
“Yeah,” she said, “The kids were dancing and drumming in the street when the cops just charged them. There was no warning,” she said, “they didn’t need to do it like that. Everybody was cool.”

So there it was. The cops were acting in a completely inappropriate way, and it looked like they were really trying to create problems.

I hung around for a while, but my broken tooth was really bothering me, and so I got on the Metro and headed home. When I got off the train, my phone was ringing, and it was one of my compas from the Indymedia collective, with the news that right after I left, the cops stormed the park with rubber bullets and teargas, attacking the peaceful crowd and starting a riot. There were thousands of people in that park. There were babies there. And grandmothers. I had just left.

In the hours since the incident, I have sat by my computer waiting for calls, and people have reported that more cops showed up in full riot gear, and that hundreds of cops, including the equestrian team on horseback were pushing people back into the surrounding neighborhood. Some people were trapped in the park, and the last anyone has heard, there were reports of actual hand-to-hand combat with the cops in the park, and that some motorcycles got knocked over. Somebody said that before anything happened in the park some of the cops were threatening marchers with teargas, so maybe there was something going on previously.

There is an unconfirmed report that somebody talked to one of the cops, or there was a press conference, where the cops said that there was a shooting in the park and that was the pretext for the attack on the crowd.

That doesn’t square at all with the mellow happy crowd of thousands that I left behind me, but even if it’s true, one wonders at those kind of heavy handed tactics. It’s kind of like bombing a whole country and killing millions of people because you’re looking for one guy hiding in the mountains.

I have not been able to get a hold of any of the people I know that were supposedly among the ones trapped inside the park, and I hope none of them got arrested. So far there are no arrest reports or word of injuries. I’m worried about those babies.

Report this post as:
Share on: Twitter, Facebook, Google+

add your comments


LATEST COMMENTS ABOUT THIS ARTICLE
Listed below are the 10 latest comments of 46 posted about this article.
These comments are anonymously submitted by the website visitors.
TITLE AUTHOR DATE
thanks ani Wednesday, May. 02, 2007 at 7:29 PM
It was pure police aggression. Secret Shopper Wednesday, May. 02, 2007 at 8:21 PM
more, please ani Wednesday, May. 02, 2007 at 8:42 PM
@ @ Wednesday, May. 02, 2007 at 9:05 PM
Bottles, Batteries, Battery, and Baloney Secret Shopper Wednesday, May. 02, 2007 at 9:58 PM
A Detail I Forgot. Also: What "Censorship," Jim? Secret Shopper Wednesday, May. 02, 2007 at 10:12 PM
THE BUSH TRIBUNAL ON CRUSHING IMMIGRANTS RIGHTS AND USING THE LAPD TO DO IT THE BUSH TRIBUNAL Wednesday, May. 02, 2007 at 10:19 PM
Recent May 1st Protest MAGForce Thursday, May. 03, 2007 at 4:54 AM
LAPD Jessica Thursday, May. 03, 2007 at 4:57 AM
LAPD ATTACK PEACEFULL MAY DAY CROWD WITH RUBBER BULLETS AND TEARGAS MAGForce Thursday, May. 03, 2007 at 5:09 AM
who are you Ella Thursday, May. 03, 2007 at 9:16 AM
"Jim Anarchist " is a total FRAUD! BaBaBooey! Thursday, May. 03, 2007 at 12:19 PM
I'm not a fraud, just someone with something to share Jim Anarchrist Thursday, May. 03, 2007 at 6:39 PM
Not a Fraud????? sabrina for mumia Friday, May. 04, 2007 at 3:03 AM
Same ol Shit G. Friday, May. 04, 2007 at 3:36 AM
Police are innocent ... of course OldAverageWhiteGuy Saturday, May. 05, 2007 at 10:40 PM
A pictures worth a thousand words.. theone Tuesday, May. 08, 2007 at 7:48 AM
A pictures worth a thousand words.. theone Tuesday, May. 08, 2007 at 7:52 AM

Local News

KPFK is in double trouble, credit cards misused, and... A24 3:48PM

WW Broad & The War On Public Education In LA A19 8:05AM

KPFK= more. Tired of the turmoil? we are too. A18 4:22PM

KPFK Work Reductions ....signs of an ending now, so soon ? A18 10:30AM

kPFK under threatening duress - even to it's long-established staff by new Gen'l Mgr A16 8:46PM

Secretive Glonvec weapons manufacturer in town A13 9:21AM

KPFK in MeltDown.NOW. A11 11:31AM

KPFK RADIO is essential to Pacifica, who also umbrellas KPFA that may be falling away A07 7:26PM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

The truth of our time S02 7:12PM

Ski Safari 2 hack cheats [2015] No Survey [US] S02 4:16PM

Ski Safari 2 Hack 2015 Android/iOS Triche S02 4:15PM

Ski Safari 2 Hack Pirater Cheats iOS Android S02 4:14PM

Dragon Ball Z Dokkan Battle Hack Tool Online S02 3:51PM

Kurt cobains half brother hit and the mom of Kurt brown. Saint ram bone S02 2:09PM

Dollar As World's Reserve Currency Threatened S02 10:43AM

More Lawless US Sanctions on Russia S02 10:20AM

New Israeli Police State Measure S02 3:51AM

Little Bandits Hack iOS Android Cheats S02 2:46AM

Gaza: A Socioeconomic Dead Zone S02 1:46AM

Dream ending for circus lions rescued in South America: Huge airlift to take 33 lions home S01 4:49PM

Crying for the USA disabled groups 2015 S01 1:00PM

fbi/cia dirty business S01 12:12PM

Puerto Rico’s Religious Leaders Call for Debt Relief and End to Austerity S01 11:55AM

Venezuela Reveals New Evidence Against Opposition Leader Leopoldo Lopez S01 4:29AM

Violence and Instability on Russia's Border S01 2:50AM

Paraphysique de l'origami A31 11:43PM

KPFK programmer writes subscribers & updates info: A31 4:31PM

Maidan 2.0 Eerupting in Ukraine? A31 10:08AM

Farewell to Homo Oeconomicus A31 6:39AM

US Presidential Aspirants Irresponsibly Bash Putin A31 6:36AM

US Presidential Aspirants Resemble an FBI Most Wanted List A31 2:16AM

NYT Features Anti-Russian Propagandist A30 12:21PM

US Occupies Yemeni Island A30 12:06PM

West Point Professor Calls Anti-War Legal Scholars Fifth Column Threats A30 10:27AM

France, Germany and Russia Back Ceasefire in Donbass: Hold the Cheers A30 6:31AM

Why the Refugee Crisis A30 4:19AM

More Breaking News...
© 2000-2003 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy