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Police Raid of Anarchist Event

by johnaimani Tuesday, Nov. 18, 2008 at 5:35 PM

Last night the at the Revolutionary Autonomous Communities fundraiser for the Anarchist Bookfair at the food not bombs warehouse on 6th and Santa Fe was raided by the LAPD. They kicked open the door and unlawfully entered in to the private space.

Joaquin Cienfuegos, a member of RAC and Copwatch LA Guerrilla chapter was targeted by the police and pulled out from the space. When folks inside the space heard what was going on in front they went over to observe and document what was going on. Joaquin asked why he was being detained and they told him to "Shut up" and "Do as he's told". He was handcuffed and searched without his permission. While he was being searched Joaquin stated loud and clear that he did not consent to their search and once again asked to please be told why he was being detained.

While i was at the door way observing what they were doing to the comrade outside i could see the the street was blocked off and there were about 12 police cars on 6th street and about 30 or more Deputies/Depupigs. As we tried to get cameras to document what was going on the police rushed the door again and i was pulled outside by 4 police officers. They pushed me against the wall and made me place my hands on top of my head and searched me. I asked the Officer why i was being detained and he said, "A crime had been committed a few blocks away and they were going to bring the victim to identify the person."

As i was pulled out, the folks inside closed the door to prevent the rush of pigs into the property. They began to kick the door and yell at the folks inside to get out. Not once did they announce themselves as the Police Department or why they were there or wanted folks to exit the show. Police officers were outside making joke;" Do you smell that? i think its weed, we should go inside and find out", and "This is some kind of illegal rave or show or what do we call it?". Clearly unable to choose a reason why they were trying to raid the space they made up whatever we want.

After i had been searched, a female officer came over and i asked once again why i was being detained. She stated that this was an illegal gathering and they wanted to figure it all out. Officers were walking all over the front in very confused manner having to be told by other officers to
move out of the way. I could see the shadows on the officers behind me and Joaquin who continued to hold their hands on their weapons while we were handcuffed with our hands behind our backs.

After the police ignored the request by the owner of the space to present a search warrant or leave the private property, the comrades from the Black Liberation Party that were there in part to perform for the fundraiser exited the building and were immediately detained and sister Nadia and Kambui were placed in handcuffs and the rest of the the Black Riders where made to face the wall. The police then rushed inside and pulled everyone out. They had us right in front of the space and then made me walk down the blocked as they lined everyone up against the wall. They pull more than 60 people out from the space and had them with their hands against their back facing the wall. They separted the women from the men and began to search everyone.

A police officer that searched me came and asked for my ID. They said they were going to check me for warrants or any priors. He pulled out my ID and pulled out a card that he began to fill in with all my personal information. I asked what that card was for but i was not given an answer. My ID was returned but the card with my information was kept by them.

After they searched everyone's belongings they lined up all the males and females and said that this was going to be a line-up and they were going to bring the the victim of the crime to identify the perpetrator. When asked what crime (had been committed) an officer told another brother
that they had had a crime committed a few blocks away and some beer was stolen from a liquor store. When asked why so many officers where there for stolen beer the officer said, "He didnt know", that they just felt that whoever committed the crime was in the space.

A police helicopter was circling and made the announcement after everyone was removed that they were the LAPD. 2 folks from Food Not Bombs who were in the premise were pulled out and placed in handcuffs.

A police car with 2 Officers in the front and a woman in the back seat drove by slowly. The officers proceeded to tell people to look into the light and not look at the car. Everyone said they couldn't look at the light because it hurt their eyes but the officers from inside continued to shine the light into people's eyes. As this was going on, officers continued to line up and make jokes about "overtime" and the way different folks were dressed. For one officer in particular he lamented his rookie friend, "was off tonight because he would have loved to have been a part of this!" As the police car made its way down the street they stopped and singled out one youth . He was immediately arrested. They drove back again slowly and continued to point the light in people's face. My handcuffs were removed but i was not allowed to leave. i was made to remain facing the fence with my hands behind my back.

After a police officer from some other car came with a pience of paper and pointed to Nadia and Kambui from the black Riders Liberation Part and said they were being detained for "148"- interfering with a police officer. When people asked why they were being detained or singled out police officers told them to shut up. They placed them both in cuffs and removed all their belongings and put them into plastic bags. They were then placed into the backseat of a police car.

Another police officer came and then annonced that the party was over and people needed to leave. People still had equipment inside and were made to line up and escorted inside to get thier belongings. While inside i noticed that money from the fundraiser was missing and according to folks inside the money was there before the police ran inside to pull everyone out. We got out all the groups' equipment and waited for someone to come close the space. They continued to harass people and tried to intimidate many of the youth to leave and to learn their lesson. Besides the one youth that was arrested for supposedly stealing beer, everyone was arrested for interfering with a police officer when all they asked was why they were being detained.

The officers were congragulating themselves and laughing at everyone. Many of the officers were staring down many of the sisters that were there and making sexist jokes about he'd rather be home with his wife than here. Then he proceeded to make a hand gesture to 2 sisters who were standing near by. No one but the other officers were amused by these pigs but they continued to talk shit and tell people to leave. The majority officers left smiling and staring at folks in attempts to instigate some incident to lead to further arrest.

While we were waiting the final officer drove by and rolled down his window. He stated" Im sorry we had to shut down your party but you have to keep the youngsters in check and can't be letting them go anywhere stealing beer. If they hadn't stolen the beer we wouldnt have canceled your show"
Everyone was pissed as this provacateur behavior which is being utilized as the excuse to enter into private property and raid a peaceful gathering. The police looked for whatever excuse to shut the show down.

Joaquin is currently being held for misdemeanor . He has not been taken to jail and is still being held by Central Division. He will probably be going to court tomorrow or Wednesday. Please spread the word.Help support Joaquin and the Black Riders Liberation Party and Food Not Bombs folks to get out.

This is a quick report trying to include as many of the important details as possible but i'm sure i might have overlooked other important details from last night that other folks who were also there can maybe share and i will try and write more about last night later tonight and will follow up with more details.

Free ALL Political Prisoners.Organize Organize Organize
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re: is this a news report? Elio Gugliatta Tuesday, Nov. 18, 2008 at 11:07 PM
Please feature this story - yes, it did happen! Zack Wednesday, Nov. 19, 2008 at 9:36 AM
Mr John A Imani Wednesday, Nov. 19, 2008 at 1:19 PM
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