imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Subscribe Calendar Publish RSS
latest news
best of news



CopWatch LA


A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List


IMC Network: 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

Art Walkers Occupy Free Speech

by Federica Saturday, Jul. 14, 2012 at 12:04 PM

When people at the downtown Art Walk joined with Occupy Los Angeles to assert their right to speak, LAPD answered with guns.

Art Walkers Occupy F...
yo_soy_-_sm.jpg, image/jpeg, 600x800

LOS ANGELES, July 13--Last night, the LAPD shot not-as-lethal projectiles, either bean bags or rubber bullets, at people chalking on downtown streets and sidewalks. One observer reported a woman sketching a stick figure didn't get to finish her street art before she was beanbagged. Her partner lunged at the responsible cop, and he was beaten to the ground. Another witness told of a young man who was dropped from his skateboard by police guns. Some of the amateur and impromptu artists responded to the assault with rocks and bottles. Reports estimate fourteen arrests, four injured police, and an unknown number of injured chalkers.

Whose streets?”

The official event was Art Walk, a monthly art and pub crawl in downtown L.A. But last night Art Walkers transformed it into an Occupy Los Angeles action dubbed Chalk Walk.

In recent weeks, OccupyLA has protested the recently intensified police raids of the houseless residents of Skid Row by camping at night in front of the Central City Association, a local variant of the infamous American Legislative Exchange Council. Like ALEC, the CCA deploys the collective money and influence of international and national corporations to “speak” about elections and write regulations, in this case for the City of Los Angeles. CCA has been instrumental in the recent police harrassment and property removal on Skid Row, the city's ban against tents, and the removal of the Occupy Los Angeles encampment at City Hall that resulted in nearly four hundred arrests. Twelve Occupiers, deploying sticks of pastel chalk, were arrested over several nights for writing their messages in front the CCA offices and on the sidewalks in front of CCA events.

OccupyLA took free speech to Art Walk last night, and LAPD swallowed the bait, hard. What was planned was simple and ingenious: use the sidewalks and pavement at the Art Walk to spread word of the police crackdown on chalking. OccupyLA would either have grounds to claim selective enforcement, or people at Art Walk would see the police cracking down on the mildest of protest. The event and virtually all the plans evolved and emerged as a public Facebook event. The police took the second option, with riot gear and weaponry.

Chalk Walk started at somewhere around 8:00 p.m. when LAPD deployed a double row of cops to face off people chalking on the sidewalk. LAPD detained a handful of people for writing chalk messages on the streets outside the galleries, along with one African-American bystander, and they disappeared into cop cars and into the system. The cops warned children who were chalking that it was vandalism. In front of the amassing crowd, one of the kids turned to the officer and asked, “Why? It washes right off.” Predictably, word spread among the Art Walkers, a generally young and hip group: the police were arresting random people for chalking. Chalking.

The buzz had an hour or so to spread before the cops in cars and on bikes appeared at intersections. People took to the intersection at Fifth and Spring with the classic chant of “Whose streets? Our streets!” Cops poured into the intersection and streets surrounding it. At first, the rows of cops, in helmets and clubs at the ready, allowed foot traffic through the cross streets. Then the blockade started. At one intersection, Officer Martinez explained that some people were inciting a riot. He didn't say who. Locals huddled at intersections trying and failing to get to their trendy downtown lofts. Crowds formed at the blocked off corners, about five hundred or more at Fifth and Spring alone, tense, unsure, and decidedly unhappy. Videos show some people dispersing, others holding their ground, a few making dashes into the no-man's land between the people and the police.

The chalkers were pushed north and out of sight. Word that “rubber bullets were fired” raced through the crowd like a very adult, very frightening version of the childhood game Whisper Down the Lane. The remaining crowd was edgy, but the police were oddly offhand. In a side conversation, Officer Alvarez confirmed that the problem was chalking. His sargeant leaned in and added, “Bottles and rocks and urine were being thrown.” He didn't mention that the beanbags came first.

A young man ran into the street between the cops and the people and drew a dashed line in chalk on the street with the word “OUT” on the cops' side of the line and ran back into the crowd. He ran back again when a couple of cars drove through, nearly erasing his work. With some care, he rewrote it, and added the word “IN” on the people's side of the line. The crowd cheered. Four cops tackled him and took him away.

This is what a police state looks like.”

It turned out that almost none of those arrested had been associated with Occupy Los Angeles before last night. Hundreds of Art Walkers, hearing of the police clampdown on speech, spontaneously joined in the Chalk Walk protest. Some dispersed when the police moved in. Others stayed to witness or learn first-hand what happens when you chalk your sentiments on Los Angeles's sidewalk.

Years ago, when former LAPD Chief Bratton headed the New York Police Department, he initiated an infamous policy called “broken windows.” It called for the use of disproportionate police force for minor offenses, in theory to prevent escalating criminal activity. In fact, “broken windows” in New York and here became an excuse for the notorious stop-and-frisks that target young people of color for harrassment, and for responding to minor incidents with sufficient force that de-escalation becomes virtually impossible. The policy is coupled with justifications for militarizing the police, post 9-11 criminalization of dissent, and burgeoning L.A. police payrolls when just yesterday the local news had to assure residents that bankruptcy was not the city's the immediate future,. In 2002, when Bratton arrived in Los Angeles, according to the Los Angeles Times he promised he would target graffiti especially in L.A.'s Central District. Chief Charlie Beck kept that promise and more.

Last night, Chief Beck took the next step in broken windows policing, initiating the Chalk on the Sidewalk response: incidents that cause no harm or damage at all, with merely the potential to stimulate anti-government discussion, bring with them fully armed and confrontation-ready riot police, literally. That was Chief Beck's response to Art Walkers and residents of the City of Angels who claimed the small but inalienable right to write with chalk in public spaces, and that's what we heard. Chalk was met with guns.

Occupy Los Angeles is receiving messages of support, encouragement, and participation from around the country and all walks of life. Chalk Walks are in the works across the country, and youth in Los Angeles are offering to carry chalk in solidarity. It may be that the security state has crossed that dashed line the guy drew in the street, and people are about to push back. Tipping points, after all, are small events that trigger collective decisions of “ya basta.” Enough.

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

add your comments

by Federica Saturday, Jul. 14, 2012 at 12:05 PM

tore_up_-_sm.jpg, image/jpeg, 375x589

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

add your comments

by Federica Saturday, Jul. 14, 2012 at 12:05 PM

people_-_sm.jpg, image/jpeg, 500x298

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

add your comments

by Federica Saturday, Jul. 14, 2012 at 12:05 PM

cops_in_a_row_-_sm.jpg, image/jpeg, 398x298

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

add your comments

by Federica Saturday, Jul. 14, 2012 at 12:05 PM

revo_tomorrow_-_sm.jpg, image/jpeg, 800x600

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

add your comments

Listed below are the 10 latest comments of 4 posted about this article.
These comments are anonymously submitted by the website visitors.
Thank you! Great article! Mike Peake Saturday, Jul. 14, 2012 at 10:37 PM
Is there nothing better for these cops to be doing? cassandra Sunday, Jul. 15, 2012 at 7:44 AM
Great Article!!! Adam B. Sunday, Jul. 15, 2012 at 11:20 PM
Thank You nobody Tuesday, Jul. 17, 2012 at 8:57 AM

Local News

Public art project aspires to save California N18 3:42PM

Songwriter, Author, Philanthropist P F Sloan Died On Nov 16 N17 4:48PM

A Plea For Support From Will B N15 4:23PM

10 Shocking Realities of the TPP N09 4:47PM

KPFK needs your VOTE ! or lose it. O31 4:51PM


KPFK is losing and reducing it's main programmers, so can Fresh ones emerge there instead? O26 5:58PM

Fall 2015 National Immigrant Solidarity Network Monthly News Alert! O26 7:58AM

A master-plan is needed to support renter protections in Northern California, & elsewhere O25 9:48PM

KPFK Updating: a coup? or failure? or.... O25 5:04PM

Kapparot Chicken Slaughter Causes Outrage: Activists Demand Change O06 1:59PM

Update on WHAT IS HAPPENING AT KPFK and what can be done & elections O05 12:39AM

A Letter (sent) to L.A. Slut Walk O03 12:51PM

Protesters Enact Symbolic "Die In" to Unwelcome Narendra Modi to Silicon Valley S28 3:52PM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

Democracy Now, Military Times, Guardian Articles On Soldiers Refusing To Drop Drones etc N24 9:10AM

Warhammer 40000 Freeblade Hack Generator N24 8:23AM

First Amendment Under Covert Attack N23 6:27PM

Insanity of the police/fbi community N23 1:35PM

No to Racism and War! N23 6:02AM

Fifa 16 Coin Generator N23 3:24AM

(A-Radio) Northern Europe 1: Musta Pispala festival in Finland N23 12:36AM

Paranoïa ou la vérité d'une société N22 11:54PM

Wicked fbi and their mischievous police friends N22 11:22AM

Mobile Strike Hack Generator Gold and VIP N22 4:02AM

“None Dare Call It Conspiracy:” How U.S. Elites Made Islamist Militants the New Red Menace N21 5:05AM


Monsanto Patenting World's Seeds, Controlling World's Food, Causing Cancer, Killing Bees, N20 9:59AM

Indigenous Hispanic areas also Economic Rights US N20 8:14AM

Paraphysique de l'hybris pirocratie N19 11:44PM

Free Kicks Tips on FIFA 16 N19 11:20PM


The Shortwave Report 11/20/15 Listen Globally! N19 5:07PM

(A-Radio) Eastern Europe 5: Anarchist Black Cross Warsaw N19 2:20PM

Paraphysique de lapalissade N19 6:17AM

Paris Attacks - Bourgeois Terrorism N18 2:03PM

Declarations of Independence N18 9:35AM

(A-Radio) La FAGC y la comunidad de La Esperanza - un proyecto de vivienda anarquista N18 7:18AM

Economic Crises as Sicknesses and Catastrophes N18 4:06AM

A War the West Cannot Win N17 12:17PM

TPP: an attack on the GPL? N17 8:57AM

Brief History of Ohio Farmwokers in FLOC near Toledo N17 8:11AM

Following Paris Terror Attacks, Only Three Things are Guaranteed N17 6:40AM

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