We had a server outage, and we're rebuilding the site. Most of the site features won't work. Thank you for your patience.
imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Calendar Publish RSS
Features
latest news
best of news
syndication
commentary


KILLRADIO

VozMob

ABCF LA

A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List

LAAMN List




IMC Network:

Original Cities

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

Surviving Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: canada: quebec east asia: japan europe: athens barcelona belgium bristol brussels cyprus germany grenoble ireland istanbul lille linksunten nantes netherlands norway portugal united kingdom latin america: argentina cmi brasil rosario oceania: aotearoa united states: austin big muddy binghamton boston chicago columbus la michigan nyc portland rochester saint louis san diego san francisco bay area santa cruz, ca tennessee urbana-champaign worcester west asia: palestine process: fbi/legal updates process & imc docs projects: radio satellite tv
printable version - js reader version - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

Art Walkers Occupy Free Speech

by Federica Saturday, Jul. 14, 2012 at 12:04 PM
federicaglorca@gmail.com

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
federicaglorca@gmail.com

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

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

add your comments


by Federica Saturday, Jul. 14, 2012 at 12:05 PM
federicaglorca@gmail.com

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

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

add your comments


by Federica Saturday, Jul. 14, 2012 at 12:05 PM
federicaglorca@gmail.com

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

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

add your comments


by Federica Saturday, Jul. 14, 2012 at 12:05 PM
federicaglorca@gmail.com

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

error
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 4 posted about this article.
These comments are anonymously submitted by the website visitors.
TITLE AUTHOR DATE
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

Woolsey Fire: Worst News of 2018? J01 12:18AM

Oppose Environmentally-Harmful Development D10 4:03AM

Oppose Environmentally-Harmful Development D10 3:58AM

OUR HOUSE Grief Support Center Presents Night for Hope O30 5:38PM

Marshall Tuck’s racist dog whistle O27 5:01AM

Marshall Tuck’s ethnocentrism contradicts Californian values O27 4:32AM

Contra Costa-Hawkins O25 3:48AM

Debunking Some Anti-Prop 10 Propaganda O12 6:56AM

Why Should California Choose De Leon Over Feinstein? O10 9:55PM

Change Links September 2018 posted S02 10:22PM

More Scandals Rock Southern California Nuke Plant San Onofre A30 11:09PM

Site Outage Friday A30 3:49PM

Change Links August 2018 A14 1:56AM

Setback for Developer of SC Farm Land A12 11:09PM

More problems at Shutdown San Onofre Nuke J29 10:40PM

Change Links 2018 July posted J09 8:27PM

More Pix: "Families Belong Together," Pasadena J02 7:16PM

"Families Belong Together" March, Pasadena J02 7:08PM

Short Report on the Families Belong Together Protest in Los Angeles J30 11:26PM

Summer 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert! J11 6:58AM

Watch the Debate: Excluded Candidates for Governor of California M31 5:20AM

Change Links June 2018 posted M28 7:41AM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

DIARY OF A CON MAN J16 10:40PM

PR Debt Cancel, Judge Reviews Cofina Debt J16 9:04PM

Réseautage, fragmentation du capital J16 4:20PM

Paraphysique de manipulation mentale et sociale J15 9:51AM

The Global Justice Project and Human Survival: We're Badly Off Track J15 5:08AM

The Global Justice Project and Human Survival: We're Badly Off Track J15 5:08AM

The Global Justice Project and Human Survival: We're Badly Off Track J15 5:08AM

Markets as a Fetish, Globalization, and Dissent Management J14 1:03PM

State Debts - The Primal German Fear J13 5:09PM

Sans liberté, sans égalité, sans fraternité J13 8:09AM

From Progressive Neoliberalism to Trump - and Beyond J12 9:22PM

Copper Cures Cancer J11 1:42PM

Steven Taylor, Investor who Evicts J11 9:24AM

Du sectarisme, des sectes, des clans J11 8:10AM

“Animaniacs in Concert!” Starring Voice Legend Rob Paulsen J10 6:34PM

Patrick Kilpatrick discusses and signs Dying for Living J09 11:51PM

SexActs vs Sexuality USA 2018 Invitations to Power Marriages without Affection J09 8:36PM

Changer de mentalité, changer de société J09 9:17AM

Teacher Strike? Time for Labor Studies J09 6:26AM

December 2018 Honduras Coup Update J08 10:12PM

Paraphysique de la désespérance J07 9:38AM

The Unification Church with Rev Moon is in La and Orange Counnties J07 9:07AM

Time to Start Imagineering a Post-Ayatollah Iran J05 10:00PM

L'écomorphisme, du culturel et du temporel J05 10:33AM

Sexual Harassment Charges of Men Suing Women who are accused of Harassing Men are now 10% J05 4:08AM

Stases psychiques et stases sexuelles J04 11:34AM

Paraphysique de la sous-vie J02 9:01AM

Paraphysique de la biomasse mondialisée J01 9:45AM

More Breaking News...
© 2000-2018 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