9-20-19, mid-day: Turnout at Pershing Square appeared to be in the thousands, and later reports corroborated it. There were a lot of children, many of them elementary school age (and in some cases accompanied by teachers), but older kids, too, and adults of all ages. Many youths carried signs expressing fear or fatalism about their futures. One read, “I’m studying for a future that doesn’t exist.” Various other signs advocated eating vegan (e.g., “Go vegan or go extinct”). Another reportedly said, “The wrong Amazon is burning.”
The rally at Pershing Square was followed by a march down Hill to City Hall.
Story and photos (three photo sets): Los Angeles Youth School Strike For The World Climate Crises by Robert Stuart Lowden
Additional story and photos: Global Youth Climate Strike in Los Angeles by R.P.
On September 1, residents of Glendale organized a demonstration in front of the Americana shopping center. About 20 people, adults and children, participated. Reactions from the crowd were largely receptive. The thick foot and auto traffic was encouraged to reconsider some shopping decisions and lifestyle choices. The Blackstone corporation was mentioned several times.
Other demonstrations in the LA area are planned, including one on Thursday September 5th in front of the Brazilian embassy at 8484 Wilshire Boulevard from 11am to 1pm.
Story and photos: Save the Amazon Demonstration RP
In the early 1850s, Thomas Jefferson Mayfield spent 10 years of his childhood living with and being raised by the Choinumne Indians at Tulare Lake (in the San Joaquin Valley). For years at a time he only spoke their language. But for the rest of his life he refrained from talking about his experiences due to the climate of the time (e.g., the Choinumne were at war with the state of California not too long after he lived with them)--until the late 1920s, when local historian Frank F. Latta, recorded his memories.
The book, in Mayfield’s own words, describes many aspects of daily life, including house construction, interactions with neighboring peoples, hunting and gathering, cooking, domesticated animals, story telling, and child’s play. There’s also a fair amount of vocabulary.
Story: Indian Summer: Traditional Life Among the Choinumne Indians by RP
One of two events in and around downtown L.A. on Saturday March 16, the march went on Alvarado Street near MacArthur Park and then on 7th. There appeared to be at least 50 people, many of whom went into the busy street. This was part of a day of international solidarity with Venezuela, the target of yet another U.S. coup, following the standard patterns implemented against other countries countless times—except maybe more blatant than in earlier decades. And, of course, most media outlets and politicians act like they don’t notice the pattern. The rally portion included leafleting to passersby. The second event was at Pershing Square later that day.
Another action took place in Washington, D.C.; several had already taken place in the Bay Area in preceding weeks.
Story and photos: Passionate March in Support of Venezuela by Ossrae
“. . .The division that the corporate media folks were constantly harping on wasn't anywhere visible. There weren't any obvious Farrakhan supporters anywhere evident nor anyone openly citing their opposition to him. . . .
“. . . As far as the signage was concerned it was mostly homemade and tended towards citing the inadequacies of the 45th president and his policies. The Pandora's box the President had unleashed with his classless profanities were still being stridently reflected back at him,Loud and Clear.
“One can only wonder what our great grandmothers would have made of the new rhetoric.
“. . . Trans women were lightly represented in the crowd but heavily supported by the speeches from the stage. And as those rhetorical flourishes were spoken the crowd roared again and again in favor of full inclusiveness. They also spoke of the high murder rate against trans women worldwide.
“I have covered protests in LA for awhile now and this was the only time I ever cried. Just a few tears but it hit me as to what I was actually witnessing. . . .”
Robert Stuart Lowden’s article and photos: Photoset 1 | Photoset 2 | Photoset 3 | Photoset 4 | Photoset 5 | Photoset 6 | Photoset 7
More coverage: Women’s March, 2019 by RP
Other Indymedia coverage: San Francisco Bay Area: Indybay
The tremendously destructive Woolsey Fire has been widely reported as beginning “near” the Santa Susana Field Laboratory (SSFL or Rocketdyne), but it appears that the fire began on the Rocketdyne property itself. Cal Fire identifies the fire location as E Street and Alfa Road, a location that is in fact on SSFL. It was recently reported that the “Chatsworth electric substation” experienced a disturbance 2 minutes before the fire was reported, but that substation is in fact on SSFL, near that location. A photograph posted on Twitter from KCAL9’s Stu Mundel shows the fire starting Thursday afternoon near the same location, which is only about 1,000 yards away from the site of the 1959 partial nuclear meltdown of the Sodium Reactor Experiment (SRE) reactor.
Full story: Massive Woolsey Fire Began On Contaminated Santa Susana Field Laboratory, Close to Site of Partial Meltdown by Physicians for Social Responsibility - Los Angeles
As the senate vote on Brett Kavanaugh loomed, vigils took place all over the country (including Alaska and Hawaii). Several occurred in Southern California, including Santa Monica, Burbank, Sierra Madre, Claremont, Corona, Riverside, Whittier, downtown LA, Larchmont Village, and Echo Park.
At Echo Park Lake, 58 people were counted by nightfall. They stood on the corner of Glendale Boulevard and Park Avenue facing rush-hour traffic.
Story and pictures: ”Kava-no!!!” by RP
The California Assembly and Senate have passed AB-2178, which would impose new restrictions on individuals and community groups like Food Not Bombs that share free meals. If the bill becomes law, these groups would have to pay to register with local authorities in order to continue to provide mutual aid by sharing free food that would otherwise be discarded. In general, Food Not Bombs and similar groups are entirely volunteer with little to no budgets.
Volunteer groups feeding the poor and homeless pose little food safety risk. These grassroots groups have operated for decades and follow strong private food safety practices. They fill a critical gap that the state itself struggles to address.
More: California Bill Threatens to Restrict Sharing Free Food with the Poor from Indybay
The land of the South Central Farm, at 41st and Alameda, is currently owned by PIMA an apparel company that wants to build warehouses. However, on August 9, a judge agreed with the South Central Farm that an adequate Environmental Impact Report was never done. Quite a few trucks would enter and leave the warehouses every day in an already dense neighborhood. Thus, the project will be reviewed by City Council again, giving the Farmers another chance to present their case for restoring the urban farm.
Story and photos: Setback for Developer of SC Farm Land by RP
Update: November 13: The Judge ruled the City of LA and P.I.M.A need to redo and re circulate the Environmental Impact Report and the community will be able to comment on it once its published. In the coming months, the City Council and PLUM Committee will vote on whether to proceed with the project in light of its environmental impacts. Another victory for our community. Join us as we continue to fight for the restoration of the #southcentralfarm. It's time for community investment and equity #bringbackthefarm . (Facebook announcement)
The Montrose Peace Vigil began on the third Friday in January 2006 as a response to a call by Progressive Democrats of America to oppose wars neighborhood by neighborhood. In all these years, not a single Friday has been missed regardless of weather or holidays.
There have also been several special events at the vigil itself. On the 40th anniversary of the two Bed-Ins held by John and Yoko*, the peace vigil held ones of their own on their corner…
Story and pictures: The Montrose Peace Vigil at 12 Years by Oss Rae
The Rebel City Los Angeles guide answers the question, what would Los Angeles look like if vertical power as we know it disappeared? The illustrated two sided guide helps users visualize the city from below, providing details of a developing infrastructure of people-centered institutions supporting human activities outside corporate dominion; from electricity, housing, education, medicine, and banking.
More information here: GUIDE TO REBEL CITY LOS ANGELES AVAILABLE
A discussion about environment, feminism, homosexuality, and our rotten culture as represented in the movie.
SPOILER ALERT!!!! We encourage you to read this after you've seen the movie.
Article and art: The Shape of Water (a Discussion of the Movie) by Tsunami & Hoon
The destruction of a hill in Echo Park would make way for four three-story homes. Both PLUM and City Council approved the project despite failure to meet all CEQA requirements (i.e., a threatened species, the black walnut tree, is on the premises) and objections of some 50 neighbors. Instead, a developer in San Jose, California is being favored.
The land in question has long been known by the community as Kite Hill and has been valued as one of the few remaining undeveloped spaces left in Los Angeles. Red tail hawks frequent the area often, and one neighbor saw the mountain lion P-22 there.
The case is expected to be heard in court in a few months. Meanwhile, the developer could choose to start demolition of the hill at any time depending on how confident he feels of the legal outcome.
Full story and photos: Echo Park Residents Sue LA Over Controversial Development by Friends of Kite Hill
It's been a year since women in America enraged by the rhetoric and appalled at the threats of the coming Donald Trump administration gathered by the millions throughout cities and towns across these United States. They exercised their constitutional rights personally in overwhelming numbers at the First Women's March.
So, here we are again on the streets of America one year later, in the streets of Downtown Los Angeles, California for The Second Women's March.
Story and picture galleries: Women of L.A. Rise Again to Denounce Trump by Robert Stuart Lowden
More pix and coverage: Women's March L.A., 2018 by R.P.
David Braun of Californians Against Fracking and the Rootskeeper said, "I think it's notable that 20 million pounds of hydrochloric acid and 10 million pounds of hydrofluoric acid were used in Los Angeles County in a 3 year period in oil extraction operations."
California is the nation's "green leader" and Governor Jerry Brown is the country's "greenest governor," right?
That is the narrative promulgated by state officials, public relations experts and writers who gush about the Governor's frequent speeches at international climate conferences. The reality on the ground here in California is much, much different.
In fact, California is the third biggest oil producing state in the country and Big Oil is the largest corporate lobby, dominating the Governor's Office, the Legislature and the regulatory agencies.
Full story: Report reveals L.A. oil cos. have used 49,000 tons of toxic chemicals since 2013 by Dan Bacher (for Indybay)
The Eagle Rock Peace Vigil began in November of 2002. Like the many other weekly vigils that existed all over Southern California (listing of vigils circa '03 included with story), it was against the then-looming invasion of Iraq. In subsequent months and years signs have addressed other issues while still emphasizing war.
Full story and photos: The Eagle Rock Peace Vigil Marks 15 Years by R.P.
The organizers of the event, activists with the Defend Movement, had originally planned their action in response to a plan by the extreme right to hold an "America First" rally in Upland in coordination with the ACT for America nationwide day of action. The "American Congress for Truth" is the nation's largest Islamophobic group. Defend was supported by the faith-based Rise Against the Wall, which roots its anti-Trump activism in Christianity. Both are new groups that formed in the wake of the rise of Trumpism.
When the national organization decided to cancel all public actions for the day and to hold instead an "online day of ACTion," the Upland rally was also canceled. Other factors--namely, the inability of organizers to obtain a permit and the threat of a counter demonstration, liked served as further persuasion.
Despite the cancellation of the ACT rally, the Defend Movement opted to proceed with their rally, which they dubbed "United4Love2," having previously "United for Love" in Yucaipa in response to a similar rally planned by the extreme right there.
Story and photos: Activists Opposing White Supremacy Rally Despite Cancellation by Rockero
Linksunten.indymedia.org, the main independent media website in Germany, was banned by the German government's Ministry of Interior on August 25. Maintaining the website and using its logo are now considered criminal offenses in the country. Linksunten volunteers are also being prosecuted as a "club," which means that administrators are considered responsible for everything that has been published. Administrators are also being accused of being members of a terrorist association. This represents a new step in the repression in Europe. The last time something of this significance occurred was in 1995, when the German central power banned the newspaper "Radikal", which sparked demonstrations all over the country.
Full story: Solidarity with Linksunten Indymedia from Indybay
State Repression Against IMC Grenoble and IMC Nantes from Indybay
In this bilingual play, recently performed at Debs Park, Alicia travels into the Arroyo Seco's past to help her deal with the present. Representing the past are the spirit of Toypurina (who in the 1780s instigated a revolt against the San Gabriel Mission) who's Alicia's guide (she and Alicia are pictured at left) and Charles Lummis, who shares his dreams about the future of the area. The play's setting on hiking trails surrounded by mostly native plants also imparts the Arroyo's past.
Arroyoland also consists of Lewis Carroll-inspired characters (although in this case Humpty Dumpty sitting on his wall resembles Trump, and Bill the Lizard comes out as homosexual).
Story and photos: Alicia in Arroyoland by R.P.