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Thoroughly Modern Bob – Coming to a Legislature Near You!

Paul Hatfield
PERSPECTIVE-Thoroughly Modern Millie was a Tony Award winner. State Senator Bob Hertzberg is rolling out his own sequel. The only problem is the production cost. Actually, the real problem is we will be the ones bankrolling it if Bob gets the green light. It is the most expensive tax scam concocted, more than California HSR. I’m talking…

Elite Girls School Has Brentwood Up in Arms … Over Traffic

John Schwada
INSIDE LA-Hairdresser Mikell Powell is walking her two dogs in Brentwood along Sunset Boulevard just across the street from the Archer School for Girls (photo left). “I’m opposed to anything that would make driving on Sunset here anymore hellish than it already is,” Powell says as her dogs tug on their leashes. No question: there’s a 1.2 mile…

Homeless LA: Safe Havens, Not Sidewalks

Mike Bonin
WHO WE ARE-In recent years, Los Angeles has seen more progress in combating homelessness than it ever has – yet the problem is still getting worse. Since 2011, the region has housed more than 23,000 people – a record number even by national standards. Yet homelessness is on the rise. Encampments are proliferating in our neighborhoods throughout…

Can LA Afford Another Olympics?

Jack Humphreville
LA WATCHDOG-Boston bailed on hosting the 2024 Olympics when Mayor Martin Walsh refused to sign a host city contract with the United States Olympic Committee (“USOC”) that would have put Beantown (and possibly the Commonwealth of Massachusetts) on the hook for any cost overruns associated with this 17 day extravaganza. But Walsh’s refusal to…

The Petty Hypocrisy of Mandatory Ethics Training

Bob Gelfand
GELFAND’S WORLD-As a member of a neighborhood council board, I am required by state law to do 2 hours of ethics training every 2 years. Elected officials such as members of the City Council are also required to take this training. The curious thing about our California ethics rules is that they prohibit the small stuff while looking the other way…

Los Angeles: Brown lives Matter!

Fred Mariscal
LATINO PERSPECTIVE-According to the Los Angeles Times, over the last five years in LA County, coroner's data show that Latinos, who make up about half of the county's population, also represent about half the people killed by police. Of the 23 people fatally shot by law enforcement in the county this year, 14 were Latino. The Times raises an…

Grading the LA Times: Mike Feuer’s B+ Leaves Something Out

Noel Weiss
OTHER VOICES-Reading the LA Times’ Report Card grade of B+ for City Attorney Mike Feuer, it was good to see at least a 'hat-tip' to the issue of whether the City Attorney really is the “attorney for the people.” But their conclusion seems to be that he is not, and I believe that is wrong. Exactly who does the City Attorney represent? Certainly, he…

Beverly Hills Pounds Final Nail in Bike Lanes Coffin

Mark Elliot
GETTING THERE FROM HERE-If you expected that Beverly Hills might install bicycle lanes on our segment of Santa Monica Boulevard when reconstructing it next year, you will be sorely disappointed to know that City Council just pounded the final nail into the bike lanes coffin. City Council split on the Blue Ribbon Committee recommendation to expand…

Helter Skelter, Murder and the Looming Race War

Tony Castro
TONY CASTRO’S LA-In one of our last conversations before his death earlier this year, author and prosecutor Vincent Bugliosi lamented that while he had successfully imprisoned Charles Manson, he feared he had only made a dent in the threat of an apocalyptic race war that the mass murderer had hoped to ignite. “Madness and mad men,” said Bugliosi,…

 

Reynolds Rap Video: Joey has hope for the pope in Philly.





You’re gonna cry! Kids sing to teacher with cancer

Scarrrry! The Flying Gun

Kid Stuff! Full of chuckles


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LAPD Chalks Its Rubber Bullet Behavior Up to Vandalism

HOW LA’S DOWNTOWN ARTWALK BECAME A CRIME SCENE - When Lance Armstrong came to Los Angeles for a bike ride with 700 of his closest friends, the streets ran yellow with chalked messages of hope and encouragement. Mayor Villaraigosa and then City Council President Eric Garcetti stood in the middle of a heavily chalked Sunset Boulevard to welcome Lance to Hollywood and then the LAPD arrived, not to arrest the chalkers, but to escort the cyclists down Sunset and up Vine to the Ricardo Montalban Theatre.
Waiting inside were Ben Stiller, Ben Harper, Shepard Fairey, LiveStrong CEO Doug Ulman and Nike CEO Mark Parker. It was a night that celebrated the power of Art, Culture, and Sports in changing the world.

For the hundreds of people who couldn’t get inside the Theatre for the program, the streets were their canvas and they spent the evening leaving their mark with yellow chalk provided by LiveStrong.  

The LAPD never objected. In fact their supportive presence lent an air of legitimacy to the activity, after all, it was just chalk.

About a month later, Jesus Castillo was riding his bike home from work when he was run down from behind by a drunk driver who pinned him against a parked car, backed up, and then drove away leaving Jesus to die on Glendale Boulevard in Echo Park.

Cyclists descended on the scene with a Ghost Bike and boxes of chalk, memorializing the tragic incident with a die-in ceremony and with chalked messages that filled Glendale Boulevard.

The LAPD were there in force, standing by as the press covered the event, under the watchful eye of Eric Garcetti’s Deputy.

The streets were yellow, the LAPD were mellow, and eventually everyone rode off into the night.

Chalking the streets is one of the most non-invasive mechanisms of communication available to the masses, it’s quiet, cheap, temporary, and it’s actually quite fun.

Doubters only have to look at events such as Park(ing)Day LA, ArtCycle, and the Olive Festival where children are thrilled to fill the streets with chalked artwork and adults marvel at the skills of the internationally recognized chalk artists who come from around the world to ply their trade, street chalking.

It’s against this backdrop that the LAPD’s actions of last week must be examined.

According to reports, OccupyLA protesters took up arms, in this case pastel chalk wrapped in paper with notes explaining their position, and the seeds of discontent were sown on the streets of Los Angeles during Downtown LA’s monthly Art Walk.

The LAPD responded, there was an acceleration of tension, a tactical alert was called, and the LAPD arrived from all over the city armed with less-than-lethal weapons which they unleashed on the crowd.

The LAPD Commander on the scene gave the command and LAPD officers fired rubber bullets, bean bags, and tear gas at the Art Walk crowd, many of whom claim they were caught in the midst of an action that came with no warning and no opportunity to evacuate.

As the debate over how a non-violent pastel chalk protest turned into a violent melee continues, a petition is circulating calling for an investigation into the LAPD’s heavy-handed handling of the incident.

At the heart of the matter is this simple question. How did the LAPD allow itself to be so easily goaded into less-than-lethal violence in the middle of a crowded public event?

When participants in an advertised Chalk Walk during a crowded Art Walk can so easily draw a violent response from the LAPD, it’s time to evaluate the performance of the professional peace officers responsible for the largest city in the most populated state in the most powerful country in the world.

As one chalker wrote: “Thanks for tainting the justice system.”

We really do deserve better!


(Stephen Box is a grassroots advocate and writes for CityWatch. He can be reached at: Stephen@thirdeyecreative.net. You can also find him on Twitter and on Facebook.) Graphics credit: Full Disclosure Network
–cw

Tags: Stephen Box, Rethinking LA, chalk protesters, art walk arrests, LAPD, Downtown Art Walk, Occupy LA, skid row, tactical alert








CityWatch
Vol 10 Issue 57
Pub: July 17, 2012

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