|photographer: Henry Beglinger
Just some thoughts and observations in no particular order and not meant to be tied together or have a lesson or moral:
We are learning that so much of what you've seen on the teevee the last few days about the "riots" in Los Angeles is not the whole truth. Yes, there has been looting and mayhem, businesses routed, property destroyed, and I don't condone it. We have had the constant sound of sirens and helicopters circling, the curfews and the buzz on neighborhood watches shots heard on 3rd and Orange, thousands marching towards 3rd and Beverly, people gathering on Melrose and Poinsettia to sweep and clean. But here, here in Los Angeles, here in my own neighborhood I've witnessed many thousands of people marching peacefully in protest against racism and more specifically police brutality.
I have heard countless accounts from people that I know, that were there, that the "rioting" and looting, that the mayhem in many of these places in Los Angeles was instigated and exacerbated by the police.
Please read this story, written by a good friend of mine who I've known since I moved to Los Angeles in 1998, who lives down the street from me and whose children grew up with mine. Zeke's story is an important one and deserves attention, so if you are so inclined, please share it. If you live in Los Angeles, please send it with a letter to your councilman or woman. The police are under the authority of the Los Angeles city council and the mayor, Eric Garcetti.
|photo credit: the world wide webs
Here's the story: The LAPD Instigated a Riot, Falsely Arrested Me and Now I'm a #BLM Activist. I believe it's an account that should help you to pivot toward what we're protesting here: POLICE BRUTALITY AND RACISM. We don't need proof of it from a white man, but perhaps many of you dithering over looters and good cops vs. bad cops and fruit analogies might listen and pivot toward anti-racism action.
My friend Chris said this, "Nineteen percent of police forces in the country are former military. The 2009 Homeland Security report that was trashed warned of radicalized vets in police forces. This is frightening."
Last night, my son Henry joined the protestors marching toward the mayor's residence which is within a mile of our home. Henry is in a general state of upset these days, and he and I talk nearly continuously about everything that's going down. He came back an hour later, sweaty and red-faced. He told me that he'd taken a knee for nine minutes and was standing up when a large cop car pulled up and several heavily armored police jumped out. One huge one shoved Henry out of the way, shouting Get the fuck out of here. Henry came home breathless, red-faced and enraged, but he's alive and unhurt, and we know why.
Aside from the vandals and the opportunists and thoughtless idiots, as well as the clashes between a militarized police and citizens, we also know that there are groups out there targeting these peaceful protests -- groups of radicalized people and racists intent on violence. There's plenty online that you can read about these people and what they're doing to our country. The POSPOTUS is one of them.
|Aerial view of my neighborhood
photo from local news agency
And then there is everyone else. My friend Michael B said this on his Facebook post yesterday,
Between today and yesterday, thousands of protestors have marched in DTLA, Venice, WeHo, Hollywood, the mayor's residence, Van Nuys, Pasadena, Manhattan Beach. This morning, religious leaders lead a march downtown to police headquarters and prayed with the Mayor and police chief. The crowds keep growing in size and resolve. I have never been more proud of my city.
It's terrible that property is being destroyed, but killing black men and women has to stop.