Archive for the ‘Los Angeles’ Category

No Justice for Trayvon Martin

15 July 2013
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Banner Reads: Vengeance By Dawn for Trayvon

CALIFORNIA — In the wake of George Zimmerman’s not-guilty verdict demonstrations quickly followed throughout the US. Zimmerman, the man who killed 17-yr-old Trayvon Martin was charged with 2nd-degree Murder, but was set free Saturday evening by a jury of six women, five White and one Asian juror. Hundreds flowed out into the streets that evening in San Francisco,  Oakland, and Los Angeles among cities throughout the US—the largest in NYC. Although some windows were broken and flags set alight in Oakland, the media-hyped riots failed to materialize. Further demonstrations occurred Sunday evening throughout California and in other major cities in the US. In Los Angeles, hundreds blocked freeway 10 for some 30 minutes Sunday afternoon. Police fired non-lethal rounds into the crowd of demonstrators in LA.

In Oakland, perhaps at its zenith, as many as a thousand marched through downtown. The Oakland march culminated in blocking the intersection of 14th and Broadway for several hours.

More demonstrations are planned.

Update:

Monday, demonstrations continued throughout the state. In Oakland, hundreds if not closer to a thousand demonstrators briefly took over a freeway near downtown, rechristening it the Travyon Martin Freeway. Oakland demonstrators continued to march, returning to Oscar Grant Plaza, then headed toward the Fruitvale BART Station. Poignantly, the recent Sundance award winning film, “Fruitvale Station” premiered in Oakland over the weekend coinciding with the verdict of George Zimmerman. The film centers around the last 48 hours of Oscar Grant, a black youth killed while cuffed and laying on the ground by BART Police officer Johannes Mehserle. Subsequently, demonstrators swept around Lake Merritt, forced to find new routes due to a heavier police presence than the past two days of marches. Demonstrators circled around Lake Merritt, then moved towards the highway 580 on-ramp. Police blocked demonstrators from entering 580, so demonstrators turned around and continued towards the Fruitvale BART Station with locked arms. However, demonstrators later turned back, paused in front of the county courthouse for a few moments, then returned to Oscar Grant Plaza around 10:30pm. The march promptly resumed leaving a trail of smashed windows, including a Comerica bank and a Men’s Warehouse. Police (with mutual aid) confronted demonstrators following the property destruction, leading to a tense stand off. Police shot tear gas at demonstrators, receiving a response of firecrackers. Police then delivered a dispersal order. Demonstrators left the police line and marched North and reportedly continued smashing corporate businesses. One live streamer was confronted and assaulted by an individual, purportedly for filming the property destruction; the streamer’s footage doesn’t appear to have captured anything illicit. Several arrests occurred throughout the night, but the march continued past 11pm, although it was largely dispersed by 11:25pm.

Watch Monday’s live stream of Oakland here, and here.

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In Los Angeles, a rally began Monday evening at Leimert Park, then descended into Crenshaw Blvd. Reportedly, demonstrators marching through Crenshaw participated in property destruction, including vandalizing shops, cars, and police cruisers. Shortly before 10pm, police kettled and dispersed the crowd at the corner of Leimert and MLK. Some time after the 10pm dispersal, LAPD arrested a small crowd of demonstrators.

See More:
List of Demonstrations for July 15

Vigil in San Jose, CA on July 14

HyphyRepublic – Racist and Deracinated: Towards a More Inclusive White Supremacy

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May Day 2012

1 May 2012

OAKLAND, California – Demonstrations for International Worker’s Day began in Oakland with scheduled actions focusing on anti-gentrification, anti-capitalism, and anti-patriarchy. Demonstrations began around 8:30am at different locations through out the city. By early morning, banners hung from several overpasses along 980 and other freeways.

A number of arrests occurred in the morning, particularly at the anti-capitalism march. Around 11:30am, the anti-capitalist and anti-patriarchy marches converged on 14th & Broadway (adjacent to Oscar Grant Plaza), where dozens of marchers embraced each other, cheers rang out, and people danced in the streets.

Shortly afterwards, the crowd was informed that banks in downtown were still open despite targeted shutdowns by the anti-capitalist march earlier. A crowd of some 400 on 14th and Broadway responded by heading north up Broadway to shut the bank branches down. The march successfully entered a few banks, but were stopped by police in riot gear along much of the march. The marchers were prevented from turning down several roads, until eventually pouring out onto Lakeside Dr. As the march passed the Bank of America branch, more police spilled in front of the wide glass exterior. After some tagging and vandalism, the march continued back to Oscar Grant Plaza. During the return to the Plaza, the police brazenly entered the crowd near 15th and Broadway, partly splitting the crowd in two without apparent purpose.

As the crowd reached 14th and Broadway, police attempted to evict the demonstrators from the intersection reportedly using flash-bang grenades, tazers, batons, and other “non-lethal” weapons. [Several people were arrested during the altercation with police, including some who were injured and taken to the hospital].

By around 1pm, the crowd swelled to about 1500 demonstrators at Oscar Grant Plaza for a rally. Police continued apparent intimidation tactics by forming police lines at various walkways into the Plaza, making their presence felt within the former perimeter of last Fall’s tent city. Around 2pm, police evicted demonstrators from Oscar Grant Plaza; some left to join the march leaving from East Oakland, while others seemed to disappear into other parts of downtown. During this confrontation, Alameda County Sheriffs deployed an armored vehicle equipped with what appeared to be LRAD sound cannons.

Around 3:30pm, a march left from Fruitvale BART station to head toward Oscar Grant Plaza. By 4pm, the march had reportedly swelled to thousands strong, while as many as a [few thousand] wait at San Antonio Park to join the Fruitvale marchers.

Update:

5:10pm – The Fruitvale marchers have arrived at San Antonio Park. As many as 5000 demonstrators now rallying, waiting to continue the march to the Plaza.

Marchers from Fruitvale arrived around an hour later, ending with thousands in the intersection of 14th and Broadway for a rally. As the sun set, numbers dwindled. Notably, police held a heavy presence all afternoon, keeping several dozen officers on the north end of the plaza, as well as on neighboring streets and alleyways.

When darkness fell, the approximately thousand person crowd muddled about on 14th and within the plaza. The heavy police presence and the lack of clear objectives for the evening created a sense of uneasiness in the crowd.

Eventually the tension was cut by a police instigated maneuver, apparently targeting people holding shields constructed of wood and corrugated metal. As the 500-600 strong police force squeezed into 14th and Broadway from three sides, some demonstrators were trampled and arrested. Police reformed lines multiple times, gave multiple dispersal orders and eventually pushed the crowd north on Broadway towards 15th. In the final standoff, the police charged the crowd, viciously tackling and beating protestors to the ground. The remnant several hundred traveled further north along Broadway or scattered.

For the next several hours hundreds of police roved through streets on foot, on motorcycle, in squad cars, and in rented white vans. The police targeted previously arrested and well known Occupy Oakland demonstrators, while playing a cat and mouse game with the larger groups vandalizing property.

As the night wore on, a few hundred demonstrators returned to 14th and Broadway. However, police were eventually able to separate and push demonstrators away from the intersection. Notably, a few dozen police on motorcycles aligned themselves next to the demonstrators and began loudly revving their engines and blasting their sirens.

LOS ANGELES, California – Some 1200 United Service Workers West Union members have shut down normal operation of some terminals at LAX. Traffic has remained tenuous through out the day with dozens of marches.  There have been small altercations with police throughout the day with a few possible arrests, but police are allowing protesters to gather at Pershing Square in Downtown LA for the evening events.

Read more:

SAN FRANCISCO, California – Despite the high anticipations for the Golden Gate Bridge shutdown, plans to occupy the bridge were called off only days before May 1st. However, Ferry service in SF was shut down due to striking workers. In the early afternoon, the 888 Turk building was reoccupied.

Update:

  • #888Turk was raided before dawn on May 2nd. Read more.

Related:

West Coast Ports Shutdown

12 December 2011

OAKLAND, California — On Monday, in coordination with numerous other West Coast “occupy” groups, Occupy Oakland has blockaded the port of Oakland in an attempt to halt the flow of goods which serve to further enrich the capitalist class. These synchronized actions involve blockades in Anchorage, Seattle, Portland, Los Angeles, San Diego and solidarity protests in Hawaii, Dallas, Chicago, Boston, New York, Houston and beyond; and though the event has not been endorsed by the ILWU, it was planned in solidarity with rank-and-file dock workers struggling against grain exporter EGT, which has been trying to undermine union contracts.

Early morning, before dawn, the port of Oakland was effectively blockaded by 1300-1500 demonstrators. There are around 300 protestors at each of the half-dozen Berth entry-points. The numbers continue to swell as protestors march from the West Oakland BART station. Read below for updates.

Read more:

LOS ANGELES, California — Despite uncharacteristically poor weather two brutal arrests, a rally of approximately 300-400 occupiers has shut down parts of the Port of Long Beach, which is the largest Port of entry in the United States. LBPD has announced that the demonstration is an unlawful assembly and is attempting to corral the crowd back into a near-by park (ironic, given the resources spent recently getting occupiers out of parks).

As of around 10am, demonstrators were forced to leave the intersections blocking the ports.

SAN DIEGO, California — Similar to the #OccupyLA port shut down, demonstrators blocked a terminal beginning around 6am with small crowds of approximately 150 at two intersections, a north and south gate. Police dispersed demonstrators at the south gate around 9:45am, arresting at least 4. As of 11:30am demonstrators are still rallying at the north gate, however trucks are able to get in and out of the port terminal. As of around 4pm they’ve regrouped at Chicano Park to plan for further direct actions.

Read more:

PORTLAND, Oregon — Demonstrators have been effective in shutting down two terminals of the Port of Portland, with about 400 protestors at each gate. Police are reported to be targeting specific individuals and preparing to disperse the blockade with riot gear. Later, in the evening a third terminal was also shutdown.

Read more:

BELLINGHAM, Washington — A hundred or so demonstrators have blocked commercial railroad tracks since noon; some have u-locked their necks together to prevent them from being moved. Beginning around 3pm, the demonstrators with u-locks were being arrested. Watch it live.

Around 5pm the last of the demonstrators were cleared from tracks.

Read more:

LONGVIEW, Washington — Work was cancelled today for longshoreman at the Longview port, so a small rally was held in solidarity with the west coast port shutdown.

SEATTLE, Washington — Hundreds gathered in Westlake Park around 1:30pm. As of 2:30pm, they’ve begun to march to the Port of Seattle. By around 3:15pm, a growing crowd has reached the port. Watch it live. Police are in riot gear and appear to have pepper spray and rubber bullets ready.

Read more:

Barricades erected at Port of Seattle

VANCOUVER, Canada — A few dozen attempted to block ports early in the morning on Monday, resulting in a disruption for about an hour. A rally held midday gathered more demonstrators who marched over to the port, but the police presence prevented a blockade. 5 were arrested in police confrontations.

See more:

HOUSTON, Texas — Protesters who have chained themselves together face-down on the ground, to block trucks from entering the port there have been contained and detained by police in a large inflatable tent, presumably as part of an attempt to remove and arrest them. Rumors that the tent was to be used for administering a gas of some sort appear to be mistaken; the tanks were for inflating the tent.

DENVER, Colorado — In solidarity, a handful of demonstrators from #OccupyDenver gathered in front of a Walmart distribution center in Loveland, Colorado. 13 arrests were made after demonstrators began to block a truck entering the distribution center. The demonstration ended around 5pm.

Related:

Updates:

10:06AM: Arbitrators give the official word that the Oakland port is shut down.

11:04AM: Day-shift canceled in Portland.

1pm – A few berths are open at Oakland now due to dwindling numbers blocking the port, a few scabs, and police presence. However organizers are urging people to go to the 3pm rally at Oscar Grant Plaza and march at 4pm. Alternatively, there is a march at 5pm from West Oakland BART station. Organizers are saying the 1300-1500 folks that came at 5am this morning to shut down the port were successful in shutting down the berths with ships. These ships were unable to load cargo. Around 3 were arrested at one of the berths. Live at the port. Live at Oscar Grant Plaza.

1:30pm – Port blockers in Oakland are asking for donations of food, water, usb-powered back up batteries, and beer.

3:25pm – One of the entrances to the Port of Seattle is shut down.

4:10pm – Oakland begins to march on port. The march from OGP to the port takes a little over an hour, watch it live.

5:00pm – Oakland arrives at port. In Seattle police begin to attack port blockers as they try to remove makeshift barricades. Tear gas, flashbangs, and pepper spray have reportedly been deployed by police. At least one demonstrator was trampled by a police officer on a horse.

5:20pm – Ports have called off work for the evening shift in Oakland.

5:50pm – Seattle port blockers still holding it down at Terminal 18, Terminal 5. While trucks and other traffic is open, no workers appear to be in Terminal 18; however Terminal 5 appears to still be working. Around 8-9 were arrested in the earlier scuffle including 2 marked medics.

6:05pm – Police appear to be staging to clear the Seattle port blockers.

6:40pm – Police appear to now be leaving the port in Seattle – seemingly corroborated by a reporter from the mainstream media.

8pm – Oakland Commune decided at their General Assembly moments ago to continue the port shutdown into tomorrow in response to police brutality at many of the other shutdown locations.

Tuesday, 13 December

2am – While demonstrators have been holding down the port of Oakland all day and all evening, they’ve begun to picket again in preparation for the next shift of workers. They need around 100 people at all of the berths of the port of Oakland.

3:45am – Port workers are being sent home. Arbitration – the process by which solidarity strike clauses and safety issues are resolved to satisfy legal requirements for workers to be sent home – is not needed, as bosses told workers the shift is cancelled. People are discussing to end the port shutdown extension now after 24hrs. Supportive ILWU rank and file members spoke to blockers and asked them to end the shutdown to continue to stand in solidarity with longshoreman’s interests. Port blockers calling it a victory and have voted to go home.

Raid on OccupyLA

29 November 2011

LOS ANGELES, California – Around 800 demonstrators defended Solidarity Park for #OccupyLA Tuesday night. The city sent in some 1,400 police officers to clear the occupiers after a failed attempt earlier this week when thousands of demonstrators swarmed the encampment in solidarity. By 2:30am Wednesday morning most demonstrators had been cleared from the park. Around 290 were arrested throughout the evening. See photos here: 1, 2, 3

Occupiers have regrouped at La Placita Church. A general assembly will be held tonight (Wednesday) at 7:30pm on the steps of City Hall.

Mehserle to be Released as early as Mid June

10 May 2011

LOS ANGELES, California – Johannes Mehserle, the police officer that murdered Oscar Grant on New Years day 2009, has spent the last 10 months or so in prison. He has a court date on June 1st, and may be released as early as the middle of June on good behavior.

Mehserle may be Released on Bail Friday

30 November 2010

CALIFORNIA – Johannes Mehserle, the BART police officer who shot and murdered Oscar Grant on New Year’s day, will be having a Bail hearing on Friday, December 3rd to request to be released while he appeals his involuntary manslaughter charge. While on December 2nd, the mass arraignments for the Oakland 152 begins and will continue onto December 3rd, and 6th. The Oakland 152 were mass arrested during the evening of November 5th after the sentencing finished.

Mehserle Sentenced to 2 years, some time served

5 November 2010

LOS ANGELES, California – BART police officer Johannes Mehserle murdered the unarmed Oscar Grant on the platform of Fruitvale station in Oakland on New Year’s day, 2009. This past July, Mehserle was charged with involuntary manslaughter, and today Judge Perry sentenced Mehserle to the minimum two year prison sentence, with time served.

[Edit]: It’s unclear what amount of time total he is expected to spend in prison. Some reports suggest time served may include 292 days (double the time he’s already spent in jail), or that he may be released in 72 days.

[Edit]: According to SFExaminer, Mehserle has 293 days applied to his sentence.

Mehserle Sentencing Friday

1 November 2010

CALIFORNIA – BART police officer, Johannes Mehserle, shot and killed unarmed Oscar Grant in January of 2009 while Grant was laying on his stomach at the Fruitvale train station in Oakland. Mehserle was charged with involuntary manslaughter on July 8, 2010, followed by thousands in the streets and rioting that evening in protest of the lax charge. Mehserle is to be sentenced this Friday in Los Angeles.

In Oakland, organizers from the Oakland General Assembly will be holding a ‘Gathering in Honor of Oscar Grant’ starting at 2pm in Frank Ogawa Plaza (14th and Broadway).

Chronicle of a Riot Foretold

29 June 2010

from counterpunch:

by George Ciccariello-Maher

As the trial of former transit cop Johannes Mehserle for the murder of Oscar Grant rushes at breakneck speed toward its conclusion, spurred by the insistence of Judge Robert Perry and political imperative, ominous clouds of injustice begin to crowd the political horizon in anticipation of a verdict, which could come as soon as this week. But while it is this injustice that we should most fear, too many are focusing their fear and the fear of others on the possibility of a repeat of last year’s street rebellions should Mehserle be acquitted or convicted of a lesser charge.

What this view neglects is one basic fact, indeed the most basic fact regarding the Oakland rebellions: that it was only as a result of those rebellions of January 2009 and the fear that they might be repeated that Mehserle was even arrested and put on trial in the first place. Those rebellions were, in fact, the basic precondition for this limited form of “justice” to even be possible. Possible, yes, but far from guaranteed. And yet those who opposed the rebellions from the very beginning, denouncing them with delusions of “outside agitators” as irrational and desperate outbursts–in short, as “riots”–are busily trotting out the same discredited lines as always. (more…)

Cop on Trial for the Murder of Oscar Grant

18 June 2010

On January 1st, 2009, Oscar Grant was murdered by Bay Area Rapid Transit Police officer Johannes Mehserle in Oakland, Calfornia. Now Mehserle is on trial for reportedly the first ever on-duty police murder case in the state of California. The judge is pushing for the case to be finished by the 4th of July. Community members are already criticizing the trial as unfair as serious issues of bias in favor of Mehserle have sprung up including a jury without any black jurors.  Activists from the bay area have called for action on the day of the verdict in Oakland on 14th and Broadway at 6pm, regardless of the outcome. Actions have also been planned in Los Angeles where the trial is being held. More on indybay and OaklandForJustice.

RSVP on facebook for more updates.

Downtown LA on March 4th

11 March 2010

A great account of what happened in downtown LA: the desire/need for self-organized struggle