The role of the police is often to protect and defend the extreme right. Yesterday in Hollywood demonstrated that clearly.
The Minutemen, the racist anti-immigrant group, marched in Hollywood on Saturday. ANSWER LA called a counter-demo across the street from them on the sidewalk. As usual, there were more of us than them.
LAPD went out of their way to be deliberately nasty to us, the counter-demonstrators. If a counter-demonstrator stepped into the street, accidentally or not, they got their head cracked. Yet LAPD repeatedly let Minutemen get in the middle of the street and scream at or video us. No head cracks for them. Just a gentle escort back.
As the Minutemen started their march, we followed them on the sidewalk. LAPD then blocked the sidewalk, preventing us from continuing! Yet during every ANSWER LA march in Hollywood, LAPD has done nothing to prevent counter-demonstrators from trying to invade our march – which meant we had to keep them out (and did.) But they sure did an exemplary job of keeping counter-demonstrators away from their buddies in the extreme right.
Isn’t walking on the sidewalks legal? I guess not in Hollywood if you’re protesting the racist right. So, after being blocked by LAPD, we marched down another street, headed them off at the pass, and were there when the Minutemen passed by. LAPD then declared us an illegal assembly. We marched back, did a mini-rally and waited for the Minutemen to return. After they did, LAPD began making threatening moves against us (never, ever against their pals, the Minutemen, of course) so we told LAPD we would march out en masse and did so. When police act like thugs, leave in a group, this protects everyone.
Several heads were cracked by LAPD, for apparently minor actions, if indeed they had any justification at all. At least one person went to the hospital. There were a couple of arrests.
The contrast is obvious. LAPD in Hollywood does nothing to stop counter-demonstrators when there’s an anti-war march. But let the lunatic fringe right march in Hollyood and LAPD will crack skulls to stop the counter-protestors.
[tags]Minutemen, anti-Minutemen, police brutality[/tags]