Los Angeles benefit for victims of police brutality

Fri., Dec. 15, 8 pm
Remy’s On Temple
2126 W. Temple St., L.A.

ANSWER LA is holding a benefit to defray unrecoverable bail costs and other expenses associated with the unprovoked beating by LAPD of two ANSWER LA volunteers on July 8, one of whom was arrested for a felony. LAPD has decided to not file charges, but bail expenses were $5000.

Join us in Los Angeles on Friday, Dec. 15 for a night of speakers, music, spoken word poetry, food and discussion to benefit the victims of police brutality. The A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition is hosting events taking place across the country to raise money for the struggle against police brutality, racism and for free speech. The Los Angeles event will feature:

Los Kache: Progressive Latino ska band from Los Angeles

Solidarity greeting from Tom Morello: Former Rage Against the Machine and current Audioslave guitarist

Victims of police brutality & anti-racist activists, including Jose Villa and Christen Westberry

Spoken word poetry by Joneric Concordia of KmB Pro-People Youth and Alliance for Just and Lasting Peace in the Philippines

How police brutality can be stopped: From LA to NYC to Atlanta, no more victims!

Tribute to Mumia Abu-Jamal: African American political prisoner on the 25th anniversary of his arrest

On July 8, 2006, the Los Angeles Police Department viciously attacked immigrant rights activists who were protesting against the anti-immigrant Minuteman Project in Hollywood. The protest of 300 people was called by the A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition to counter a Minuteman hate march down Hollywood Boulevard, a traditional route for anti-war and other progressive demonstrations.

The police launched a coordinated attack on the protesters, striking people with clubs and pushing them to the ground. The protesters were simply exercising their free speech rights. A.N.S.W.E.R. activists Jose Villa and Christen Westberry were two of the protesters badly beaten. They were pushed to the ground and clubbed repeatedly by cops as they tried to photograph the police falsely arresting another protester. All of this was captured on video.

Villa was then falsely arrested and outrageous felony charges carrying the possibility of a long jail sentence were slapped on him. Villa was held in jail for nearly two days on $50,000 bail. He was released after paying a $5,000 unrecoverable bond. Villa and Westberry had to be treated at a local hospital for their wounds.

In response to the police riot against the protesters, A.N.S.W.E.R. held a press conference and waged a prolonged political struggle against the LAPD, showing the video of the incident on media outlets and at political gatherings. More than 320,000 people have viewed the video online. Now, in a major victory, the charges against Villa have been dropped. This comes on the heels of additional videos of LAPD brutality surfacing on the internet.

A.N.S.W.E.R. is hosting the Dec. 15 LA benefit, along with benefits in other U.S. cities, to defray the costs of the bond paid to free Villa, and to continue the struggle against police brutality and racism.

View the video of the beating

(I posted three versions of the beating video on YouTube. They’ve been viewed an amazing 320,00+ times, something which certainly demonstrates the power of video. I also posted videos of the press conference announcing the lawsuits against LAPD.)


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  2. I was arrested & charged with attempted lynching at a peace rally in downtown LA in March of 2003. My bail was set at $25,000. The charge was eventually dropped, but not until it went to an assistant d.a.’s office. Glad to give you more info if you’d like (including a photo of my then-wife & me up against a wall surrounded by 17 LAPD officers).

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