8.26.2020 | 8 PM PDT | Los Angeles, CA | DTLA
Day 3 of the latest local Los Angeles protests for racial justice pulled together disparate groups – recognizable opponents, each determined to seize the day – and night. Beginning from City Hall in downtown L.A. (DTLA) protesters set off with characteristic verve. Recent unnecessary deaths and catastrophic injuries to young Black men in the custody of U.S. local law enforcement officers have created new surges of enraged outcries of fresh grief and resistance.
The law enforcement presence simply overwhelmed – from members of the 40-horse LAPD Mounted Platoon that invites a “wild West” history comparison to the eye/searchlight in the sky LAPD Air Support Division: “the largest municipal airborne law enforcement operation in the world,” according to LAPD, to the stunning numbers and varieties of city and county cops and their multitudes of tactical vehicles.
But the protesters’ defiance only dug in deeper, as rage and fear escalated to a fever pitch.
Tiring of the cat-and-mouse games from protests held earlier this week, the LAPD/LASD cat put its big muscular paw down tonight, trapping protesters in the iconic Third Street Tunnel where they deployed nonlethal weapons, allegedly firing without provocation at point-blank range. Arrests ensued in the tunnel, away from prying eyes, while protesters milled around like caged deer. Police allowed a single-file evacuation for those who chose to avoid arrest. Volunteer medics treated injured protesters on sidewalks near the arrest site until LAFD paramedics arrived to help. Racial justice took a back seat to law and order. Again.
A dedicated core of justice & peace activists remained determined to peacefully keep their survival demands public via undeterred protesting, but fringe groups – like the viciously obnoxious auditors who rained down vile in-your-face invectives on law personnel along the fringes – made things miserable for everyone, a veritable stew of rage seething within every contingent.
“At this point, it’s not about defunding the police – it’s about reforming them. …At this point, it’s a matter of trying to understand where we belong… trying to see where we fit in.” Anthony Hall, a racial justice activist observed.
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