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(en) US, LA, First Hand Accounts from BASE* and CWLA Demonstration in Downtown Long Beach Against Military Recruiters

Date Sun, 10 Dec 2006 14:13:02 +0200


In our Communities Friday December 8th Caught Up in the LBC I’m going to tell my story about what happened on Friday, December 8th, 2006 in Long Beach. I went to Long Beach to support the action where people were going to put pressure on the Military recruitment center. Some people said "we're gonna march down Pine Ave". They said "you guys don’t
have to go with us." They where talking to some of the members of CWLA. I thought that we would be safer if we would stick together. Half way up the block I heard someone say "Oh they're in riot gear." I looked up and there was the LBPD crossing the intersection in a pack blocking traffic going north bound making it a bigger deal then what it was. In other words no one was getting out of control.

Some guy that happened to be at that corner was trying to get by to the
other side when one of the white cops felt it was necessary to shoot this
one guy with a beanbag. The LBP grabbed him by the back of the neck
pushing his head down. As I started to yell "Let him go" they began to put
the guy in handcuffs and in the back of a cop car that was behind the
police line.

The police said "The people of California order you to disperse." Those
few words got me thinking "What the fuck?! This fucker!" That’s when I
yell "but we are the people of California!" Which other people started to
say too. It seems that when the group marching was beginning to "disperse"
the LBP started to follow the group. When we got to the corner of 6th and
Pine we found police in front of us and the ones in that the back of the
group got closer. We came to the intersection and a chunk of the cops that
where at the back of the group broke off to begin marching down the street
past the group positioning themselves so the group was almost surrounded.
During this whole time the LBP was telling the group to leave the area. I
was facing N. on Pine Ave when the LBP on my right started to push forward
forcing the group to begin walking W. on 6th St. (the cops on my right
lined up with police on both sides of the streets and started sweeping the
street, blocking traffic, and pushing people). There was only one way that
we could all go. All this was going on, and my brain was trying to keep
up. It looked like a western movie, the way they round up cattle and force
them into the corral.

As they pushed us down the street, I saw the cop that shot the other youth
with a bean bag pointing me out to the other police officers, and targeted
me because I wasn’t dressed in black and wearing a mask, so I stood out.

They pushed us up one more block, and they suddenly stopped. Then I turned
and yelled to them, “Now that you pushed us into the ghetto you stop. You
are afraid to come in here.” Then I heard one of the commanding officers
yell, “Go get him!” and a line of cops 10-15 strong rushed me. People
dispersed, but 5 cops jumped on top of me. They hit me in the face with
the baton once and kicked me in the right side of my face with their boot.
I was punched in my back numerous times, yelling at me not to not resist,
when my hands were at the side in plain view.

They arrested me for supposedly “Remaining at the Scene of a Riot” Penal
Code 409. I was taken to the Downtown Long Beach Police Station and was
held there for 24 hours. If it wasn’t for other members of Cop Watch Los
Angeles, and my employer the Youth Justice Coalition raising bail, I would
be still in jail today for something that was against my civil rights and
unjust.

In jail I was talking to people detained about what had happened. I met
different people in jail, one was a street vendor who could be possibly be
facing deportation, who’s only crime was trying to survive. Other inmates
there were supportive of me and understanding of the reason why we were
out there voicing our opinions. They all nicknamed me, “Freedom Fighter.”

My court date is on December 20th at the court house at downtown Long
Beach on 415 W. Ocean Blvd. at 8am, I’m calling for people to come out and
show solidarity not only for me but for all those that can’t voice their
opinions.


==============================================

First Hand Account from Demonstration in Downtown Long Beach Against
Military Recruiters in our Communities Friday December 8th

This demonstration was organized by the BASE
Collective (http://www.basecollective.org) and
attended by BASE members, Copwatch LA
(http://www.copwatchla.org) members, Youth Justice
Coaliton members, students, passersby who joined in, and
one to two counter-protestors.

The following notes were collected after the
demonstration/march was dispersed violently by
officers of the Long Beach Police Department.
-------------------------------

11:00am to 12:30pm - The demonstration begins at the
corner of 6th and Pine Avenue (in front of the main
military recruitment center). Protestors are playing
drums, passing out fliers critical of the U.S.
military industrial complex, holding signs with
anti-war/anti-recruitment statements, chanting and
talking with people passing by. Long Beach Police
Officers are positioned in their normal uniforms
across the street from us. There wasn't an official
count of the officers (as far as I know), but it
appeared to be a grouping around 20 to 25. Between 11
and 12:30pm, demonstrators continued, at some point,
breaking into groups that would legally cross the
streets to cover other corners of the 6th and Pine
intersection. There appeared to be one to two counter
protestors. No major conflicts between demonstrators
and counter protestors took place, even though we
weren't separated from each other.

12:30pm - The demonstrators decide to peacefully march
South on Pine Avenue on the sidewalk with our drums,
fliers, signs, and chants. As we are approaching 5th
and Pine Avenue, LBPD have a unit of officers who are
now in riot gear, blocking Pine Avenue. At this point,
demonstrators begin to yell at the police to "let us
through." "We are peacefully marching" "This is a
violation of our first ammendment rights." "Why are
you so fearful of us" etc. One white police officer
who came up to us every now and then told us that we
were "an unlawful assembly" and that we had to
disperse. None of the officers seemed to have a
response for our assertion of our rights as
demonstrators.
Two youths, who were not a part of our demonstration,
approach the intersection where the police were
blocking Pine. One of the youth tries to cross to the
other side, but the riot police at the line tell him
he can't pass. He tries to go around them at which
point a rubber bullet is fired in his direction. Some
of the demonstrators say they saw this officer loading
bullets with an "ear to ear" smile on his face. The
youth is immediately tackled and arrested after the
shot was fired. His friend is obviously upset and
Miguel and Austin approach him to get his contact
info. We tell him that we have it on videotape and we
are willing to support in any way we can. We offer his
friend bus money to get home.
At this point, the read the Dispersal order over a
megaphone (this
might have been around 12:45pm?).

12:45pm - We make the decision to march to Cesar
Chavez Park after hearing the dispersal order.
Considering the number of LBPD all around Pine Avenue
(including a possible LBPD helicopter above), the
group does not feel comfortable dispersing into small
numbers. We feel that if we stay as a group, it would
be safer for all of us. We, as a group, follow the
order and head North on Pine, planning to march to the
park. Many of us are yelling at the police that we are
going to Cesar Chavez Park over and over as we are
headed back. The Riot police follow closely behind us
as we march back. They begin to start swinging their
batons and demonstrators directly in front of them. It
seems that they are mainly targeting the women at the
march. As we approach 6th street (while on Pine) the
light to cross was red. So the front of the march
decides to stop at the light and wait for our legal chance
to cross. The riot police are still behind and as they
meet us stopped at the light, they begin swinging
batons at more women demonstrators.
(What appears to be) Traffic police in the middle of
the intersection begin to tell us to keep moving
forward. As we approach 7th st. they order us to head
West on 7th street (a left for us). Again, we cross
while the light is still a red hand. LBP in riot gear
are still following closely behind, pushing us and
swinging clubs when the group slows. As we keep
marching forward toward Cesar Chavez Park, LBPD stop
their line on 7th in between Pine Avenue and Pacific.
Police straighten their line and stop following us. We
turn around and one Copwatch member, Emmanuel Flores
tells the police "So this is where you leave us, you
don't follow us into the Ghetto?!!!" He had been
frustrated and angry with the LBP throughout the
march, as many of us were. He had been yelling at them
from the back of the march the whole time. They seemed
really intent (even from the crosstreet of 6th and
Pine) on harming him.

(at this point, I don't know what time it was)
After Emmanuel yelled the statement above, one white
officer behind the line of Police charges on his own
towards Emmanuel. Seconds after he charges, the whole
line seems to run at us, splitting the group in
different directions, down streets and alleyways in
the neighborhood.

Some demonstrators/witnesses, saw five to six officers
jump Emmanuel, punching and kicking him. Emmanuel is
the second person arrested.


We are headed down W. 5th Street at this point. Going
in the direction of the park. One community member (a
passerby earlier to our demonstration) recognized as
we walked passed his house. He asked us what was going
on, as he went home to get a drum and had planned on
coming back to join us in the demonstration. We began
to tell him what took place and he offered his
backyard to us as a safespace.

It's definitely after 1pm by now and we are trying to
call other demonstrators to see if they are okay and
to let them know the address of where we were. We
eventually begin to call a meeting and start taking
notes.

Later on...

We all find out the Emmanuel Flores was charged with a
409 PC Failure to Disperse (Remaining at the scene of
a riot). We made plans to head down to the Long Beach
Police Station. This was where he was being held. The
other arrestee (not a part of the demonstration) was
not at the Long Beach Police Department. We still have
his friend's contact info. The 1st arrestees name is
Irving Vazquez. His friend who gave us his contact
info is Luis Reyes.

Since then, Copwatch Los Angeles and the Youth Justice
Coalition have been checking in with Emmanuel. He
called us later that night at our office space in
South Central. He is doing okay. We looked into info
about bailing him out. His bail was set at 5,000, and
10% of that is 500. Since 1am in the morning (Sat.
Dec. 9th) we have been trying to bail him out. His
family and friends have been notified about the
incident.

Otherwise, get the word out. Get ready for a legal
battle.

Emmanuel was released today December 9th around 1:45pm from the
Long Beach Police Station Downtown. His bail was set
at 5,000 dollars. Copwatch Los Angeles and Youth
Justice Coalition went through a Bailbonds place and
put down 10% of the 5,000.

Emmanuel has a court date set for December 20th at the
Long Beach Court House (District 7). Currently, he has
a misdemeanor charge of 'Failure to Disperse'
(Remaining at the scene of a riot).

When we get more information, we will post it to this
list. In the meantime, feel free to send around the
account I posted earlier. Make sure to get rid of the
roll call of names. Including the names of those
arrested should be okay though (both Irving and
Emmanuel).

REMINDER: If you haven't already, we would appreciate
it if people who attended send us their own personal
accounts of what took place on Dec. 8th in Long Beach.
This will help us if we plan to sue the LBPD/City of
Long Beach and also to support Emmanuel in his case.

Send info either to copwatchla@riseup.net
or to my personal email abatisvras@yahoo.com

Peace.
Austin Delgadillo, CWLA and CR Los Angeles
==================================================

Footage from the protest in Long Beach against Military Recruiters
attacked by the LBPD

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=USsL3Hx3B4A

===================================================

Protest on Pine - Anti-war group gathers at recruiting center - By Felix Sanchez, Staff writer

LONG BEACH - About 20 anti-war protestors gathered at a military
recruiting center downtown late Friday morning, triggering a smaller
counter-protest, authorities said.
The protest, at the corner of Sixth Street and Pine Avenue, was dispersed
by Long Beach police without incident, said spokeswoman Jackie Bezart.

Members of the Base Collective from south Los Angeles organized the
protest against "capitalist ideologies" and because the military unfairly
targets minorities in its recruiting, said a group member who declined to
be identified.

The group's member said two people were arrested, but a police spokeswoman
was unable to check records to determine if anyone had been detained from
the protest, Bezart said.

Collective organizers said the protest drew about 50 people.

Felix Sanchez can be reached at felix.sanchez@presstelegram.com or (562)
499-1297.

BASE Collective

Los Angeles County Anarchist Collective
===================================================
* BASE is an anarchist collective within LA County. We wish to provide a foundation for organizing against all structures that threaten the peace, safety, and autonomy of ourselves and our communities. For this purpose we will confront oppressive forces, whether through education, public demonstration, debate, direct action, or the creation of grassroots counter-institutions.

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