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(en) US, Southern California Anarchist Show Shut Down by Police / Support El Centro de Accion Popular

Date Wed, 19 Dec 2007 09:51:46 +0200



On December 16th, 2007, the show that was part of the Southern California
Anarchist Conference at a community space called El Centro de Accion Popular in
Boyle Heights. From the beginning of the show there was police monitoring the
event. Two helicopters passed by the Centro and circled the center shining their
light down on the parking lot and the top window of the warehouse. Hours later,
two black-and-white cars came to ask that the cars that were double parked be
moved (and people moved them). ---- Half an hour later about six black-and-white
police cars and more than 10 police officers from the Hollenbeck Police
Department (as well as a Union Police truck -- the center is across the street
from a Union Police Station) showed up at the door asking to come in to see how
many people were in the warehouse. The officer in charge, Sergent Gutierrez, was
insistent that he be let in without a warrant to see how many people were inside
the event. The organizers were forced to make a quick decision, so to protect
the space and the people at the event we said we wouldn't let them inside.

The police then called the fire department to come in and see if they can shut
down the event. The fire department showed up and came inside the event along
with the LAPD. The fire department called a fire inspector to come to see if
they can shut down the event. Fire inspector Hernandez also came into the space
taking pictures with his digital camera and then called the chief of the fire
department to make the decision. Chief Clemons showed up minutes later to say
that the event had to be canceled due to a fire hazard. The space does not have
a door at the back of the building so they said they are not allowed to have any
sort of events there in the future. They are not allowed to have more than 10
people, if they violate this they will be fined. The organizers had to explain
to Clemons that it is a community space safe for children in the community so
they wouldn't condemn the building.

This was an act of state repression, and that is clear. The LAPD was looking for
any excuse to shut the event down, and to attack the community center. First
they came because of the parking. They couldn't say it was a noise violation
because the space is not near a residential area. So they try to say that the
space is a commercial building and it's not fit to have shows, according to Pig
Gutierrez.

There was also a detective in civilian clothes who came out from across the
street from an abandoned building, who was watching to see who was coming in and
out of the event. When we took a picture of him, he asked if we have ever been
to the space before, and he said he had seen us there before. This shows that
the police have been watching the space for a while now. They used the Southern
California Anarchist show as an excuse to attack the work of the Centro.

The Centro de Accion Popular has English classes for the community and does
community, educational, and cultural events out of the center. They will not be
able to do all that anymore until we are able to make the space "fire safe" and
add another door in the rear. They had an event scheduled for Saturday, December
22nd to commemorate the massacre in Acteal, Chiapas, but that will have to be
moved (more information on location later - either at the East Side Cafe in El
Sereno where another event for Acteal is scheduled earlier or the SpaceArk
Gallery in Highland Park). They are also looking for a space to use.

We need to defend the Centro de Accion Popular. There will be a show organized
in January to raise funds for expenses that are needed for the Centro to reopen
(put on by the Organizing Collective of the Southern California Anarchist
Conference).

El Comite de Pro-Democracia en Mexico (an organization that runs El Centro de
Accion Popular) can be contacted at: lacomite@aol.com, elcomite@cpdmla.org

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

A message from El Comite

This is a call to all activists whom are familiar with El Comite and the work
and space they provide for us. As you may or may not know Sundays Anarchist
conference at the Comite was interrupted and sanctioned by the city of L.A.
The Comite is not allowed to have any more events or more than 10 people in the
facilities due to bullshit they (the state) made up, which means that all those
of you whom want to have an event to raise funds for your causes ca no longer do
it!!!
Now my proposal to you is that we need to maintain a space for community events
and those of you whom have used the facilities before...if you really are down
with the movement should help out our friends at the Comite to find a space to
continue to have something for our community.
It is sad to know that many of us talk of revolution, consciousness, etc etc,
but when our comrades are in need we don't give a damn. The comrades at the
Comite need our help, will you answer the call? help us find a space where we
can continue to have community events as it has been done in the past.

Any questions or concerns? let me know.

In Solidarity


El Comite de Pro-Democracia en Mexico (an organization that runs El Centro de
Accion Popular) can be contacted at: lacomite@aol.com, elcomite@cpdmla.org
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