Posts Tagged ‘Free Speech at the Beach’

ORGANIZATIONS COMMEMORATE DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING JR.
BY HOLDING WEST COAST DAYS OF ACTION
FOR HOMELESS BILL OF RIGHTS

Los Angeles Action to be Held in Venice Beach


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On Tuesday February 28, 2012, 3rd Avenue between Sunset and Rose was closed off for almost seven hours (2:30 – 9:00 pm) while hordes of LAPD personnel scoured the area for a “drug suspect” who got away.  Coincidentally, 3rd Avenue happens to be the location where a large group of homeless people congregate at night to sleep on the sidewalk between the hours of 9:00 pm and 6:00 am.  The street closure and presence of dozens of police personnel was attributed to a “criminal investigation” following an alleged drug bust gone awry.

At the peak of this “investigation” there were 10-12 patrol cars, 1 large LAPD operations vehicle, several undercover LAPD cars, half a dozen detectives, a host of officials coming and going, a helicopter overhead, circling 3rd Avenue (and no further) for almost 4 hours; and Fox 11 news !!!

If that isn’t overkill we don’t know what is. Capt. Peters was overheard stating that the same treatment would apply if a civilian had been attacked – we think not.

Why LAPD over-reacted to this incident may never be known but word on the street is that two undercover officers tried to set up a drug deal on 3rd with the suspect, who got away, after being tasered twice and scuffling with the uniformed officers called to the scene.

Rumors were rife on the street that the suspect was shot and killed by officers or, shot himself. Fortunately, to the best of our knowledge, nobody was killed and the officers were not badly injured.

But, this question remains: is this a reasonable use of our tax dollars?

Almost immediately, an anonymous email was circulated on the internet linking the “suspect” with the homeless people who sleep on 3rd, accusing them of being “drug addicts and criminals”:

“Date: Wed, 29 Feb 2012 13:50:10 -0800
Subject: Venice Beach
From: newegg@mindspring.com
To: Charlie.Beck@lapd.lacity.org; 25811@lapd.lacity.org; mayor@lacity.org; larry.frank@lacity.org
CC: jon.peters@lapd.lapd.lacity.org; councilman.rosendahl@lacity.org; Arturo.Pino@lacity.org

To all those who may be concerned:
” This is what happens when drug addicts and criminals are given a free place to stay by the beach”.  It appears that our Councilman and folks in this city have given a higher priority to social services rather than to the safety of our community. What we have noticed is a lawlessness that seems to be allowed to continue at the expense of our safety here in Venice Beach. This is destroying our way of life here in Venice. The City Council’s political decisions unfortunately appear to be allowing this to continue.  Please reconsider this political problem.

Thank you”

This type of message only exacerbates the problem by falsely implicating homeless people as “drug addicts and criminals”.  The person who wrote this email obviously makes broad assumptions based on limited information.  Like the person who stood on the corner of Rose and 3rd during the “investigation” claiming that an officer had been stabbed – another assumption that proved to be untrue. People who spread inaccurate information to incite anger and hatred are like people who throw stones in glass houses – sure to crack.

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Stay in touch with the Spirit of Venice — spiritofvenice.net

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- Diane Butler - Gone But Not Forgotten -

Dear friend, sister, artist, and good spirit, Diane Butler, has spread her wings and is now flying with the angels.

We love you Diane, your (he)art lives on in the Spirit of Venice.   Peace and Blessings, SOV

This Sunday, Feb 19, is the memorial for Diane Butler beginning at 7am continuing until 5pm at the 3 palm trees on the west side of Venice Boardwalk across from the Venice Bistroclose to Dudley Ave intersection.

Also, the Venice Beach Drum Orchestra of which Diane was an original member will begin playing music at noon and in between sets people will be permitted to speak on the mic.

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Stay in touch with the Spirit of Venice — spiritofvenice.net

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There was standing room only at the VNC Neighborhood Committee meeting on Monday, January 24, 2012.  Boisterous proponents of the new curfew affecting Ocean Front Walk (Venice Boardwalk) showed extreme satisfaction with the city’s decision to restrict access to the boardwalk between the hours of 12 midnight and 5:00 am.

Some residents claiming to live close to the boardwalk cited fear of walking the boardwalk because of the youth who congregate there, camped out over night.  Other residents complained that the curfew was over-reaching and restrictive to their freedom to come and go when they choose.  Then again, others questioned why the curfew was needed, at all, as there are already laws on the books to deal with unlawful activity on the boardwalk.

CD 11 Deputy, Arturo Pina, gratuitously fielded questions from the room after explaining that the boardwalk has always been part of the park, and a curfew applies to all parks from midnight to 5:00 am.  LAPD officer Kreeft mis-spoke when she claimed that the “Jones Settlement” (allowing homeless individuals to sleep on the sidewalk) only applied to Skid Row, downtown.  While LAPD officer Thusing assured the crowd that the situation on the boardwalk at night is “dangerous” – begging the question:  so why haven’t the police been dealing with it?

According to officer Kreeft the police have had their “hands tied” through fear of lawsuits; and have, additionally, been lacking in sufficient personnel to cope with the problem.  To which one astute resident asked: so, how do they expect to cope with it now?

Residents who live off Speedway were concerned that the new curfew will drive the homeless campers east of the boardwalk and up onto their property.  They were also afraid that there would be more late night foot traffic on Speedway, comprised of drunks turning out of the bars, which would add to the mix, creating noise problems and safety issues.

Mention of the Coastal Commission and the California Coastal Act were noticeably absent from the meeting, an issue that has yet to be properly addressed by the city with regard to the curfew on the beaches, and now the boardwalk.  According to correspondence from the Coastal Commission on August 26, 2010 to the City of Los Angeles “the beach curfew…qualifies as development under the Coastal Act and therefore requires a coastal development permit.”  The letter also states that “The imposition of this beach curfew, as is it’s clearly stated intent, restricts public access to the sea.”

It is very possible and highly probable that a lawsuit will be the deciding factor in this dispute.  Meanwhile, our freedoms continue to be slowly but surely eradicated at the behest of the City of Los Angeles and a handful of fearful “stakeholders” in Venice who are determined to make Venice their proprietary domain.

Sign our petition here:

https://www.change.org/petitions/the-governor-of-ca-restore-24-hr-access-to-california-beaches

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Stay in touch with the Spirit of Venice — spiritofvenice.net

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No names mentioned but the inexorable “Energized Bunny” – Ms. T (currently surviving on food stamps and police handouts) – is first with the scoop on Ocean Front Walk “developments”.

The latest news from our tireless bunny is that the police and city attorney are ramping up to enforce not only the newly amended LAMC 42.15 that proposes to regulate vending on OFW, but also close OFW from midnight to 5:00 am, since it has recently been declared part of “The Park”.

According to Ms. T, the police have declared that “The Park”, consisting of OFW from Navy St. to Washington Blvd., will be closed between midnight and 5:00 am and anyone in “The Park” will be warned and then cited if they stay in the park beyond midnight. This also means that those homeless people who sleep on the edge of OFW; and those local residents who like to take a late night/early morning stroll down OFW, will no longer be able to do so.

The police have been in training, getting ready to enforce LAMC 42.15, which will begin around January 20, once the new signs are posted. This will also coincide with the enforcement of the midnight – 5:00 am curfew on OFW.

The inclusion of OFW as part of the park and the new park hours came as a surprise to most. Not least, members of Venice Neighborhood Council, which had made recommendations to the city in connection with the ordinance.  The VNC can’t do anything without Board action but they can take emergency action to address concerns by residents living close to OFW, who are complaining that this planned enforcement will limit where and when they can walk their dog, take a stroll in the midnight air, or simply step across OFW to reach the beach. Some complain that the homeless people, now sleeping beside OFW will be diverted onto Speedway, closer to residential areas, with the potential for creating “problems”.

So far, the Coastal Commission has not been discussed, and may have not been consulted, as they could present a possible roadblock to the plan. According to the California Coastal Act of 1976, the public should have 24 hour access to the beaches. As recently as November 2010, L.A. Times reported that the California Coastal Commission is challenging “beach curfews established by cities up and down the coast, saying they are illegal without state approval and that people have a right to be on the sand whenever they want.” http://articles.latimes.com/2010/nov/18/local/la-me-beach-curfew-20101117.

The L.A. Times article by Tony Barboza quotes Coastal Commission Executive Director Peter Douglas: “There are a lot of people who want to use the beach, which they have a constitutional right to do, in the middle of the night…You don’t preclude the public from that use without a good justification — a good reason — and we have to be able to look at that.”

Barboza goes on to say: “The new push is likely to renew debate over coastal access, with beach cities arguing that the curfews are needed to ward off late-night crime on the sand. Coastal Commission officials argue that crime has dropped significantly in the last decade while demand for time on the beach has increased.

City officials in Los Angeles said they had no intention of weakening a curfew that’s been on the books for decades. The city attorney’s office said that the curfew was meant to deter crime and that the state didn’t have the authority to challenge the statute.

Los Angeles’ curfew is well-known to people who have enjoyed an evening bonfire at Dockweiler State Beach by LAX or a moonlit walk in Venice only to have it cut short.

Enforcement of the curfew, however, may be inconsistent with the law.

Lifeguards told The Times that they started clearing the sand and surf at 10 p.m., two hours earlier than stipulated in the city’s 1988 ordinance.”

Residents and visitors alike will be impacted by this new development on OFW, and it may turn out that the Coastal Commission will have to step up and step in to protect public access to our coastal areas, yet again.

Please sign our petition:  https://www.change.org/petitions/the-governor-of-ca-restore-24-hour-access-to-california-beaches


Who was the REAL monster, Halloween 2011? Why, it was Bank of America – a very greedy monster that consumes people’s homes and everything they own!

Not only that, BofA is a dirty, greedy monster that invests in tar-sand coal – one of the dirtiest energy sources around.

A group of Venice activists gathered outside the Bank of America on Halloween, Oct. 31 2011 to protest BofA’s extortionate bank fees and their dirty energy investments – like tar-sands coal.

If you have $$$ in the BofA it’s time to transfer them to a people’s bank – like a credit union and start making ethical choices with your $$$.

****PRE-BANK TRANSFER DAY DEMONSTRATION OUTSIDE VENICE BANK OF AMERICA:

Friday November 4 – 4:30-6:00 pm

IT’S TIME TO TAKE YOUR $$$ OUT OF BANK OF AMERICA!
… … …
NOT ONE MORE DOLLAR!

RAINFOREST ACTION NETWORK (RAN) SAYS: PLEDGE TO STOP DOING BUSINESS WITH BofA – http://ran.org/boapledge?track=homepage

 

Occupy Venice started at Windward Circle on Main Street in Venice, CA opposite our historic post office on Sunday, October 9, 2011 ~ John Lennon’s birthday ~ on the same day there were “Occupy” groups in over 800 cities around the world.

Now is the time to come together…and make our voices heard! If not now ~ when?

Come, join us at Occupy Venice!

OCCUPY VENICE MISSION STATEMENT

We stand in solidarity with Occupy Wall St and for all of the events springing up across the country.  As we’ve seen occupy unfold through facebook, twitter, and the various live feeds across the internet, volunteers in Venice wanted to build a site that would help spread the word as more protests organize across the world. We hope to provide people with information about events that are organizing, ongoing, and building across the U.S. as we, the 99%, take action against the greed and corruption of the 1%.

We will only grow stronger in our solidarity and we will be heard, not just in New York, but in echoes across the world.