[sixties-l] Fwd: LA Police Visit, Protestors Vacate

From: radman (resist@best.com)
Date: Mon Jul 17 2000 - 21:36:46 CUT

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    >Sunday, July 16, 2000
    >Protest Organizers Vacate Office After Police Visit
    >By NICHOLAS RICCARDI, Times Staff Writer
    >At least five Los Angeles police officers made an
    >unexpected visit Saturday night to the MacArthur Park
    >headquarters that protesters plan to use during the
    >Democratic National Convention, prompting about 25
    >organizers to vacate the site, activists and police
    >The officers from the Rampart Division, which covers
    >the area, arrived at the office at 1919 W. 7th St.
    >shortly after 7 p.m. They asked occupants for a copy
    >of the lease and proof that the office had been
    >inspected by the Fire Department, said Susan Goldberg,
    >an organizer with the Direct Action Network, a group
    >helping to coordinate protests.
    >Officer Don Cox, an LAPD spokesman, said that "an
    >officer went by there and saw people running out of a
    >building" that was believed to be abandoned.
    >The officer returned to the site with about five other
    >officers, Cox said Saturday night. Cox was not sure of
    >the precise number of police who responded. Goldberg
    >estimated that it was 10 officers.
    >The police spoke to the occupants, Cox said, and then
    >"they went away and we went away. That's all there is."
    >Goldberg said police stood inside the entrance to the
    >office dubbed "the convergence center." Police told her
    >and about 25 others that they might be trespassing.
    >One sergeant, Goldberg said, told her that police are
    >concerned about protests during the Democratic National
    >Convention at Staples Center next month.
    >She said police did not search the building or look
    >through files. Part of the incident was videotaped by
    >the organizers.
    >Goldberg said she told police that the lease was elsewhere
    >and time was needed to retrieve it and other paperwork, as
    >well as to contact the group's attorneys.
    >The group decided to vacate the office after discussions
    >with police.
    >News of the police visit rapidly spread to the mountains
    >above Malibu, where 150 activists are meeting to learn
    >nonviolent protest tactics. When he heard about the
    >incident, state Sen. Tom Hayden (D-Los Angeles), who was
    >going to speak to the group, said "the overreaction
    >He was referring to what activists see as a campaign to
    >intimidate the up to 50,000 protesters expected to take
    >to the streets during the convention.
    >The Los Angeles City Council rescinded permission for
    >organizers to gather in downtown's Pershing Square. Advocates
    >of protest groups and labor unions have sued the city to
    >gain access to the streets around Staples Center.
    >Police have said a small group of rogue protesters could
    >damage property, as occurred during demonstrations in Seattle
    >last November during a World Trade Organization conference.

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