LA Police Arresting People For Speaking 20 Seconds Over Allotted Time At City Meetings

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By Emily C. Bell for AlterNet – The tweet comes after Melanie Ochoa, a staff attorney at the ACLU of Southern California, who sent a letter Tuesday morning to Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and Los Angeles city councilmembers. The letter calls on them to “reject the proposed ordinance,” because “although styled as a public safety ordinance, it would do nothing to improve public safety.” The letter goes on to reference two specific cases in which residents were removed from meetings at the Board of Police Commissioners. The LAPD had the most “officer-involved killings” in 2015 and 2016, according to the Guardian. When the data is compared to cities with similar populations, the “rate of fatal encounters” was higher in LA than both Chicago and New York last year. The ACLU letter states: “Part of the duty of public officials is to bear the brunt of the public’s displeasure as well as expressions of gratitude and satisfaction. City Council’s irritation is not a public safety threat, and the serious consequences of criminal law should be limited to conduct that actually poses a risk to the safety of others.” The letter gives the example of 81-year-old Tut Hayes. A video posted by user PM Beers shows Hayes speaking at a meeting in 2016, before being forcibly removed from the room, while onlookers yell at the police to let him go.

Los Angeles Public Bank Effort Gains More Steam

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By Staff of Public Banking Institution – Strong steps taken by LA City Council toward a Public Bank for Los Angeles have drawn a good deal of media attention, including coverage by the local CBS affiliate. The Ad Hock Committee on Comprehensive Job Creation Plan began to debate the issue last Wednesday, Oct 4. Following the successful Sept 29 meeting that took place between interested Councilmembers, legislative directors and Public Banking experts, Ellen Brown was invited to attend the Ad Hoc Committee and explain how a Bank of Los Angeles can be feasible, profitable and beneficial for the city’s residents. The Ad Hock Committee panel included the City’s Attorney Office, City Administrative Officer, Chief Legislative Officer, and PBI’s Ellen Brown. As a result of the discussion, Chairman Krekorian moved to instruct the City Attorney’s Office and the CLA to report back on

Here’s What Real Tax Reform Looks Like

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By Paddy Quick for Indypendent – President Donald Trump will not succeed in carrying out any significant tax “reform,” but it is likely that he and the Republican majority in Congress will further skew the existing tax structure to benefit the rich, the top 1 percert, at the expense of everyone else. This will continue the policies that have made the federal tax system significantly less progressive over the past several decades and thus contributed to increasing income inequality. The fundamental cause of that growing inequality is that the income created by the increase in productivity that has taken place over the past 40 years has gone almost exclusively to capital, while wages have remained stagnant. In contrast, the growth in productivity between 1945 and 1975 led to increases in both wages and profits. The main cause of this is the globalization of production, as multinational corporations transfer work to countries with much lower wages. Workers in the United States, however, have suffered more than those of many other “developed” countries such as Canada. The assault on the working class has worked systematically at both federal and state levels to undermine working-class organizations, in particular, trade unions. It has defeated hard-won restrictions on the power of money to influence elections, such as in the Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United decision that granted “free speech” rights to corporations and thus abolished limits on their financing of electoral campaigns.

The Fight To End Oil Drilling In Los Angeles

SCOPE Staff and Members at City Hall supporting STAND LA.

By Erick Huerta for SCOPE – Throughout its history, the fossil fuel industry has played a major role in the development of the City of Los Angeles. The massive oil fields and high production rates have branded L.A. as the largest urban oil field in the country. While the development of these fields didn’t pose a problem to the city’s 50,000 residents in the 1890’s━in 2017, more than 580,000 residents live within a quarter mile of a drilling site. Due to over-development and a history of poor, often racialized, land use decisions, many drilling sites are located in communities with a higher percentage of residents of color, and high rates of poverty, unemployment, and linguistic isolation. South Los Angeles is one of these communities. While residents may be unaware that they live above oil reserves deep underground, the direct health impacts on surrounding residents is clear. Local residents report high rates of heart disease and respiratory illness, such as asthma, conditions that are exacerbated by air pollutants produced by oil drilling and extraction. SCOPE Organizer, Tracey Beltran meets with residents that live near active drilling sites and talks with them about the negative health impacts they and their families are seeing. Beltran has also been working with them to develop their leadership skills and to better understand and speak about the impacts of urban oil drilling in their community.

Los Angeles Forum On Venezuela Proceeds Despite Right Wing Protests

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By Mike Wang for PSL – On June 2 the Party for Socialism and Liberation held a forum in Los Angeles featuring PSL member Mike Prysner who gave an eye-witness report on his recent trip to Venezuela. The event was a solidarity event supporting the Bolivarian Revolution against the attacks by the Venezuelan right wing—attacks which have included racist self-proclaimed lynchings carried out by ultra-rightist elements of the Venezuelan opposition. Prysner and Abby Martin of TeleSur’s The Empire Files recently visited Venezuela to gather research and interviews for the show, which Prysner produces. Since that trip, both have been receiving death threats from the rightwing opposition, which has composed a whole saga of rumors, slanders and outright lies about Martin and Prysner. Despite a complete lack of evidence of any sort, the main slander is that Martin and Prysner are paid employees of the Venezuelan National Guard (GNB) tasked with infiltrating and reporting on the opposition to the Venezuelan authorities. Jose Vicente Carrasquero Aumaitre, a professor of political science in Venezuela and a prominent rightist, was the first to make the accusation, claiming on Twitter that Martin and Prysner “infiltrate opposition protests in order to collect intelligence for the GNB.”

Protests Begin After Off-Duty LAPD Officer Fires His Weapon During Altercation

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By Megan Reynolds for Jezebel – Hundreds of protestors filled the streets Wednesday night in Anaheim after an off-duty LAPD officer fired his weapon during a confrontation with a 13-year old boy Tuesday. KTLA reports that the incident occurred Tuesday afternoon and “began over ongoing issues with juveniles walking across the officer’s property,” according to a statement from the Anaheim police. The boy in question “is alleged to have threatened to shoot the off-duty officer,” but as KTLA notes, that is disputed in the cell phone footage of the incident as well as by the parents of the boy in question. KTLA first published a story about the incident Tuesday night, which led to the boy’s family contacting the police with their side of the story. The footage, shot in broad daylight, shows the officer holding the boy by the sweatshirt as a group of teens gather to watch. “They’re grabbing a minor,” a girl says, as the boy in question protests.

People Take To Streets In Resistance As ICE Raids Descend On Los Angeles

Protesters shut down an intersection near an ICE detention facility in Los Angeles, California late Thursday. (Photo: NDLON/Twitter)

By Nika Knight for Common Dreams – Three weeks after President Donald Trump’s inauguration, ICE reportedly detained over 100 people in Los Angeles in only three hours. Protesters took to the streets in Los Angeles on Thursday evening after Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) reportedly raided homes and communities around the city and detained over 100 people in a mere three hours. Reflecting the growing community-level resistance to President Donald Trump’s immigration crackdown, protesters chanted “not one more deportation!” in front of an ICE detention center and later formed a human chain in the street…

Black Lives Matter Co-Founder Patrisse Khan-Cullors Among Those Arrested

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By Kirsten West Savali for The Root – As previously reported by The Root, Snell was fatally shot by an LAPD officer Saturday on the same block on which he lived: LAPD officers say the incident began when they saw a vehicle with paper plates, which they believed to be stolen. The car did not stop when they pursued, and police report that two male passengers fled on foot in opposite directions. Two officers split up to chase them, reports CNN.

Judge Rules LA Must Stop Taking & Destroying Homeless People’s Property

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By Elijah Chilang for Curbed – The city of Los Angeles has run into another setback in its ongoing quest to confiscate the property of homeless residents. A US Circuit Court judge ruled Wednesday that local law enforcement has gone too far in seizing the property of homeless individuals without sufficient reason. As the LA Times reports, the judge issued an injunction that stops the city from taking belongings without sufficient notice and—in the event that property is confiscated—makes the city sort through it and store items of value.

New LA Law: Homeless Can Only Own Trashcan’s Worth Of Belongings

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By Brianna Acuesta for True Activist – The city of LA just passed a law limiting the possessions of homeless people to one trashcan’s worth of things. As though homeless people don’t already own so little possessions, the city of Los Angeles just passed a law saying that the amount of things a homeless person can own must fit inside of a trashcan. They even have size dimensions for the trashcan, noting that the items must fit in a 60-gallon trashcan and the lid must close over it.

Newsletter: Justice Takes A Lifetime

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By Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers for Popular Resistance. The #BlackLivesMatter movement continues to grow its power and have notable victories, but 600 hundred years of racial oppression, older than the nation itself, will not be rooted out quickly. The movement had a series of electoral and other victories this week. These victories for #BLM and their supporters are notable but problems still persist and the movement must continue to grow and get stronger. There are no quick fixes to a country that is crippled by its history of racism. We must all recognize that the work we are doing for racial, economic and environmental justice requires us to be persistent and uncompromising. achieve the transformational justice we seek will last our lifetimes – a marathon and not a sprint.

LA Police Commission: De-Escalate, Stop The Killing

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By Thandisizwe Chimurenga for Daily Kos – Members of Los Angeles’ Police Commission have called for “significant” changes regarding the use of deadly force by the city’s cops. According to a new report, they want to make sure that Los Angeles Police Department officers did all they could in the past to de-escalate tense situations, and they want to urge the city’s cops to do all that they can in the future to de-escalate before they have to use significant force. Yes, that sounds like common sense.

L.A.'s Slow-Moving Oil And Gas Disaster

An oil pump-jack runs near homes in the Los Angeles neighborhood of Wilmington. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

By Laura Bliss for City Lab – Prior to October 2015, many homeowners in the Porter Ranch neighborhood of Los Angeles were unaware that they lived next door to one of the largest natural gas storage facilities in the nation. Against the copper hills of the northern San Fernando Valley, their gated clusters of multi-story villas, arranged on neat curves and cul-de-sacs, probably felt worlds away from toxins and industry. Then came the largest methane gas leak in U.S. history.

#BLM Activists In LA Were Shackled In Jail Over Christmas

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By Hillel Aron for LA Weekly – In the two days before Christmas, Black Lives Matter activists staged protests nationwide. Hundreds swarmed the Mall of America in Minneapolis. Protestors in Chicago hit the area’s so-called “Magnificent Mile” shopping district. And in Los Angeles, a dozen or so activists shut down our most sacred of cows: the 405 freeway. Activists were arrested in Chicago, Minneapolis and elsewhere, but according to Melina Abdullah, L.A.’s protestors were dealt with particularly harshly.

Class-Action Suit Accuses City And LAPD Of Violating Protesters' Rights

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By Richard Winton for Los angeles Time – Individuals arrested in Los Angeles while protesting the killing of a black man in Ferguson, Mo., have filed a class-action lawsuit accusing the city and police of violating their constitutional rights. The federal lawsuit filed Tuesday alleges that in November 2014, the Los Angeles Police Department surrounded several hundred protesters as they marched downtown and in the Westlake district. Police then arrested or detained and questioned dozens of individuals without lawful dispersal orders, the suit says.