By Peggy Lee Kennedy
The Los Angeles Times ran a story dated May 27 by Martha Groves with a picture of a group of RVs parked on 7th Street in Venice. Except the RVs were cleared off 7th on Memorial Day, May 25, by LAPD Officers Theresa Skinner and Peggy Thusing along with the tow trucks from the Valley.
The next evening after Memorial Day, a vigilante broke out the back window of an RV belonging to a disabled woman, who happens to be the widow of a recently deceased veteran. She claims that she is the victim of a hate crime.
The LA Times keeps quoting people who are calling the RVs a nuisance and telling nasty stories about people like this woman. This, along with anti-vagrant laws such as the OPD law, and law enforcement may be helping to inspire the hate behind this kind of vigilante activity. (see Southern Poverty Law Center: Hating The Homeless <http://tinyurl.com/mt88tk>.
According to the May 27 L.A. Times article, Rosendahl is “studying programs in Santa Barbara and Eugene, Ore., that have designated overnight parking lots for RV dwellers.” It looks more like the city is busy relocating homeless people in RVs via tow trucks and police impound, which is a costly road that can lead many people straight to the sidewalk. The so-called proposed solutions for RV dwellers are a ruse if there is nowhere reasonable for them to park and their dwellings are getting towed away – especially if they cannot come up with the impound ransom to get their homes back.
Venice still has progressive people that oppose criminalization and Venice still has low-income people living here that will be disproportionally affected by the pending OPD permit parking being heard at the Coastal Commission meeting June 11. Too bad the mainstream press or the local government does not represent them/us. It is not only homeless people living in vehicles that will get hurt by the OPDs. But they will be hurt. We are home to the Venice Family (Free) Clinic, which is one of the largest free clinics in the country and 16 percent of their clients are local homeless people. We have food providers every day of the week such as St Joseph’s, our Peace with Justice Pantry, the Mildred Cursh Foundation, and others. There are critical, life essential reasons poor and homeless people are in Venice.
The L.A. Times and Martha Groves are only helping the pro-OPD people who are working to remove poor people and socially-economically cleanse our beach town. See the Free Venice Beachhead May article “What’s Behind The Push For OPDs for some history on the people and the OPDs. Furthermore, by continually quoting the people who say nasty things about homeless people in her articles, Groves may be helping to inspire and spread more hate, which is known to lead to hate activity. Hate is not what the world needs now.