Free Speech on Ocean Front Walk? – Lisa Green
Angry about Oakwood Article – Jimmy Riddle
  • Free Speech on Ocean Front Walk? – Lisa Green
  • Angry about Oakwood Article – Jimmy Riddle


Free Speech on Ocean Front Walk?

Dear Beachhead,

I am a free expressionist on Venice Boardwalk. I was in my van today resting and I heard boo’s. I looked out the van window and saw a number of LAPD on the west side of the boardwalk across from the Venice Bistro (corner of Dudley Avenue) with a sign that had been put up about the lottery. The yellow sign was about 6 feet in length and it said to call Bill Rosendahl with complaints about the lottery. It mentioned LA City Park and Rec, LAPD, and others that refuse to protect Free Speech by allowing commercial vending on Venice Boardwalk.

I witnessed about 6 LAPD standing together confiscating this sign. They looked dumbfounded at the moment, I suppose because the person who usually gets harassed in that area wasn’t around at that moment.

The most absurd part of this event was watching an officer rip a smaller sign that stated “Free Speech is Right Not a Lottery Prize” off the tree.

As I walked up they were leaving and I asked, “Why are you removing the signs?” An officer said, “It’s a City tree, and it’s in an ordinance.” I thought, that’s not an answer. Then I replied, isn’t it the people’s tree?

So as the LAPD passed a commercial vendor with the signs reflecting Free Speech, I looked at them and wondered?  What does that say for the LAPD officers that work Venice Beach?  It makes me wonder why my father ever became a police officer. He’s much too smart and much to caring to have ever been a police officer but he was raised by a brutal, hateful man so I guess it was his way of policing the “bad dad” in his head. Unfortunately, I would suspect that didn’t mean people were given their First Amendment right to Free Speech??

Lisa Green


Angry about Oakwood Article

Dear Beachhead,

Apparently the message of love in your last issue (Say What You Will: We Live It Everyday In Oakwood by Lydia Ponce, Jataun Valentine and Laddie Williams) didn’t include the white community.

Racism is present in any community, but I don’t see how it can be fought in Oakwood by making ridiculous misstatements of facts.

Those kids hanging around the Oakwood Park entrance are all good kids harassed by the evil police:

I suppose the Hispanic male who told me he was pulled off his bicycle by a group of kids, who went through his pockets and stole his money, must have imagined it.

The police raids of two years ago drove innocent families from their homes on trumped up charges:

I’ve heard all the ridiculous denials made by the drug dealers’ families. I must have imagined seeing those gangbangers selling drugs at the crackhouse right across from the Oakwood Center.

The Venice drug ring just busted by the cops didn’t include Venice residents, but gangbangers from Los Angeles and Inglewood:

I guess the Shoreline Crips are not based in Venice and those members busted just came into Venice to go to church.

The kids breaking into homes are from Inglewood, not Venice, and it’s not their fault anyway. The kids are very desperate for their own reasons:

Could one of the reasons be they’re just bad kids?

Ninety-one-per-cent of the VNC is white:

So what a shame one of the black members hardly ever attends meetings. Isn’t that the waste of a seat that the black community could use to get something done?

Full credit to Liska Mendoza and her staff for cleaning out the center. They’re doing a great job. But they’re doing it by working hard and facing reality, not just sitting around and blaming all the ills of the community on racism.

Jimmy Riddle

Categories: Letters