Arrests On Third Street

By Mary Getlein

The who, what, where, when, and why of it is! Who gathered long time residents of Venice, mostly artists. What? The LAPD showed up at 5:30 in the morning of December 17. Where? 3rd St.

Ibriham Butler heard a sound which was the sound of a tow truck operator, wrapping the chains around the van’s axle to tow it away.

Diane Butler was still I’m the car asleep and her husband, Ibriham, had to persuade the tow-truck operator not to tow the truck until Diane got out. Leaving Diane on the street, with her four dogs at 6am. It took $260 to get the van out of impound. The same thing happened to Jeff Hirsch, a Venice artist.

Ibriham Butler alerted other residents and most of them got away. They were yelling back at the police what a fucked up thing this was, to persecute harrass and steal their vehicles away from people at Christmas time.

Butler and Lisa Green were shaming the cops and telling them they made the wrong choice. Eventually, one police officer looked at Butler and said they were not going to do anymore towing. They handed out citations for height violations. The artists are all disabled and have disabled plates, which are supposed to be exempt from the seven foot height law imposed on vehicles.

I spoke to Butler later that day and he said his wife, Diane, was still upset about it. “They tow your van, and all your stuff is thrown together and upside down and who wants to wake up that way? It’s scary and frightening.”

As to why? Why? That’s what I want to know, these people, that they are picking on, they have been artists and musicians, for their entire lives. They are free spirits who have found a way to live without paying rent. Why is this so bad? So you step out of line and go to the other side of the tracks where no bills dog you around. So why? Don’t know/Don’t Ask?

L.A. City Councilmember Bill Rosendahl has done such a good job of “cleaning up” Venice of eccentric, different artistic types- one by one, over and over again. Google, Whole Foods, and the Movie industry types all want homeless people to disappear.

Once again, we are people, not cockroaches. Poverty is not a disease-sometimes it’s a lifestyle change, some people are happy living off the grid. It’s a threat to see people living “For Free.” It awakens an anger in all the 9-5 types, who cling to their jobs.

Why? Police up and down the coast of California have been harassing homeless people and taking all their stuff. It’s not just Venice, it’s also Fresno and other towns.

It’s an assault on the poor, which reminds me of the way the cops in the 1930s would harass homeless people. They would burn down their “shanty towns” and beat up people who were trying to escape. Homeless people are at-risk for violence inflicted upon them at any given time. Why does the L.A.P.D have to go out of their way to make people’s lives miserable?

Categories: Crime/Police, Homeless/RVs, Mary Getlein

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1 reply »

  1. ‘Dissident speech’ is the revolutionary Right protected by the First Amendment of the Bill of Rights to the Constitution of the United States. It is not a permit to make a buck, but awaken public consciousness to the horrors of government abuse, criminality, duplicity, war crimes, and with the passage and signing NDAA into law by Barack Obama, this Right must exercised adamantly, seriously, and loudly in public space to target audiences.

    Venice has been a base for free-thinkers, radicals, and beatniks. Among them was Lenny Bruce who loved to leave Palm Springs for Venice after finishing working a nightclub. If one man is to be created for pushing the limits of Free Speech, it was Lenny Bruce, who said; “Take away the right to say “fuck” and you take away the right to say “fuck the government.” — Lenny Bruce

    And that is what is at issue. Vendors are merchants, not revolutionaries, political activist or dissidents. They have walled of Ocean Front Walk selling merchandise not ideas. But, as it is, they have monopolized Ocean Front Walk from Windward to Navy avenues. There is no place, to repeat what I did vociferously there from about 1985-1993. There were at least twice as many public benches then too. If their were a conspiracy against dissent political speech, it couldn’t have been as covertly and completely implemented.

    But, there was no conspiracy, just apathy accented by lack of venue. I think a Hype Park podiums should be erected with clear space on either side to 20 feet. Three locations that makes sense would be at Ocean Front Walk and Horizon, Breeze, and Paloma. Amplification to override ambient sounds to facilitate speakers and listeners alike.

    This is an election year, political speech must trump mere entertainment and souvenirs on Ocean Front Walk. From my perspective what we have is an infringement on Freedom of Speech and that is why I have taken it to level of Freedom of Press, to build upon Freedom of Assembly, and declaring ourselves the government of the United Stats, that is, ‘We, the people’ and proselytize for Pure Democracy to supplant the criminal plutocracy that has usurped and makes a sham of the whole political process and we better get into serious political dialog about it, and not be silenced by someone just out there to make a buck, and otherwise do not want to risk “making waves” and therefore are contrary to the Spirit of Veniice I have known and loved since 1966. — Bill Mitchell