The Olympic Battle for Echo Park

In the shadow of Hollywood, conflicts persist between an uninhabited community camp in Los Angeles’ Echo Park and the LAPD. A push by police and city government to fight the camp is part of an ongoing attack on the poor amid a crisis of safe and affordable housing. The total population of LA is around 66,000. This number is expected to increase by 36 percent by 2023. Last year Mayor Eric Garcetti called it is “the humanitarian crisis of our time”.

But that was last year. This is not the time of charity but the baton, and it is not confusing why. The 2028 Olympics in Los Angeles are in the pipeline and the long-term drive to redesign the city in time for the Games is already underway.

There is a fountain in Echo Park Lake, built to commemorate the last time Los Angeles hosted the 1984 Olympics. When the police cracked down on them, activists projected words like “house keys instead of handcuffs” and “A TAXIOn the water that flows out of the well. Now, in the shadow of that well, the camp and its hundreds of allies bear the preventive brunt of the upcoming games.

Hamid Khan, the coordinator of the Stop the LAPD espionage coalitionsaid to The nation“The parades need to be seen through the lens as the city leads to the 2028 Olympics – that those supposed eyesores of shantytowns and ‘unwanted’ need to be removed. Obviously, this is what gentrification and over-policing do. But it is also that Result of how Los Angeles tries to distinguish itself as a “destination city” for events like the Olympic Games. ”

The Stop LAPD Spying Coalition is allied with NOlympics LA, a group formed in May 2017 to oppose the city’s bid for the Olympics. From the beginning, NOlympics LA has focused on the connection between policing, gentrification and homelessness. The group emerged from the chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America in Los Angeles. Many activists in NOlympics LA also work with us Street Watch LA, a group that liaises with the unhoused while monitoring police interactions with people living on the street.

Members of both groups – along with hundreds of supporters – gathered in droves at Echo Park Lake. Annie Powers, an activist from NOlympics LA and Street Watch LA, was in attendance the stalemate “To protect the houses of the people living in the park from eviction.” Powers described too The nation how the police entered the area in full tactical riot gear and did not have meaningful dialogue with the unoccupied residents. Powers said, “The police came in full-necked like a military robbery.” LAPD officers were quick to whip up their weapons, shows them directly with demonstrators. The police crackdown at Echo Park Lake is a grim taste of what is likely to happen when the Olympics hits town.

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