Attack of the Pigs in a Pasadena Park: The Voices in Poverty Resist Series!

Tiny - Posted on 26 November 2012

JoJo Smith

November 26th, 2012

Last Wednesday on November 14, 2012, we were peacefully protesting Mexican Ex-President Vicente Fox, who was speaking at an event in Pasadena, California. Why were we protesting? We do not support a mass murderer who was Vice President of Coca Cola Company in Mexico that killed many indigenous people there. He is also a capitalist pig and the root cause of why the Mexican drug cartels are so much stronger today. We were showing resistance against this.

However, he is protected here by the Los Angeles Police Department, who planted many riot cops around the area of the courthouse and park near where he was speaking that night. Those cops were being commanded by LAPD Sargeant Bobby Crees of the Special Enforcement Services Division, who incited the riot so that they could outright violently ambush us.

As a houseless revolutionary with Occupy the Hood in L.A., I strongly feel that this assault on us was uncalled-for and provoked by outright hate and disdain from the LAPD, as they gave us evacuation orders. However, they did not specifically tell us that we had to back away from the Courthouse area of the public park where we were protesting.

After three hours of stand-off intimidation, with the LAPD standing in unison wearing full riot gear, all of a sudden out of nowhere they rushed us, knocking everyone and everything down, smashing our tents and personal belongings, stomping on top of everything that was lying on the ground with their heavy boots. Within a few seconds, I was barely able to save my friend, who was sleeping inside one of the tents, from being killed by having his head violently stomped on by a crazed cop in riot gear.

In the melee I was violently struck in the ribs by a baton. They just came at us….stomped on us….violently hit us….all of our civil rights violated. In L.A., we are allowed to sleep on the streets, unlike a lot of other cities….We, with the support of L.A. CAN, had fought for and won this right to sleep in public….it’s our right to be there, yet the LAPD broke the law.

The LAPD kept on attacking us. They punched my friend’s 12-year old daughter in the face! They also hit my friend in the face, knocking out his tooth! They continued assaulting us and knocked down a pregnant protester with a night stick to the ground. Many people were severely hurt, however the LAPD took absolutely no accountability for their assault upon us and the physical abuse they inflicted upon my friend’s daughter.

Because we are poor, we are being criminalized without due process. Because I have been homeless for the past five years on Skid Row and homeless for an additional ten years of my life, it doesn’t mean that the police have the right to harass us, assault and violate our civil rights. This is truly capitalism at its best while we are being treated at its worst, being illegally assaulted, charged and locked up. The mainstream media did everything they could to keep what happened out of the media. People need to know that LAPD physically assaults poor children.

This story was written by JoJo, a poverty skolar from the Los Angeles Community Action Network (LA CAN), for the Voices of Poverty Resist series. This series was launched out of a fellowship that Lisa received from the Marguerite Casey Foundation for journalism focused on poverty. Because Lisa leads with her indigenous values of inter-dependence she has created this collective journalism process where all of our voices in poverty are speaking for ourselves.


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