By Felipe Vera
On Saturday, Serve the People-Los Angeles led a protest against LAPD’s Rampart Division, notorious for corruption scandals and use of lethal force, in solidarity with the uprisings ignited by the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
Activists began the march at MacArthur park, agitating on the street corner and inviting the community to join them. They carried signs with the names and pictures of victims of police violence like George Floyd, Alex Flores, and Mike Ramos.
The group chanted, “What do we have? Nothing! What to do we want? Everything!” and “No justice, no peace!” in both English and Spanish, as others launched fireworks into the sky.
On 6th and Union, an activist took a moment to speak on the Rampart Division and how 10 years earlier on that street, an officer named Frank Hernandez murdered a Guatemalan day laborer named Manuel Jaminez Xum. She explained how this officer is still brutalizing the community, now at Hollenbeck Station in Boyle Heights, and noted that a video had surfaced in the past month of him repeatedly punching a man suspected of trespassing.
Upon arriving at the Rampart station, protesters began to shake the barricades, kicking them, and knocking some of them down, as more police immediately rushed out of the building in riot gear.
Highlighting the mass rebellions, a speaker from STP-LA proclaimed, “We have so much love and solidarity for the Black working people of Minneapolis. They set off a single spark which started a fire, raging across the country!” Afterwards, a speaker from Defend Boyle Heights (DBH) also gave a speech on the connection between gentrification and intensified police presence and repression.
As one activist stated during the action, “There is nothing the working class in this country has won without fierce militant struggle.”
The march continued toward downtown and merged with another, larger march as mass demonstrations have proceeded uninterrupted ever since the initial uprising in Minneapolis.