By Felipe Vera
On Thursday August 13, a group of over 40 protesters toppled a George Washington statue in Downtown Los Angeles. Shortly after the protest concluded, six protesters were targeted by the police and arrested and currently face felony charges of vandalism.
That evening, marchers congregated in front of the Los Angeles City Hall giving speeches on the history of colonialism in the US and how its repercussions continue to this day. Protesters spoke on how the elections were a sham and that the destruction of this racist capitalist system will not come about through the ballot box.
As more protesters trickled in, they took to the streets for a few blocks before entering Grand Park. Eventually protesters stopped in front of a George Washington statue within Grand Park where some attendees began to speak on how George Washington removed the teeth of Black slaves. Far from the legalist approach that decries toppling statues and seeks the path that works hand-in-hand with the same government that oppresses them, the protesters understood the necessity of tearing the statue down themselves.
Pulling out red ribbon and throwing it around the statue’s head as well as spraying graffiti on it, the group was determined to tear down this racist monument and succeeded. Afterwards, activists continued marching to a local encampment and some gradually dispersed.
Throughout the duration of the march, there was little to no police presence. However, about 15 minutes after it concluded, sirens began blaring and several cop cars pulled up in front of the LA City Hall, snatching and arresting six people who were leaving the vicinity. LAPD also released the names of all arrestees on social media to further criminalize them.
The Los Angeles Police Department, like all other law enforcement agencies, have demonstrated their sole purpose once again, to defend private property and repress any forms of rebellion and dissent against this system whether it be in the form of protests in defense of Black Lives, or the removal of racist statues.
The six protesters arrested are now facing felony charges of vandalism and are part of the over 14,000 protesters facing charges. We encourage our readers to support the Statue Six and donate to their legal defense here: https://www.gofundme.com/f/statue-six-legal-defense-fund
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