By Serran Soledad
The East Hollywood chapter of the Los Angeles Tenants Union (LATU) led a protest in front of the Stanley Mosk Courthouse Thursday morning, mobilizing tenants and activists in support of the N. Madison Tenants Association (NMTA), who were in court facing a retaliatory lawsuit from their landlord Aaron Marzwell.
Marzwell filed an emergency restraining order following months of NMTA organizing against poor living conditions and unlawful evictions. All tenants who signed onto a list of demands, including members of LATU, were named in the lawsuit. Represented by notorious anti-tenant attorney Dennis Block, Marzwell argued in court that he feared for his life, requesting a stop to any future protests at his properties.
Various LATU chapters along with allied organizations United Neighborhood Defense Movement (UNDM) and Union De Vecinos (UDV) showed up to rally in support and speak on their own struggles and campaigns throughout Los Angeles. Banners were seen reading, “Fight Evictions At All Costs!” and “Landlords Bring Court Orders and Cops, We Bring Anti Eviction Squads!”
A member of UNDM spoke on the case of the ‘Hollywood 8,’ a group of tenants and activists arrested during anti-eviction defense in East Hollywood who are now facing serious charges.
UDV talked about their struggle against landlord and club promoter Marco Cordova, who has resorted to stealing Mariachi tenants’ instruments and locking them out of their apartments.
After about an hour of protest at the doors of the courthouse, it was announced that the lawsuit against NMTA had been denied in court—the judge deciding not to move forward due to lack of evidence.
Protesters marched around the court in celebration, chanting “They tried to sue us but we’re not giving up without a fight!” in Spanish. The action concluded with protesters taping up their posters to the doors of the courthouse.
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