We’ve seen months of socialists and radical left leaders promoting and bowing down to the violence and recklessness of rioters in communities nationwide. Portland and Seattle have been two communities hit hard and now Echo Park, which is about three miles north of downtown Los Angeles, has been added to that list.
The location is also right in front of City Councilman Mitch O’Farrell’s office, which has talked about plans to shut down Echo Park Lake and the encampment. Homeless people and activists have stayed in the area to protest against his plan for over a year now, which started one of the ‘largest self-run’ encampments the Los Angeles police department has ever seen.
Nearby residents started a petition that received nearly 4,000 signatures to try and force the government to shut down the camp since it has created an environment of crime and unsafe conditions including drug use and an increasing volume of garbage. The police arrived earlier in the week declaring the area of Lemoyne Street and Park Avenue an unlawful assembly on a loudspeaker and told the homeless in the park to clear out by 10:30 PM.
O’Farrell called for “calm and cooperation” in clearing out the area and said the city made significant progress in moving homelessness from the park and into transitional housing. They also shared that homeless advocacy groups will be providing services, but people refused to clear out and, instead, started pointing “high-intensity lights” at the officers in the area. Police then began arriving in riot gear along with LAPD arrest busses to clear out the area. While a large portion of the crowd in the park cleared out of their 200 tents, some protests began to clash with the police by hurling smoke bombs, bottles, and rocks at them. They started yelling “Whose park? Our park!” throughout the night.
While the number of arrests is unclear, law enforcement officials said the event was largely peaceful and that there were only a handful of instances that included verbal confrontation from the homeless and throwing projectiles. They began installing fencing around the park area and left signs that the park would be closed for repairs and that people must collect all personal items or they would be seized.
“Department personnel are deployed in that area so that those efforts can begin in a safe and unimpeded manner. Our homeless service providers will return tomorrow morning to continue their work with the park’s unhoused residents to offer shelter and services to anyone who wants and needs the assistance,” O’Farrell tweeted.
While Democrats continue to push the narrative that LAPD is trying to riot against the homeless and avoid helping those who have been affected by the pandemic, they forgot to mention that the unhoused people of the park were offered 6 months of supportive housing through Project RoomKey and still said no. Echo Park has been a community and public space to be enjoyed by everyone, not a place for people to live.