Dear Friends, this week the Coalition held three teach-ins on our new report – Automating Banishment: The Surveillance and Policing of Looted Land. We also organized an action against LA Sheriff Villanueva’s visit to skid row along with LA CAN.
On Monday 11/15 the Coalition was invited to participate in an Instagram Live discussion with White People for Black Lives about our new report Automating Banishment. WP4BL has started a reading group that will meet every Monday at 7pm for the next three weeks. If you’re a white person interested in working toward Black liberation and you would like to join this reading group, reach out to WP4BL on instagram!
Later on Monday 11/15 the Coalition had a follow-up meeting with students from Roosevelt High School in Boyle Heights about ways to expand their engagement with the Coalition’s fight. We recently teamed up with the students at RHS to use their training in Arc-GIS to map LASER zones in their communities. We are excited about working with RHS students to find new and imaginative ways of dismantling the police state.
Also, on Monday 11/15 Street Watch LA invited us to their general meeting to discuss our report Automating Banishment. As most folks know, Street Watch is engaged in combating houselessness in Los Angeles through outreach and sweep defense with our unhoused neighbors. Automating Banishment illustrates how the tactics employed by the LAPD to brutalize and banish our unhoused neighbors are part of a larger concerted effort by land developers and policymakers. The Coalition was excited to share the content of our report in the hopes that it can be utilized to strengthen Street Watch’s organizational efforts.
On Tuesday 11/16 the Coalition in partnership with LACAN organized an action against Sheriff Villanueva’s visit to Skid Row. Villanueva, who has anchored his campaign on the dehumanization of unhoused people, was invited to be the Keynote speaker at the Industrial BID’s Annual Meeting in Skid Row. The Coalition and LACAN along with BLM-LA and WP4BL members exposed Villanueva’s treachery and violence during his speech. Meanwhile, members of the Coalition and LACAN also led chants outside the door for the duration of the meeting. We successfully communicated that Villanueva’s efforts to criminalize and murder the unhoused would not be tolerated in Skid Row, and we ensured that the business leaders that welcomed him here could not meet in peace.
Later that evening we were joined by Steve Diaz of LACAN for Tuesday’s webinar to discuss our report, AUTOMATING BANISHMENT, specifically the LAPD’s efforts to contain, criminalize, and banish people in Skid Row. Steve shared his deep knowledge about the history of Skid Row with the webinar attendees. The Coalition also touched on how the report came about and the development of its content. We concluded the conversation with discussions about how to best ensure this information reaches the community.
On Thursday 11/18, the Coalition joined in celebrating the life of General Jeff at the Regent Theatre. As many people know, General Jeff was a virtuosic multi-talented artist, a fierce advocate for thXe unhoused in Skid Row, and a beloved comrade to many of our fellow freedom fighters. His niece, Tanesha, organized a beautifully moving celebration of General Jeff’s life with great food and wonderful music. The inescapably joyful atmosphere was undoubtedly a testament to the community General Jeff nurtured. Rest in Power General Jeff.
On Friday 11/19 the Coalition co-hosted a teach-in with LATU VyBe in the Robinson Space. The event was well attended and was followed by a substantial discussion on how the report’s contents inform our organizing efforts. We want to extend a special thanks to Shannon Rivers, a long time Indigenous Rights Activist and a member of the Akimel O’otham (River People) for blessing us with a land acknowledgment but highlighting that land acknowledgments are empty without action. We also want to extend a special thanks to Trinidad Ruiz of the People’s City Council and LATU VyBe for helping us organize this event. This is the first of many outreach events the coalition will have about the report. If you or your organization are interested in hosting a teach-in or discussion regarding our report please fill out this google form.