Protest For George Floyd In Los Angeles Turned Into An Anarchist/Looting Riot
Why going to a protest for George Floyd when you know how it is going to turn out? However, you want to be part of it, you have heard and read too many times that inaction and silence equal violence,… and I read it again on the numerous signs that people were carrying at the manifestation organized by BLD PWR and Black Lives Matter at Pan Pacific Park. The march was first peaceful despite the anger you could hear on every person chanting ‘Fuck the police,’ ‘Black lives matter,’ ‘Defund the police,’ ‘Justice for George Floyd,’ ‘I can’t breathe,’ ‘Say their names,’ ’No justice no peace’… and other slogans carried by a very diverse crowd but overwhelmingly young… only the youth protests and revolts it seems… the march was peaceful and organized, moving at the rhythms of the Aztec dancers and drums who had joined the procession.
From Pan Pacific Park to Beverly Boulevard and Third street, everything was going well, we stopped at Third & Fairfax, people had climbed on the roof of a bus, already covered with tags repeating the same slogans, and some people with megaphones started to speak up. Although it was delivered on a revolutionary tone with plenty of aggression toward the police, in the end, the discourses were just words asking for justice, and I thought for a moment that the protest would stay peaceful,…
Till I heard explosions and saw some fumes in the sky, and the crowd immediately began running. The police had started to spray tear gas and shoot beanbags and rubber bullets on the crowd. I never saw it, because I never went to the front, but this was definitively what was happening. Soon, black smoke came from Fairfax, and it turned out that several police cars were vandalized, I would say destroyed to the ground. I saw two of them and the wreckage became a sort of photo op, with people posing and standing on the roof, while others were breaking even more what was left of it.
It became clear that the people now kicking the police cars or taking pictures were not the same people who had burned down them… It became apparent that there were several crowds but it was difficult to see who was in control when the violence started. I thought the police were not overly aggressive, quite the opposite, they probably thought there would be some casualties and they had orders to let people do it. Half a dozen police cars were completely destroyed, and we know what happened afterward… buildings burning and looting everywhere.
I left when people were pushing trash bins in the middle of the street, maybe to block the cars, maybe to set another fire, more black smoke rose from the horizon and I thought it was time to go home. As a result, the mayor has now declared a curfew, the riot was still going on late at night, the protest had completely been hijacked by a group of Antifa/Anarchists, what they call ‘fringe groups’ and the looting along Fairfax and Melrose avenues is still going on when I write this.
I may have seen some signs, ‘Fuck Capitalism,’ but it was originally not the purpose of this protest, which had started peacefully. And it is a terrible shame that a protest against police brutality has turned into a violent pretext for anarchists and vandals to destroy and loot properties.