Posts from the ‘activism’ Category
From the event page (edited for brevity):
FRI DEC 6, 2013 – 9:00 PM
SANTA YOUTH:::VerBS::::and Friends at The Smell
247 S Main St
Los Angeles, CA
get yr slay bells ready, and don’t forget to BE GOOD for this evening of antics with SANTA YOUTH
( http://santayouth.bandcamp.com/ )
Co-Headlining performance by verBS + special guest
( http://verbs.bandcamp.com/ )
introducing Wa Le Lu featuring Alaska, Andrew Manley, Robert Quijano, and dithy.
opening act, DPDR, a two piece drum battle between myself and DITHYRAMB. featuring some very special guests
THIS IS A FOOD NOT BOMBS FUNDRAISER AND U SHOULD ATTEND FOR THE SAKE OF THAT ALONE ::)
for more info visit www.lafnb.org
$5 9pm be on time for we are very punctual
after party may or may not be announced at some point.
Read the entire article here or on LA Weekly:
Bicyclists have been the loudest critics of the hit-and-run epidemic gripping Los Angeles, a crisis that has been ignored by the mayor and LAPD Chief Charlie Beck. One chilling incident in Echo Park, in particular, galvanized the bike community: the running down of cyclist Don Ward, also known as Roadblock.
Ward is about as famous as you can get in L.A.’s bike scene because of his 6-foot-8, 225-pound frame and his role as one of the early organizers of Midnight Ridazz, an enormously popular nighttime group ride. He also founded Wolfpack Hustle, which takes high-speed group rides with a somewhat cavalier approach to traffic laws.
“We’ve described him, half-seriously, as the bike community’s James Dean because of his rugged good looks,” says Damien Newton, who runs the website LA Streetsblog. “And he’s a little bit of an outlaw.”
In 2009, cycling advocates were getting involved in politics, lobbying for bike lanes — Stephen Box even ran for City Council. But Ward mostly coordinated rides.
That is, until 1 a.m. on May 19, 2009, when a gray Jaguar slammed into him from behind on Glendale Boulevard in Echo Park, bouncing Ward off the hood — with the mangled bike still attached to Ward due to his clip-on shoes — and catapulting him 50 feet. The Jaguar driver slowed, looked at Ward, then shot off into the night.
“I looked back, there was this car coming really fast,” Ward recalls. “It was scary. It didn’t look like the car was in control. I freaked out, just tried to get out of the way.”
As Ward lay on his stomach, he turned his head to watch the Jaguar creep past. That’s when he saw the license plate. He began feverishly repeating the numbers aloud.
Before the crash, Ward had been cycling with friends from whom he’d become separated. One of them, Sean Maytum, came upon Ward’s body. “I thought he was dead,” Maytum recalls. “He wasn’t moving.”
Then Maytum saw his fingers move. Ward was texting. Actually, he was tweeting — the Jaguar’s license plate number, of which he clearly remembered the first six digits.
Ward was banged up but would be OK. From the hospital, he posted about his ordeal on a Midnight Ridazz message board, adding: “I will find this motherfucker.”
The next day, Ward called LAPD. He’d already given them a nearly complete plate number, plus the car’s color and general description. He was stunned at the disinterest the LAPD investigator showed.
The officer said, “Yeah, it’s gonna take a couple weeks to run down the plate. You could try to find the car if you want.”
As L.A. Weekly reported on Dec. 11, in a four-month investigation by Simone Wilson, “L.A.’s Bloody Hit-and-Run Epidemic,” city leaders such as Beck and Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa are ignoring, or unaware of, the car-as-weapon crisis in this city.
In the United States, 11 percent of all car crashes are hit-and-runs. In L.A., an incredible 48 percent are hit-and-runs. The levels are epidemic — 20,000 hit-and-runs inside the city limits annually.
The mowing down of Don Ward wasn’t even a blip in a city where authorities have lost whatever grip they once may have had. But the public is getting angry: Ward’s post in 2009 on the Midnight Ridazz message board generated hundreds of responses, including one from DJ Wheels — lawyer Danny Jimenez.
Jimenez had a friend in the California Highway Patrol who took five minutes, not LAPD’s two weeks, to “run down the plate.” Of four possible matches, one was a Jaguar registered to Glenn Gritzner, who lived near Silver Lake Reservoir, about two miles from the Echo Park crime scene.
Ward and Jimenez Googled “Glenn Gritzner” and found a blog site where he reviews bars in downtown L.A. The logo: a martini glass. Then their Internet search turned up something shocking: Gritzner wasn’t an illegal immigrant fearing deportation, or a laid-off worker without insurance. He’s a well-to-do, high-flying lobbyist and political player in City Hall and Sacramento, a managing director of Mercury Public Affairs, a powerful firm whose top partners include former California Speaker Fabian Nuñez and Adam Mendehlson, former deputy chief of staff to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Mercury is paid by corporate and union biggies to influence California’s politicians; its past clients include Wal-Mart, Blue Shield, even the City of Los Angeles.
“We were almost 100 percent sure this was the guy,” Ward recalls. “We were operating on the premise that the cops were gonna do nothing. We had to get evidence.”
They visited trendy downtown bars, including the Edison and the Standard, hoping somebody had seen Gritzner getting hammered. Nothing. They drove by his house. No gray Jaguar.
They finally deduced that a man as successful and connected as Gritzner probably would take his Jag in to repair the damage.
The first place they called was Rusnak, a Jaguar dealer in Pasadena.
“Yeah, I wanna see if my Jaguar’s gonna be ready,” Ward said.
“What’s your name?”
“Oh yeah, your car’s gonna be ready Thursday.”
Ward was tingling. He and Jimenez rushed to Pasadena and found the Jaguar getting a new coat of paint. Its hood and grille had already been replaced.
Friday morning, May 19, at 7 a.m., three days after he’d been mowed down, Ward walked into the LAPD Traffic Division downtown. It reminded him of his dad’s garage. “It was fucking dingy — stacks of papers everywhere, old computers.”
Ward thought: “No wonder they’re not getting anywhere.”
Ward dropped a stack of papers, and a detective looked through them. “Wow, you did the whole thing for us,” she said, impressed.
In the end, Gritzner didn’t pay much for his crime and cover-up. He was charged with “misdemeanor property damage” by the L.A. City Attorney, who couldn’t get excited about a hit-and-run in which no bones were broken — that would be a felony. According to Ward, Gritzner only had to pay a $500 fine and pick up trash for 30 days.
Bicyclists have told the mayor, City Council and chief of police that traffic laws are backfiring: If nobody is maimed or left with broken bones, the law imposes a greater penalty on the drunk driver who stops to help than on those like Gritzner, who run, because the runners can’t be breathalyzed.
Ultimately, Ward sued Gritzner, and a private settlement was reached.
Gritzner, in an email to L.A. Weekly, called the night he fled “unfortunate and chaotic. Although some of the details of what happened that night might be in question, what’s not in question is that I should have stopped the car.” He insists, “I took responsibility for my actions, and paid my debts both legally and financially. I truly regret what happened, and I am thankful every day that no one was seriously hurt.”
“No one was seriously hurt, huh?” Ward says. For more than a year after he was run down, every time a car approached, he was seized with fear. He was afraid to cross the street. He still tries to stick to side streets.
“Don changed from the guy who coordinated late-night bike rides to a powerful advocacy voice,” Newton says.
Ward has urged LAPD to stop recommending that speed limits be increased, as the police routinely do, and to make hit-and-runs a high-priority crime. “Getting people off the road that have committed a hit-and-run is a prevention thing,” Newton says. “Not only are they dangerous drivers — they’re callous about it.”
Reach the writer at email@example.com.
to document bicyclists suggesting the LAPD to take hit and runs more seriously and to not support raising speed limits. Here are some photos.
From PUSH Tunisia‘s Kickstarter:
The Breakdown of how will we use $14,531:
Your funding will allow us to
1. Fine-tune and Finish editing the Film = $2,000
2. Produce the Minimum Orders of DVD’s, skateboards, t-shirts, stickers, postcards, posters, and prints of signature photos = $7,031
3. Create Art Show Events to compliment screenings in six cities = $4,500
4. Entrance fees to film festivals = $1000
From Midnight Ridazz:
All City Ridazz Summit
*Written by Roadblock*
4-7pm @ PAN PACIFIC PARK
We all know… when it comes to getting bicycle shit, the city of Los Angeles is a glacier of bureaucracy.
Yet somehow, we, the mangey, scrappy DIY bike community has for the past few years, been relentlessly and wrecklessly agitating and poking at the ribs of this beast and getting change happening on the streets with no budget, no corporate backer and no particularly strong allies in the political scene (though we certainly do have some to thank!)
Every year we have been able to look back and be proud of things that we’ve accomplished. THIS YEAR I want to get even MOAR proactive, subversive, and F.U.N. I’ve talked with many of you, the ride leaders about how we can take this party up an notch. We will be getting together to talk it all out, throw out ideas strategize, and FOCUS.
This summit will be organized like a general assembly. EVERYONE will have a chance to weigh in and form the plan to move bike culture forward in Los Angeles, get more service from the city and the police get more infrastructure and GET MORE PEOPLE ON BIKES.
Hit and Run crimes
Increasing the bike love
Major Bike Events
Driver / Cyclist relations
WHAT TO BRING:
Ideas on advocacy
Ideas on increasing the FUN
Ideas on daytime rides
Ideas on how to involve “regular” people in bikes
Ideas for the website
Come with an open mind y’all and come ONLY if you are serious about cycling in Los Angeles.
THIS WILL BE A POT LUCK PICNIC! BRING THE NOMZ!
Posted by Rosiekins
The aphorism “You can’t arrest an idea,” has permeated the social networks, as well as in broadsides around Los Angeles. And it’s true, you can’t—after L.A.’s showdown in the park and its relatively anticlimactic denouement, the momentum of the Occupy movement continues both in the media and on people’s minds.
From my thread on reddit:
(edited for grammar, etc.)
I was riding north on Spring St. It is on the west side of LA City Hall. Most protestors were on the South lawn.
A long line of cops ran out of the west side of City Hall running. Another rectangle of cops were marching east on Temple. I turned right and saw more cops running out of the North side of City Hall. I decided it was now or never so I turned right on Main St. heading south back in to the big mess of people. Cops were again running out of city hall and in to the center of the people. Cops were also running out of North City Hall building (I think that’s the name, it is the building just East of City Hall). After City Hall was surrounded these cops in all white jump suits ran in with lots of paper work and zip tie cuffs in USPS boxes. I shot photos for as long as i could, mostly near 1st and Main St.
When i tried to leave I couldn’t. I went north on Main St. I ended up disobeying the command of an officer and running through the North City Hall patio whatever to a stairwell (with my bike and cameras) and escaped. I proceded to take lots of perimeter photos, and now i’m back home (in Downtown LA) to edit.
See photos on flickr.com/mikeywally as I upload, I’ll post again when the upload starts. I apologize in advance for my slow upload time.
So it was a massive simultaneous armed eviction on peaceful protestors. I saw no violence, but i never went in very deep.
(Added info 1:28 AM) It was interesting being on a bike while the police were running out of City Hall. I was probably the only person that saw it all go down from every side.
Alright you 90,000 redeemers, rebels and radicals out there,
A worldwide shift in revolutionary tactics is underway right now that bodes well for the future. The spirit of this fresh tactic, a fusion of Tahrir with the acampadas of Spain, is captured in this quote:
“The antiglobalization movement was the first step on the road. Back then our model was to attack the system like a pack of wolves. There was an alpha male, a wolf who led the pack, and those who followed behind. Now the model has evolved. Today we are one big swarm of people.”
— Raimundo Viejo, Pompeu Fabra University
I took over a hundred photos today. They will be uploading throughout the evening.