The Spectre of City Hall


So the official encampment of OccupyLA has come & gone. And the bail has been set at an exorbitant, but unsurprising $5,000. La Opinion informs us that some people have set-up shop down the street at la Placita Olvera, and the HuffPost says that some “occupiers” tried to reconvene at the Corn Fields but were pretty quickly rebuffed by the LAPD.

As many have mentioned, the eviction flew in the face of a pending court injunction to stall the eviction (though the judge later ruled it “meaningless”). Since I am never surprised that politicians, bankers, and other powerful actors in our society use the law solely for their benefit, it does surprise me when others are surprised:

8:21 pm, Lucero:  [INTRODUCES OUR ‘SOLIDARITY CLAP’]. We are Occupy LA and our First Amendment rights are being trampled on and that’s what we are standing up for. [Occupy LA “minutes,” source]

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No Flag over MacArthur Park

A few weeks ago, FYF announced that NoAge were set to perform a free show at MacArthur Park. I being a fan of the band for some years now, coupled with being attracted by the quite possible interplay of people that might have never been to the park and the regulars was enough to bring me in. The flyer (below) announces that there would be a “Special Guest.” It turned out to be a very very very special guest that performed last night…

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Elephant Hill – Visited

I recall not too long ago there was a victory in the true struggle to keep Elephant Hill, in El Sereno, an open and green space; but it was not until a few days ago that I ventured into those very hills. Having been a resident of El Sereno off-and-on since ’94 it was about time. As a city-dweller I have often pontificated on the necessity of such spaces but like a city-dweller I did not necessarily visit them. Here is a photo diary of my hike through Elephant Hill (warning: this post is PHOTO-HEAVY).

The entrance to Elephant Hill is not but a few blocks from where I live. A GoogleMaps search actually calls the trails on the hill streets, though you’ll soon see that there are not more than sun-baked mud trails. Here is the street leading up, on a bright Spring day:

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And Mubarak is set to go! It has been nothing short of inspiring watching the actions going on halfway around the world in Egypt. What started as a protest organized via Facebook turned into a vibrant, spontaneous, leader-less movement that topped a 30 year old regime headed by US-supported Mubarak.

Often lack of leadership or centralized organization is cited as that which causes revolutions to fail, but here it can be easily seen that if anything it was this lack of those two criteria that emboldened the movement. Mohammed Bamyeh, writer with Jadaliyya a Ezine by the Arab Studies Journal, noted that:

Here one found out what was possible through spontaneous movement rather than a fixed program, organization or leadership. Spontaneity thus became the compass of the Revolution and the way by which it found its way to what turned out to be its radical destination (source).

While some political movements clamor for “representation,” many protesters “strongly resisted being represented by any existing group or leader” and rather “…a common statement I heard was that it was ‘the people’ who decide.” A sentiment that I think we could all do well to spread in our daily lives and in our communities.

Ramona Gardens on NPR

Taken from

I do listen to NPR. I know, I know…but I do. I tend to listen to the news on the radio because most music on the radio is pre-playlisted boredom any how. It was to my surprise when I heard that NPR was to have a story on Ramona Gardens that was not based on gang violence or the like.

The story revolved around the absence of healthy food options in and near Ramona Gardens. This is something that I have seen covered in other working-class neighborhoods of Los Angeles, such as South (Central) Los Angeles. It is not uncommon at all. The few choices that are available from the local ‘convenience stores’ can be summed up in this quote from Olga Perez:

“I bought sour cream that was all green inside,” she says. “I bought a gallon of orange juice that was … as soon as I opened the lid, all green with fur. I’ve bought Rice-a-Roni, and when I opened the box, it was maggots in there.”

Thankfully residents like Olga Perez, some of her neighbors with LA Voice PICO are spearheading a campaign to raise awareness and to lobby local government to bring healthful, fresh options to a part of Los Angeles that is seriously being underserviced.

You can listen or read the story in its entirety here:

Tianguis Cultural Kalli @ Centro Comunicación

October 3, 12-5pm Every month-

Come enjoy the browsing and the bargains. El tianguis market featuresartworks by many local artists, collectible records/CDs, books/zines,vegetarian food, Info. tables, and resale of gently used children andmothers clothing by Ticicalli Yahualli midwifes collective.

Danza Mexica- Cuauhtemoc

Live Radio Sombra 103.3 FM broadcasting………

Only @ Comunicación Comunitaria, the peoples media center,
3806 Cesar Chavez Blvd below Self Help Graphics.
More info click on the link!!!

On the non-movement of show attendees in Los Angeles

Coming from a decidedly punk background I feel first hand that live music is a physical experience. Usually the music is loud-enough to feel, whether the kick of a bass drum, or the pain in your ears from ringing feedback: there is nothing unsensual about it. I am accustomed to people dancing to music, whether it is “proper” dancing or the sort of dancing you see at punk shows. In the absence of live music I am a rather inanimate person. But when any music comes on this goes out the window.

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