LOS ANGELES — In January, the Services Not Sweeps Coalition and other groups held a car caravan of 200 vehicles to gentrifying developments in Los Angeles County and to three large encampments in MacArthur Park, Echo Park Lake and Hollywood. The caravan of painted and postered cars demanding housing as a human right was well-received throughout the city. Below are words from some of the testimonies from the morning rally.
Craig Roberts: “The reason I got involved in the Freedom Ride for housing is that evictions and criminalization are spreading all across the city. There are four people a day dying because of the conditions of the homeless as well as the pandemic. Because City Hall is controlled by the developers, L.A. is the most corrupt city in the whole country. Tents have spread over the entire city. In Los Angeles County we have over 60,000 people sleeping on the street and over 40,000 in the city.”
Pancake: “I’m a community organizer of LA CAN, it is about house keys not handcuffs, decriminalize. We see the problem as the lack of housing in the city. We have the largest community of unhoused people in this nation. We are hearing the mayor saying there’s a state of emergency, but where is the money? You see the military industrial complex, the privatization, the building of more prisons. You need to reach the spirit of the people, they’ve been disenfranchised. If you can just reach one, it’s worth it.”
General Dogon: “We’re freedom riding for housing. We’re freedom riding to end the dirty divide in the city of Los Angeles. When you look around the city you can see the public infrastructure for healthcare is cracked. When you look at the amount of money being put into enforcement and sweeps and when you look at the money allocated for services it looks like a little midget next to the Empire State building. We’re going to defund the police and add that money to services and housing. All power to the people! Are you all ready to ride for housing, are you ready to ride down on the mayor, down on the chief? Then make some noise!”
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