(Natural News) Protests and demonstrations at the homes of politicians and public officials are becoming common occurrences in the city of Los Angeles, according to several reports.
In a report published by the LA Times, activists and protesters swooped down upon the home of David Michaelson, Los Angeles’ Chief Assistant City Attorney, days after he convinced the city council to block a proposal that bars landlords from evicting tenants for unpaid rental debt accumulated during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In response, protesters and renters’ rights advocates descended upon Michaelson’s block, honking their car horns and shouting through megaphones, accusing the lawyer of protecting what they believed to be his “class interests” as a homeowner in a relatively well-off neighborhood.
“Nice neighborhood, David Michaelson, would be a real shame if we came and disrupted it,” the People’s City Council – a collective activist group made up of activists from such organizations as Ktown for All, a grassroots and volunteer-led homeless advocacy group, and NOlympics LA – said in an online post.
A similar incident happened at the home of Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti, wherein a group of protesters staged a “die-in,” demanding that Garcetti commandeer the city’s hotels to house homeless residents.
It worked: 3,000 homeless Los Angeles city residents were soon moved into shelters as well as hotels and motels leased by the city government.
The activists said they have no plans of stopping their actions until all demands have been met, with one activist even telling city council members that not only do protesters have their home addresses, they also have their phone numbers and the numbers of their spouses – and that they are willing to protest at all hours. (Related: Black Lives Matter is spreading: Number of protests in rural America growing.)
“If you all don’t want to make changes, your life isn’t going to be fun,” Ricci Sergienko, a digital media strategist living in Mid-City who also works as an organizer for the People’s City Council, said in a video posted on the social media site Twitter.
I’m tired of calling in for over a month and telling city council to defund the police. They aren’t moving fast enough and they aren’t doing enough. When we say “defund the police” it means take all of their damn money away.
— maybe: defund the police (@ricci_sergienko) June 30, 2020
The protesters, unsurprisingly, have been met with resistance and pushback.
According to Mike Madrid, a political consultant for the Republican Party, state and local laws must be enacted in order to stop the practice from being used across the state by “extremists” coming from both the Left and the Right.
“Intimidation should not be part of the policy-making process — ever, and there’s no question that that’s what this is,” Madrid said, likely referring to an incident wherein anti-vaccine and anti-mask protesters showed up at the homes of health officials, similar to protests by leftists outside officials’ homes calling for the defunding of law enforcement agencies.
Los Angeles Police Department Chief Michel Moore, meanwhile, has aired complaints about his department having to devote a greater amount of resources to patrol the protests outside politicians’ homes, noting that some demonstrators would use language that is “intimidating, disruptive and interfering with the lives of individuals living in their own private space.”
According to California State University-Los Angeles student Astrid Andrea Cota, however, the noise that they make outside politicians’ homes is “nothing” when compared to the suffering of people who are unable to make rent in the middle of a pandemic.
“If you’re not going to give us what we need, we’re not going to let you sleep in in the morning,” Cota, an active member of the Los Angeles chapter of the environmentalist group Sunrise Movement, said, echoing a talking point for other organizers who claim that by holding protests at close proximity to politicians and public officials, their message would be heard better.
LA officials push back, say protesters becoming “reckless” and “dangerous”
In addition to airing complaints regarding the noise that protesters are making outside their homes, several public officials have expressed concern about other methods employed by activists to broadcast their concerns, such as the public circulation of public officials’ home addresses and private phone numbers.
According to Los Angeles City Council President Nury Martinez, such actions are “reckless and dangerous,” a statement echoed by Westside Councilman Paul Koretz, who has opposed calls for deep budget cuts to the LAPD.
Koretz, in a statement made to LA Times, said activists pushing to defund the Police Department, made calls to his home number, describing them as being “nasty and intimidating.”
“I’ve been a progressive Democrat, fighting for equality for 30 years as an elected official, and I’m getting dozens of calls at home calling me a white supremacist,” Koretz said in his LA Times interview, describing the situation as unnerving.
Madrid, meanwhile, noted that if left unchecked, confrontations outside public officials’ homes will eventually lead to violence, thus necessitating the creation and enactment of new laws preventing such events from happening.
Protest organizers, for their part, say they do not support violence, adding that politicians’ home addresses are easily found online.