Today, an exhibition of the Art of Occupy L.A. opened at the Latino Museum of History, Art and Culture at 514 S. Spring Street. Unfortunately, five of the contributing artists were not on hand for the opening, because they were arrested yesterday. On Wednesday, Oscar, Hugo, Freddie, Alex, UE and Zapata were carrying an art piece on the street in preparation for the show, when thirty LAPD officers swooped down on them and arrested them. As of today, only Zapata has been bailed out. They were not demonstrating, not breaking any laws, not hurting anybody. Reportedly, the charge was “vandalism” – maybe that’s LAPD-speak for carrying a picture that had a representation of a pig on it. These same artists had been arrested the week before in the eviction of Occupy L.A. from City Hall Park, so it is possible they were targeted.
This is an outrageous abuse of power and assault on free expression. Please call the District Attorney’s office (213) 974-3512, the City Attorney’s office (213) 978-8100, and 1-877-ASK-LAPD to demand that all charges be dropped and the artists released. Do not call 911 – it is for emergencies only.
This does not happen in a free country. In a free country, the police do not have the power to arbitrarily kidnap anyone they don’t like, anytime, for any reason. But it happened here, and this is far from the first time. If you still need evidence that we need a revolution, it’s not hard to get. Just hang out for a little while with creative people, poor people, non-white people, female people, gay people, and people who work for a living.Despite the forcible disappearance of some of its artists, the “We Art the 99%” exhibit will be at the Latino Museum for a few months. Stop by and take a look, and talk with some of the people who are just trying to bring a little beauty and creativity into our lives. http://www.thelatinomuseum.com/guide.htm