On Tuesday, the Los Angeles City Council voted to ban homeless encampments within 500 feet of city schools and daycare centers after protesters again rallied against the expanded motion.
Meanwhile, chaos erupted at the meeting when protesters broke through a security barricade and accosted lawmakers, who voted to ban homeless encampments near schools.
Three police officers were injured and more than 100 people were ordered to disperse from the city council chambers during a skirmish between activists and police, the Los Angeles Police Department said. One person was arrested for taking a person from the lawful custody of a police officer and resisting arrest.
The Council called a 20-minute recess as protesters chanted and made speeches until law enforcement issued a dispersal order. The meeting finished with only the media present.
“You’re a piece of s***,” the unidentified activist said during a chaotic meeting Tuesday before authorities arrested her. “And how dare you say the people here are not unhoused.”
Watch the video below:
BREAKING: Los Angeles City Council has been disrupted again and two people detained ahead of the final vote to expand 41.18 no camping zones to all schools and daycares. pic.twitter.com/HkQMEIdNPF
— Kate Cagle (@KateCagle) August 9, 2022
Council President Nury Martinez said:
“Jumping over a barrier and putting other peoples’ lives at risk, that cannot be the norm around here. We cannot legislate in fear. I certainly will not do that. But we cannot tolerate this kind of behavior and continue to disregard decorum here in our council chambers and our safety.”
Council member Mike Bonin, who voted against the measure, said it would “disconnect people from services.”
“This is going to channel our time and money and energy into moving people around, instead of moving people inside,” he argued. “It is actually harmful.”
But with nearly every neighborhood in the City of Angels flooded with people setting up camp and occupying public spaces in front of properties that were somewhat safer before the pandemic, council members voted 11-3 to approve the ordinance, expanding a law that also prohibits homeless encampments near libraries, freeway overpasses, and other locations.
Here’s what Councilmember Joe Buscaino said during the meeting:
“This is an issue of restoring order and safety among our most precious sites in the city of Los Angeles. Our students are already traumatized with socio-economic issues,” adding they should not be exposed to sex acts, open drug use, and psychotic behavior that’s taking place right next to the schoolyards.
Councilmember Paul Koretz echoed Buscaino’s sentiments, adding, “it’s not a phony issue — It’s a real one.”
The measure, which has yet to be approved by Mayor Eric Garcetti, is a blanket ban on homeless encampments near both public and private schools. About 750 Los Angeles Unified School District sites are within city limits, and the school year begins on Aug. 15.
“Our students are already traumatized with socio-economic issues,” said Councilman Joe Buscaino, who originally proposed the measure. “They should not be exposed to sex acts. They should not be exposed to open drug use. They should not be exposed to psychotic behavior that is taking place right next to our school yards.”
More than 66,000 people were experiencing homelessness in Los Angeles County as of 2020.
Watch the video below:
Two arrests so far. pic.twitter.com/X9c0wFYLGB
— Film The Police LA (@FilmThePoliceLA) August 9, 2022