Yesterday was international human rights day. This whole weekend the L.A. Human Right to Housing Collective has been occupying the abandoned old Rampart Station to bring attention to the issue of abandoned property that could be better use to help our community. There are hundreds of abandoned buildings and vacated property that the city of Los Angeles could use to build more affordable housing, community health clinics, community gardens or recreation centers. It is a disgrace that Los Angeles being the homeless capital of the world has so many abandoned buildings that could be transform to build more affordable housing to house the homeless. There is no reason why people in L.A. and in the world be forced to live on the streets. It is our human responsibility to provide people with the basic human rights. May we continue to move forward in our quest to live in a world where we respect people’s dignity to live with the basic human rights. Everyone has the right to housing, food, health care and education.
Friday, December 9th, was the first day of reclaiming the old Rampart Station. Volunteers cleaned up the area and came away with more than 40 bags of trash. Later that night, the police stopped by and tried to make us leave the premises. They made us bring down our tents that were placed in the back of the station in an area that clearly didn’t blocked the sidewalk. After our legal observer talked to the police, we decided to move our tents to the front side of our occupation. It was clear that our legal observers had legally defeated the police citing them with great examples where we could leave our tents without blocking the sidewalk. The police wouldn’t have this and started coming up with a bunch of B.S. and before you know it, they had blocked several streets with yellow tape and were getting ready to storm a small group of non violent demonstrators. It was ridiculous to see the cops blocking traffic and trying to block streets with yellow tape. This wasn’t no crime scene!
We were able to bring down our tents but our artwork remain on the fence. The community will continue to stay there for this weekend. These were some of the pictures I was able to take on Friday afernoon before my cell phone battery died on me.