Riots and protest demonstrations

Sol Dollinger soldoll at
Fri Dec 31 12:39:09 MST 1999

The Los Angeles police department has been undergoing a significant
transformation since the Rodney King 1991 beating and the subsequent riot
that started in the Black and Latino ghettos and quickly emerged from the
ghettos to engulf a large part of the central city.  The explosion brought
on the retirement of Daryl Gates, police commander for over a decade who
built the force to 7,000 members.  Size alone did not prevent the police
retreat to the various police stations during the riots when they found
themselves under  gun fire from the rioters.

Our new police commander is Park, the second African American, to present a
new face to a police force trained by Chief Parker who ruled the city with
an iron fist for sixteen years. His successors aped Parler's policy of
shooting first and then ask questions.  At present the police  department is
ridden by scandal with some 3,000 cases up for review because  police
officers in the Rampart division framed victims for long jail terms on a
variety of drug and related busts.

The city thought that a Black face at the head of the department would quiet
the public but image has failed to change basic police policy that has been
growing in size concerned about its ability to handle disturbances like
those following the Rodney King beating.  Police commander Park dispatched
several officers to witness the WTO Seattle protest and bring back tactics
they learned from the demonstration.

Whatever they learned was put into practice a short while ago when the
police shut down N. Larchment Street in an up tone middle class
neighborhood. The vice-squad was selected to represent the protesting
dissenters  and other members of the police tried out new tactics to
suppress the dissenters. These measures are taken with  advance fore thought
to the Democrat  presidential convention this summer at the new Staples

Not to be outdone, Governor Gray Davis has established a National Guard
command center for New Year eve possible disturbances with six hundred
guardsmen on hand.  It is indubitably  also an exercise in advance of the
coming party convention.  Even the Secretary of Defense, William Cohen is
hard at work contemplating riot control as well as bombing Kosovo.  A short
time ago the Marines staged an invasion in two California  cities.  (It is
strange that these events drew no outcry  from a docile  public)  Oakland
and Monterey were invaded by soldiers that ran up to the beaches from
hovercraft.  Cohen said the marines needed the practice for an invasion of

After the WTO fiasco, Secretary of Defense, Cohen has announced that the
Army is prepared to supply armored carriers  for convention delegates
transportation to the convention from hotels.  This is to prevent the
occurrence when dissenters succeeded in shutting down the Seattle WTO
meeting on the first day of the meeting.

It is clear from the reaction of the city, state and national government
officials that living in an imperial state requires the naked fist of the
state to thwart the democratic expression of dissent.  The Los Angeles
Police draw the conclusion and aver publicly that they must plant agents in
all environmental organizations as well as in the radical sects.  This
penetration will aid them to putting down the dissent.  The police claim,
and Cohen's actions indicate, an ominous decision to use force to end social
riots.  All of these calculations are being made when the stock market is
soaring and unemployment is down but the measures under consideration
indicates a profound fear of events that may occur when economic disturbance
reaches a certain critical mass.

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