Protesters disrupt Los Angeles City Council vote on banning homeless encampments near schools


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Los Angeles City Council members voted to extend a bill barring homeless people from setting up encampments near schools at a Los Angeles City Council meeting on Tuesday, interrupted by a group of protesters who broke through a security barricade and threatened lawmakers.

A recess was granted before the council voted 11-3 to expand an existing ban on homeless encampments within 500 feet of Los Angeles’ schools and daycare centers, as protesters slammed the city, saying the initiative would further isolate and negatively impact the homeless community. Council meeting. The Los Angeles Police Department said two people were arrested.

Los Angeles City Councilman Paul Krekorian, who represents the Second District, described the protest as an “assault” that included verbal threats against lawmakers.

“In another attack on constitutional democracy, for the second time in a week, a small group of extremists shut down a public meeting of the City Council again today,” Krekorian said. “In the process, he breached a security barrier, physically threatened the council and assaulted police officers. One of them was arrested two feet from my desk.”

The Los Angeles City Council has approved a measure to ban homeless encampments near schools

Protesters gather as the Los Angeles City Council votes on a ban on homeless encampments within 500 feet of schools and daycare centers.
(KTTV)

During the incident, a sergeant in charge of safety and security of city buildings and two officers of the security services department were injured.

The Los Angeles Police Department confirmed the standoff and accused a woman city council member among the suspects arrested.

“Officers engaged in minor use of force while attempting to make the arrests,” the LAPD said.

LA City Council Greenlights Ban on Homeless Encampments Within 500 Feet of Schools, Daycare Centers

A woman breached barriers and yelled obscenities at an LA City Council meeting, charging at lawmakers.

A woman breached barriers and yelled obscenities at an LA City Council meeting, charging at lawmakers.
(KTTV)

Police officers eventually dispersed the protesters and order was restored in the room.

“An unlawful assembly was declared at 11:07 a.m., and the crowd was given 30 minutes to disperse. The crowd dispersed as ordered while the media remained. At approximately 11:40 a.m., the council reconvened, voted and approved LAMC 41.18.”

Tuesday’s vote expanded on a provision that cleared the chamber by an 11-to-3 vote last week, which would have restricted homeless encampments to schools and daycares specifically identified by the council. Protesters also disrupted the municipal council meeting held last week on August 2.

“There can never be any excuse or rationalization for this type of anarchic lawlessness,” Krekorian added. “The people of our nation, regardless of their views, will not tolerate extremists who enter public buildings and threaten public officials with the intention of shutting down the government.”

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Homeless encampments block the street on the Hollywood Freeway overpass on July 7, 2021 in Los Angeles.

Homeless encampments block the street on the Hollywood Freeway overpass on July 7, 2021 in Los Angeles.
(AP Photo/Damian Doverganes, File)

“Every Angeleno should be outraged by what happened in their city hall today. Anyone who wants to be a leader in this city should clearly and unequivocally actively condemn this kind of nonsense,” the council member continued.

Supporters of the blanket ban said it was designed to ensure the safety of children, many of whom walk near homeless encampments on their way to school. Some camps include people who use drugs or suffer from mental health conditions.

“This is about protecting children in our city,” Councilman Paul Koretz, who represents the Fifth District, said before the measure was passed.

However, opponents of the bill said it would “displace” refugees and criminalize their status.

“Enforcement of anti-camping ordinances displaces people and makes it difficult for trained staff to re-establish trust. Residents of cleared encampments, unless connected to stable permanent housing through a trauma-informed case management process, often return without shelter. Homelessness,” says the nonprofit People Helping the Homeless, or PATH. , said in a statement.

People at a homeless encampment at Toriumi Plaza at 1st St. and Judge John Iso St. in Los Angeles, Thursday, March 17, 2022.

People at a homeless encampment at Toriumi Plaza at 1st St. and Judge John Iso St. in Los Angeles, Thursday, March 17, 2022.
(Hans Gutknecht/Media News Group/Los Angeles Daily News via Getty Images)

Protesters inside the chamber could be heard shouting “repeal 41.18”, which dictates where refugee camps can be set up.

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The city of Los Angeles includes about 750 public schools and about 1,000 daycare facilities, all of which will be affected by the ban.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti must sign the ban.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.



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