These words Thomas Carlyle, in his great history of the French revolution, put into the mouths of a vast mob of sans-culottes, on their way to plant a Tree of Liberty in the Jardin des Tuileries.1 Even those maligned symbols of mob rule and terror realized that the law is the only salvation of a free people. How then do the members of the Board of Directors of the Hollywood Media District BID, a group to whom has been granted every privilege that law can devise, come to dishonour2 it so?
See Sarah Besley, Carol Massie, and Kerry Morrison discuss the Vine Street tree vandal. Tree vandalism is antisocial and upsetting and the suspect should be arrested and tried, but why this zeal to charge it as a felony? The fact that the BID is talking to a prosecutor, who’s “willing to work with them,” about upping the charge even though the amount of damage hasn’t yet hit the required threshold evinces a lack of respect for the law and suggests that the BID has public officials willing to bend the law on their behalf. As far as we’re concerned, these BID folks are all serial misdemeanants for their Brown Act violations. Their victims don’t have prosecutors willing to even charge the BID people, let alone “work with them” to twist the law around to charge them as felons, even though their crimes affect quality of life in Hollywood far more than tree vandalism does. The vandalized trees might be beams in the eye of the vandal, but the BID has a forest in its own eye, which it evidently can’t see for the trees. Continue reading The Trees and the Forest→