In 2011 the Andrews International BID Patrol arrested 103 people in Hollywood for violating the despicable LAMC 41.18(d), which, truly truly, outlaws sitting on the sidewalk in the absence of a parade. We have written oh so many times about how the BID Patrol does not arrest non-homeless violators of this law, and how this selective enforcement is particularly egregious in the case of the Hollywood Farmers’ Market. Well, imagine then, our surprise to read in an L.A. Weekly article from January 2011, our own Kerry Morrison, discussing how, even though she does not live in Hollywood at all and is probably far more at home at the Larchmont Market, held for some reason only zillionaires can grok at the same time as the Hollywood one, she thinks people who do live in Hollywood are a bunch of zombie NIMBYs from Hell cause they didn’t want to move the iconic Hollywood Farmers’ Market to some random parking lot due to the toys-from-pram whinging of the Film School at Sunset and Ivar. The point she seems to be making is that if the Market was moved, there would be more room for everyone and it would be a win-win situation all round, especially if you only ask the zillionaires, which seems to be Kerry’s modus operandi in such matters. Says Kerry, vis-a-vis crowded conditions:
Sometimes I actually have to sit on the curb to eat my pupusa. It seems like there’s so much opportunity for some expansion and breathing room — i don’t personally see how that would affect the urban charm.”
People often ask us what the hardest thing about writing this blog is. It’s not pestering unwilling politicos for documents the publication of which will, if such a thing were possible, shame them before the world. It’s not attending and filming the public meetings of the BIDs and watching angry white people spitting and hissing at the world they think has done them so very wrong. It’s not thinking of nasty things to say about them. Lord, it’s not even resisting the temptation to say all the very, very nasty things we think of when confronted with them.
No, none of these. Right at this very moment, the hardest thing about writing this blog is stopping ourselves, all three of us, from running out onto the street, grabbing random people by the collar, and forcing them to read Kerry Morrison’s latest blog post on Hollywood homeless people, to subsequently acknowledge just how completely freaking batshit insane it is, and finally to join us in drinking ourselves rapidly into a stupor sufficiently deep to erase the last traces of this febrile outpouring of dangerous delusions from our long-suffering minds. We’re not doing any of that because we’re writing this essay instead, but we make neither promises nor representations concerning what we might do when we’re done with it.
Anyway, as usual, we’re going to mock this nonsense one piece at a time, with Kerry’s words in blue. The links are Kerry’s. As we inch toward Labor Day, I realize that this summer will be characterized by the one issue that has dominated my attention: the increased evidence of homelessness in our city. Every day has involved phone calls with stakeholders, ad-hoc community meetings, or city and coalition task forces evaluating the factors at work and the solutions in play. So many people have suggested that we are in the midst of a new trend – a sea change of sorts – because what we are seeing does not resemble the face of homelessness five or ten years ago.
Watch here for the final bit of a Hollywood BID Patrol operation on Ivar Avenue on June 30, 2015. There are about 12 of them milling around on the sidewalk after, evidently, having kicked out a bunch of homeless people, most probably on the basis of suspected violations of disgraceful LAMC 41.18(d). Of course, if you know the spot you’ll know that there are homeless people there essentially all the time, only very rarely getting kicked out by the BID Patrol.
So what horrific incident was it that required the presence of about a dozen of Hollywood’s finest1 on a pleasant Tuesday afternoon on Ivar Avenue? Murder, rape, homeless encampment, street-preaching? The amazing thing is that no one there seemed to know for sure except, we assume given that the principle of charity requires us to assume that the BID Patrol both has reasons for its actions and at the same time knows what those reasons are, the officers themselves.
One witness, though, spent the time and the effort to share his theory on the BID Patrol’s motivation with our correspondent. This is what David Graeber calls “interpretative labor,” an activity which, as Graeber has it, “much of the everyday business of social life” comprises, an activity in which people with guns, made stupid by their own potential for state-sanctioned violence, do not typically engage, as they clearly do not in this case:2
Thank you for filming, cause they only pulled up when I started talking about God and Jesus. I was just talking about God and Jesus and taking the Illuminati down, and every day they don’t never bother nobody, and let them sit here, right? Well, all of a sudden today I came and started talking about God and Jesus and taking down the Illuminati, cause I’m in the middle of a documentary, all of a sudden they get a hundred calls a day. God bless us all, the Holy Spirit, in Jesus’ name.
We’ve written before about the shameless hypocrisy of the Hollywood Property Owners Alliance, whose bully-boy BID patrol agents arrest homeless people on a regular basis for relieving themselves on the public street.
We’ve argued that the HPOA consciously chooses to deprive the homeless of access to bathrooms, and is thus culpable for the broken lives and pain caused by the collateral consequences of these hundreds of arrests over the years. We’ve discussed the fact that the HPOA not only sets these people up for arrest by not having public restrooms available and then compounds their crime by arresting them, but they also mock them for the fact that they’re forced to shit in the streets.
Anyway, this morning, we noticed, strolling through the pleasant environs of Ivar and Selma, that not only are there porta-potties provided for the rich folk who shop at the Market, but there are even portable hand-washing stations, shown in the images above. We expect the porta-potties. That’s an expected level of hypocrisy. And we do appreciate hand-washing, both in ourselves and in others. We expect that the BID Patrol will arrest homeless people for sitting on the sidewalk but not even warn Farmers’ Market patrons for violating the same law. Continue reading Hollywood Farmers’ Market Patrons Can Even Wash Hands After Not Shitting In Public Street→
The 6th amendment guarantees the right to “by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed.” This was the result of a compromise away from a right to trial in “the vicinage” where the crime was committed, fought for by James Madison but ultimately compromised in order to allow the constitution to be ratified. Continue reading Monica Yamada and the Hollywood Vicinage→