LA: March 13 Press Conference to Protest Police Suppression of Promotion of BA Speaks: REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS

March 17, 2013 | Revolution Newspaper |


We received the following press release:

For Immediate Release
Contact: Lucy Lee, Revolution Books

Press Conference Tomorrow at Noon
To Protest the LAPD's Attempt to Stop Promotion of the Film BA Speaks: Revolution – Nothing Less!
On Crenshaw Boulevard

When:  Wednesday March 13th, Noon
Where:  Southwest corner of Crenshaw Boulevard, just south of Stocker Boulevard
(under the billboard announcing BA Speaks: Revolution – Nothing Less!)

Jim Lafferty, National Lawyers Guild
Harry Lennix, actor
Rev. Meri Ka Ra, KRST Unity Center of African Spiritual Science
Michael Slate, writer for Revolution newspaper, host of Michael Slate show on KPFK

On Saturday, March 9, in a violation of their legal and civil rights, the LAPD attempted to prevent a group of revolutionaries from distributing information about an upcoming film premiere, BA Speaks: Revolution—Nothing Less on the corner of Crenshaw and MLK Boulevard.  An LAPD officer threatened them with arrest for inquiring what code they were in violation of and six cops formed a phalanx near the literature table. 

"This was a show of force and intimidation to prevent people in South Central LA from finding out about this very important film of a talk by Bob Avakian, described by one of the filmmakers as 'a daring, substantive, scientific summoning to revolution ,'" said Michael Slate, radio host on KPFK and writer for Revolution newspaper.

After insisting the police provide some justification for their threats of arrest, the police provided this series of codes:
1.  41.24.1 LAMC: soliciting donations public property.
2. 41.57 LAMC: Loud noise coming from person
3. 115.02 LAMC: General, amplified sound
4.  28.01.01 LAMC: distributing flyers on public street
5. ____ LAMC: blocking sidewalks [no code number cited]
(for more on this, see Statement of Facts below)

Commenting on these, Michael Slate said, "A careful reading of these municipal codes makes clear that these were absolutely not applicable to what the group was doing on that corner.  This was outrageous and illegal action by the police aimed at silencing political speech that's exposing this system.  It is yet another example of the LAPD's well known and established history of illegal harassment and repression violating the rights of the people."

BA Speaks: Revolution—Nothing Less! is a film of a talk from the revolutionary leader, Bob Avakian.  It is premiering in cities across the country , in LA on Saturday, March 16 1 pm at the LA Theatre Center,  514 South Spring St.  (Go to for more information about the film.)  Supporters in LA have been actively promoting this premiere in neighborhoods throughout the city.  While they have been met with support and interest from many people in the LA area, they have faced persistent and unjust harassment from the authorities, in South Central and from the Sheriffs Department at West LA College.

Statement of Facts

On Saturday, March 9, 2013 at approximately 2 pm, at the corner of Martin Luther King and Crenshaw Boulevards, six LAPD cops on bicycles approached a group of five people, who were standing on a public sidewalk  distributing flyers promoting the premiere of a film, BA Speaks: Revolution—Nothing Less! and selling copies of Revolution newspaper. These cops threatened them for passing out flyers and using a bullhorn and a portable sound system without a permit.  When they explained that what they were doing did not require a permit, Officer Avila informed them that they were wrong and could be cited and/or arrested.  When asked what laws were being violated, Officer Avila informed them that they should do their own research and he would not provide them with any specific laws that were being violating. He threatened them that if they insisted on knowing the violation, they could find out by being cited and/or arrested. 

One of the group pointed out that the police were  threatening to cite them for alleged violations of law, yet they would not tell them which laws were being violated. The cops then said they would get back to them and stayed there for the next hour, apparently looking for the laws supposedly being violated.  For a whole hour, the six cops on bikes lined up on the sidewalk right next to where the group continued passing out flyers, next to the portable small table that was on the sidewalk with promotional materials for the film premiere in a very intimidating fashion, forcing people to walk through a phalanx of cops.  They were later joined by a Sgt. Olivares who pulled up in a marked police car.

Olivares and Avila approached one person in the group and told them they  were in violation of the following Los Angeles Municipal Codes, which they had written on a piece of paper:           

1. 41.24.1 LAMC: soliciting donations public property.
2. 41.57 LAMC: Loud noise coming from person
3. 115.02 LAMC: General, amplified sound
4. 28.01.01 LAMC: distributing flyers on public street
5. LAMC: blocking sidewalks [no code number cited]

Though the group was not cited on this day, they were warned they could be arrested if they did this again.

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