Photo Credit: Phpto by Markus Spiske
Echo Park Homeless Community Pushed Out For Los Angeles Renovation Orders
With Los Angeles having one of the largest homeless communities in the United States, many of them have been pushed out with the frequent attempts made by City Councilman Mitch O’Farrell to clean up the city.
More than 200 homeless community individuals were forced out of Echo Park on March 26. Following the arrests of 180 protestors who were fighting against the heavily-equipped police force, massive protests and rallies formed to support the homeless families who created an encampment on the back side of the recreational man-made lake park.
Echo Park is a cultural sanctuary for immigrant Hispanic families who are vendors making a living off the busy population visiting the lake on a daily basis. The homeless community and local vendor community have resided near each other for decades, as the area became an emblematic tourist attraction and hidden gem for most Angelenos.
Unfortunately, the protests led to a multitude of arrests and even the 2 remaining homeless people who chose not to leave Echo Park were arrested by Los Angeles authorities. The two nights of protesting that happened prior to forcibly removing the homeless community, further highlighted the mistreatment of homeless people by the city of Los Angeles.
The protesters advocated for these individuals to be provided shelter and a secure space to feel safe and unburdened by not having any shelter to go to.
The controversy following these protests concerned the police force’s efforts of spending thousands of dollars to kick out local Angelenos who have called Echo Park home for years, whether they were temporarily homeless or not.
Other humans rights organizations vocalized their stances on the LAPD’s actions. The American Civil Liberties Union criticized the police’s response on Friday, which included the arrests of journalists and bystanders covering the protests. These series of protests and the police efforts divided Los Angeles elected officials who either opposed LAPD’s tactics of removing the homeless encampment at Echo Park, or they were in support of repairing the park’s landscape.