“Smash And Grab”: Demonstration closes Rodeo Drive for 2 hours

BEVERLY HILLS, CA – Rodeo Drive was closed for two hours Thursday night to the sound of chants, songs, drums and pouring rain thundering through the streets.

The demonstration, titled “Smash White Capitalism and Grab Justice,” was organized by Black Lives Matter Los Angeles and began at 4pm in Beverly Gardens Park. The demonstration literally did not involve any “smash and grab” raids; The title was instead a commentary on how capitalism has historically been linked to violence against color bodies, organizers said.

“Today is a smash and grave. It’s a different kind of smash and grab – nobody grabs Gucci wallets, okay? We are smashing white capitalism and reaching for justice for our people – we know the reason for this every year is because our people are being killed by white capitalism, ”said Melina Abdullah, co-founder of the Los Angeles Black Lives Matter chapter.

At around 5:20 pm, the group set off down Rodeo Drive, led by a car playing music with a host playing chants like “Black Lives, We Matter”, “Whose Streets? Our Streets” and ” What do we want? Justice “led! When do we want it? Now! ”The event occurred during a very infrequent downpour in Los Angeles.

In the pouring rain, the demonstrators made their way down Rodeo Drive. (Emily Rahhal / Patch)

For two hours, about 60 people made their way to Wilshire Boulevard, stopping in shops to sing Christmas carols with a twist; the songs had titles like “Deck the Streets”, “Hark the Fighting People Sing” and “Trump’s Nuts Roasting on an Open Fire”. After a few stops, stores began to lock out the carolers.

A group of Christmas carols sing “Trump’s Nuts Roasting on an Open Fire” at Loro Piana, a store on 455 North Rodeo Drive. (Emily Rahhal / Patch)

The group made three stops at the intersections of Rodeo Drive and Brighton Way, Rodeo Drive and Dayton Way, and Rodeo Drive and Wilshire Boulevard, where they were honored.

The group sang on Brighton Way, danced on Dayton Way and talked about the seriousness of the demonstration on Wilshire Boulevard. The organizers celebrated the perseverance of those who came out after more than a year of increased protests and demonstrations in the rain. They noted that the symbolic and monetary impact of Thursday’s demonstration stalled amid shopping on Rodeo Drive for the evening.

@BMLLA is blocking Rodeo Drive from Santa Monica Blvd to Wilshire Blvd, singing “Black Lives, we matter” and singing in the stores pic.twitter.com/5Jv4HwXgQ1
– emily rahhal (@RahhalEmily) December 24, 2021

The event was part of Black Lives Matter’s annual Black Xmas celebration, but the Beverly Hills location is particularly important because of its symbolic significance to American capitalism, organizers said.

“We know that white capitalism uses police violence to steal our people’s lives so they can make a profit. That is why we celebrate Black Xmas every year to disrupt the patriarchal heteronormative capitalism of white supremacy, ”said Abdullah.

Beverly Hills police had been aware of the demonstration for days, said Giovanni Trejo, police public relations officer. Police, along with private security guards, remotely patrolled the demonstration. The ministry welcomes legitimate and constitutionally protected protests, Trejo told the patch on Thursday.

Protesters chanted the names of people of color killed by police all evening. The group also celebrated the verdict announced Thursday founding Kim Potter guilty of police killing Daunte Wright, a young black man.

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