Aggressive Protestors Force Mayor Eric Garcetti to flee a Town Hall Meeting
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti abruptly fled a forum this Monday designed to improve his strained relationship with black communities after hostile protesters swarmed and overtook the meeting.
The mayor intended to ameliorate growing tensions in South LA black communities before the protestors from the Black Lives Matter Movement became aggressive, grabbing the microphone and even jumping on the mayor’s car.
“I am disappointed that our conversation was cut short when there is so much work for us to do together to make our neighborhoods stronger and safer. I believe in our City and my commitment to our shared concerns continues, stronger than ever,” Garcetti told the LA Times.
The protests respond to recent controversy surrounding a police shooting an unarmed mentally ill black man.
“The mayor has neglected, disrespected, and abused the black community for too long,” Melina Abdullah, a professor at Cal State L.A. and Black Lives Matter organizer, said to the LA Times, “We are here today because this is real for us. This is not about your reelection. Its about our lives.”
The Black Lives Matter Movement has not only affected L.A.’s political sphere, it has spread through college campuses and across the country.
“The Movement is growing in a peaceful manner around university campuses and major cities,” said Hannah Hardy, a USC student and black rights activist.
Protests like the one that shut down the meeting with Eric Garcetti on Monday, are not foreign to LA campuses.
Around the same time last year, USC students participated the large-scale Ferguson Protests.
“It is important because the gist of the movement is to bring awareness to the fact that black lives seem to be handled with less respect and priority through acts of either intentional racism or racial micro aggression by both people of authority and the general public,” said Hardy.
The demonstrations at the meeting Monday highlight the growing tensions between authorities and black communities in Los Angeles and other parts of the country.