Tenants return to the street after clash with police in Boyle Heights

Just a week after police and protesters clashed in Boyle Heights during a rally against a proposed 9% rent increase in rent-controlled apartments in Los Angeles that injured at least one police officer, demonstrators were back on the streets again this Sunday. 

So far, one arrest has been made in connection with the Oct. 1 march in which the Los Angeles Police Department said several members of the group were engaging in criminal activities prompting officers to intervene.  

“As Los Angeles Police Department Hollenbeck officers attempted to initiate the arrest for the criminal activity, several members of the crowd engaged in a violent altercation with officers attempting to free the individual under arrest,” LAPD said in news release last week.  

However, Uniôn de Vecinos, the Eastside Local of the Los Angeles Tenant Union, disputes the department’s report of the incident.  

Man arrested after protestors clash with police
LAPD Hollenbeck Division officers at the scene of a planned tenants rights demonstration where protestors and police clashed on Oct. 1, 2023. (Citizen)

“As a speaker was talking, without warning, armed policemen rushed the crowd from behind,” Uniôn de Vecinos said in a Friday news release. “Hundreds of families, elderly people, and young children were present. No warning was given by the LAPD, no order to disperse was given. The police attacked an exercise of civil rights without provocation.”  

At this Sunday’s demonstration, outside LAPD’s Hollenbeck Station at 2111 E. 1st Street, people gathered to give their testimonies on what they referred to as “police’s reckless attack on tenants” last week and to continue to bring attention to proposed rent hikes, evictions, harassment and unsafe living conditions.  

Tenants return to streets after clash with police last week in Boyle Heights
Tenants rights protestors seen outside LAPD’s Hollenbeck Station on Oct. 8, 2023. (KTLA)

“I’m really disappointed by this,” one of the speakers at Sunday’s demonstration said at the podium. “We deserve dignified housing because there are cockroaches and rates where we live, and we want to live in peace, and we want dignified homes.”  

The Los Angeles Housing Department said it has yet to vote on the 9% rent increase and that the city council has requested a report on costs by an outside consultant, which is supposed to be provided by the end of the year.  

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