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Sunday's Hollywood Protest Might Be LA's Largest Anti-Racism Event Yet

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The scene at Sunday's protest in Hollywood. (Aaron Mendelson / LAist)

In what some are calling the largest protest in L.A. so far, demonstraters in Hollywood gathered at 4 p.m. to march against systemic racism and police brutality.

The march was organized by Black Lives Matter-L.A., Build Power and the rapper YG. Our news partner NBC Los Angeles captured the scene from above:

Aaron Mendelson, who is covering the protest for our newsroom along with Robert Garrova, reports that protesters arrived well before 4 p.m., and that as the event got underway, the group took a knee before beginning to march.

Mendelson also reported that the vibe of the protest was positive, and that there was no police presence except for helicopters overhead. Those at the event noted how the spirit of L.A. protests had evolved and changed since they began last week.

Shae Cook, who has been attending protests for over a week, told him:

"I feel like everybody here has positive energy. From the beginning, people were more so afraid and in pain and hurt. I think people are [now] trying to channel that energy into a positive experience."

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25 New Coronavirus Deaths In LA County; 1,523 New Cases

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Signage at the doors let patrons know that the library will be closed until March 31st, 2020. Chava Sanchez/ LAist

L.A. County public health officials have confirmed 1,523 new cases of the coronavirus and 25 new deaths, bringing the total in the region to 62,389 positive cases and 2,624 deaths. Of those who died:

  • 15 were over the age of 65
  • 5 were between the ages of 41 to 65
  • 1 was between the age of 18 to 40

Among the fatalities in L.A. County, 93% had underlying health conditions. Information about race and ethnicity is available for 99% of people who have died:

  • 12% African American [9% of county residents]
  • 18% Asian [15.4% of county residents]
  • 41% Latino / Latina [48.6% of county residents]
  • 28% White [26.1% of county residents]
  • 1% Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander [0.4% of county residents]
  • 1% identified as belonging to a different race or ethnicity

As of today, 11% of people who have tested positive for the virus have been hospitalized. Testing capacity continues to increase in the region, with testing results available for nearly 696,000 individuals and approximately 8% of tests coming back positive.

"Our community is feeling the sadness and loss of so many who have passed away from COVID-19. Our hearts go out to the family and friends of those who have passed away. We are so sorry for your loss," said Barbara Ferrer, the county’s director of public health. "We all need to continue to be diligent about physical distancing and wearing cloth face coverings when out and around others. These actions are respectful and save lives."

State officials have set a variety of metrics that counties must achieve to move forward with additional phases of reopening. These include:

  • No more than a 5% increase in hospitalizations over seven days
  • And EITHER less than 25 coronavirus positives per 100,000 residents
  • OR less than 8% positive tests

Here's a look at longer-term trends in the county. To see more visit our California COVID-19 Tracker and choose L.A. County or any other California county that interests you. These numbers are current as of Saturday, June 6.

MORE ON CORONAVIRUS:

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In True LA Fashion, This Protest Was On Wheels

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Mr. Huerta in his 1950s Chevy Deluxe at today’s East Side ride in Boyle Heights. Robert Garrova / LAist

One of the protests that happened today in L.A. today was the "Eastside Ride," billed as "a soladarity cruise for our black relatives."

Cars of all vintages — from classics to contemporary — gathered at Mariachi Plaza in Boyle Heights and the East L.A. Public Library, and then they began a caravan to LAPD headquarters in downtown Los Angeles.

READ MORE

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The National Guard Will Leave LA Sunday Night

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National guard members watch the protests in front of a Starbucks. Chava Sanchez/LAist

L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti announced Sunday that the National Guard will leave Los Angeles tonight. Units were deployed to the city in response to protests over racism and systemic injustice, sparked by the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police officers.

In a statement, Garcetti said that the National Guardsmen and women will leave L.A. Sunday night, although a few will remain nearby until June 10.

"I’m proud that our city has been peaceful this week — and that our residents are leading a powerful movement to make Los Angeles more just, equitable, and fair for Black Angelenos, communities of color, and all of our workers, youth, and families," Garcetti said.

The Compton Cowboys Are Riding Today

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Walter Thompson-Hernández, who is working on an upcoming podcast for LAist Studios, shot this striking video of a horseback protest organized by the Compton Cowboys in support of Black Lives Matter:

Thompson-Hernández's new book, "The Compton Cowboys, The New Generation of Cowboys in America's Urban Heartland," examines the history of local African American cowboys.

Listen to his interview last month with our newsroom's local news and culture show, Take Two:

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Your Coronavirus Risks At Protests And Tips For Staying Safe

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Mask-wearing protesters — in tight quarters — rally against police brutality in downtown Los Angeles on Saturday. (Chava Sanchez/LAist)

What risks are there in attending a protest rally?

Modelers say it's difficult to assess how the protests will influence COVID-19 infections. But it's clear that a key ingredient for transmission is present at many of these rallies: close contact.

The images of protesters standing shoulder to shoulder — some wearing face masks, others not — raise concerns, especially in cities with higher rates of infection. Earlier this week, Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser said she was concerned about what mass gatherings in the streets "could mean for spikes in our coronavirus cases later." She urged protesters to consider their exposure and consider being tested.

Denver Mayor Michael Hancock announced free tests for demonstrators this week. Officials in Atlanta and New York have suggested testing as well. San Francisco is also among the cities with pop-up testing for protesters.

[Note: In L.A., almost all COVID-19 testing facilities were shut down early in the protests, but have since reopened. Experts have urged protesters to seek testing and have expressed particular concern about tear gas used by law enforcement during protests here — a tactic that could lead to more cases of COVID-19.]

"Testing everyone that participated in demonstrations would be useful in communities where many new cases are being reported every day. These new cases indicate that transmission is occurring at a high rate in the communities," said Bill Miller, an epidemiologist and physician at Ohio State University.

He said there are several scenarios that could give rise to the spread of the virus or even a superspreader event, where a number of people become infected. For instance:

"You might have a small number of infected people who are particularly active, moving around in the crowd. If one or more of these people are shouting often and not wearing a mask, the situation is a setup for a superspreader event."

He said an alternative to testing everyone would be active contact tracing. "With new cases, the tracers could ask about demonstration participation, including days and times," Miller said. Then, if cases are linked to a demonstration, a call could go out to get everyone who participated in that event to be tested.

Being outdoors seems to reduce the risk of exposure because the virus can't survive long in sunlight and there's better air circulation, but it's no guarantee against infection. So, to reduce your own risk, it's best to continue practicing social distancing and wear a face mask. There have been family-friendly events where protesters sit in a public space such as a park or library grounds, remaining six feet apart.

And, of course, remember to wash your hands — or use hand sanitizer — after touching others or shared surfaces.

READ THE FULL STORY

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24 LA County Libraries Open Again Monday For Sidewalk Service

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(Photo by Jamie Taylor on Unsplash)

Starting Monday, 24 libraries across Los Angeles County will be open for contact-less pick-ups and drop-offs.

County libraries have been shuttered since March due to the pandemic, but public health officials have now given the green light to resume services with modifications. That means you can reserve books, DVDs, magazines and any other items online or via phone — and pick them up in person.

Jesse Walker-Lanz is with L.A. County Library. He says it’s important to make literature available at a time like this:

“We know that lots of folks are now seeking new jobs, we know that lots and lots of parents are needing materials so that they can help with their children’s education. We know that people are looking at skill-building, résumé-writing — and we have materials that will help with all of those things.”

Hours of operation are between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. Staff will be available to take calls between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. You can reserve a book at lacountylibrary.org.

(Courtesy L.A. County Public Library)

Libraries open for sidewalk service are:

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Sunday's LA Protests: Where, When And What We Know

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A protest in Hollywood on Saturday, June 6. (Chava Sanchez/LAist)

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Many protests against racism and police brutality are planned for a 12th day in Southern California. Demonstrators are demanding justice for black Americans killed by police officers, as well as asking officials to defund the L.A. Police Department.

PROTESTS TODAY: WHERE AND WHEN

Note: This is by no means an exhaustive list. Let us know if we missed anything and we will update.

Santa Monica, (bike ride), Santa Monica Courthouse, 11 a.m.

Pacific Palisades, El Medio Bluffs, 11 a.m.

Hollywood, 925 Western Ave., 11:30 a.m.

West Covina, 100 Barranca St. (I-10 freeway overpass), noon

Compton, (Compton Cowboys horse ride) Gateway Towne Center, 1621 Towne Center Dr., noon

Venice, First Baptist Church, 685 Westminster Ave., noon

Compton, Greenleaf & Central Ave., noon

Boyle Heights, (car caravan), Mariachi Plaza, noon

East L.A., (car caravan), East L.A. Library, noon

Pasadena, La Pintoresca Park, Fair Oaks & Washington, noon

Newport Beach, Backbay Science Center, 600 Shellmaker Rd., 2 p.m.

East L.A., Atlantic Avenue Park, 570 S. Atlantic Ave., 3 p.m.

Glendale, 325 W. Doran St., 3 p.m.

Hollywood, 1750 Vine St., 4 p.m.

Glendale, 613 E. Broadway, 4:30 p.m.

Compton, Compton Blvd. between Acacia and Willowbrook avenues, 6:30 p.m.

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Morning Briefing: June 7

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Chava Sanchez/LAist

Never miss a morning briefing. Subscribe today to get our A.M. newsletter delivered to your inbox.

This has been a turbulent few months, to say the least. A global pandemic. A financial crisis. The killing of yet another unarmed black man at the hands of white police officers.

But yesterday there was an undeniable feeling of hope and positive change vibrating through SoCal, as protesters across the region gathered in various neighborhoods with a united message — to end racial inequality in this country.

After three months of isolation from friends and family, it's good to see at least some of our humanity is still intact.

Read more about what's happening this weekend and beyond. And stay safe out there.

-Gina Pollack


There were at least 15 protests happening across L.A yesterday. It was the 11th day that Angelenos gathered to demand justice for black Americans killed by police officers. Sure, the National Guard was present with tanks and camo, but from Hollywood to Simi Valley, our reproters saw no looting or violence between police officers and protesters. As reporter Josie Huang said, a week after documenting LAPD shooting rubber bullets and tear-gas at the crowds in the Fairfax District, we hope it stays that way.

Curfews in L.A. County are (hopefully) a thing of the past, but that didn't stop Santa Ana officials from instituting their own last night.

It's 2020, but... a LOT of people are still posting questionable memes on social media. Protesters are calling for a Simi Valley councilman to resign after he suggestedin a Facebook post that they should be hosed by septic tanks. The L.A. Galaxy ended its contract with player Aleksandar Katai after his wife posted a meme on Instagram suggeting that protesters should be killed.

Being a journalist right now is a morality trap. Either you're too biased, too harsh, or too objective. Sometimes we get it wrong. And sometimes we do our best to get it right. Emily Guerin spent 24 hours covering two discordant but simulateous events — peaceful protests and destructive looting in downtown Santa Monica. She has some thoughts.

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Moment of Zen

LAist/KPCC reporter Josie Huang recorded a moment of protesters coming together to chant on a sunny afternoon in the Fairfax District, exactly one week after demonstrators ran from tear gas, rubber bullets and smoke from burning police cars.

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