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Art Walk Vendor Slams the LAPD's Tactics Against Occupy L.A.

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A jeweler selling her wares in the chaos of last night's Downtown Art Walk says that although she was initially skeptical of the Occupy Los Angeles movement, she has become a supporter after what she witnessed.

The vendor Dani Shriver criticized the what she viewed as the LAPD's heavy-handed tactics in a post on her website. She writes that initially she wasn't too impressed by the Occupy protest when it started, although she found it mostly harmless:

"I’ll be the first to admit that I thought the street chalk protest was a stupid idea because I was thinking 'who cares' and went about my business."

Shriver says that there were a handful of protesters causing a "ruckus" but they weren't the majority. Reflecting on the night, she says that everything seemed okay until the police brought out the rubber bullets and batons.At first, Shriver says that she, like other vendors, was mostly frustrated about the sales that she missed out on (although being trapped in the vending space and then a parking garage while police created a blockade doesn't sound like a picnic either).

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But she said as she looked at the YouTube footage of what happened to protesters and Art Walkers on the other side of the rolled-down doors, she started to understand why the Occupiers were so fed up with the police and media coverage of their protest:

This experience has gone beyond my own financial loss and has brought me to finally understand why the chalk protest happened in the first place. The government is treated people like dirt and is suppressing our basic rights to be heard. I am now a sympathizer and I am armed with anger. Shame on you LAPD for mistreating the people of our great city - the art walk crowd was shot at with rubber bullets. I don’t know if I want to return to Art Walk after this. This morning I heard news reports on the way to work. They are completely-fucking-false. Instead of listening to that dribble, watch actual youtube footage and make your own decisions. The LAPD escalated the situation and the people responded, giving the LAPD some sort of twisted permission to crush the crowd of protesters and innocent bystanders alike. Ask yourself if riot gear and rubber bullets were the proper response to a sidewalk chalk demonstration during art walk.

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