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Morning Brief: Inside The Protests

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(Chava Sanchez/LAist)
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Good morning, L.A.

As 2020 rapidly became a year of historic protests around the country, some participants took on the responsibility of filming and photographing events as they unfolded. These individuals became known as "activist journalists" — unaffiliated with a news outlet, but doing the crucial work of documenting these moments in time.

One such local volunteer is Vishal P. Singh. The 27-year-old began covering local protests and the responses of law enforcement in May, after massive protests in the Fairfax district.

"I pretty much decided on that day [that] I am going to come at least to two-to-four protests a week," Singh told my colleague Frank Stoltze.

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Putting himself at the center of events ranging from Black Lives Matter protests to pro-Trump rallies, Singh carries his iPhone 11 for filming, and frequently wears a flak jacket adorned with the word “PRESS.”

When not covering the political mayhem of the past year, Singh works as a documentary editor at Netflix:

"I think it's my opportunity and responsibility to use my skills to show a really honest, embedded perspective of what these protests are like, from the protesters' perspective.”

Keep reading for more on what’s happening in L.A. today, and stay safe out there.


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What Else You Need To Know Today


Before You Go … From Sports Bar To Queer Latinx Hub

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Deysi Serrano, Luis Octavio and Donaji Esparza pose inside Noa Noa Place. (Chava Sanchez/LAist)

If you think opening a bar at the peak of a pandemic sounds like a terrible idea, you're not alone. Yet the owners of Noa Noa Place, the newest queer space in Boyle Heights, did just that — and the venture isn't merely scraping by, it's thriving.

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"One of the things that my mom always says in Spanish is 'bendita pandemia' — bless this pandemic. And I didn't understand why she would say that," says Luis Octavio, one of Noa Noa's three co-owners.

It wasn't until multiple surgeries landed Octavio in the hospital this summer that he began to consider what his mother might have meant.


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