Support for LAist comes from
We Explain L.A.
Stay Connected

Share This


Morning Brief: Inside The Protests

(Chava Sanchez/LAist)
Stories like these are only possible with your help!
You have the power to keep local news strong for the coming months. Your financial support today keeps our reporters ready to meet the needs of our city. Thank you for investing in your community.

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.

Support for LAist comes from

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.

What Else You Need To Know Today

Before You Go … From Sports Bar To Queer Latinx Hub

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.

Support for LAist comes from

"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.

Help Us Cover Your Community

  • Got something you’ve always wanted to know about Southern California and the people who call it home? Is there an issue you want us to cover? Ask us anything.
  • Have a tip about news on which we should dig deeper? Let us know.

The news cycle moves fast. Some stories don't pan out. Others get added. Consider this today's first draft, and check for updates on these stories and more. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Never miss an LAist story. Sign up for our daily newsletters.