Protesters Line Up Along Abbot Kinney During GQ Event
Protesters congregated in front of The Brig on Abbot Kinney Boulevard in Venice today to rally against the creeping gentrification of the neighborhood.
The group specifically targeted the "GQ HQ" event because the lifestyle magazine named Abbot Kinney "The Coolest Block in America" back in 2012. Longtime residents have complained that the recent distinction had a hand in turning Venice into an epicenter of expensive shops, pricey food and skyrocketing rent that is forcing residents who have lived in the area for years to find somewhere else to live.
"Save Venice," a Facebook page dedicated to "fighting gentrification in out corner of the Pacific," created an event page called "Welcome to Venice, Now Go Home" to rally residents who were angry about the trendiness thrust upon them by style gurus like GQ.
A rallying cry on the event page stated:
Does anyone remember paying $5 for a beer or even coffee on Abbot Kinney? Is anyone stoked about paying $14 for a sandwich? Are you tired of your rent increasing and afraid you will never be able to afford a home in the place you call home? Are you worried about being forced to move inland to make ends meet? Do we really need GQ bringing yet more unwelcome pressure to our corner of the Pacific by pumping the ridiculously gentrified and overpriced Abbot Kinney (formerly West Washington Blvd) yet more as the "coolest block in America"? Come represent this Saturday during GQ's "Style Bible" sponsored Shopping Glutstravaganza.
Signs with slogans such as "Stop the feeding of the hipsters" and "Keep Venice hairy" were visible to passers-by as the GQ event offered tequila tastings, style critiques and food trucks: