This is a reprint from the May 1969 edition
By John Haag
On Sunday, April 20, the Los Angeles Police Department commanded locally by Captain Robert Sillings and Lt. Allen Archbold planned and executed a vicious attack on the Venice Ocean Front community. Scores of men and women, young and old,were beaten by L.A. police because of a peaceable assembly on our own public beach, which the police declared illegal without cause. Many of the victims of police violence were arrested solely to justify their injuries.
For a week after, 16 “units” of the notorious Metro Squad occupied our community. Unprovoked beatings and arrests occurred daily. Eight officers in plain clothes fought crime by intimidating elderly residents to obtain signatures on statements to “get rid of Free Press types and hippies.”
The police attacks against our community are the most brutal form of a campaign by the entire L.A. City government to eliminate low-income residents from the Venice area. The motivation is the profit to be made by land speculators, real estate brokers, contractors and politicians by turning Venice into a high-income tourist-oriented development.
The police are engaged in criminal conspiracy to eliminate the poor by force and violence. Under these conditions, anyone who cooperates in any way with the Los
Angeles police is aiding and abetting organized crime.
The Venice Peace and Freedom Party on April 23, 1969, resolved to call upon all Venice residents to stop cooperating with L.A. police until Capt. Sillings and Lt. Archbold are removed from the Venice Division, LAPD, and a community board is established to control the Venice Division, or until the LAPD is withdrawn from our community. The PFP has posted notices advising all residents to:
1) Carry paper and pencil at all times to record dates, times, places and details of police harassment and brutality.
2) Carry cameras at all times to photograph police activities.
3) Give documentation of police activities to the Venice Survival Committee. Call 399-7681 or write to 1727 W. Washington Blvd.
4) Try to have a witness with you at all times when you walk on Venice streets.
Refuse to cooperate with L.A. police except when absolutely necessary to avoid injury or arrest.
The police will not control themselves. Politicians agree with the police. Commercial newspaper print only police reports. Only we, the people of Venice, can stop police crime in our community. Do not cooperate.