‘Today’s’ Issue revisits the Century City Police Riot of 1967. It’s a well-written recollection by L. Ted Rhoades which, as might be expected of one in the LA FP, has an unusual point of view; Mr. Rhoades recollects that this was the day his wife lost her virginity. Nevertheless, rather than opening to this remembrance, I thought that two of the original articles – those written before the emotion subsided – might be more impactful. One is by Art Kunkin, our Founding Publisher, who sees how it all happened. The other is by Don Strachan who writes about how the Herald-Examiner saw nothing of the sort!
Good thing there are all those Letters to the Editor or we might not ever had known what really happened. Here’s two other worthy contributions of the LA FP to the historical record – prime functions of the ‘alternative’ press that the LA FP was just then establishing:
1. An instant report to its community. Though the paper was published on Fridays (meaning it was put ‘to bed’ on Thursday night), Monday morning they woke up to a Special Edition filled to the hilt with pictures the ‘mainstream’ press hadn’t (and probably wouldn’t have) published. And,
2. This ‘Anniversary Issue’. It was a helpful dose of perspective for enlightenment, and a push of the status quo’s feet toward the fire, just to ensure that lessons once taught aren’t forgotten. (‘Anniversary News’ is now a format unto itself.)
Now… before you read those articles, let me share the perspective that Mr. Rhoades brought to this Anniversary Issue:
16,000 people marched that day but soon found that they could no longer go forward… nor could they go back.
And make no mistake about this: it was NOT the protestors who started the ‘riot’. Nor was the Riot spontaneous, it was planned… by the police. Hence, The Police Riot of Century City.
Those who marched were not to be simply stopped, they were to be brutally punished. It was hoofs and billy clubs that came down on men, women and children – some so young as to still be in strollers.
(yes… there’s a bit more to come…)
Each week this ’50-Year Throwback Thursday’ feature somehow (remarkably!) ties-in to our contemporary news. But the present day issue is about ‘illegal’ immigrants (as in ‘asylum seekers’) who, when they arrive as a family, are penalized beyond measure – their children taken, separated incommunicado… leaving parents in that terrible space of not knowing what’s happening to their child(ren)… and their child(ren) not knowing (truly) if they will be seeing their parents, ever again.
So… how can these two – this article of 50 years ago, and the immigration crises of today – possibly be co-related?
It’s only when you realize that the march was not just against the war – it was against the President’s war POLICY. And, surely, you know that today’s protests are not only against the conditions in which the immigrants are being kept and the inhumanity of taking babies from mothers’ arms, but the POLICY – a President’s policy – that spawned this terrible situation.
Finally… wouldn’t want you to miss ‘tonight’s’ entertainment…