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Op-Ed: Venice tried to oust the LAPD 50 years ago. Today we're talking about the same issues

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July 4, 1969, was a day of festive parades and picnics across Southern California: Pacific Palisades had its annual “Americanism” parade, the West Covina parade had two Vietnam vets for its grand marshals and Claremont had an “Old Tyme Parade.”

Venice didn’t have a parade at all.

The Los Angeles Police Department rejected the area’s application for a permit for a Fourth of July parade down the boardwalk, and when it seemed like people might turn out anyway, the city mobilized a massive force to block them, stationing hundreds of police officers along the entire proposed parade route. The police had run many sweeps in Venice over the previous few years, but this was an unprecedented operation, involving police boats, helicopters, a command post and preparations to arrest and hold hundreds of people.

Why such a fuss? The proposed parade, organized by the Free Venice Organizing Committee, was intended in part as a strong anti-police statement. The Venice activists did not seek to reform the LAPD, or cut the budget of the LAPD;........

© Los Angeles Times

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