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Boyle Heights councilman speaks out against “race-based” anti-gentrification campaign

BOYLE HEIGHTS – Anti-gentrification forces have drawn a reaction from the local councilman – though maybe not the reaction the demonstrators wanted.

After two acts of vandalism in one week at the Weird Wave coffee shop, which has been the target of protests, 14th District Councilman Jose Huizar issued a rebuke.

“… Race-based targeting or vandalism of any kind … is completely unacceptable and should not be tolerated,” said Huizar, whose district includes Boyle Heights. His remarks are posted in a statement on Facebook.

“We can and should use our freedom of speech to speak out for our neighbors whose rents are unreasonably being increased, like our mariachis who face eviction on 2nd Street, or in solidarity with our sidewalk vendors when they are the target of violence, like the recent incident with ‘Elotero Man’ Benjamin Ramirez,” said Huizar, a long-time Boyle Heights resident. “But in regards to destroying property, violence or race-baiting tactics … violence is never the answer, and racism begets racism.”

Huizar is already on record telling protesters not to overstate the threat of gentrification.

“I don’t think we will see the mass-scale change of demographics in Boyle Heights — by demographics, I mean either racial or income level — as other parts of this city have experienced,” Huizar told the L.A. Times last summer, “because of the fact that over 70% of the people who live in Boyle Heights are renters and about 90% of them are under rent control.”

Meanwhile, Weird Wave received a visit this weekend from L.A. County Supervisor Hilda Solis, who represents the area on the board of supervisors.

“This local small business is staffed by community residents, and they get their pastries from Homeboy Industries. They also display art from a different local artist every month!” Solis later posted.

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2 comments

  1. So, which “latinos” are selling these properties to “outsiders”?
    Blame yourselves people. How easy these racist protesters forget the 30’s and 40’s when Boyle Heights was all Jewish, Japanese and Russian.
    Somehow, keeping Mexicans out of the area was looked on as bad back then.
    This reminds me of the blacks being chased out of the South. Except this time, instead of a KKK lynch mob, we have rasicist Latinos.
    I grew up in Boyle Heights. The truth is, untiil these terrorist Latinos moved west of Evergreen, we never had gangsn the neighborhood.

    • May be these rabble rousers need to take a stroll through Evergreen Cemetery, Odd Fellows or Calvary to get a glimpse of who used to live in the houses they now inhabit. They should also realize that those who left Boyle Heights were free to do so and probably were not faced with angry crowds or protesters demanding they leave wherever it was they went. These defend types are clueless.

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