‘Hate crime’ label for art gallery vandalism sparks protest in Boyle Heights

BOYLE HEIGHTS — Protests are sprouting from other protests in the fight over gentrification. This weekend, anti-gentrification demonstrators objected to police investigating the vandalism of a new art gallery as a possible anti-white hate crime, according the L.A. Times.

Members of the Boyle Heights Alliance Against Artwashing and Displacement held a demonstration and news conference Saturday in front of the Nicodim gallery — owned by Echo Park resident Mihai Nicodim. This came after news that police would investigate three recent acts of vandalism at Boyle Heights art galleries as possible hate crimes. In one of the incidents that police are probing, vandals spray-painted “Fuck white art” on the Nicodim gallery’s roll-down security gate.

“It’s another way for the LAPD to criminalize youth and create racial divisions in this community, to allege an anti-white hate crime when they’re out there shooting our youth — people of color,” Elizabeth Blaney, a Boyle Heights resident and co-director of the community organizing group Union de Vecinos, told the Times.

Nicodim told the Times he planned to stay in Boyle Heights, despite the protests.

“They have the right to demonstrate,” Nicodim said. “I have the right to be here.”

Read the full story in the L.A. Times.

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