Category Archives: Los Angeles

IWP Chicago Demands – Sex Police in LA: Hands Off Fred Willard! (Everyone else – ask permission first!)

The Independent Workers Party is shocked – SHOCKED! to hear that one of our favorite comedians has been arrested by anti-sex cops in the moral utopia of Los Angeles!  For something called “public indecency”!

What did he do?  Abscond with millions of dollars of retirement funds?  Launder billions of dollars for the murderous US-trained Mexican drug cartels?

Nah! If he did anything like that a simple apology would be all that was needed and he could walk the streets of our fair cities without taint or hindrance.  (And who needs taint anyway when you’ve got… oh never mind!)

Nope, Fred Willard – one of the great American comedy writers and actors of the last – oh what is it up to now, three? three and a half? – generations was arrested on July 18th after an unscheduled – ahem – solo performance in an adult movie theater/strip club in LA!

Mr. Willard – who has brought joy to millions all over the world with his performances in shows ranging from “Fernwood 2 Night” (where he played the hilariously slow-witted talkshow sidekick Jerry Hubbard opposite Martin Mull’s low-budget version of Johnny Carson) to his more recent hits like “Anchorman” – has, in our opinion, the inalienable right to bring joy to himself once in a while, even in the quasi-public setting of a seedy adult movie theater described on “Yelp” L.A. as “little more than a shed with a cheap screen and a HD tv next to it”.

Mr. Willard has stated that he is innocent of the charges – and we’ll take his word for it and look forward to him having his day in court.  Let the Sodom and Gomorrah Police Department… uh we mean the “City of Angels” Police Department! Ha! – bring their slimy “evidence” into the light of day where we can all see and smell and laugh at it and the asshole cops who collected it.  Our tax dollars at work!  What a joke.  But let’s get back to our story.

A “reviewer” on “Yelp” LA describes the “scene of the crime”, Tiki Theatre, thusly:

“For a $10 admission, an elderly Korean man pushes a paper raffle ticket under a bulletproof glass screen that looks like it’s been slathered in Vaseline. A sign next to it reads NO WEAPONS, NO DRUGS, NO SEX OF ANY KIND (that means you too, dog fuckers). You click through a well worn turnstile and try hard not to touch any surface as you make your way through heavy, black velvet curtains into 900 square ft room with 30 theater style folding chairs. A quarter of the audience is wearing hooded sweaters and smoking crack, another quarter is jerking off, the rest are jerking each other off, cruising for a jerk off or doing something so vile you probably wouldn’t want to see it.” [Source: Yelp, “Tiki Theatre”]

O….K…..

Well perhaps our man F.W. was there looking for inspiration for his next movie; or doing advanced research on the absorbency of those new paper towels we saw on TV… oh never mind.  Fred, what the …?

But, no!  To each his own!  This is supposed to be a free country, right?  Don’t we as adults have a right to go to an adult movie house, where no children are supposedly allowed to go, and watch adult movies with other adults and if we want to whack off – or have someone help us to whack off – in the semi-public setting there, why not?  Who on Earth is going to be offended by such behavior, in such a setting?

Oh, that’s right!  We forgot: the goddamned Sodom and Gomorrah Police Department, whose long-armed defenders of apple pie, police brutality and virginity are paid to be offended at everything not pre-approved by  “Focus on the Family”!

And, we ask you, sisters and brothers: If we workers don’t have the freedom to jerk off in an XXX-rated movie house – in Los Angeles of all places – in the Year Of Our Lord 2012, my brothers and sisters DO WE HAVE ANY FREEDOM AT ALL?

Mr. Willard’s friends in the “comedy world” have, as one would expect of such a tribe of stalwart defenders of freedom of expression, rallied to his defense.

“I love Fred Willard. He’s a great guy. For his birthday I’m getting him a den and a computer”  said longtime pal Albert Brooks, probably while working at the fundraising rally to help defray the costs of Mr. Willard’s legal defense and for the even more daunting struggle to redeem Mr. Willard’s self-respect after such an embarrassingly pubic, uh, we mean public (of course)… emission, er, that is – admission – of palpability… we mean, uh, that is, um… culpability.

But what we really find obscene is not Mr. Willard’s brave fight for the right of elderly people to willingly expose themselves to the savage caress of public opinion, but the fact that, in 2012, there still exist units of the police that are paid by the citizens of the United States to worm their way into adult movie theaters and interpose themselves between consenting adults out looking for a bit of harmless sexual fun.  This kind of crap should have gone the way of the dinosaurs long ago; instead these “morals cop” patrols are kept alive by a phony political class that likes to point their fingers at folks they find “morally deficient” while they and their rich patrons rob the nation blind and slash funding to public schools, healthcare and anti-AIDS funding.

And as if they aren’t revolting enough, we even have the knee-jerks at Public Television in the “Athens of America” (that’s Boston, Mass., believe it or not) who summarily fired Fred Willard from his job as host of “Market Warriors” the moment they heard that he’d been arrested – not convicted; arrested – for “public indecency”.   Hooray for Public Broadcasting, Defenders of Youth and the Public Morals!  Perhaps they should demand that Mr. Willard drink a glass of Hemlock as punishment for “corrupting the morals of the youth” as their antecedents did so famously and so nobly in that “other” Athens – the Athens of ancient Greece?

“Jeanne Hopkins, a spokeswoman for WGBH, the Boston public broadcaster that produces the show, said via e-mail, ‘Given the unfortunate news reported today, effective immediately, Fred Willard no longer will be involved with the “Market Warriors” series.’ ” [Source: New York Times “Arts Beat” blog by Elizabeth Jensen: “Fred Willard Loses PBS Job After Arrest”, July 19, 2012]

Another champion of the US Constitution and the supposedly enshrined US principle of “innocent until proven guilty”, PBS President Paula Kerger witlessly chipped in that the network didn’t want Fred Willard’s arrest to become “a distraction”.  A distraction from what?  The endless fundraising appeals constantly run by PBS in order to squeeze cash from the working people in order to pay for such timeless classic programming as that flag-waving whitewashing patriotic paean to American Exceptionalism, “The American Experience”?  Do they not want to upset the delicate moral fiber of such longtime PBS sponsors as Lockheed Martin and Boeing, builders of the nation’s machinery of war?  Or the US Department of Energy, custodians of the US’ stockpile of nuclear weapons, capable of turning the entire planet into a smoking cinder in less than 15 minutes?  PBS, your censorship of Fred Willard is obscene.  Give him his job back, now!  Let ye without cum on your hands cast the first stone!

Anyway, we say to the moralists and their police forces: Hands off Fred Willard! (Everyone else can do whatever they’d like with Fred, so long as they get his permission first!)

And drop all the charges against Fred Willard and all the many, many other citizens accused of – and jailed for – these victimless crimes.  This is 2012 for christ’s sake.  When is this country ever going to grow up?

IWPCHI

PS: For those of you who wish to perform more research on this fascinating subject, and who find yourselves in the Los Angeles area, the address of the Tiki Theatre is 5462 Santa Monica Boulevard Los Angeles, CA 90029‎.

You’re welcome!

Unlike the Hollywood Version, the Real Life Version of “Law and Order” in America is Broke-Ass Broken

[Source: Los Angeles Times: “LA County Law enforcers accused of withholding key evidence” 11 July, 2012]

The ACLU of Southern California’s website has an article as well:”Lawsuit targets Baca and Cooley for concealing evidence in criminal trials“.

We really don’t like that headline from the ACLU.  Unless you are living in LA, you have no idea who “Baca and Cooley” are.  And the ACLU are too smart to be that dumb when it comes to knowing how Google Searches work.

This is a deliberate attempt by the ACLU to keep this story a local one.   And it’s not a local one, it’s a national one: not only because LA is the second largest city in the US, but because every g-ddamned D.A. in the United States and every g-ddamned police department in the US of A does the same damned thing every day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year and 366 days in Leap Years too.  And the ACLU knows this better than anyone.

This is a bit off-topic, but by the way: isn’t it strange that the Hollywood producers who make us want to puke over and over with their cop-loving, DA-loving fairy tale shows like “NYPD Blue” and “Law and Order”, in spite of hiring actual cops and having actual DAs as advisors to their show to provide “realism” never seem to be able to come to grips with the actual criminally unjust reality of these organizations… hey…wait a minute…!

The real reason is, of course, that ALL these Hollywood cop shows exist for one reason and one reason only: to spread the lie that the US Justice System “works” and is “fair and balanced”.  They are all pro-cop, pro-DA, pro- Justice Department propaganda.  And in spite of the fact that millions of US workers and their families have family members languishing right now as we speak in US jails by the MILLIONS – they LOVE these shows!

One of the strangest experiences we’ve ever had is getting tossed in that shithole Crook County Jail jail in Crook County, Illinois and being forced to watch endless hours of “Law and Order” and “The Closer”.  But don’t try to change the channel, because the inmates LOVE THAT SHIT!

And one of the most important parts of this pro-cop propaganda is: always talk to the cops!  EVERYONE in these shows ALWAYS talks to the cops when they get picked up, instead of doing what every defense attorney in the land would tell them: “Keep your mouth shut until you have an attorney present!  Demand your right to an attorney the moment you are arrested and refuse to make ANY statements until an attorney is present, and only then if that attorney advises you to do so.”   On TV, even in murder cases, everyone talks, talks, talks to the cops.  In real life, you are talking yourself into jail.  Or the gas chamber!

The other big thing the Hollywood pro-cop propaganda shows “educate” the working class to do is: COP OUT.  An unbelievable 98.5% of cases in some Crook County courtrooms result in a GUILTY PLEA – even when the defendant could easily win his or her case!

The Crook County D.A.s have a 98% – plus conviction rate – in a county full of crooked cops!  That is positively Saddam-esque, that conviction rate!  Yet judges and D.A.s run election and re-election campaigns proudly claiming these absurd conviction rates and the newspapers and the ACLU and the unions and everyone else applauds and votes these frauds into positions of greater and greater responsibility.  The next thing you know, they’re defending the  torturing of “terror” suspects and the torture of whistleblowers like Bradley Manning  – and advocating the assassination of U.S. citizens on Presidential orders!

Back on-topic: we really think this lawsuit could have legs and become a major scandal.  But in a country where the two political parties continually cover for each other when it comes to exposes of treason and war crimes (as the Obama Administration has repeatedly done for the Bush Administration) who knows what, if anything will happen?  It is highly doubtful that any of these criminals, like Cooley and Baca will ever see the inside of a jail, no matter what monstrous crimes they’ve committed.

After all: it’s not like they stole a bunch of cookies from a restaurant or something!

Please join The Independent Workers Party so we can put an end to this madness.

The ACLU’s complaint can be read or downloaded here:  http://www.aclu-sc.org/cases/douglas/writ/

IWPCHI

iwpchi@rocketmail.com

Rodney King Dead at 47 – An Appreciation of a Working Class Hero

The Independent Workers Party is saddened to hear of the death of Rodney King at the young age of 47.  His death appears accidental; he was at home with his wife when it occurred.  He was a Hero of the Working Class.  Our sympathy and condolences go out to his family and friends.

Rodney King became famous in a way that no one wants to become famous: he was beaten into the world’s consciousness by the racist Los Angeles Police Department in 1992.   The video of the savage beating he received at the hands of the LAPD on the night of March 3, 1991 was broadcast all over the world and provoked outrage from all decent human beings everywhere.

“I was close to death on March 3, 1991,” he said during an April interview for Ebony magazine at the Los Angeles Marriott Hotel downtown. “I thought they were going to kill me.” [Source: ‘The Root’, “Rodney King’s Legacy: A Civil Rights Symbol”]

Mr. King had been drinking beer at a friend’s house – as young men everywhere do – when they decided to drive somewhere – as young men do.  He was driving a car along the freeway in Los Angeles when a husband-and-wife team of California Highway Patrol officers saw King’s car coming up behind them “at a high rate of speed”.   While it is certainly not unusual for automobiles to drive on the freeways of Los Angeles at speeds well in excess of the posted limit – when doing so is actually possible – King’s car was the one that caused the CHP officers to give chase.  King, who was on probation at the time and who quite reasonably did not want to go back to jail, foolishly took off in his car, and a chase ensued.  According to the CHP, they reached speeds of up to 117 MPH.

Soon, King had left the highway and started speeding through residential streets; the LAPD was notified of the ongoing chase and their officers responded.  After driving through the city at speeds up to 80 MPH, the chase ended when police blocked off the road King was driving on.  It was at this time that the events transpired that made Rodney King a household name in much of the world.

King’s friends exited the car and basically cooperated with the police.  King, according to pilice, was “acting strangely”.  At least one LAPD Officer took a quick look at Mr. King and immediately fantasised that King was high on PCP, which meant, according to LAPD and Drug War propaganda and training, that King was capable of “superhuman feats of strength” and could single-handedly pose a deadly threat to the half-dozen armed police on the scene.  Mr. King was acting oddly, but was not making any attempt to attack the police when the first cop drew her gun.  King was ordered to lie down on the ground, which he did.

The group of LAPD officers then “swarmed’ Mr. King and attempted to subdue him and handcuff him all at once.  He resisted this assault – which it is within a citizen’s right to do.  It is illegal in most states (if not all of them) to resist arrest in any way – UNLESS excessive force is being used to effect that arrest.  Mr. King, seeing the police “swarm” him, attempted to push two cops off his back, and then he allegedly punched one cop in the chest.  At this time, one of the officers fired a Taser into Mr. King’s back.  Mr. King reacted to the electricity blasting through his body by screaming and making a move toward one of the police.  At this point, the police began beating Mr. King to a pulp.

He was struck over 50 times, during which time he was handcuffed and dragged across the ground.

Just moments after the beating of Mr. King, one of the arresting officers, Sargent Stacey Koon, “typed a message into his in-car computer: ‘U just had a big time use of force.  Tased and beat the suspect of CHP pursuit.’  [Another LAPD officer, Laurence] Powell also reported the incident on his computer–in a seemingly boastful way that would come to haunt the defense.  Powell typed, ‘I haven’t beaten anyone this bad in a long time.’ It wasn’t Powell’s only controversial message that night.  Later, investigators would discover another message sent shortly before the King arrest in which he described the scene of a domestic disturbance involving African-Americans as right out of ‘Gorillas in the Mist.'” [Source: Univ. of Missouri – Kansas City School of Law website: “The Trials of Los Angeles Police Officers’ in Connection
with the Beating of Rodney King”, by Doug Linder (2001)].

The savagery of the beating, which had been captured on video by a man who lived 100 feet away from the scene, outraged people worldwide.  Protests against racist police attacks took place in every major US city and college campus.  Without question, the video was, and is, a perfect example of unprovoked police brutality.  In the climate of anger that resulted from the national broadcast and rebroadcast of the video, people called upon the government to see to it that the police who committed this outrage face criminal charges.  And a Grand Jury did, in fact, find that four of the LAPD officers who took part in the beating should stand trial – the four were charged with “excessive use of force”.  This seemingly mild assessment of a beating which could very well have resulted in death outraged many; and the decision to move the trial from Los Angeles County to the neighboring Simi Valley, in Ventura County – a change of venue from a county with a high percentage of minority residents to one that was nearly all-white.  But the final outrage was to be committed on April 23, 1992, when the jury hearing the case acquitted 3 of the 4 officers.

Immediately, Los Angeles erupted in outrage.  The LA Riots began.  Crowds surged into the streets expressing their very real and very justified anger at the miscarriage of justice.  Stores were looted, fires were set, and racist attacks occurred.  In one case, a white truck driver, Reginald Denny, was pulled from the cab of his truck and severely beaten by black youths.  His life was saved by another group of black citizens who immediately rushed to his aid and drove his assailants away.

In Chicago, this reporter was working with the Trotskyist Spartacist League; we prepared to go out and distribute a leaflet the party had just produced, condemning both the racist acquittal of the cops and the racist retaliatory attacks that had taken place in response to the acquittals.  Even here in Chicago, the tension in the air was palpable: you felt that any small spark could have ignited a similarly violent response from black workers here in Chicago and all over the US, who had long suffered from exactly the same kind of racist assaults that Rodney King had suffered at the hands of the LAPD.  African-Americans everywhere were very justifiably angry all over the country and it seemed that we could be on the brink of nationwide rioting similar to what occurred in the wake of the murder of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

It was into this maelstrom that Rodney King appeared.  he was going to make a statement in response to the acquittals that would be broadcast live on worldwide television.  Everyone paused to see what he would say.  In his hands was a lot of power to set events in motion, either for the better or for the worse.  No one really knew that much about him; he did not seem to have been very political at all before he was beaten into fame by the cops.  But over the months that had passed since that brutal attack, he had been propagandized by every political group in the country, from the Democrats to the New Black Panthers.  What would he say?

The video, or portions of it, are still available on You Tube.  Well, dressed and obviously extremely nervous to have been placed in such a situation, and with the riots happening nearby in Los Angeles, surrounded by the news crews and their cameras that would beam his every word to hundreds of millions of waiting people all over the world, Rodney King came forth and asked for… peace!   Speaking with great difficulty – he was not a public speaker; nothing he had done in his life had prepared him for this moment – his voice quavering with emotion, he spoke: “I just want to say…  you know… can we… can we all… get along?  Can we… can we get along?  Um… can we stop making it… making it horrible for… for the… for the older people and the… and the… and the kids…?”

It was one of the most moving speeches I have ever seen.  This man heroically, in the words and gestures of, not a politician or a demagogue, but of a working man, in just a sentence, asked the nation to just calm down and to back away from the precipice of what could have been the start of some very ugly racial attacks.  He completely defused the most explosive racial situation I’ve ever witnessed.  He was brilliant.  He was courageous. And he was right.

The content of his message has been ridiculed by fools of every stripe.  They seem to have completely forgotten the context in which these simple words were uttered.  By openly repudiating any assertion that Rodney King wanted people to go out and “tear shit up” in retaliation for what had been done to him, he pulled the rug right out from under all the angry people and opportunists who were using the atrocity of the beating he received and the racist acquittals as a justification for rioting and worse.  Immediately after Mr. King spoke, you could feel the tension rolling back; and though people were still very angry, they were starting to see things from a much less purely emotional perspective.

Mr. King’s speech did not end the violence immediately:  the riots in LA had already gone out of control.  Many people in LA were already out in the streets and did not get to hear the live broadcast of Rodney King’s appeal to their rational sides.  In LA, the US Army, Marines and National Guard were called out to “settle things down”.  In LA, 53 people lost their lives, almost 2400 people were injured, and over 7,000 fires damaged or destroyed thousands of businesses.  Additional significant outpourings of anger took place in Atlanta, Las Vegas and San Francisco and smaller disturbances occurred all over the US.   We believe that it was Rodney King’s actions that prevented many more elemental outbursts of violence from occurring.

The Independent Workers Party, on behalf of the working class salutes our fallen brother Rodney King and remembers him fondly from pulling the nation back from the brink of the nightmare of coast-to-coast race riots.  On the night of April 23, 1992, Rodney King was a Rock Star.  More than that: he was a Working Class Hero.  And we will never forget him and what he achieved for the multiracial working class of the world that night.

IWPCHI