Protest tourism has become a popular way of a very special kind of sightseeing in Los Angeles, Ferguson, and New York these days.
Tourists from different parts of the country, and even international tourists, with cameras wanted to get a glimpse of what is happening.
In Los Angeles tonight and for a second night, police may want to deal with the constitutional freedom to protest later. Security concerns took over going into the third night of protests and violence, and Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) officers made another mass arrest in downtown Los Angeles on Wednesday night.
The Los Angeles Times reported:
Besides tourists taking photos, the reason to protest was a Missouri grand jury’s decision not to indict a Ferguson police officer for the fatal shooting of a black teenager who threatened the officer during the performance of his duties.
An order for more than 100 people to disperse came just before 7:30 p.m.in downtown Los Angeles, as officers blocked in the protesters on 7th Street between Figueroa and Flower.
Officers announced that members of the crowd would be arrested if they did not leave within four minutes.
Protesters began running, and two people were quickly taken into custody. Among them was a demonstrator who had taunted police with a Taser. The crowd chanted, “Let him go.”
Police pressed forward toward demonstrators with their batons in front, pushing the crowd back. A woman fell and was arrested as the officers continued forward.
Protesters were on the sidewalk on the corner of 6th and Flower streets, when a line of officers started making a run to circle the group. Some of the protesters attempted to get past them and three were pushed by a baton-wielding officer into the window of a storefront.
One by one, protesters were cuffed with zip ties and walked to a police bus waiting to take them to jail.
The MetroRail posted on its Twitter account that the 7th Street Metro Center station was closed due to a “nearby civil disturbance.”
Before the arrests, the crowd had been heading toward the international convention center Staples Center, after spending several hours marching to LAPD headquarters and the county’s main jail, frequently halting traffic.
When protesters reached Cesar Chavez Avenue and Vignes Street, officers with hands on their batons blocked the way toward the Twin Towers Correctional Facility. Sirens blared in the background and a helicopter’s searchlight flashed on protesters chanting and standing in the intersection.
But rather than chant, Ray Spears, a resident of Eagle Rock, opted to strike up a conversation with a nearby officer. When the 25-year-old told the officer he was a Christian, the officer responded that he was too.