LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Several homeless people took a stand Friday against Los Angeles city officials attempting to clear their encampment in Echo Park.
A sweep that Los Angeles police said was a scheduled cleanup turned into a confrontation with park rangers and crews at Echo Park Lake.READ MORE: Pelinka Says All Lakers Players Will Be Fully Vaccinated By Season Opener
Holding up signs that said, “Housing is a Human Right,” several people knelt down in front of park rangers chanting, “Services, not sweeps! Services, not sweeps!” An LAPD officer was seen explaining that Friday’s sweep was a scheduled cleanup.
Ayman Ahmed, who spoke to the crowd, said he lives in Echo Park because it’s the cleanest and safest he’s found.READ MORE: Suspect Brandishing Gun During Standoff Shot, Killed By Deputies Near Lancaster
“Everybody’s about a paycheck or two away from this for the most part. Sixty-five thousand homeless, growing and growing – you can’t go more than a block without seeing an encampment,” he said.
A letter has been sent to Los Angeles City Councilman Mitch O’Farrell, asking him to find a way to let them stay at the park overnight as long as they promise to keep it clean and not be a nuisance to visitors.
“But for right now, a short-term win is to end these sweeps. These do nothing but displace us and harass us and mess up our lives,” Ahmed said. “How can I get a job when every other day I got to deal with the police?”MORE NEWS: Federal Court Strikes Down Judge’s Order To Provide Housing To All Skid Row Homeless
No arrests were made, and it’s not clear whether another attempt will be made to clear the encampments at Echo Park lake.