No one but the most addled hippie really likes a drum circle, but only the war-like LAPD could possibly see one as any kind of threat. Hundreds of people assemble every Sunday by the Venice boardwalk for the Venice Drum Circle, a public gathering in a public space that rarely if ever results in any reports of bad behavior, except when the LAPD shows up to cause trouble for no real reason. (Even an LAPD officer describes the drum circle as a "peaceful occurrence.") But for the past three weeks the LAPD has attempted to break up the peaceful gatherings once the sun has set, because them's the rules, and the drummers have refused, because they've got a good groove going or whatever. So the LAPD has gone into full riot response. On a drum circle.
Last night, between 400 and 500 people were again causing no trouble at all when the LAPD came in to shut them down; when most people stayed, "an airship and multiple LAPD units executed a skirmish line [to] the push the crowd north," according to Venice 311. A few people threw things, so they "called for a specialized unit from the Metro division which includes SWAT and mounted units for assistance," which they had to cancel eventually because the crowd was like "whatever" after just 25 minutes. Everyone ended up dispersing pretty easily; one person who rushed the police line and another who "refused to move," according to KTLA, were arrested.
One Venetian tweeted last night: "more cops tonight than I've seen since the riots," but apparently no measure is too out of proportion to the horrible scourge of hippies grooving to some jams on our beaches. This recent crackdown probably doesn't have anything to do with the changing (richer, techier) face of Venice, does it.
· Venice Drum Circle Turns Violent; 2 Arrested [KTLA]