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Los Angeles

‘Leave Our Kids Alone’ group protest, LAPD make arrests

A separate group gathered to rally in support of LGBTQ+ youth, ultimately leading to an unlawful assembly declaration & at least two arrests

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Parent's rights group and counter protesters clash with the LAPD in downtown LA Tuesday. (Screenshot/YouTube KCAL - CBS Los Angeles)

LOS ANGELES – Approximately 200 people from the loosely organized social media based group ‘Leave Our Kids Alone’ (LOKA) marched through downtown Los Angeles today in support of parental rights and notification policies in schools.

A separate group gathered to rally in support of LGBTQ+ youth, ultimately leading to an unlawful assembly declaration and at least two arrests as the Los Angeles Police Department deployed about 40 officers and supervisors to keep the groups apart.

On the LOKA group Instagram and Facebook posts, organizers called for the Tuesday rally at 10:00 AM writing: “Calling all California parents to stand United and rally for our kids. Whether it’s the school boards or Sacramento in their attempts to indoctrinate kids and separate them from families – parents have had enough.”

The group on its social media posts claim they are supporting parental rights and opposing “indoctrination,” “sexualization” or “grooming” of children in schools.

KCAL CBS-Los Angeles reported the LOKA group assembled outside Los Angeles City Hall, then marched to Los Angeles Unified School District headquarters, where some participants sat in the intersection. Some people in the Leave Our Kids Alone group waved American flags while others carried signs with slogans such as “Parental Rights Matter” and “Parental rights are non-negotiable,” and many wore shirts saying “Leave our kids alone.” One held a sign reading “Teach the Bible, not porn.”

The protest was in support of forcing the LAUSD Board to adopt policies that would ‘Out’ trans children and also minimize the so-called influences regarding LGBTQ+ students.

On X/Twitter members of the group live-streamed the march and protest:

The counter-rally was organized by Ground Game LA and Queer Nation Los Angeles, plus another Queer affirming group which are opposed to parental-notification policies, noting such policy requirements can put LGBTQ+ students at risk if their families are not accepting of their gender identity.

KCAL also reported that members of the smaller counter protest, some of whom waved Pride flags, prompting LAPD officers to set up skirmish lines to keep the groups separated. According to reports from the scene, police attempted to push the counter-protesters back, but two people allegedly resisted and were taken into custody.

LOKA/Instagram

The LOKA group first rose to prominence after a group of parents took to social media and distributed flyers to protest a scheduled June 2 LGBTQ+ Pride event at Saticoy Elementary School on 7850 Ethel Avenue in North Hollywood.

Then on June 6, the group and others clashed with Glendale Police and LGBTQ+ supporters outside a meeting of the Glendale Unified School Board over LGBTQ+ studies and the GUSD polices on addressing LGBTQ+ related issues.

News footage from CBS Los Angeles KCAL showed approximately fifty Glendale police officers attempting to keep the two groups separated and then fists were thrown as both sides engaged in physical assaults. A Glendale police spokesperson confirmed that some arrests had been made but wouldn’t comment further.

The group has also been present at school board meetings in Temecula, Murietta Valley, Orange County and Chino protesting for polices that would forcibly ‘Out’ LGBTQ+ kids and also remove LGBTQ+ materials, books, and Pride flags from classrooms.

California Attorney General Rob Bonta announced  earlier this month that his office is opening a civil rights investigation into potential legal violations by the Chino Valley Unified School District (CVUSD), which adopted a policy that forces schools to “out” students whose gender identities may be changing.

The Murrieta Valley Unified School District Board (MVUSD), had approved a policy mirroring one recently adopted by the Chino Valley Unified School District (CVUSD), that forces school faculty and staff to “out” students to parents whose gender identities may be changing.

Bonta in an emailed statement to the Blade said: “I am deeply disturbed to learn another school district has put at risk the safety and privacy of transgender and gender nonconforming students by adopting a forced outing policy. My office remains committed to ensuring school policies do not target or seek to discriminate against California’s most vulnerable communities. California will not stand for violations of our students’ civil rights.”

Parent’s rights group and counter protesters clash Downtown LA: 

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Los Angeles

L.A. Mayor Bass gives update ahead of Hurricane Hilary’s arrival 

The National Weather Service says tropical-storm-force winds are possible somewhere within this area within the next 48 hours

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Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass held a press conference Friday to discuss the city’s preparation for the incoming Hurricane Hilary. (Screenshot/YouTube KTLA)

LOS ANGELES – (KTLA) Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass held a press conference Friday to discuss the city’s preparation for the incoming Hurricane Hilary set to make landfall in Southern California this weekend.

“The city of L.A. is mobilizing in advance of the landfall of Hurricane Hilary,” Bass said Friday. “This is potentially an unprecedented, extreme weather event for Los Angeles, Southern California and the rest of the West Coast. The city is prepared. We’re not waiting for the storm to hit. We’ve already begun working 24/7 to be ahead of the curve and to be ready as soon as the storm reaches our shores.”

Currently a Category 4 hurricane, Hilary is forecast to head north through Baja California before making its way into the Southland.

Southern Californians should start feeling the remnants of Hilary on Saturday as cloud coverage increases and light rain starts to fall. Stronger showers are expected to move in on Sunday with the heaviest rain forecast to fall late Sunday into Monday. 

Tropical Storm Watch went into effect on Friday for areas of Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino and San Diego counties and Catalina Island. A full list of advisories can be found here

Anticipated rain totals for Hurricane Hilary in Southern California. Aug. 18, 2023. (NOAA)

The National Weather Service says a Tropical Storm Watch means tropical-storm-force winds are possible somewhere within this area within the next 48 hours. To put that in perspective, peak winds from Hilary could reach 30-40 mph with gusts to 55 mph after making landfall. 

According to weather officials, Hilary’s window for tropical storm-force winds is expected to be Sunday afternoon until early Monday morning. 

NWS has advised residents in these areas to plan for hazardous wind by preparing their properties ahead of time. Residents are advised to stay away from beaches and shorelines.

Hilary could bring excessive rainfall, which has the potential for extreme flooding. NWS anticipates 3-6 inches during peak rainfall this weekend. Residents are advised to stay away from beaches and shorelines.

Potential impacts from tropical-storm-force winds, according to NWS, include:

– Damage to porches, awnings, carports, sheds, and unanchored mobile homes.
– Unsecured lightweight objects could be blown about.
– Large tree limbs may be broken off and/or trees snapped or uprooted, especially in places where trees have shallow roots, such as coastal and valley locations that don’t typically experience strong winds.
– Some fences and roadway signs may be blown over.
– A few roads may be impassable from debris, particularly within urban or heavily wooded places.
– Hazardous driving conditions on bridges and other elevated roadways.
– Scattered power and communications outages. Any downed power lines spotted on the roads should not be approached, Bass warns. Call 911 to report a downed line.

Weather officials have encouraged residents to create emergency plans in the case of extreme flooding from heavy rain. NWS warns evacuations and rescues are likely during Tropical Storm Watches.

L.A. Mayor gives update on Hurricane Hilary arriving in SoCal:

Bass noted that city fire departments, L.A. sanitation teams, and L.A. Department Of Water And Power restoration crews will be addressing any potential power outages. The Department of Transportation will be staffed to ensure roads are operational. Potential shelter locations have been prepped and identified, along with animal rescue teams being staffed in preparation.

Federal support is also on hand should city officials request it, Bass said.

A list of locations where sandbags are readily available to SoCal residents can be found here. KTLA’s live satellite radar and tracker for Hurricane Hilary can be found here. KTLA’s live blog updates on the storm can be found here.

The L.A. Central Library will be offering free ponchos and other rain supplies to those who need them.

Residents can sign up for NotifyLA, the city’s emergency alert system. They can also follow the city’s accounts on Twitter, Facebook, or Threads for alerts.

Metro transit services will be providing information about any impacts or delays to service at Metro.netthesource.metro.net and on their Twitter page.

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Los Angeles

Service Employees International Union city workers strike Tuesday

In May, City of LA workers represented by SEIU Local 721 voted overwhelmingly (98% approval) to authorize an Unfair Labor Practice strike

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Los Angeles City Hall, completed in 1928, is the center of the government of the city of LA, & houses the mayor's office, the meeting chambers & offices of the LA City Council. (Photo Credit: City of Los Angeles)

LOS ANGELES –  Sanitation Workers, Heavy Duty Mechanics, Traffic Officers, Engineers, and thousands of other workers at the City of Los Angeles will head to the picket lines early Tuesday morning to begin their 24-hour Unfair Labor Practice strike.

Service Employees International Union Local 721, which represents more than 11,000 city workers, said its members would launch their strike at 12:01 a.m. Tuesday.

According to SEIU officials, despite repeated attempts by city workers to engage management in a fair bargaining process, the city has flat-out refused to honor previous agreements at the bargaining table, prompting workers to file Unfair Labor Practice charges with the City of Los Angeles Employee Relations Board.

In May, City of Los Angeles workers represented by SEIU Local 721 voted overwhelmingly (98% approval) to authorize an Unfair Labor Practice strike.

A union spokesperson said picket lines will begin early Tuesday morning at worksites across LA, where workers represented by SEIU 721 will walk off the job to “protest City management’s refusal to bargain with members in good faith and other unfair labor practices restricting employee and union rights.”

At 11:00 AM, thousands of City of Los Angeles workers will converge on City Hall for a march and rally, with picket lines resuming later in the day.

Mayor Karen Bass said Saturday that city officials are available around the clock “to make progress” on the contract negotiations.

“City workers are vital to the function of services for millions of Angelenos every day and to our local economy,” the mayor said in a statement. “They deserve fair contracts and we have been bargaining in good faith with SEIU 721 since January. The City will always be available to make progress 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.”

Last month the union tweeted: “It feels like it’s “Strike Summer” because it is. But make no mistake– our fight for respect does not end with the summer. It ends with contracts that adequately protect and pay us. #UnionStrong

The one day strike by city employees, including sanitation workers, heavy duty mechanics, traffic officers and engineers, joins the labor efforts in Los Angeles represented by the ongoing strikes by the Writers Guild, the Screen Actors Guild, and hotel workers who have all walked off their respective places of employment over the past few months citing unfair labor practices, job benefits and pay, and working conditions.

David Green, president and executive director of SEIU 721, told City News Service last week that 30-plus strike lines are expected Tuesday all across the city.

“We are going to be throughout the entire city striking to send a message that the city’s broken the law,” Green said. “They need to come back to the table, they need to fill these vacancies and they need to listen to the concerns of the public.”

He said residents might experience a lack of service Tuesday, whether it’s the “folks that pick up their trash, that protect the harbor, work in parks or that secure LAX.”

The strike is the first by City of Los Angeles workers in more than 40 years, and comes at a watershed moment for the city, with officials preparing for the World Cup and the Olympic Games in the coming years. Both events promise to have long-lasting impacts on the entire Southern California region, with a massive influx of tourists and athletes putting an enormous strain on the city’s frontline services, all on the world stage.

L.A. city services to be crippled by impending workers’ strike:

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LA Black owned vegan burger pop-up suffers loss & needs help

The idea for the brothers’ vegan pop-up Slides ‘N Fries was drawn as inspiration from devasting personal losses in their family

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Jeremy and Gregory Pearson, the owners of Slides ‘N Fries. (Photo Credit: Slides ‘N Fries GoFundMe campaign)

LOS ANGELES – Jeremy and Gregory Pearson poured their life savings into a pop-up vegan burger restaurant and after two years were seeing success. Then, on July 29th, after a night at a flea market with satisfying sales the brothers headed home to their Rampart Village neighborhood, but the secure facility where they normally store their gear was closed and locked up. They parked the truck just outside of the facility instead.

The next morning their U-Haul packed with all of their gear, utensils, and supplies was gone. Nearby video surveillance footage captured the thieves driving away with their rental truck as another SUV followed closely behind. The thieves drove away with more than the truck full of equipment the brothers told KTLA 5 in a recent interview.

“Just to get everything taken away is heartbreaking,” Gregory said. “It’s heartbreaking.”

“I get emotional, man,” Jeremy said. “But we are thankful to you guys at KTLA and the community and people spreading awareness. God willing, we’ll be able to get back on our feet. We have the utmost faith that this won’t set us back, but launch us forward”

The idea for the brothers’ vegan pop-up Slides ‘N Fries was drawn as inspiration from devasting personal losses in their family. In the GoFundme created to raise the funds to relaunch their pop-up vegan burger joint the brothers wrote:

“Growing up and witnessing the gruesome, long, painful and untimely deaths of both our grandmothers and our aunt due to diabetes, we knew that it was the food that was killing us. As adults, we knew we had to be the change we wanted to see. Not only for us but for our family.

“We are now proud to say that we have been on our plant-based journey for the past 4 years. We were inspired to start SLIDES ‘N FRIES after our mother beat Type 2 Diabetes within six months, simply by switching to a plant-based diet. This is why SLIDES ‘N FRIES is so important to us. Because we never want anyone to experience the pain of losing a loved one from something that could have been avoided.”

(Photo Credit: Slides ‘N Fries GoFundMe campaign)

The Pearson brothers also detailed the pain of the loss of the business taken away by the theft:

We are still deeply hurt by this. We know that material things can be replaced. So that’s not what hurts the most. What hurts the most is, we worked day in and day out to create SLIDES ‘N FRIES. It took us a whole year before ever selling one single burger, just to come up with the recipe. We’re talking countless hours of planning, long days of food prepping, writing business plans, applying for permits, saving up all our money to buy equipment, maxing out our credit cards for expenses, neglecting our personal needs to see our business flourish, working endlessly in the hot sun at flea markets, working long nights into the wee hours of the morning in front of night clubs and venues, only to come home and have it all taken away in an instant.

The brothers told KTLA that they have filed a police report but said authorities told them getting their equipment back will be unlikely.

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SAG-AFTRA & Hollywood studios fail to reach an agreement

The contract negotiations between SAG-AFTRA and the AMPTP broke off just after midnight Thursday as the old contract expired

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SAG-AFTRA NY Membership on July 12 supporting striking Writer's Guild members at 45 Rockefeller Plaza, New York City (Photo Credit: SAG-AFTRA)

UPDATE: The Los Angeles Times reported that SAG-AFTRA board unanimously votes for walkout. SAG-AFTRA’s national board on Thursday approved a strike action after negotiations with the major studios failed to reach an agreement on a new film and TV contract.

The action clears the way for the union to begin nationwide pickets starting tomorrow and deepens the labor strife that has disrupted Hollywood since writers went on strike on May 2.

HOLLYWOOD – Early Thursday morning, the National Executive Director & Chief Negotiator for SAG-AFTRA which represents film and television actors announced that despite the involvement of a federal mediator, negotiations with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) — the entity that represents major studios and streamers had failed to reach an agreement on a new contract.

This means that for the first time since 1960, actors and writers will both be on strike causing major disruption to the motion picture and television industry.

Duncan Crabtree-Ireland, SAG-AFTRA’s National Executive Director, and Fran Drescher, the union’s President in a message to the membership, said that after more than four weeks of negotiations, major studios and streamers, including Amazon, Apple, Disney, NBCUniversal, Netflix, Paramount, Sony, and Warner Bros Discovery, were unwilling to meet union demands for better pay, working conditions, and critically addressing the potential threat posed by the rapid development of artificial intelligence.

Fran Drescher, President & Duncan Crabtree-Ireland, National Executive Director & Chief Negotiator for SAG-AFTRA. (Photo Credit: SAG-AFTRA)

From the time negotiations began on June 7, the members of our Negotiating Committee and our staff team have spent many long days, weekends and holidays working to achieve a deal that protects you, the working actors and performers on whom this industry relies. As you know, over the past decade, your compensation has been severely eroded by the rise of the streaming ecosystem. Furthermore, artificial intelligence poses an existential threat to creative professions, and all actors and performers deserve contract language that protects them from having their identity and talent exploited without consent and pay. Despite our team’s dedication to advocating on your behalf, the AMPTP has refused to acknowledge that enormous shifts in the industry and economy have had a detrimental impact on those who perform labor for the studios,” Drescher & Crabtree-Ireland wrote in their message.

The National Board of the union will hold a vote later today regarding moving a head with the strike. Once the vote has been taken to ratified the strike picketing is set to begin Friday morning.

The contract negotiations between SAG-AFTRA and the AMPTP broke off just after midnight Thursday as the old contract expired.

The AMPTP issued a statement shortly after 1 a.m. Pacific Time:

“We are deeply disappointed that SAG-AFTRA has decided to walk away from negotiations. This is the Union’s choice, not ours. In doing so, it has dismissed our offer of historic pay and residual increases, substantially higher caps on pension and health contributions, audition protections, shortened series option periods, a groundbreaking AI proposal that protects actors’ digital likenesses, and more. Rather than continuing to negotiate, SAG-AFTRA has put us on a course that will deepen the financial hardship for thousands who depend on the industry for their livelihoods.”

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Queer actors sound off as SAG-AFTRA threatens to strike

The Screen Actors Guild, is poised to go on strike if last ditch federal mediation efforts fail ahead of a midnight Wednesday deadline

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Picketers march outside Warner Bros studios in Burbank. (Photo By Rob Salerno)

By Rob Salerno | WEST HOLLYWOOD – The union representing Hollywood actors, the Screen Actors Guild, is poised to go on strike if last ditch federal mediation efforts fail ahead of a midnight Wednesday deadline, and queer actors are saying that the union’s demands are necessary in order to maintain acting as a sustainable profession for thousands of performers. 

SAG’s demands reflect some of the demands being called for by the Writers’ Guild of America, which has also been on strike four two months. Both unions are calling for restrictions or regulations on the use of artificial intelligence to replace creative workers, wage increases, and for residuals payments to be extended and standardized across streaming services like Netflix.

Out actor Stephen Guarino, known for memorable turns on broadcast and cable shows like ABC’s Happy Endings and HBO’s The Sex Lives of College Girls, worries that residuals could disappear as the industry moves increasingly toward streaming. 

“I still have a pretty good passive income from residuals, so I’ve never really worried about that, but we’re moving toward streaming so that could be going away,” he says.

Guarino is also known for playing Quincy on the queer Netflix series EastSiders, a role for which he was nominated for a Daytime Emmy.  

“I get no Netflix residuals, so ironically the thing I have my Emmy nomination for I get no residuals,” Guarino says. 

Daniel Montgomery, an openly gay actor who’s been seen recently on the HBO show Barry and recently wrote and produced an independent horror feature The Jessica Cabin, says residual payments help carry a performer between acting gigs, which can often be short and months apart.

“At least half of my income has been from residuals. I’ve relied on that. It’s been a lifeline,” he says. “As actors, most of our time is auditioning – essentially applying for jobs. We’ll get that one job and we need to make that job last as long as we can to support ourselves and afford to live in the meantime.” 

Under the current SAG contract, streaming services are able to pay lower fees and lower residuals – or avoid paying residuals at all. 

“I’ve noticed a shift that, yes, I’ve continued to book jobs, but if it’s for a streaming service, it’s not paying a living wage. It’s made it non-livable as an actor,” Montgomery says. 

Genderqueer actor Nicky Endres, who has appeared on shows such as Netflix’ One Day at a Time and CBS’ NCIS: Los Angeles, says these concerns are compounded by a lack of job security.

“Being a gig worker is hard enough, but all we sacrifice to be an actor, and what, we get covid and lose a job? AI being programmed to steal our voices and faces? It’s all too much,” they say.

Actors are also calling for regulations on the demands for self-taped auditions, which became the industry standard during the pandemic and have put an increasing burden on performers during the audition process. 

Actors are required to light, shoot, and edit self-tapes, and find scene partners to read with, and are often given unrealistic turnaround times for auditions. 

“Doing self-tapes has become a full-time job that we’re not paid for,” Montgomery says. “Sometimes I’ll get a call at 11pm with a turnaround due at 11am. Actors will often do whatever it takes, but that can be to our detriment, but we need to stand up for what we deserve.

“We need regulations so we’re not scrambling to turn around our living rooms at midnight. We’re just asking for it to be fair,” he says. 

Writers and actors are hoping that by going on strike simultaneously, they’ll put maximum pressure on producers to negotiate.

With writers and actors both on strike, scripted film and television productions will effectively come to a standstill. That will effectively delay movies and television shows that are in the Hollywood pipeline. 

That’s already put a freeze on season two of the Nickelodeon series The Really Loud House, in which Guarino plays one half of the network’s first gay couple.

“They might come back. They’re waiting to see what happens with the actors’ strike. I’m hoping it happens not only for the representation, but also for my livelihood,” Guarino says. “I haven’t auditioned since March or April, and my agents don’t think I’ll have any auditions until September.”

But Endres says they’re willing to risk lost job opportunities to fight for a fair deal.

“I voted yes to strike on principle: the few bigwigs at the top should not be making multi millions while the writers and actors who make the shit they sell can’t earn a living wage even if they are lucky enough to be working somewhat regularly,” they say.

LGBTQ+ fans join the picket lines to support writers

WGA West LGBTQ+ Writers Committee Co-Chair Rob Forman with WGA writer Adam Pulver, in his drag persona Superior Nebraska (Photo By Rob Salerno)

With two of Hollywood’s big creator unions heading for the picket lines, it’s turning out that the solidarity doesn’t just extend to other film workers. 

Even queer fans are doing what they can to support the writers. A group of global fans of the queer-themed pirate comedy Our Flag Means Death has been organizing to provide breakfasts and lunches at the Warner Bros pickets since the strike began.

A Midwest-based group called “Our Flag Means Corn” raised about $3500 to provide picketers at last month’s Pride Picket with food truck and ice cream from queer-owned company Coolhaus. “We wanted to really bring out something big to celebrate gay pride and our gay pirates, and to celebrate and support the writers that really have changed our lives,” says one of the fans, who goes by the handle Bunny Bread. “It really means a lot to us to give something back because they’re given us so much with Our Flag Means Death.

********************************************************************************

Rob Salerno is a writer, journalist and actor based in Los Angeles, California, and Toronto, Canada.

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South LA 6-year-old boy hit by stray bullet July 4 fighting for his life

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Bryan Ivan Robles Jr. (Family photo)

SOUTH LOS ANGELES – Six-year-old Bryan Ivan Robles Jr. was excited to watch the July 4th fireworks his mother Hortensia Sanchez related to a reporter. “Me and my children were watching fireworks and then all of a sudden, I see my son collapse,” she told KABC 7’s Eric Resendiz.

Sanchez said that she heard her son scream in pain and the he collapsed in her arms bleeding from a head wound. According to KABC the incident happened just before 9 p.m. outside the family’s home near E. 40th Place and Avalon Boulevard, an area that has some of the highest shooting rates compared to other parts in L.A.

His mother told KABC that the left side of her son’s brain has been damaged. The boy is currently in stable but critical condition in an induced coma as doctors wait for the swelling in his brain to decrease so they could see how much damage was done.

“It’s a horrible thing that a 6-year-old has to go through. All he wanted to do was watch fireworks on Fourth of July like every other child,” Sanchez said.

Los Angeles Police Department investigators have not made any arrests in connection with the shooting and there is no description of a suspect in the ongoing investigation.

GoFundMe has been set up to help pay for his medical expenses.

Watch:

Mother recalls moment son was hit by stray bullet on 4th of July:

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Pride Night 2023 at Dodgers Stadium: Mix of protest & celebration

LA Dodgers Team Manager Dave Roberts made it clear all were welcome at the ballpark ahead of the game as well

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Photo courtesy of the Los Angeles Dodgers MLB

ELYSIAN PARK  – As fans of the Los Angeles Dodgers made their way into Dodgers Stadium Friday evening they were confronted by several thousand demonstrators outside in the parking lot protesting the decision by the team to honor a performance drag charity group as part of the team’s annual Pride Night.

Inside and an hour prior to the first pitch of the game, the team honored the LA chapter of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence in a brief ceremony prior to the team’s 10th annual Pride Night.

“The Dodgers community hero award goes to an organization reaching the LGBTQ+ community, the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, LA chapter,” Dodger stadium announcer Todd Leitz said. “Please join us in recognizing the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence for their outstanding service to the LGBTQ+ community.”

Photo courtesy of the Los Angeles Dodgers MLB

In an interview with USA Today Sports writer Jordan Mendoza, Sister Unity, who donned a blue outfit with red ribbons to represent the group’s service in fighting HIV/AIDS said: “I did not hear a single boo, and I was delighted to hear so much of our community cheering. That always flipped the on switch for me. I responded very happily with what we’ve always done, which is to wave and be fun and goofy, and make people feel good about who they are.”

Dodgers Team Manager Dave Roberts made it clear all were welcome at the ballpark ahead of the game as well.

“I love everyone… Anyone who wants to come in and support the Dodgers, I’m all in, we’re all in,” Roberts told reporters.

There were criticisms that the stadium was barely filled with fans, however by the time of the first pitch over 50 thousand fans filled the seats.

Several thousand people, primarily from Catholic religious groups and joined by some other anti-LGBTQ+ groups thronged the area leading to Stadium Way and the entrance to Dodgers stadium in protest of the Dodgers decision to reinclude the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence as honorees for Friday’s Pride Night celebration.

The protest was spearheaded by the group Catholics for Catholics, a far-right activist group based in Phoenix, Arizona whose advisors include disgraced retired U.S. Army Lieutenant General TG Michael Flynn, former Trump White House advisor Steve Bannon, controversial anti-abortion activist, climate change denier, and anti-vaxer Fr James Altman who the La Crosse Catholic Diocese announced his removal as pastor due to his political activism.

Calling it a “The Most Sacred Heart of Jesus Prayer Procession at Dodger Stadium” the group set up a small stage at Parking Lot 13 outside Dodger Stadium before the team’s 10th annual Pride Night. Speaker after speaker denounced the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, calling the the longtime charity satirical performance and activist organization a “hate group.”

Also present were several people from anti-LGBTQ+ groups wearing T-Shirts that have been seen at anti-LGBTQ+ protests outside Saticoy Elementary School in North Hollywood, a meeting of the Glendale Unified School District Board, and at a board meeting in Temecula California.

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Thousands gather in protest at Dodger’s LGBTQ Pride night

The protest was spearheaded by the group Catholics for Catholics, a far-right activist group based in Phoenix, Arizona

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Screenshot/KABC 7 Eyewitness News

ELYSIAN PARK  – Several thousand people, primarily from Catholic religious groups and joined by some other anti-LGBTQ+ groups thronged the area leading to Stadium Way and the entrance to Dodgers stadium in protest of the Dodgers decision to reinclude the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence as honorees for Friday’s Pride Night celebration.

The protest was spearheaded by the group Catholics for Catholics, a far-right activist group based in Phoenix, Arizona whose advisors include disgraced retired U.S. Army Lieutenant General TG Michael Flynn, former Trump White House advisor Steve Bannon, controversial anti-abortion activist, climate change denier, and anti-vaxer Fr James Altman who the La Crosse Catholic Diocese announced his removal as pastor due to his political activism.

Calling it a “The Most Sacred Heart of Jesus Prayer Procession at Dodger Stadium” the group set up a small stage at Parking Lot 13 outside Dodger Stadium before the team’s 10th annual Pride Night. Speaker after speaker denounced the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, calling the the longtime charity satirical performance and activist organization a “hate group.”

Also present were several people from anti-LGBTQ+ groups wearing T-Shirts that have been seen at anti-LGBTQ+ protests outside Saticoy Elementary School in North Hollywood, a meeting of the Glendale Unified School District Board, and at a board meeting in Temecula California.

Screenshot/KABC 7 Eyewitness News

The Catholics for Catholics group announced a “prayerful procession” from 3 to 7 p.m., ahead of Friday’s 7:10 p.m. start of the Dodgers’ game against the San Francisco Giants. The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence are slated to receive the Community Hero Award during a pregame ceremony as part of the Pride Night festivities.

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LA City Councilman Curren Price charged with embezzlement

The Los Angeles Times noted the charges against Councilman Price are the latest in a series of scandals that have rocked City Hall

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LA Councilman Curren Price (Photo Credit: Office of LA Councilman Curren Price/Facebook)

LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón announced Tuesday that his office had charged LA Councilman Curren Price in what was deemed as a Pay-to-Play Scheme.

The 73 year-old Price was charged with five counts of embezzlement of government funds, three counts of perjury and two counts of conflict of interest. According to a criminal complaint, Price’s wife allegedly received payments totaling more than $150,000 between 2019 and 2021 from developers before he voted to approve projects. He also is accused of failing to list the money his wife received on government disclosure forms.

By law Price is prohibited from having a financial interest associated with any project that was before the City Council. Additionally, Price is charged with receiving about $33,800 in medical coverage for his wife while he was still married to another woman.

“Today’s charges against Councilman Curren Price are the result of a thorough investigation into allegations of public corruption. This alleged conduct undermines the integrity of our government and erodes the public’s trust in our elected officials,” District Attorney Gascón said. “We will continue to work tirelessly to root out corruption at all levels and hold accountable those who betray the public’s trust.”

The Los Angeles Times, which broke the story, noted the charges against Councilman Price are the latest in a series of scandals that have rocked City Hall. Last year, the leak of a conversation among then-City Council President Nury Martinez, Councilmembers Kevin de León and Gil Cedillo and a top labor official that included racist remarks ended Martinez’s council career and turned De Leon into a political pariah.

Earlier this year, Councilmember Mark Ridley-Thomas was found guilty of conspiracy, bribery and fraud for extracting benefits for his son from USC while voting on issues that benefited the school. Councilmembers Mitch Englander and Jose Huizar also pleaded guilty to federal corruption charges in recent years following an FBI probe.

Price was first elected to the council in 2013 and currently serves as its president pro tempore. His district includes South Los Angeles and parts of the city’s downtown. His term is set to expire in 2026.

“We have not seen the charges filed against Councilmember Curren Price. It’s highly unusual for charges like this to be brought up against a sitting City Councilmember without any prior notice or discussion,” Angelina Valencia-Dumarot, a spokesperson for Price, said in an email.

She added that Price, “looks forward to defending himself once he’s had an opportunity to address these charges.”

Arraignment will be scheduled for a later date the DA’s office noted and added the case remains under investigation by the District Attorney’s Bureau of Investigation.

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LAPD responds to anti-LGBTQ+ protest at valley elementary school

A spokesperson for the LAPD said that the protests were mostly peaceful although acknowledged there was heated rhetoric between the two groups

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Screenshot/YouTube KTLA 5

LOS ANGELES – Officers from the Los Angeles Police Department’s North Hollywood Community Station responded to an assistance request from the Los Angeles Unified School District’s  School Police Department to keep dueling groups of protestors separate at Saticoy Elementary School early Friday morning.

The two groups of protestors numbered approximately 120 people, many carrying signs and waving American national flags and LGBTQ+ Pride flags. One group of parents had taken to social media and distribute flyers to protest the scheduled June 2, LGBTQ+ Pride event at the school located at 7850 Ethel Avenue in North Hollywood.

Earlier this week, the LAPD announced that investigators were looking into an incident where a small LGBTQ+ Pride flag located outside of a classroom of a trans teacher at the elementary was destroyed in an act of arson.

At today’s protests, KTLA’s Kimberly Cheng spoke with people advocating for parents of LGBTQ+ kids and their allies as well as those opposed. Cheng also interviews LAUSD Board Member Kelly Gonez who told KTLA that there were only two sentences in a book read out loud at the Pride assembly and that the school district was standing by its LGBTQ students and faculty.

Screenshot/YouTube KTLA 5

A spokesperson for the LA LGBT Center, Terra Russell-Slavin, said in a statement:

“I am beyond disappointed to read about the events unfolding at Saticoy Elementary School—and not just from where I sit as the Chief Impact Officer of the Los Angeles LGBT Center. To be completely frank, I am more so concerned as a lesbian mother who’s raising a child in Los Angeles County. 

The rhetoric we’re seeing from ‘concerned parents’ at Saticoy Elementary mirrors the dangerous misinformation campaigns that have been lodged against our community by far-right activists and religious extremists. For the past few years, they’ve planted seeds in the public imagination that LGBTQ+ people are attempting to ‘indoctrinate’ or ‘sexualize’ children. These outrageous lies have, sadly, taken hold throughout our country; the backlash we’re facing is among the worst chapters in our movement’s history. There are more than 500 pieces of anti-LGBTQ+ legislation on the books this year, accompanied by an increase in threats to LGBTQ service providers and schoolteachers, the banning of books that tell our stories and history, and the criminalization of our access to healthcare. 

The Pride celebration scheduled at Saticoy Elementary School was meant to celebrate LGBTQ+ community members and families like mine. My wife and I are proudly raising our child to be accepting, welcoming, and loving to everyone—and hope that his education reflects those same values of basic human dignity and decency. The fact that this is somehow a controversial or ‘hot-button issue’ is not just alarming, it’s deeply saddening. Families like mine deserve to be included and represented in our classrooms and our school events. My child should not be educated to be ashamed of his mothers. I am not a threat to anyone by loving my family. 

As the Chief Impact Officer of the Center, I know that if this kind of anti-LGBTQ+ demonstration is happening here in Los Angeles, this fight is only getting uglier in other parts of our country. That’s why we have to confront ignorance and hatred head-on, and make sure we don’t give it the oxygen to proliferate. We should be leaders of this movement and a safe haven for queer and trans people everywhere—and we should be using our example to help families across the country fight for their rights and their safety.

I hope LAUSD knows they can always rely on the Center to intervene in situations like these—and I hope the parents protesting Pride at Saticoy Elementary can come to an understanding that there is nothing dangerous about LGBTQ+ people. On the contrary: The real danger is the homophobia and transphobia that result in organizations like ours needing to house, feed, educate, and celebrate youth displaced by their families simply based on their identity. If we really care about our youth, we will nurture them with examples of radical love and acceptance—which is exactly what the spirit of Pride is all about.”

A spokesperson for the LAPD said that the protests were mostly peaceful although acknowledged there was heated rhetoric between the two groups.

Dueling protests separated by police ahead of Pride event at North Hollywood elementary school:

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