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Activists and CHP faced off as officers removed individuals from vacant Caltrans-owned properties in El Sereno, Wednesday night.

A “Reclaim our homes” demonstration was planned by activists, including the L.A. Tenants Union, where they occupied homes from the abandoned 710 freeway expansion project.

“In the wake of the second wave of Covid hitting our community at this time, we, a group of houseless activists and families are taking this situation into our own hands and recouping the abandoned homes on the Caltrans 710 corridor,” the L.A.T.U. said in a social media post. “It is our intent to follow the governor’s shelter in place order and protect our families.”

Social media videos showed the officers knocking down doors, detaining multiple people and making their way through several homes in the neighborhood.


Activist Chad Loder shot multiple videos on-scene, one showing officers carrying out a young girl by her legs and arms, with her hands tied behind her back and screaming in anguish.

Several demonstrators locked arms, chanting “We want justice for our people,” and “housing is a human right” as the officers formed a skirmish line. CHP did not move forward for several minutes and at times were filmed retreating as the demonstrstors moved toward them.

CHP declared an unlawful assembly and began to deploy tear gas into the crowd, attempting to move forward into the neighborhood.

 

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A group of activists known as the “Reclaimers” began squatting in the homes during the start of the pandemic before the city of Los Angeles allowed them to legally live there through a transitional housing program in October, according to Daily News.

It is not yet clear if the Reclaimers were part of CHP’s focus on Wedneaday night.

More than 100 homes were left vacant in the 710 corridor after the expansion plans were officially abandoned in 2018.

This post will be updated as more information becomes available.

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