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Protesters demonstrate outside L.A. mayor's house, call for end to homelessness and abolishment of ICE

Protesters demonstrate outside L.A. mayor's house, call for end to homelessness and abolishment of ICE
Protesters gather outside L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti's Windsor Square residence early Saturday, calling on him to end homelessness and support disbandment of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency. (Patrick T. Fallon / For the Los Angeles Times)

A small group demonstrated outside Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti’s Windsor Square residence Saturday morning, targeting the mayor over homelessness and calling on him to support the disbandment of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency.

Protesters chanted, shouted and hurled expletives via a bullhorn as they stood outside the Getty House, the Tudor revival-style home that serves as the official mayor’s residence. The peaceful demonstration, which drew about 20 people, was organized by the Democratic Socialists of America’s L.A. chapter.

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“ICE out of LA!” protesters chanted. “Shame on you!” “Housing not handcuffs!” “Black Lives Matter!”

It’s unclear if the mayor was home during the 7 a.m. protest. His wife, Amy Wakeland, briefly emerged from the residence shortly after demonstrators left. A Garcetti spokesman didn’t immediately provide a comment.

The mayor’s Texas trip last week to protest the separation of immigrant families drew sharp criticism from the local group of Democratic Socialists. The Los Angeles Police Department’s practice of arresting some homeless people also leads to family separation, Joshua Smith, one of the group’s organizers said Saturday.

The group has long called for Garcetti to end all cooperation between police and federal immigration officers. It also wants Garcetti to follow the lead of New York Mayor Bill de Blasio and New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, who want ICE to be disbanded.

“While he’ll join in for photo-ops, Mayor Garcetti has not joined other Democratic leaders who are calling to #AbolishICE,” the Democratic Socialists said in a statement.

The Democratic Socialists also demonstrated outside an event for Rep. Adam B. Schiff (D-Burbank) last week, calling on him to support ICE’s abolishment.

Created in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, ICE has been in the crosshairs of progressive groups and some Democratic politicians in recent weeks as criticism mounts in some circles over President Trump’s immigration policies.

U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) said in a recent MSNBC interview that it’s time to “critically reexamine ICE” and “probably think about starting from scratch because there's a lot that is wrong with the way that it's conducting itself.”

The protest outside the Getty House came hours before the mayor was scheduled to speak at the “Families Belong Together” rally in downtown Los Angeles, one of many demonstrations taking place across the country to protest the separation and detention of immigrants caught illegally entering the United States.

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