Venice Residents' Rights

In response to Shawn Doherty's article (Times, Aug. 29) regarding the plight of the street performers and vendors in Venice and the circus show they provide every day in my community, I would like to present a point of view consistently ignored by the media and our councilwoman's office.

Every Friday we make sure we have our groceries, our videos and discuss our parking strategy. We must have everything we will need for the weekend, because come Saturday morning, we cannot leave our homes. The rule of thumb is: Don't leave, because once you get out, you can't get back in.

I was raised in Venice and being a 17-year resident, I have seen many changes, paramount of which is the denigration, prostitution and ruin of what was once a community, a neighborhood lacking in the frenetic, obscene bazaar that we now are forced to suffer every day. We are an amusement park. GalanterLand.

The performers and vendors proudly proclaim, "We are the reason people come to Venice." My response: We gain nothing from your presence. You do not understand what this community is about. If you did, your desire would be to minimize the crowds, the crime, the noise, trash and violence you so proudly help to create every day.

You lie to Venice and you shamefully abuse the First Amendment. Hiding behind the desire to express your creative freedom, your religion, your philosophy, is the truth: Your real desire is to make a buck and put it in your own pocket.

Yes, you bring people to Venice, but at the expense of my right to have a neighborhood and the expense of legal nonprofit organizations. You are not Greenpeace, you are not the ACLU, the Sierra Club, the Alliance for Survival. You are capitalistic sideshow barkers pushing your commodities.

One cannot grow up in Venice lacking an understanding of the preciousness of human rights. One cannot grow up here and avoid having more than a few childhood memories of attending protests against City Hall, the Coastal Commission, developers, the Board of Education, the LAPD and even Animal Regulation. I understand your rights. I don't think you understand them, and I just don't feel fighting to perpetuate a carnival, which rapes us of our integrity as a community, is in the best spirit of Venice.

Free Venice!


Copyright © 2019, Los Angeles Times
EDITION: California | U.S. & World