LOS ANGELES: Hypocritical “Copwatch” Workshop Thwarted

Photo: The Boyle Heights exit sign originally had the hammer and sickle which was vandalized with an Anarchist “A.” After last week’s confrontation at La Conxa, the hammer and sickle reappeared with the words, “Que Viva!”

By Zein Amari

A workshop on state repression was shut down on July 31 by masked revolutionaries and supporters of Defend Boyle Heights (DBH).

The event was part of a “copwatch” series hosted in part by Edxi Betts out of La Conxa, the so-called “autonomous” business space for the group Overthrowing Vendidos, State & Authority (OVAS), whose members have cheered on state repression of revolutionaries, contrary to the event’s stated purpose.

As the event began, masked revolutionaries and supporters arrived at the door of La Conxa playing audio through a loud speaker of Marcella “Xela” Macias, leader and founder of the OVAS, saying “That’s good, catch another case. That’d be awesome.”

The audio was recorded the morning the activists and revolutionaries arrested on May Day 2019 – known as the May Day 24 – appeared in court. Macias went to the courthouse to harass the May Day 24 as they continued to face state repression.

A masked revolutionary had a printed speech in hand as she, along with the masked crowd, rushed the door. The speaker withstood hits from various angles by OVAS members and a supporter, however she did not make it inside to speak to attendees. As the paper was taken out of her hand, she yelled, “Attention, we are here to represent the local activists who have recently been harassed by Xela and the OVAS!”

Revolutionaries used pepper spray against the reactionaries, while flyers denouncing Macias were thrown into La Conxa. Attendees of the event shouted, “She’s not even here! This isn’t an OVAS event!” Whether Macias showed up to the event did not seem to faze the masked crowd. Previously, DBH had called for people and organizations to isolate the OVAS, which includes La Conxa, not just Macias.

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Poster calling for isolation of the OVAS and La Conxa.

The masked crowd had left after the confrontation, in order to avoid a drawn-out brawl. However, two activists unwisely stayed while outnumbered and argued with OVAS supporters and Betts. OVAS supporters parroted the lies told by Macias, that she never went to the courthouse.

However, Incendiary received video of the confrontation, which clearly shows Macias at the courthouse as well as a revolutionary knocking her phone out of her hand and across the room.

 

After the confrontation, DBH and revolutionary organization Serve the People – Los Angeles posted the audio recording of Macias on their social media along with a caption that pointed out the glaring hypocrisy in OVAS promoting the “jail solidarity” workshop.

Betts and her co-facilitator Jay took to social media to denounce the attack and insinuate that the masked revolutionaries and supporters were nothing more than part of a government counter-insurgency program. They also attempted to distort the attack by claiming that children in attendance were pepper sprayed.

However, one attendee told Incendiary, there was only one boy in the room who was playing games on a phone, unbothered by the confrontation outside.

According to the attendee, the room was “stunned” by the attack. The disruption was described correctly as being based on “ideological differences” by the facilitators; the OVAS and their dogmatic followers represent the idealist petite-bourgeoisie, the revolutionaries and activists who attack them represent the proletariat.

The event was promptly cancelled and attendees were asked for their email addresses so that they could receive updates as to when the next workshop will be. The call to isolate the OVAS, which includes La Conxa, must translate into obstructing all their organizing efforts. More strategic disruptions and heavier blows against them are needed to prevent the spread of their counter-revolutionary ideas and actions.