‘Hope everyone pukes on your artisanal treats’: fighting gentrification, LA-style
By Rory Carroll : theguardian – excerpt
Hardline tactics succeed in keeping outsiders away from Boyle Heights, the Latino community that is the last holdout to Los Angeles gentrification
A realtor who invited clients to tour the neighbourhood for bargain properties and enjoy “artisanal treats” felt the backlash within hours.
“I can’t help but hope that your 60-minute bike ride is a total disaster and that everyone who eats your artisanal treats pukes immediately,” said one message. “Stay outta my fucking hood,” said another.
Fearing violence, the realtor cancelled the event.
An opera company which tried to stage a performance at the park was drowned out by shouts, whistles and a brass band. Students from across town who attempted an educational walking tour of the area encountered masked activists who shadowed them and ordered them to leave.
Welcome to Boyle Heights – or not, depending on how locals view you.
This hardscrabble Latino community, just across the Los Angeles river from the lofts and skyscrapers of downtown, is waging a vigorous and in many ways effective campaign against gentrification.
Where Brooklyn, San Francisco, Oakland and other parts of LA have yielded to and often embraced moneyed outsiders, Boyle Heights has dug a metaphorical moat…. (more)