The Crackdown at Echo Park

Hundreds of homeless people evicted out of Echo Park.

Echo Park Lake is a famous Los Angeles landmark with it’s swan boats and beautiful view of the LA skyline. The man-made lake was a reservoir but later turned into a park in 1892. The spot is a popular tourist attraction in movies, tv shows, that  locals love to relax at. The homeless problem became more prominent in the Echo Park area in 2019.

The city made plans to close it for a $600,000 renovation on March 25th, 2021. They plan on resurfacing the playground, improving the restrooms, replacing the drinking fountains, upgrading lighting fixtures, refurbishing the turf and more. It was LA City Council member Mitch O’Farrell who led the decision with the recent park evacuation. He stated “There will be no living at the lake”. The night of March 24th authorities evicted the homeless population who lived there. There was an estimated total of about 200 tents. O’Farrell claims that they offered 166 people temporary housing.

Evicting already-homeless people out of somewhere is inhumane, but even more unfair during a pandemic. Protestors held posters that read “stand in solidarity with our unhoused neighbors”. Despite the ongoing criticism police have been getting for using unnecessary and brutal force, LAPD still managed to become very violent with protestors. The police were pushing and throwing people down and had even shot them with projectiles, not just protestors but innocent bystanders and journalists too. A protester reported that an officer broke his arm with a baton.

There is currently a construction fence and police tape bordering the park. They plan on reopening Echo Park Lake sometime late spring.