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Taking Back the Venice Boardwalk

Susan Estrich on

It has to go down as one of the greatest stunts in political history.

The sheriff of Los Angeles County arrived with his deputies to take back the Venice boardwalk from our homeless "neighbors" who have literally occupied it.

The thing is, the Venice boardwalk is in the city of Los Angeles, the jurisdiction of the Los Angeles Police Department.

And the LAPD, not to mention the local councilman, has a zero-interference policy with our "neighbors."

Our beaches and parks are overflowing with tents. The streets are clogged with recreational vehicles that never move. People openly steal bikes, do meth, sexually harass girls and women, and start fires that, in one recent case, burned down the home of a doctor who had the audacity to complain.

She wasn't home. Her dog was.

 

I'm a rather fanatical dog lover. That was it for me.

I used to be on the national board of the American Civil Liberties Union. If I were on the Facebook supreme court, I would let former President Donald Trump talk. Political speech should be free, unless it poses a clear and present danger of imminent harm. Like falsely crying fire in a crowded theater.

But there is no First Amendment right to take over public property, pitch your tents, and occupy our beaches and parks, immune from law enforcement.

There is no First Amendment right to do drugs on public property, block sidewalks and make it impossible to clean streets.

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