It began as innocently as clouds before a storm; slow, gentle but determined. On July 20th, members of the Let Us Breathe Collective blocked streets/use of the Homan Square black site with BYP100. A handful of members from the Let Us Breathe Collective along with six small tents and a grill occupied the area on the opposite corner of the infamous black site.
Over the next 40-something days the occupation was able to feed 200-300 people a day; to provide community resources, workshops, open mics and school drives as a momentary occupation quickly became an act and labor of love for the Lawndale community. But the intangible moments and happenings that could not be social media-ed or turned into event pages were what made this on-going movement such a success.
Freedom Square’s organizers are now phasing out the overnight aspect of the occupation. From the Freedom Square Facebook page…
“The occupation did not end because we ran out of energy or we were overwhelmed by the logistics of the site. It ended because it illustrated the tension between the world as it is and the world as we imagine it to be.”
The Let Us Breathe Collective gave us the freedom to imagine a world without police, be it a perfect circle or not. After 41 long days that were met with equal parts euphoria and hardship, the organizers and the Lawndale community have everything to be proud of as they turned drizzle into thunder.
Below is a short video made in honor of the movement with a featured interview from The Guardian.
BEFORE VIEWING PLEASE NOTE: the interview contains graphic language and trigger warnings.
All footage shot by our in-house filmmaker Jose ‘Chicle’ Corcoles.