May 23, 2024 #1 Local News, Information and Event Source for the Century City/Westwood areas.

Westwood Village Prepares for Looting

Organizers cancel protest but businesses still prepare

By Sam Catanzaro

Westwood protest organizers canceled a demonstration planned Monday but local officials and businesses are still preparing for the potential of looting following the destruction that occurred in Santa Monica on Sunday.

According to Andrew Thomas, President of the Westwood Village Improvement Association (WVIA), a planned protest scheduled to begin at 2 p.m. at the Wilshire Federal Building was canceled.

“While the leadership behind the protest has canceled the event, this does not mean that a protest will not happen. Information regarding today’s previously planned event had circulated widely and it was reported on television news last night. It is realistic to assume that some type of activity will occur,” Thomas said. “The start time for the protest has also changed. It was originally scheduled for 4PM. This was changed to 2PM. This morning I heard from LAPD that it could start as early as noon. Because the event now has no defined leadership, it is impossible to know what time a protest could start, or whether it will occur at all.”

According to Thomas, Los Angeles City Councilmember Paul Koretz assured him that robust safety and security measures have been planned for Westwood, with special attention to be provided to Westwood Village. Thomas said the UCLA police are also aware of the situation.

“There is a permitted demonstration scheduled tomorrow (Monday) in Westwood at the Federal Building. In order to help keep Westwood safe, I am asking that LAPD and the National Guard be posted at major intersections and that streets leading into the Westwood community be blocked,” Koretz said.

Thomas says that upon learning of the event, the WVIA notified every business in the district via email and also door-to-door visits to the businesses that are open.

“Many businesses determined to close today. In addition, some have boarded up their windows and storefronts in anticipation of unrest. Our WVIA Ambassador teams have combed the district and picked up any item we could find that could be used as a projectile. We have bolted down and secured all benches and trash cans. What we couldn’t bolt down, we have secured in private storage,” Thomas said. I am deeply concerned that a peaceful protest today could be hijacked by individuals seeking to commit crimes and damage business and property. I encourage you to take every precaution, and to prioritize your safety. We will have updates for you as new information becomes available.”

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