The Los Angeles Police Department is investigating three acts of vandalism against art galleries, including shockingly obscene graffiti at one gallery that attacked “white art”.
The three galleries are located in a predominantly east side Latino neighborhood that is experiencing a growing art scene and gentrification that some local activists see a threat to working-class families. In recent years, the neighborhood, known as Boyle Heights, has seen a number of art galleries popping up in the area, as some artists get priced out of downtown’s Arts District and other areas.
Speaking with LA Times, detective John Parra of the LAPD’s Hollenbeck station said the police are investigating the acts against galleries as hate crimes because the graffiti made a reference “to anti-white art or anti-white”.
A local group against gentrification, Defend Boyle Heights, issued a statement on Thursday saying it was not responsible for vandalizing the galleries, but added they “certainly don’t condemn it” because gentrification is also a hate crime:
“We don’t know who tagged up these galleries, but we … certainly don’t condemn it. It is right to rebel! We are glad to see the community rise up to resist displacement, art washing and gentrification — however they see fit! Your anger is justified.”
“Gentrification is the true, highest form of hate crime!”
The statement also slams the police and suggests:
“We know all too well that it is the people and the people themselves, autonomously, who are the only ones who can defend and protect themselves, ourselves. We can’t trust in the machinery of capitalism and white supremacy.”