Californians took back the Venice Skatepark on Monday after the park was shut down for over a month by the city of Los Angeles, which dumped loads of sand into the skating area.
Attempting to enforce “social distancing” guidelines in April, LA Mayor Eric Garcetti ordered the park to be filled with sand, hoping it would deter skaters.
“The sand is a deterrent, which has been used in the past, for those who continue to violate the orders and for the health and wellness of all L.A. residents,” said L.A. Department of Recreation and Parks representative Rose Watson. “Once the orders are lifted and the skate parks are reopened, the sand will be removed.”
Venice Skatepark, 4.22.20. As a film maker, I feel as though I have a calling to document things like this. It is crazy to see a place once filled with people, so deserted. #venicebeach #veniceskatepark #california #fpv pic.twitter.com/PnGF3zSJ4J
— Tucker Doss Troupe (@TuckerDoss) April 23, 2020
However, after a month of waiting to get back on their boards, bikes, skates, etc., Venice Beach citizens decided Memorial Day was the perfect time to make a move.
In a slew of videos uploaded to the internet, dozens of people can be seen using buckets and an assembly line to scoop up the sand and toss it out of the park.
The current state of affairs in CA is that skaters are the voice of reason. Amazing times we live in. pic.twitter.com/BWUb3WKD7M
— Paul Thacker (@paulthacker11) May 26, 2020
Others grabbed brooms, pickaxes, shovels and even cardboard to get the sand out along with broken glass and garbage that accumulated while the site was shut down.
TMZ reported, “By mid-afternoon on Memorial Day, the park had been completely cleared of the sand … and boarders performed tricks in the bowls well into the evening,” adding, “Video Monday captured several police officers who didn’t stop the action as they passed by throughout the day.”
Guess they get to do their thing at Venice Skate Park. LAPD substation is only about 200 yards away. pic.twitter.com/z9erIXINtq
— Katie Cooper (@thekatiecoop) May 27, 2020
— Woody (@mynovelette) May 26, 2020
Memorial day Venice skatepark pic.twitter.com/sZNiK1yuUh
— Matt Fisher (@LifeinVenice) May 26, 2020
If California wants to pick a battle with its own citizens, perhaps feisty skaters are the wrong bunch to target.
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