L.A. Mayor's Neighbors Take on Activists

In mid-June a couple dozen animal rights activists assembled outside of the home of Los Angeles Mayor James Hahn. The activists, affiliated with the Animal Defense League, were there to protest policies at Los Angeles city animal shelters.

Neighbors of individuals targeted by home protests are increasingly taking the offensive against such activists and the Hahn’s neighbors were no exception. About 20 minutes into the protest several of Hahn’s neighbors emerged from their homes to douse the activist with Super Soakers.

Animal Defense League activist Jerry Vlasak told the L.A. Daily News,

All we wanted to do was talk to him about the city’s policies and who he is going to appoint as general manager. We were demonstrating peacefully for about 20 minutes when some of his neighbors came out and got raucous.

They seemed intoxicated and three of them had Super Soakers and started pelting us with water. I thought we were fairly restrained.

Given Vlasak’s rhetoric, it was likely the neighbors with the water guns who were restrained. This is the same Vlasak, after all, who has openly suggested the value of emulating the anti-abortion wackos who assassinate abortion providers,

I donÂ’t think youÂ’d have to kill — assassinate — too many [researchers] Â… I think for 5 lives, 10 lives, 15 human lives, we could save a million, 2 million, 10 million non-human lives.

Vlasak made that statement, by the way, at Animal Rights 2003 where he was representing PETA front-group Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine.

And, of course, as in previous home demonstrations, a number of the activists showed up wearing their ever-popular masks.

The Super Soaking quickly degenerated into a mini-brawl according to the L.A. Daily News,

Vlasak said the demonstration came to an end with shouting between his group and residents and included an alteration where someone grabbed his video camera and threw it to the ground. However, he said, the incident would not deter the demonstrators, who will continue their protests.


Protest in front of Hahn’s house turns into a wet mess. Rick Orlov, L.A. Daily News, June 15, 2004.

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