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Protesters block entry to LA courthouse and name for an evacuation response – The Whittier Every day Information

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Approximately 100 renters and housing activists blocked the entrances to the Superior Courthouse in downtown Los Angeles on Friday morning, August 21, to demonstrate that if Governor Gavin Newsom and California lawmakers fail to act, a tsunami of mass evictions will ensue .

Activists stood in a row outside three entrances to the courthouse on Hill Street, which started around 7 a.m. Security guards observed the inside of the building but did not confront the group even as people queued at the front doors to appear in court.

  • Tenants and housing justice activists march around the Los Angeles County Courthouse demanding the passage of AB 1436 on Friday, August 21, 2020. (Photo by Drew A. Kelley, contributing photographer)

  • Tenant rights groups are closing down the Los Angeles County Superior Courthouse by blocking all entrances on Friday, August 21, 2020. (Photo by Drew A. Kelley, Contributing Photographer)

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  • Tenants' rights groups are blocking the north entrance to the Los Angeles District Supreme Courthouse in protest of the upcoming mass evictions if Governor Gavin Newsom fails to replace the Judiciary Council's eviction moratorium, Rule 1, and if AB 1436 is not passed on Friday, August 21, 2020 (Photo by Drew A. Kelley, Contributing Photographer)

  • A lawyer and a housing justice activist yell at each other during a protest that has closed the Los Angeles District Supreme Court on Friday, August 21, 2020. Tenants' rights groups are protesting the impending mass evictions if Governor Gavin Newsom fails to replace the court with Council Eviction Moratorium Rule 1 and if AB 1436 is not passed. (Photo by Drew A. Kelley, Contributing Photographer)

  • Tenants and housing justice activists are blocking the east entrance to the Los Angeles District Supreme Courthouse demanding the passage of AB 1436, which will enact a statewide eviction ban for financial troubles related to COVID on Friday, August 21, 2020. (Photo by Drew A. Kelley, contributing photographer)

  • A Los Angeles resident is calling for tenant rights groups blocking the south entrance of the Los Angeles County's Supreme Court to pull aside on Friday, August 21, 2020. (Photo by Drew A. Kelley, Contributing Photographer)

  • Tenants and housing justice activists march around the Los Angeles County Courthouse demanding the passage of AB 1436 on Friday, August 21, 2020. (Photo by Drew A. Kelley, contributing photographer)

  • A Los Angeles County Sheriff Officer opens the north entrance to the Los Angeles County's Supreme Courthouse following a protest calling for AB 1436 to be passed on Friday, August 21, 2020. (Photo by Drew A. Kelley, Contributing Photographer)

  • Tenant rights groups are blocking the south entrance of the Los Angeles Supreme Court in protest of the upcoming mass evictions if AB 1436 is not passed on Friday, August 21, 2020. (Photo by Drew A. Kelley, Contributing Photographer)

  • Tenants' rights groups are blocking the south entrance of the Los Angeles Supreme Court in protest of the upcoming mass evictions if Governor Gavin Newsom does not replace the Justice Council eviction moratorium rule 1 and AB 1436 is not passed on Friday, August 21, 2020 (Photo by Drew A. Kelley, Contributing Photographer)

  • A lawyer shuffles through filing after being prevented by tenant rights groups from entering the Los Angeles District Supreme Court on Friday, August 21, 2020. (Photo by Drew A. Kelley, Contributing Photographer)

  • Renters and home justice activists form a human wall blocking the south entrance of the Los Angeles Supreme Court calling for AB 1436 to be passed. A nationwide eviction ban was issued on Friday, August 21, 2020 for financial difficulties related to COVID. (Photo by Drew A. Kelley, Contributing Photographer)

Although the courthouse has restricted most personal business, certain things are still going on there, including custody cases. A man who tried to go to court yelled at the group, accusing them of preventing him from solving a case that would allow him to see his children.

The break at the doors of the courthouse ended around 10:30 a.m. when the group withdrew and marched around the building instead.

The action was a joint effort by the Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (ACCE), LA Voice, the LA Tenants Union, SEIU 721, the Chinatown Community for Just Development, the Eviction Defense Network, and the Los Angeles Center for Community Law and Action (LACCLA).

"Our communities are in pain," says ACCE member Julio Fonseca. "They are being forced to seek shelter while rental debts rise, and they will also have to file eviction requests from September 1, 2020."

The groups are calling on the state to extend an eviction moratorium in connection with the pandemic, which expires on September 1. In addition, the protesters are calling for the eventual cancellation of the rental during the COVID-19 pandemic. The 1436 Congregation Act to extend an eviction ban is currently being drafted in Sacramento.

A nationwide eviction freeze runs until September 30, and the city of Los Angeles has its own ban that is said to last the duration of the pandemic. Other cities have similar emergency laws.

Despite the ban on pandemic-related evictions, housing advocates report many cases persist. According to CalMatters, there were more than 1,600 evictions nationwide during the pandemic, according to CalMatters.

But it's not that simple, lawyers and officials said on Friday. Local moratoriums enacted by city councils and the county supervisory authority during the pandemic only provide a layer of defense for a tenant. Without legal representation or understanding of the law, tenants may not even be able to go to court to argue their case.

Los Angeles-based John Camara said he called the police on Friday when his landlord got his belongings from home and loaded them onto a moving truck without his permission. Officials prevented the evacuation, he said, and his belongings have been returned because the operation was not legally allowed.

"The landlord tried to do this because the city blocked all evictions and we were in court." Said Camara.

In Los Angeles, activists say nearly 500,000 tenants are at risk of eviction if the state does not extend the moratorium.

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