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Angeles County | Community News File / Downtown

Rally Protests Cuts in County Aid

June 24, 1998

Los Angeles police officers arrested six women, including a nun, who held hands and stood in the middle of a busy downtown street to protest upcoming General Relief cuts.

"We've tried a number of ways to have our message heard," said Sister Judy Vaughan. "Since July 1 is coming so quickly, we needed to find a way to say the [General Relief] cuts have got to stop."

Holding signs that read "People on General Relief Work--The System Doesn't," protesters gathered at Temple Street and Grand Avenue in front of the County Hall of Administration, where the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors meets.

Dressed in full riot gear, about 50 members of the LAPD's SWAT team were called in to control the protest, which at its height included about 100 people, police said.

Those arrested belong to Women of Conscience, an advocacy group that hopes to persuade the Board of Supervisors to place a moratorium on the scheduled implementation of the cuts. The Board of Supervisors voted to limit eligibility for the $221 General Relief grants to five months in any 12-month period.

Stuffed slacks and shirts resembling human torsos were scattered throughout the intersection, symbolizing the 48,000 people whose aid will be cut.

"They're all faceless because so many people do not know who [General Relief] recipients are," Vaughan said.

The women were arrested on charges of refusing to disperse and were held on $1,000 bail.

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