Rioting “Fans” Taint Lakers Win

As Los Angeles teeters on financial ruin, with the possibility of municipal workers being laid off or forced to take unpaid leave, unruly crowds turn a night of celebration for the city into a night of destruction following the Los Angeles Lakers’ 99 to 86 NBA Finals victory over the Orlando Magic. Witness for yourselves (in the video above) the remnants of an MTA bus completely destroyed by out of control revelers.

Add to this, the graffiti-ing of buildings, overtaking a convenience store and emptying its contents, starting fires on the street, jumping en masse on moving vehicles and rocking them and their passengers in attempts to overturn them, shooting firecrackers in the air which fell into the crowds, and more.

One woman trying to get to her home, vented her frustration to reporters:

As of now, financially strapped Los Angeles is tentatively scheduled to give the Lakers a victory parade on Wednesday. Sadly, the damage caused by this evening’s unruly behavior will already eat into the the city’s limited budget.

Earlier in the week, 8th District City Councilmember Bernard Parks, head of the city’s Budget and Finance Committee, announced his support to fund the parade, citing visitors and the international attention given the city as sufficient reason to pay the million or so dollars needed to host it. But after this evening’s wanton destruction and unruly crowds which may re-emerge for the massive parade, will that attention bring the positive effect Councilmember Parks is presuming?

On July 13 as reported by, Parks told the Los Angeles Times:

“There’s going to be a major celebration in the city, and the likelihood is the city is going to absorb the bulk of those costs.”

However, Parks’ 9th District City Council colleague, Jan Perry, doesn’t share his enthusiasm for the city financing the parade, also telling the Los Angeles Times:

“City employees have been asked by their employers to take a massive pay cut. And we do not believe it is appropriate in this economic climate for taxpayers to be funding a parade.”


What’s sad about the mobs who ravaged Los Angeles this evening is the selfishness they’ve shown their fellow Angelenos, and the way they tainted their favorite team’s win. What’s even more sad is that this is their method for expressing their joy — by inflicting pain and destruction.

And now they’re getting a parade! Thank you!!!

Linda Milazzo

Published by the LA Progressive on June 15, 2009
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About Linda Milazzo

Linda Milazzo is a Los Angeles based participatory journalist and educator. Since 1974, she has divided her time between the entertainment industry, government organizations, community development projects and educational programs.

Linda began her writing career in advertising and promotions. From 1976 to 1989, she operated an independent public relations service providing specialty writing for individual and corporate clients. A socio-political activist since the Vietnam war, Linda has focused on political writing since 2002. Her essays, letters and commentaries have appeared in domestic and international journals, newspapers and magazines. She's an educator and creator of a writers' program she's taught privately and in public schools.

Linda has facilitated an advocacy writing workshop and has developed an advocacy writing program for implementation in public and private educational institutions and in community based organizations. She's a regular contributor to numerous high profile and highly respected news and opinion websites.


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