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“Crack in Los Angeles: Historical Reflections on the War on Drugs in Late Twentieth Century L.A.”

Submitted by Chase Beauclair on May 2, 2014 - 4:35pm

Join the LSJ co-sponsored lecture with Donna Murch on Monday, May 5th from 4:00-5:30 PM in CMU 226 for a discussion about the militarization of the police and the effect of the War on Drugs policies of the 1980′s and 90′s. The militarization of policing that emerged in the aftermath of the Watts Rebellions, and accelerated following the LAPD’s attack on the Panthers’ Headquarters on Central Avenue, reached its apex during the city’s War on Drugs (WODs) in the 1980s and 1990s. It is in this domestic context that the local crack economy took off fed by the geopolitics of Cold War support for Nicaraguan anti-communist insurgents. As large numbers of Black and Brown youth were subjected to harassment, social marginalization, and incarceration, the “crack crisis” and War on Drugs (WoD) became a major focus of activism. Murch’s talk will narrate these developments, discuss their importance to the social history of communities of color in L.A., and consider the variety of responses to this new era of “law and order” politics.