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'They took everything from us': protesters in California ransacked a cult store

For nearly five decades, the Santa Monica Music Center (California) has served as an oasis of art and education in which people with different tastes and financial abilities can enjoy music. But during the riots inside the center, almost everything is damaged or plundered. Writes about it Fox News.

Photo: Shutterstock

“It was some kind of horror movie,” said 40-year-old Lana Negrete. She is now co-owner of the center with her father Chico and runs the family business with her husband. "They took everything from us, and no one stopped them."

Located on 19th Street and Santa Monica Boulevard, the center, founded in 1972 by Cuban-Spanish brothers Paul Chico and Victor Fernandez, rented musical instruments at low prices to local schools and anyone who wanted to learn how to play, but could not afford buy your own tool.

Now the future of the center is uncertain.

The incident occurred around 16:00 on Sunday, May 31, in the afternoon. Negreta and her husband were on the beach with their two daughters, 10 and 12 years old. At some point, the family noticed a damaged tire on one of the girls' bikes. It was a kind of omen.

“We heard how the windows were broken. I saw a woman pressing her face against the glass of our shop. Then she called other people, - reproduced the picture of what happened to Negrete. “The crowd tried to enter, and I started screaming.”

The owner of a small pharmacy adjacent to them advised them (as a deterrent) to guard outside. And he was already wearing an AR-15 and bulletproof vest.

“We went in and started hiding what we could. Then they moved the refrigerator to barricade the door, ”she continued to reproduce the incident. “But soon groups of five and then ten people began to approach the center - most of them with backpacks and skateboards, with machetes and hammers in their hands.”

On the subject: 3 facts that explain why protesters in the USA are dissatisfied: rallies against racism began in Europe

A few minutes later, when Negrete dared to look at what was happening again, hundreds of people moved from all directions. Cars rushed to the center, including the new luxury Mercedes SUVs and Infiniti cars. Protesters of all ages and nations attacked the center building before her eyes.

“I saw 16-year-old girls stealing designer clothes ... I saw a woman with a small child in the back seat - she drove up to the building and started pushing her 13-year-old son out of the car so that he could go and steal something. The boy was nervous, ”Negrete said. "There were a lot of people there who had nothing to do with the protests over the death of George Floyd: the parents were stealing along with their children."

Calling 911 was useless. According to the frightened owner of the Music Center, they were told that the police could not get to the scene. And they advised: if they are registered owners of weapons, then they can use it to protect their private property. However, California has one of the most stringent weapons laws in the country.

Violence intensified as more and more looters came to the building.

“There were weapons and people trying to help us,” Negrete explained further. - One of the guys got out of the car, looked at my friend's baseball bat and asked, "What the hell are you going to do with this?" and pulled out his pistol. "

For the pogrom, the rebels used tons of bricks. They are usually placed under garbage cans at the beginning of the day before the planned protests, and when the looters arrive, they know where those bricks are and use them.

“It was not just theft, but absolute anarchy,” Negrete said. - They don't understand who they are stealing from. Our business is not profitable, we have low incomes. Moreover, we donate money to charitable organizations every month, even if we don’t have much money ”.

On the subject: Will insurance cover car damage during protests and riots?

Just two days before the looting, the Santa Monica Music Center opened its doors for the first time in almost three months after quarantine. According to Negrete, as of Wednesday, June 3, the police have not yet come to take evidence.

“They said it would take two or three weeks,” she laments. "And I even have a cell phone of one of the marauders."

The co-owner of the center said that cello and other instruments, in her opinion, stolen from the store, began to appear on Craigslist. She believes that 80% of their business has been destroyed, and now there is a struggle between the owner and the insurance company over who will pay for what.

“I try my best, besides, I also have a family to feed, and at the same time we do not have the right to any help from the government,” she said. - We pay taxes, we are hardworking people. Stolen goods are not just things for us. That's all we had. "

As ForumDaily wrote earlier:

Miscellaneous In the U.S. California protests in the USA

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3 facts that explain why protesters in the USA are dissatisfied: rallies against racism began in Europe

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