It only took years of outrage, several shootings, multiple other violent attacks and thousands of complaints about filthy beaches littered with syringes and garbage, but Los Angeles finally started to clean up the famed Venice Beach Boardwalk.
Workers finished up phase one of the Venice Beach cleanup, which is the easiest phase, urging the homeless population that was camping out to relocate to shelters, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Photos show sanitation workers filling their trucks with massive bags of garbage and waste left behind. However, the paper noted, the Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies who were supposed to be there never showed up.
The city has posted fliers around the beach outlining a five-week plan to restore normal hours of operation of the beach to go alongside a massive cleanup effort, the Times said. With the new hours, overnight camping will be prohibited.
Sanitation workers removing trash from a homeless encampment at Venice Beach on July 2, 2021.Photo by ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images
City workers carrying items away from a homeless encampment at Venice Beach on July 2, 2021.Photo by ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images
A homeless woman talking to employees of a shelter that will help her relocate from the encampment.Photo by ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images
During the pandemic, over 200 tents were erected on the boardwalk, increasing an already unstable situation that residents claim has been spiraling for years.
The homeless population in Venice got so bad even Johnny Rotten, the former anarchist leader of the Sex Pistols, was pushed to his limits.
“(The vagrants are) aggressive, and because there’s an awful lot of them together they’re gang-y,” said Rotten, real name Johnny Lydon. “And the heroin spikes . . . You can’t take anyone to the beach because there’s jabs just waiting for young kids to put their feet in — and poo all over the sand.”
Homeless people sleeping on the beach in Los Angeles on July 2, 2021.EPA/ETIENNE LAURENT
Unfortunately, even with the new cleanup, many of the homeless residents say they’re staying put.
“I’m waiting for July 4 to see,” Malik Aljubaydi told the Times. “I don’t want to leave here. I’m an artist.”