Janitors' Protest Leads to 13 Arrests

The march and rally are part of a four-day series of events that began Tuesday

By Jonathan Lloyd and Scott Weber
|  Thursday, Aug 26, 2010  |  Updated 4:17 PM PDT
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A march and rally supporting laid-off janitors blocked several intersections and led to 13 arrests in Century City Thursday afternoon.

Avenue of the Stars, Century Park East and  Constellation Boulevard were blocked causing frustration with motorists.

About 300 attended the march including dozens of police outside the Century Plaza office building where the janitors used to work.

"Thirteen people were arrested for blocking traffic. The arrests were  without incident," said Richard French of the Los Angeles Police Department.

The event was organized by Jacob Hay of SEIU United Service Workers West.

The closures may "inconvenience some people," Hay told City News Service, but the janitors have to turn to protests "to get their message across."

"I would weigh the inconvenience of a couple of minutes being stuck in  traffic versus the inconvenience of not having a job and not knowing how you're  going to support your family," Hay said.

The march and rally are part of a four-day series of events that began Tuesday on behalf of 16 laid-off janitors who worked at the building, Hay said.

"It was a peaceful protest,'' Hay said. "Even the arrests were  peaceful. The police did their thing, but there were no incidents."

The event marks the second time this month LA motorists will face troublesome road closures during the afternoon commute. When President Barack Obama's fundraising visit caused problems for LA commuters earlier this month, some drivers abandoned their cars, yelled at police officers and fumed as traffic ground to a halt in parts of Los Angeles' Westside.

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