Jason Lawrence Bell
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02-27-20                      AUDIO AVAILABLE SOON

‘However, if we don’t calm the public fear, we cannot guarantee that the streets will remain safe. Past experience dictates that crowds with heated passions are volatile and can easily erupt into street violence,’ said the veteran crowd control expert. ‘In other words, the kindling is set and a small spark is all that’s need for disaster.’

The City Council is in emergency session and reviewing options of response. Los Angeles is again facing potential riots and arson, like twice before in the sixties and the early nineties. But this time the angry citizens are not central city blacks but young millennials of all races. These are the young adults that have college degrees or Trade School training or entrepreneur spirited creators. They have become completely discouraged by job options and housing expenses. Nearly every job begins with a long period of internship where they are expected to work for free. And housing is brutally expensive. $1000 per month to share a small room. Jobs at restaurants are never full time. Stores offer minimum wages for no more than 30-hour week. And benefits are rare if ever. They are the first generation that are not expected to do as well as their parents and they are pissed. They see big business making huge profits from the backs of vulnerable workers. They are demanding change.

What is different from the Central City riots, is the targets and the techniques of the rioters. First the other riots didn’t have the internet, Twitter or texting. The new rioters are organized and clandestine. They want to expose and demand change from the businesses and greedy landlords. And it is all boldly shown on the internet. Lists of egregious businesses and real estate owners with damaging histories are displayed with addresses and contact information on multiple websites. There were huge marches thru downtown Los Angeles. Giant rallies at the capital buildings and their grievances were well documented. They have been very clear on who and what needs to change. But after months of marching with nothing positive to show, the millennials changed tactics.

Everything immediately went underground. No more protests, no marches, no public demands just silences. But no one believed the millennials were giving up. The city knows it has been placed on notice. ‘The silence before the storm’, suggested the news media. Then came the news report. The real estate company Brown and Troy had its internet server completely wiped of data, including their cloud storage. Brown and Troy are the largest apartment complex owners in Los Angeles. The next day their storage facility where they kept paper copies of contracts was burned down in a furious warehouse fire. Brown and Troy no longer had copies of the thousands of leases on their apartment tenants.

Then the same destruction happened at ten other large rental companies. When the news media interviewed the Brown and Troy representative, they asked him about the possible millennial involvement. He would only say, ‘we love millennials and respect their immense talents. We have many employees and tenants in our organization who are millennials. We are proud they are with us. Thank you.’ As they finished, a group of millennials could be seen standing near listening. The representative looked unnerved. Then came the restaurant and market attacks.

Millennials had created a symbol of a large capital M with a line thru it to represent ‘Millennial Unfriendly’. They painted the symbol on all the walls and windows of stores and restaurants they selected. Immediately the business of the selected locations drastically dried up. The general public had begun following the millennials lead and action was swift. After two weeks of Ms on their windows, the millennials abruptly removed the symbol and a new group of businesses received the cruse of the M. The news media was being fed up-to-the-minute Millennial responses. The businesses were in the dark and frozen by indecision.

Millennials were underground and no one could tell who was the enemy and who was a friend. The Mayor of Los Angeles was trying to be a mediator, but the millennial leadership would not step forward. Business owners were desperate for relief. Then came the demand.

The media received the ultimatum. ‘A list of corrections must permanently occur before any relief. All rents for houses, apartments must revert to 1992 rates. All intern positions are paid positions with benefits. All jobs are to be full time with benefits. All businesses who comply will be removed from the M list. This is final.’ The public support was nearly 100% and full pressure was placed on the businesses. The real estate industry screamed the loudest saying that this will bankrupt them and property values will plummet. The millennials were firm, claiming the rental industry made obscene profits of years and they can suffer the correction. And they did suffer.

Nearly every real estate company filed for bankruptcy and lost millions. And jobs options were changing much easier than expected. Yes, consumers probably pay a little more for products, but jobs now carry the expense and survival and advancement is much improved. And the millennials remain underground. They saw that being anonymous gave them power to influence and they stand ready to awaken the M movement whenever needed. Peace