LA Recovers From Riot
After Lakers Win NBA Title
By Arthur Spiegelman
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Los Angeles awoke with a hangover on Tuesday after hundreds of people set fire to cars, hurled rocks at police and broke into shops in an orgy of violence sparked by the hometown Lakers winning of the NBA championship.
As cleanup crews removed debris from around the downtown Staples Center sports arena, angry officials counted the cost: a handful of shops looted or vandalized; eight vehicles, including two police cars, destroyed by either fire or being smashed to bits by people with baseball bats; four police officers injured in a hail of bottles and rocks; two civilians suffering burn injuries from some of the 43 bonfires set during the night.
Police Chief Bernard Parks said about a dozen people were arrested.
``We love the victory but at the same time, if this is what we get for winning, there's going to be a lot of second-guessing going on in a lot of people's minds,'' said Lakers forward <>A.C. Green.
Mayor Richard Riordan said the unrest appeared centered in the vicinity of the Staples Center where 6,000 people had been outside watching the game on a giant TV. As they immediately began celebrating, their joy turned into violence as they set bonfires and began attacking police cars and TV vans.
``There was glory and there was sadness. I join all Angelenos in celebrating the Lakers' victory. But ... I condemn the lawlessness of those so-called fans who destroyed property and endangered the safety of fans and families in the vicinity,'' the mayor added.
Witnesses said police, on foot and on horseback, used rubber bullets and billy clubs to break up crowds as rioters pelted them with bottles and set trash cans ablaze.
Firefighters trying to extinguish a burning police car and police protecting them were struck with flying debris, witnesses said.
Police kept fans, reporters and players inside the Staples Center long after the game ended as they waited for disturbances and bonfires outside the facility to subside.
In addition to the vehicles that were burned, a nearby computer store was looted, and plate glass windows in a car dealership several blocks away were smashed by rioting fans.
The Lakers' 116-111 victory over the Indiana Pacers gave the team its first NBA championship in a dozen years and was watched by many celebrities, including the city's No. 1 basketball fan, actor Jack Nicholson.
Los Angeles police said hundreds of officers in riot gear were able to disperse hundreds of unruly people by midnight PDT (3 a.m. EDT/0700 GMT) with reports of only minor injuries.
In one incident, officers fired rubber bullets to disperse a crowd that had gathered around a burning and vandalized patrol car, witnesses said.
Fans reportedly surrounded and rocked Lakers star <>Shaquille O'Neal's sport-utility vehicle as he was leaving the area.
Los Angeles Fire Department spokesman Brian Humphrey described the disturbance as ``very localized,'' and said there had not been any widespread trouble either downtown or in other areas of the city.
Among the other celebrities who attended the game were film director Steven Spielberg, actor Dustin Hoffman, and actresses Salma Hayek and Whoopi Goldberg.
Another Sports Riot...Ho-Hum Sign Of The Times
From Russ Dynda <> 6-20-00
Note - You can hear Jeff's recent interview with Mr. Dynda in our program Archives
Did you really expect anything other than a violent eruption in Los Angeles after the Lakers won the championship? We see it time and again--insecure men (far more than women) trying to gain a measure of self-esteem by identifying with a sports team or athlete, then using a successful performance by their idols to vent frustration and hostility through violence.
What is causing this frustration? Men are expressing their pain and anger toward a life of repression and neglect initiated by poor parenting and fortified by a society which embraces traditional "masculine" behavior. Boys and young men have been taught that it is manly to use physical force and violence to get what you want or to punish those who you think have wronged you. Win, dominate, be number one. And what epitomizes this exalted "masculine" image today? The successful athlete whose behavior is typically a distortion of healthy human psychology.  
So says author Russell Dynda who, in his recent book, MASCULINITY: THE HOAX ENSLAVING MEN, has proposed a revolutionary view of gender concepts which challenges the foundation of our beliefs about male and female.
What is Dynda talking about that has generated such interest? The "battle of the sexes"--what is behind the conflict between men and women and and how the pressure we place upon our children to seek a gender identity disrupts their childhood and turns them into confused, haunted adults. A heterosexual ex-jock who works as a civilian recruiter for the LAPD, he attacks the very concept of a masculine indentity; maintains that men and women aren't innately all that different; charges that men's pursuit of masculinity shortens their lives; emphasizes that the pursuit of gender identity polarizes the genders, sets them against each other, and deprives them of access to true fulfillment; explains how organized sports have become a major detriment to our society; discusses how gender identity fuels the rape and domestic violence issues; and strikes a blow against numerous other heretofore sacrosanct issues. His views challenge both traditional males and feminists and incite the listening audience--most of whom have a vested interest in their gender identities--to vigorous discussion and debate.
In his appearances on talk radio, Dynda has been called upon to act as a guest expert to discuss how our concept of "masculinity" has fueled such issues the Los Angeles NBA championship mini-riot, the Central Park assaults upon women, the Bobby Knight coaching decision, school shootings, and how false feelings of manhood facilitate gun proliferation. He is available by phone from Los Angeles. If you would be interested in having him as a guest, please respond to the above e-mail address and press material will be promptly forwarded. Should you care to contact him directly, he can be reached at (310) 670-6548.

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