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Should the Venice Beach Curfew be Lifted?

10:00 AM PST on December 11, 2015

As a hub for beach bums, bicyclists, street performers, vendors and tourists, it’s safe to say Venice Beach gets a significant amount of foot traffic throughout the year. But the fun usually stops at midnight, thanks to a curfew that prohibits anyone from staying in the area between midnight to 5 a.m.

A group of activists are trying to change that. Local activists want the curfew revoked so that the area can be enjoyed 24 hours a day.

Gale Holland of the Los Angeles Times points out that the root of the protest comes down to the idea that citizens shouldn’t be restricted when it comes to enjoying natural spaces.

The lawsuit characterized walking by the waves or star-gazing as a fundamental right.

“An individual's right to unobstructed access to the ocean, beaches and waterways has been recognized since the ancient laws of the Roman Empire,” the suit said.

The suit also contends that the city is wasting taxpayer money by enforcing the curfew law and seeks fees for plaintiffs' counsel, the Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles and the law firm Sheppard Mullin.

But the intention behind the curfew has more to do with crime and the homeless population. An attempt to keep crime rates lower, the curfew at least discourages some from spending time at the beach after-hours.

Yard2Yard_VeniceBeach (24 of 26)

Yet crime incidents happen near the beach at all hours. Earlier this year a shooting occurred early in the morning, leaving one 26-year-old homeless man dead. Like any other highly-populated area in the city, crime is bound to happen no matter the time of day. But it will prove difficult to reverse a curfew that dates as far back as 1989. For now, the ball is in the city’s court in regards to whether the curfew stays or goes.

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