On Thursday evening, the Los Angeles chapter of Black Lives Matter held a "Smash and Grab" protest on Beverly Hills' Rodeo Drive, a shopping area full of luxury stores.
The protest reportedly shut down the area for around two hours on one of the last shopping days before Christmas, according to MSN. Video was shared to Twitter by @factswithfiona.
The gathering was dubbed the "Smash White Capitalism and Grab Justice" protest, with BLM LA stating on their Instagram page: "It's a different kind of 'smash and grab!'"
"SMASH white capitalism; GRAB justice! Meet us in Beverly Hills for sign-making, justice carolling, dancing, and beloved community. Bring your family, friends, comrades, singing voices, dancing/marching shoes, Santa hats, revolutionary holiday spirit, and freedom dreams," the post stated.
The protest began at Beverly Gardens Park at 4 pm, with organizers saying that the demonstration was a commentary on how capitalism is historically linked to violence against bodies of color, according to MSN.
"Today is a smash and grab. It is a different kind of smash and grab — don't nobody go and grab Gucci purses, ok? We are smashing white capitalism and we are grabbing some justice. We are smashing and grabbing in the name of our people — we know that every year, the reason we do this is because our people are killed by white capitalism," said Melina Abdullah, co-founder of the Black Lives Matter Los Angeles chapter.
Around 60 protestors made their way down Rodeo Drive at around 5:20 pm through the rain, chanting "Black lives, we matter," "Whose streets? Our streets" and "What do we want? Justice! When do we want it? Now!"
Protestors sung Christmas Carols with a twist, like "Deck the Streets," "Hark the Fighting People Sing" and "Trump's Nuts Roasting on an Open Fire."
After stopping in a few stores to sing and disrupt business, store workers began locking the protestors out.
Some stores reportedly closed early, anticipating smash-and-grab robberies like the protest's name suggested.
Protestors stopped at three intersections along the route, and were met with honking cars.
The protest came as part of BLM's "Black Xmas" celebration, where organizers urge people to shop at only black businesses during the holidays.
"We know white capitalism utilizes police violence to steal the lives of our people so that they can make a profit. So every year we celebrate Black Xmas to disrupt white supremacist patriarchal heteronormative capitalism," Abdullah said.
Police were reportedly aware of of the demonstration days before, with police and private security patrolling the demonstration from a distance.
During the summer of outrage in 2020, when protests were a near daily occurrence, BLM activists claimed that looting and theft are "reparations."
"If somebody decides to loot a Gucci or a Macy's or a Nike because that makes sure that that person eats, that makes sure that person has clothes, that's reparations. That is reparations. Anything they want to take, take it, because these businesses have insurance. They're gonna get their money back. My people aren't getting anything," Ariel Atkins said in Chicago.