Written by Michelle Botello
The memories of George Floyd remain, a black man gasping for air underneath the knee of the Minneapolis police officer Chauvin, which took Floyd’s life. The story was all over the news and since then, on May 25th, many hearts in the community have been shattered and broken by this story.
The officers involved in the arrest and death of Floyd were detained and held in custody as protesters roared the streets world-wide demanding justice. ‘Defund the Police’, ‘Black Lives Matter’, ‘I Can’t Breathe’ chants filled the air coming from young protesters as they walked in solidarity. The cops have been charged with second and third degree manslaughter. Also, Chauvin is said to have killed Floyd while committing felony assault on Floyd.
A peaceful protest made its way from La Jolla Cove to WindanSea in San Diego today. Nearly a thousand marched with signs and chanted the message of hope for the lives of those who feel discriminated and treated unfairly.
The speaker asked everyone to kneel or sit before she began her speech and the front rows of the crowd immediately hit the ground. She began by saying that our society is controlled by capitalists and they want us to keep quiet, for too long. After her speech she was surrounded by a crowd of protesters consoling her with a lot of attention.
Kisia Apaak, 18, Youth Activist, spoke about how valuable it is to be here today, “Speaking out and informing people about my life and the life of black Americans in this country, what we’ve been having to go through, I think it’s really really important, especially in a place like La Jolla.
I think it’s really important to be here, socially, in the light of the recent events with the City Council in favor of raising police salary, I think it’s really really important to be here, because Barbara Bry, the council woman for this district, voted in favor of it and she tried to come here today and say that she was standing with us, but how can you stand with us when you just voted against what we’re asking you to do?”
“I think there’s especially in politics right now there’s a lot of like performative activism(activism done to increase one’s social capital rather than because of one’s devotion to a cause). Just because people are afraid of the power of the people , so I think right now it’s even more important to get out.”
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is an US Representative for New York’s 14th district, including the Bronx and Queens who demanded that the New York police be defunded, but was turned away. Vice-President Joe Biden is still pledging $300 million in funding for police departments across the country and supports the urgent need for reform.
Kumba McGill, 38, is a mother and she came to the protest with her young son. She was asked about the violence that has been occurring at the protests earlier and she said, “First and most of all, the violence is not okay. I think that people are tired of it. They’re tired of police officers killing unarmed black people and getting away with it.”
“And what I think about this protest particularly today is so heartening to see people , to see white allies coming out and saying ‘enough is enough’!, and that we’re not gonna...this is unacceptable. And I think that’s how we make change is that folks who don’t look like us(black folks) coming out and saying ‘it’s not okay’ and join us in the protest to say ‘enough is enough’. We need systematic change.”
Today’s protest was different from others. McGill explains. “Normally you see it’s often black and brown folks stand up saying Black Lives Matter but today to see this march is majority white folks saying Black Lives Matter, that we need change, that we need systematic change in how we, police are able to conduct themselves in this country, it’s so heart-warming, and to see the little babies, to see the grown folks, the older folks coming out today and say ‘enough is enough’ is heartening.
Often times is just people of color saying standing up for these issues and the fact that this is such a white folks now saying this is not okay to join us in this fight is so heart-warming.” McGill has a message for others.
“We should not let up until we see systematic changes in the police in America until cops are held responsible for the way they treat black and brown in this country, especially when they’re murdered, is oftentimes an injustice.” “My message is for us to continue to being together. For folks who are white, to continue to let their voices be heard, end all silence, and they won’t be silent anymore.”
Juanita Hallisey, 74, is an old timer and said, “I have been around since 1968 when we had a lot of riots back then with civil rights and I have had my heart broken a million times with all the awful stuff we do to one another. I don’t like the term ‘defund the police’ but I certainly think we need to take money away and put it in other places.
They should be peacekeepers, not law enforcement.” Another message Hallisey has in her heart for this protest is, “we just need to be kind to one another, every single one of us, no matter where we come from, what color we are, and have some compassion.”
Business Insider: "Biden still wants to increase funding for police departments by $300 million to ‘reinvigorate community policing’"
From abc7.com: George Floyd
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