On Saturday, July 11, 2020, local young people of color organized a peaceful protest and march to allow the community an opportunity to hear their voices, their pain, their rage, and their passion for justice.
The protest was in response to an incident on the 101 overpass on July 2, where some young people of color experienced blatant racism and deep-seated hatred. One woman stated that, “Slavery never existed,” while in the same breath saying, “BLM will put you back into slavery.”
In response, hundreds of people from all parts of Northern California gathered at Slade Park in Novato to support Black Lives Matter, eradicate white supremacy, end police brutality, and dismantle institutionalized racism.
The protest was filled with music, chants, and powerful expressions from our young people. Comrade organizations, like Communities United for Restorative Youth Justice (CURYJ) and Generation Z, showed up to demonstrate their support. Activists shared information on how the community can begin to create necessary change, as well as a Call-to-Action to defund police in schools and invest instead in student support services.
Making sure they left Slade Park as clean as they found it, the protesters left the park and began the march to downtown Novato. They stopped on the overpass—which was important because that’s where the incident had occurred—and held signs for drivers to see. Drivers, in turn, demonstrated their support by waving and honking their horns.
The march continued along Grant Avenue, with a stop at the Novato Police Department. Although bystanders were confrontational, the march remained peaceful. The march continued back to the Slade Park neighborhood, and the day concluded with a reminder of the Call to Action and next steps.
You can support, too. The San Rafael School Board votes on July 28th about whether to remove police from schools.
Email Superintendent Jim Hogeboom ([email protected]) and Mayor Gary Phillips ([email protected]) and demand that they defund school police and fund student support services instead.
The young people of color who organized the protest and march, along with their families, would like to thank everyone who showed up to support and participate; everyone who donated supplies and volunteered their time; and everyone who could not attend, but stand with Black Lives Matter movement. Visit Max Clausen’s website for the full gallery of beautiful photos!