Tracking: Protests Continue in Southern California
This article contributes to Scriberr’s tracking of protests in Southern California
On June 3, peaceful protesters marched in La Verne and Claremont, supporting the Black Lives Matter Movement.
In La Verne, approximately 150 people showed up to city hall to hold a moment of silence and later march down D Street, through Old Town La Verne to 3rd street.
The demonstration brought out residents and former residents to assemble in the city of La Verne.
Leslie Cordova, a resident from Ontario and former resident of La Verne, attended the event to show her support for the Black Lives Matter Movement.
“Honestly, I think that these people’s voices need to be heard; all of our voices need to be heard. That’s what we’re about, and that’s basically what our First Amendment is about freedom of speech, right,” Cordova told Scriberr News.
Cordova also emphasized the importance of signing petitions.
“I am doing anything that I can do to support,” Cordova said.
Livv Megan, also a former resident of La Verne attended the protest as well to support equality for everybody and push change within the community.
“There’s gonna be people who have aspirations, dreams, goals, maybe even my age, who are just trying to live their best lives, and they can’t do that because of their skin color,” Megan told Scriberr News. “That is why I’m here to make sure that future generations don’t have to deal with this; it needs to stop now, not later.”
On 3rd street, activists spoke to the crowd to share the purpose of the march and the changes they wish to see.
Cordova emphasized that there needs to be more law enforcement like the city of La Verne due to the success of the peaceful demonstration.
“I think we need a police department that’s more like La Verne. This protest was probably one of the best protests that that we’ve ever been to. It’s very peaceful, they support us, and make sure that we are safe,” Cordova said.
ULV Athletes Take a Stand
Some University of La Verne athletes took it upon themselves to speak out against injustices happening to minorities around the country.
Several athletes took a photo holding up signs stating “we have a voice, my humanity should not be up for debate, or all cops are bad, etc.”
Jade Griffin, a recent graduate and track athlete of the university, posted the photo of the athletes on Twitter, stating, “Since our school has not voiced ANY opinion publicly on what has been going on, we the athletes decided to do it for them. #BlackLivesMatter” and tagged the university’s athletic department.
“We decided to take the photo because we felt that with our university having as many diverse athletes as they do & with a big platform that they have, they could have spoken upon this injustice sooner,” Griffin told Scriberr News.
The University quickly responded, stating, “We stand with you.” The university also attached their statement on the movement.
Daniela Lemus is a current track athlete at the university that participated in the photo as well.
“We were already aware of the letter that President Lieberman had written, but we expected more from our university, seeing as one of their core values is ‘Diversity & Inclusivity,’” Lemus told Scriberr News. “We expected their social media pages (La Verne has about five official Instagram accounts) to be plastered in support of the BLM movement.”
Griffin was not pleased with this response and demanded the university to post the message on all platforms publicly, so not only students see this message.
“We just wanted them to show their support not only for what is going on but also that they stick behind not only their athletes but the students who attend the university,” Griffin said. “This was bigger than the group of athletes you see in the photo. We stand for justice, equality among all races and the stop of police brutality on innocent humans.”
Lemus explained she wanted to see her university publicly take a stand against injustices.
“While I understand that having La Verne simply posting on social media isn’t going to fix any problems, it publicly shows to parents, alumni, and incoming students where La Verne stands during these times of injustice,” Lemus said.
“By publicly denouncing police brutality and black oppression, La Verne shows its students that it is not complicit and further, anti-racist.”
The University of La Verne held a virtual vigil for racial justice on June 4 with moments of reflection and solidarity to the Black Lives Matter movement.
“We reaffirm our commitment to our core values, specifically that of diversity and inclusivity. These two words have power, and it is our responsibility to live them at the University of La Verne and beyond,” according to the message from the President and Office of Diversity at the University.
Shortly after La Verne’s protest, the neighboring city of Claremont held a demonstration, marching down Indian Hill Blvd. to the Claremont Police Station with more than 150 protesters joining the march.
Ruben Medina is one of the organizers who was very outspoken throughout the entire march, ensuring everyone knew the route to the station.
“I expect peace, I expect respect, especially for police officers in our community because we do respect them,” Medina told Scriberr News.
The protest ended at the Claremont Police Department, where the demonstrators took a moment of silence for 8 minutes to honor George Floyd, one of the recent victims of police brutality.
Individuals were also allowed to speak to demonstrators to show their support of the Black Lives Matter Movement.
Savannah Dingman, a resident of La Verne, participated in the Claremont march, which she emphasized the importance of being physically apart of a movement in America.
“Although I’m just one person, being part of something that’s happening all across the country spreads the message that this movement is not only monumental but that it is also largely agreed that we demand change,” Dingman told Scriberr News.
Medina explained not only did they want to bring the community together, but this march is to help promote legislative change as well.
“I think the world needs to wake up. I mean, enough is enough, right? I’ve seen this happen over and over and over again,” Medina said.
Although Claremont or cities such as La Verne are small in population, many of these people believe they are still making an impact in their community by protesting.
“We don’t need to raise awareness about systemic racism in inner-cities, those communities already know all about that and its ramifications,” Dingman said. “I’m really proud that people in Claremont came out to represent the white community that stands in solidarity with black people and other POC as not just non-racists but anti-racists.”
On June 2, Claremont Mayor Larry Schroeder posted a video showing his solidarity with the protesters.
“People need to peacefully protest against the injustice that perpetuates in our society,” Schroeder stated.
The city of Claremont also released a statement of solidarity with the recent events.
“Claremont stands firmly against racism, oppression and inequality in all of its forms. We stand in solidarity with those who pursue equity, justice, human dignity for all, and an end to racism. We recommit ourselves to be a part of solutions that strengthen our community,” according to the city of Claremont.