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Hundreds of people gathered at Courthouse Square in downtown Redwood City on Tuesday afternoon for a peaceful demonstration to protest the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis last week and show solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement.
Almost all of the businesses along Broadway, the main road that crosses through downtown, were closed and boarded up. Other businesses such as August Barbershop kept the doors open and offered bottles of water to protesters.
Following the demonstration there was a march several blocks down the road to Woodside Road. Several of the demonstrators, when asked why they attended Tuesday’s rally, offered their responses:
Emilio Flamenco: “An attack on one of us is an attack on all of us. And if you remain silent you’ll have already chosen the side of the oppressor. Silence is the privilege of a few. Action is the responsibility of all.”
Sahana Baker-Malone: “To support people who are not treated equally in our country. Black Lives Matter! Any way that you can support is meaningful. This is a great way to do it. Change needs to occur.”
Debbie Blucher: “I just feel like our nation is in a state where we have to come together. I feel hopeless in this situation and this is one small thing I can do.”
Reggie Williams and Raven Malone: “I really wish that the riots would be separated from the protests because I feel like a lot of people now are trying to focus more on the riots and the destruction that’s been going on instead of the protests,” Raven Malone said. “The message needs to be separated. Both are very valid, one is a piece asking please stop killing us, please stop abusing your authority. And the other is anger because we’ve been fighting for so long.”
Baraka Floyd: “I’m very heartened to see that there are so many people that are showing solidarity and that have a strong recognition for the fact that racism is at the heart of the issue. I’m hopeful that all of the attention on systemic racism and injustice can really push forward for systemic and legislative change so that this doesn’t continue to be a problem for people of color.
“Protest is a way that we can vote with our feet. My fears about the future are that protesting is just going to be hashtags and people won’t go vote and that this leads to nothing but a bunch of hashtags and social media posts. My fear is that people don’t have sustained energy to actually do something.”
Folabi Ajayi: “We want this to be the last protest we ever have to do. We don’t want to have to do this in 20 years when he’s my age. So we want to finish this now, once and for all.
“We are a culture that is very quick to forgive and forget and to just move on. I think it’s important for us to keep the same energy when it comes to voting and when it comes to making laws and regulations.”