SANTA BARBARA, Calif. — Hundreds of people gathered together with members of the Santa Barbara branch of Black Lives Matter to speak out against police brutality and racial injustice at the Santa Barbara County Courthouse on Sunday afternoon.
“We’re here because it’s time for folks in this community to stand up for black lives,” protest organizer Crystle Sieghart said. “It’s time for folks to stand in solidarity with us.”
“We need to all come together and do a protest,” protestor Edgar Richardson said. “So something can happen.”
This demonstration took place in memory of recently deceased African Americans, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and George Floyd.
“This just shows that our community is strong,” protestor said Celeste Espinoza Rodriguez. “Out of everybody, we do have a solid group of people who want to see change.”
“It’s overwhelming because how I grew up, I’m not used to seeing this,” protestor Chim Nkwocha said.
Many of the protestors wore white as a symbol of healing during this difficult time in our country.
They also planned on marching to the City of Santa Barbara Police Department in peace.
“Just everyone’s soul and everyone’s body here,” Rodriguez said. “Just means even more.”
“No violence,” Richardson said. “It’s all about love you know one love, like Bob Marley.”
Organizers emphasized the importance of making a difference with everyday actions.
“Showing up to a protest does not mean anything,” Sieghart said.
“I love the support but you have to do more than this,” Nkwocha added.
Looking ahead, these community members hope to promote racial equality throughout Santa Barbara.
“I just hope everybody really looks deep down inside themselves and want that change,” Rodriguez concluded.
Members of the Santa Barbara branch of Black Lives Matter were not satisfied with Santa Barbara Police Department Chief Lori Luhnow’s statement on Thursday evening regarding the death of George Floyd.