NIPOMO, Calif. -- Protesters took to the streets of Nipomo on Thursday afternoon, asking justice for George Floyd.
Numbering at least 100, the group gathered at Nipomo High School for a brief rally, before beginning a march around the Old Town area of town.
"I know there is racism here," said organizer Anthony Gonzalez. "It might not be as public or loud, but it's still here, and right now, the issue nationwide is racism, so no matter how small the corner, it should all be cleaned up."
The 2019 Nipomo graduate said he worked with local law enforcement, including the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff's Office, in an effort to make sure the event remained peaceful.
"For safety on both parties, for both sides of the argument, working with law enforcement was the best answer," said Gonzalez. "I understand a lot of people on my side might have ill thoughts towards police, but I don't believe all police is to blame. I think we should look at the greater cause of people appointing the police, for not thoroughly looking at their backgrounds, for not thoroughly looking at who they are as a person."
While some businesses boarded up windows in preparation of the protest, and others closed early, Gonzalez said he did everything he could beforehand to let the community know the event was planned to be non-violent.
"On all my social media, Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat that I've been advertising this," said Gonzalez. "In capital letters, almost everywhere, you'll see peace, peace, peace, peace, peace, safety, safety, safety, safety, safety. There were a lot of hostile threats in the beginning of the planning. That's what we're trying to get rid of, and because of those threats, I feel like it only brings more reason that we should have the protest, to bring awareness. We all need stand together in times like this."
Gonzalez added he is hoping to plan another event larger in size in the future.