A peaceful, mobile Black Lives Matter protest left downtown San Diego yesterday to pass through Coronado, traveling across the bridge and down Third Street to turn left on Alameda Avenue and left again on Fourth before heading out of the city.
Over 20 vehicles were decorated with BLM signage including flags, with passengers and drivers who honked, cheered, waved and pumped their fists outside their windows. A dozen supporters also donned signs and encouraged the caravan at the Third and Orange, as well as Fourth and Orange, intersection.
Police closed the outbound lanes of the bridge to help the group cross more safely. A leader from a San Diego group called Umoja, DeVaughn Walker, was involved in assisting with safety, according to protest co-organizer Amanda Shane from the Point Loma area.
Shane and fellow organizer Adrienne Johnson, of El Cajon, started planning the protest about a week ago, Shane said, adding that both have been involved in various protests across San Diego.
“It’s always easy to fight for something you really love,” Shane said. “Although there could be a huge challenge or task ahead of you, if you believe strongly you’re on the right side of history and that you have to fight in order to get what is right, then it’s just a little bit easier to keep doing what you have to do.”
Audrey Breay lives in Coronado and went out with her dog to support the protest at both intersections. Breay grew up in Coronado and is a Navy wife whose family settled down on the island.
“My hope is for Coronado to recognize that social justice and racial justice are in everyone’s best interest,” she said. “Not just black people. Not just any kind of people.”
Breay teaches at City College, just eight minutes across the bridge, she said, “and yet Coronado feels very separate sometimes.”
Shane said it’s important human rights are something being offered equally to everyone.
“And it’s not, clearly. And that’s very concerning and very scary.”
Michael Marrero also lives in Coronado and was out supporting the mobile protest. He described how Carl Sagan said we’re all made of “starstuff.”
“If that’s the case, then everybody on this planet’s due the same respect and the same rights as everybody else,” he said. “Color. Orientation. Religion. None of those matter … We’re all here to fight for the same reason, and that’s to succeed and survive until tomorrow. So doesn’t everybody, despite our differences, deserve the same thing?”
Shane said their goal was to bring awareness and express concern over “what’s taking place in our country right now.” She said everybody came organized and ready, and some people they knew from previous protests.
She added: “It was very cool that some folks not involved in our caravan were on the streets and quite a few on each corner; that was awesome to see that support.”
“In all honesty, even though we do not hate the police — there’s no way we could; we need the police — we do hate police brutality and we do hate police racism, and therefore in an event like this I chose not to request police involvement.”
Shane explained how the Umoja group heard about the protest and therefore said they would be there to make sure everyone was peaceful, positive, lawful and that everybody goes home safe including the police.
Umoja means unity in Swahili, and the local group is separate from larger organizations of similar names yet it focuses on some familiar principles. Walker explained how their aims are to help build a republic and strengthen community, not relying on government assistance, and creating infrastructure or public safety where needed.
“I’m glad that they allowed us to facilitate it,” Walker said of being able to be involved in the recent protest.
Shane said how there are United States citizens who are treated less than human and it’s unacceptable. Until the day that changes, she’s going do everything in her power to continue to fight for human rights, she said.
“Even though my skin is white I will continue to fight for black and brown people.”