California going crazy!
Black Lives Matter protests swept through California over Friday and Saturday nights and into Sunday, undeterred by the murders of five Dallas police officers on Thursday night.
The protests echoed nationwide outrage over the deaths of two black men in confrontations with police in Baton Rouge and Minneapolis earlier last week. (The precise circumstances of each death are still under investigation; both of the men who died were armed.)
Demonstrations across the Golden State included:
San Francisco – “A protest sparked by police killings of African Americans and conceived by recent high school graduates turned into an afternoon-long march that at different times closed three ramps leading to and from the Bay Bridge” on Saturday, the San Francisco Chronicle reports, adding that the protest swelled to about 500 and blocked traffic in the city.
Los Angeles – On Saturday morning, rappers The Game and Snoop Dogg led a men’s march to a Los Angeles Police Department graduation ceremony. In a gesture of reconciliation, Snoop Dogg later joined a press conference with police. The march was peaceful and the rappers specifically instructed followers not to bring weapons (or women and children).
Sacramento – After 200 protesters gathered at the state Capitol on Friday, about 100 gathered outside the congressional campaign office of Sacramento Sheriff Scott Jones, who is running against incumbent Rep. Ami Bera (D-CA) for the 7th district seat, the Sacramento Bee reports. Sheriff Jones supports enforcing immigration laws and Second Amendment rights.
Fresno – Hundreds marched in what the Fresno Bee calls a “mostly peaceful” protest on Saturday afternoon, whose climax was a standoff with police on the on-ramp to highway 41. The crowd chanted slogans such as “Hands up, don’t shoot” (a phrase popularized by the death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, MO in 2014 — but which he actually never said).
Orange County – At the annual Latino Prayer Breakfast, the Orange County Register reports, pastors and participants offered prayers “for protection for police officers and called for unity among people of different skin colors, asking for comfort for the wounded officers and the families of the injured and the dead.” Others, however, emphasized immigration reform.
San Diego – Ahead of the Major League Baseball All-Star Game, local activists organized a Black Lives Matter rally Sunday. The group’s Facebook page announced: “If you or anyone you know, would like to come together peacefully, in solidarity to make our voices heard, share this event. San Diego is hosting the MLB all-star game this weekend and it is a great opportunity to draw attention to our cause. Now is the time. We cannot wait for change to come to us. We have to go get it.”