Black Lives Matter Long Beach organized the city’s fifth consecutive day of demonstration Friday, calling for an end to police brutality and the defunding of the Long Beach Police Department.
Protestors met at the Harvey Milk Promenade Park. Milk’s image looked upon the protestors, and his message “Rights are won only by those who make their voices heard, hope will never be silent” echoed their message.
There, BLM leaders laid out their demands of the city of Long Beach, including defunding the police department and reinvesting that money into education, mental health care and after school programs for children.
According to the 2020 budget breakdown, the police department received approximately $44 million this year, accounting for 48% of the city’s entire $2.8 billion budget.
The group then began to march through the streets of Downtown Long Beach, remaining peaceful and organized. Little to no police presence was seen, however, members of the National Guard were stationed along the route.
Protestors then stopped in front of what they believed to be the apartment home of Mayor Robert Garcia, where massive crowds chanted using megaphones. Here, participants called him out for an alleged lack of transparency when it comes to police funding, investigation and operations.
BLMLB maintained organization over the group and the crowd did not splinter. Demonstrations had been going on all day throughout Long Beach, and many participants from earlier marches joined this one.
The group beginning at Harvey Milk Promenade Park grew to encompass thousands of protestors marching throughout downtown Long Beach.
The protest ended on the steps of the Governor George Deukmejian Courthouse, where BLM members allowed victims of police brutality speak about their personal experiences and shared a blessing of the children, who they say are the future of the movement.