Peaceful protestors came together under the cloudy skies in honor of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor.
On a cloudy Friday morning, hundreds assembled to participate in a sit-down protest from Venice Pier to Santa Monica Pier. What started as a handful of people quickly grew into a beautiful display of unity as the shore was lined with hundreds of protestors in black and yellow.
The moving demonstration was organized by the all womxn skate sisterhood, GRLSWIRL, to show solidarity with Black Lives Matter and to honor the lives of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor. Floyd lost his life after having his neck crushed by a former Minneapolis police officer, while Taylor was fatally shot by a police officer in her home. Today, June 5, would have been Taylor’s 27th birthday.
Many were carrying signs with the names of victims that have died as a result of racial injustices and police brutality. The occasion was used to speak up about the inequalities issues that are deeply rooted in the system and society while chanting “No justice, no peace,” a rallying cry that has become synonymous with the movement. Later, the group of around 1,000 moved along the beach together and stopped to sing happy birthday for Taylor.
On the same day, Black Girls Surf, supported by Santa Monica Pier, joined the world-wide “Solidarity in Surfing” paddle out protest in honor of the lives lost to police violence, and to show solidarity with Black Lives Matter. Surfers clasped flowers in their mouths as they paddled out and formed a circle in the ocean. The flowers were then placed in the water much like a traditional Hawaiian ceremony. “It was a true reminder that when we come together, powerful things can happen,” the Santa Monica post reads.
While many protests have been shown alongside violence and destruction, and there’s no denying that there has been much of that, there has also been a lot of love, peace and care shown that inspires a lot of hope for us as communities.
“Solidarity in Surf is not about who has the biggest crowd size or about what platform you’re published on,” the organizers explained in a post. “First and foremost it’s about George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and Andrew Washington being murdered for no good reason like countless other Black people,” it continued. “Second, it’s about starting a conversation of not only inclusion but love for your fellow man. Understanding that life is about not how many people come to your gathering but that even ONE showed support.
The paddle outs were seen at numerous beaches across California, including Hermosa, Ventura and Moonlight–where surfers put their surfboards together to create the word “unity” which were captured in the aerial shots in the post above.
Featured Image: Santa Monica Pier