By SARAH SHMERLING | Editor-in-Chief
In the wake of George Floyd’s death on May 25, protests against police brutality across the globe continued, with demonstrations of various sizes taking place in Pacific Palisades.
Over the weekend of June 6 and 7, marches were well attended across Los Angeles, including two peaceful Palisades protests planned by local organizers.
On Saturday, approximately 100 people of all ages—from toddlers in strollers to adults—marched with Tina Bahador, a Palisades resident since 2004, who organized the event with her two daughters, Jasmine and Leela.
“I think a lot of Palisades residents were hungry for action and change,” Bahador shared of the turnout.
Bahador said that the inspiration to organize a march struck her while she was spending time at home, watching the video of Floyd’s death and protest marches around the world in the days following. She shared that consuming the information from her home in the Palisades was “not a good feeling.”
During a trip into the Village area from her Marquez Knolls home, Bahador noted that the town, with the majority of stores boarded up to prevent potential looting, appeared relatively quiet.
“That phrase came to my mind: ‘silence is violence,’” Bahador said, “and I really felt that.”
When Bahador returned home, she began to spread the word of the march that she was planning to her friends and colleagues via email. She went to work with her daughters to craft signs.
“I feel horrified by the racial injustices taking place in our country every day,” Bahador wrote in the call-to-action email. “I know I am not alone. I’m tired of sitting at home passively reading and watching the news while hundreds and thousands of people in our country are making sacrifices to fight for justice and equality.”
With signs in hand and masks covering their faces, Bahador led the group on Saturday morning from the Village Green area toward Temescal along Sunset and back, ending with kneeling for eight minutes and 46 seconds—signifying the length of time police officer Derek Chauvin kept his knee on Floyd’s neck.
On Sunday morning, a second peaceful protest took place in the Palisades, this time organized by 20-year-old Indiana University student Lily Kaplan who is at home in Brentwood for the summer.
Kaplan, who attended Paul Revere Charter Middle and Palisades Charter High schools, said she wanted to bring attention to human rights in the Palisades.
She shared that word of the march quickly spread across social media after Kaplan posted on Friday morning.
People from all over the greater Los Angeles area showed up for the march, including students who attend or have graduated from Pali High.
Kaplan led hundreds of marchers from El Medio Bluffs into the Village area, pausing along Sunset in the heart of the business district to kneel. The group then headed up Swarthmore through Palisades Village, turning right on Monument to head back to Sunset and back toward where they started.
Kaplan added that another potential march is in the works after receiving a lot of positive feedback.
“What I want to do now is have a forum in the Palisades,” Kaplan shared. The idea would be to educate and update community members through hearing from their neighbors and peers.
“It’s not just about a march,” Kaplan concluded. “You can march all day and nothing will happen—let’s start bringing it home and bringing it to school, that’s what reform means and how it begins.”
National Guard troops who were stationed across Los Angeles, including in the Palisades business district, to help manage protests and prevent looting were pulled from the city on Sunday.
“I’m proud LA residents are leading a peaceful and powerful movement to build a fair, just and equitable city,” Mayor Eric Garcetti wrote on Twitter.
Los Angeles County health officials are urging those who attended protests or any large gatherings where people have not worn masks to get tested for the coronavirus and to remain away from others for 14 days after potential exposure.
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