A crowd estimated as large as several thousand people rallied in downtown Garden Grove and marched along city streets Wednesday afternoon, protesting the controversial death of George Floyd, a black man, while in police custody on May 25 in Minneapolis.
The rally began at the clock tower at Main and Euclid Streets and after speeches and a six-minute period of silence, proceeded south along Main and onto a route that headed west along Garden Grove Boulevard and north on Brookhurst Street and on to Chapman Avenue. The route then turned south along Euclid, but – according to police – blocked the intersection at Stanford Avenue.
The crowd dispersed peacefully by the 6 p.m. curfew, according to the GGPD.
There was no violence or clashes with police, and no counter-protesters. Signs and chants of “No justice, no peace” and “black lives matter” were present. The march on Main Street was along an empty thoroughfare where almost all storefronts were boarded up, in anticipation of possible vandalism and looting.
Many of those protesting were students from nearby Garden Grove High School. One of the key speakers was Heavyn Ago of the GGHS Black Student Union. She said, “We’re here to tell police that police brutality will not be tolerated.” She urged the protesters to refrain from violence that would “[conflict] with our true purpose.”
Another speaker, Justice Crudup, urged the protesters to vote and be active in their communities. “Tell your city council that you want them to divest half [of the money spent on] police” and invest it in social programs.
The ethnic mix included a wide range of groups, including whites, blacks, Hispanics and Asians and a mix of ages, although most appeared to be high school or college age.
The procession along city streets was tended by green-vested “Gentile Guiders,” who worked to keep the march route tidy and avoid interference with traffic. Many of the vehicles along the streets honked or shouted their support.
Wednesday’s protest was one of several planned for locations in Orange County, including Anaheim and Newport Beach. Two protests are planned for parks in Westminster, one on Friday at noon at Sigler Park and Sunday at 4 p.m. at Westminster Park.
This is a developing story. Check back for possible updates.
Categories: Garden Grove