East Bay Community Reacts to White Supremacist Signs Seen on Day of Buffalo Shooting

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A demonstration in the East Bay is causing anger and sadness within the community, especially since it was held on the same day as the mass shooting in Buffalo.

The demonstration happened at the intersection of Camino Tassajara and Blackhawk Road, on the border of Blackhawk and Danville at around 3 p.m. Saturday.

Several people with their faces covered were seen holding up a sign that read “White Lives Matter.”

Others were holding another sign that read, “We will not forget Waukesha,” referring to the Waukesha, Wisconsin incident in which a Black driver drove into a holiday parade, killing five and injuring 40.

Some residents who spoke with NBC Bay Area on Sunday said they are shocked.

“It’s totally unbelievable,” said Danville resident Gloria Domingo, who has lived in Danville for 20 years. “It’s disturbing to say the least, because there’s a lot of us here. Sickening, sickening to the core.”

Others were not as surprised. Veronica Benjamin, the co-founder of Conscious Contra Costa, grew up in Danville and told NBC Bay Area how she first reacted to the demonstration.

"Just a big sigh. But also, typical, typical. It could be expected,” she said.

Benjamin added that a friend sent her one of the photos of the rally.

“I had just read about what happened in Buffalo, so I was wondering if it was organized or if these people were just extremely tone-deaf. So I was just, 'How distasteful could you be? How disrespectful of human life could you be?'” Benjamin said.

Conscious Contra Costa was formed by women of color, following the police killings of Tyrell Wilson and Laudemer Arboleda. Both were shot and killed by Andrew Hall, a former member of the Danville Police Department who is now in jail.

The organization’s vision is "a safe place for all."

“We’re just asking to share space. And we hope that wouldn’t threaten them; that they’re listed as a ‘them’, rather than a ‘we’ in community in the same area,” Benjamin said.

But she said demonstrations like this show there’s a lot more work to do.

“We have to heal as humanity together,” Benjamin said.

The Contra Costa County Sheriff's Office told NBC Bay Area Sunday that it responded to the demonstration and determined the group was not violating the law.

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