Independence Day looks a lot different this year around the Bay Area, with big celebrations canceled due to COVID-19 – but instead of marking the holiday in the traditional way, many people are continuing their push for social justice.
Rachel Wellman spent her holiday at Washington Park in Alameda as part of a protest group that partnered with youth activists.
“We wanted to come here on Independence Day to show that we are not all free,” Wellman said. “George Floyd was the last straw and we won’t stop until justice is served for all and the police are defunded.”
A flier reminded people to bring masks and signs. It was youth led, with organizers pushing for progress.
“We’re trying to keep momentum going by actions like this,” said youth organizer Sofia Coffin. “We meet at all of the city council town halls.”
Some of the emphasis Saturday was around justice for Breonna Taylor and improving prison conditions.
“We are trying to start a revolution of sorts, and we’re grateful to have support from the kind people in Alameda,” said another young protester, Nairobi Taylor.
Monique Burgher organized a march in Oakland, and said she, too, thought of Breonna Taylor. She said given the climate in the country she felt it was right. Many showed up who agreed.
“I will do a celebration of life for Black people who have been lost,” she said.