A diverse group of approximately 150 protesters gathered outside the Huntington Beach Police Department at a peaceful protest against police brutality Sunday morning.
A handful of police officers stood in the shade at the civic center as demonstrators chanted, “Black lives matter,” and waved signs, then recited the names of African Americans killed in police encounters around the country.
Among those speaking was U.S. Rep. Harley Rouda. He talked about traveling to Montgomery, Alabama with fellow Congressman John Lewis and learning about lynchings and the Civil rights movement.
“We gotta stop looking back and saying, ‘Look at the progress we’ve made and instead say to ourselves, ‘Look at how much farther we must go” Rouda said.
Ryan Moose brought her 13-year-old daughter to the civic center. Moose’s sign read, “Old Jim Crow, New Jim Crow. The whole systems got to go!”
Moose is from Long Beach. She’s been to protests all over the L.A. area.
“I was feeling hopeless, that nothing would change,” she said, noting protests that escalated into scuffles with police. Sunday’s peaceful demonstration made her feel better. “These make you feel like change is possible, and that change is coming,” Moose said.
Cheri Atkinson, 73, has lived in Huntington Beach for years. The Boston native said she attended protests against the Vietnam War in the 70s.
On Sunday, she described attending the protest at the Huntington Beach pier on Saturday. She was dismayed at what she saw counter-protesters yelling at peaceful protesters railing against injustice.
“There was a whole group of lovely young people just sitting on the ground,” Atkinson said. “Another group had bullhorns and was just trying to antagonize them.”
Another group of protesters returned to the Huntington Beach pier on Sunday.
While protesters and counter-protesters met for a second time near the pier Saturday, unlike the previous weekend, no pepper balls were fired at demonstrators and the event, though tense at times, was largely peaceful.
About 300 protesters speaking out against police brutality gathered mostly in the intersection of Pacific Coast Highway and Main Street Saturday but were quickly met by counter-protesters who stood on Main Street near the shops and restaurants.
A line of police officers stood between both groups in the intersection.