Photos Nadin and Tom Abbott
Video: Tom Abbott
Nov 27, 2915 (San Diego) It was cold, but the morning rain had passed. Slowly the came, about 50 people, black, white, Hispanic, for the now yearly black lives matter demonstration on black Friday. The demonstrators want to point out those who died at the hands of law enforcement. They want to point out that black lives are just as valuable as other lives.
Rayne Ibarra-Brown of the University of San Diego, gave a good history of the Black Lives Matter movement. We are embedding to the video.
Among the speakers was Alyahe Ali-McCall. Her cousin, was Anthony Ashford, who died on Oct 27 in an officer involved shooting. The Officer involved was a Harbor Police 9 year veteran. Ashford was 29 years old.
Ali-McCall spoke of the pain of losing her cousin and how tomorrow the family, who is from northern California, will meet to celebrate his life. She also said the family is distraught and in mourning. She also said that “Anthony did not have a weapon and he did not deserve to be shot in the chest.”
She said “his mother was notified two days later.” Ali-McCall also said that his mother lives in Vallejo, in Northern California. The rest of the family lives in Redding, and there was not reason that it should have taken that long to inform them.
There are questions about the number of rounds. He was hit once in the chest, according to media reports, but there are two evidence tents over evidence on media photos. She believes the second is also a shell casing.
“This has got to stop. I never in a million years thought that my cousin could have come to San Diego area to visit a family member that he would not return.’
She later told Reporting San Diego that they were very close, and that she will miss him. He was like a brother to her. The holidays are coming and he will not be at the table. Moreover, tomorrow, there will be a celebration of his life on what should have been his 30th birthday.
Desiree Smith spoke about her son, who acted up in school. Her son was not just disciplined but taken to Juvenile Hall after he was arrested. She was called about this when her son was on his way to Juvenile Hall. She feels this was a violation of her parental rights.
Not only that, but she knows that she was lucky not to lose a son. This has to stop and we have to go back to a time when young people acting out in school, were taken care off by the schools and the parents, not police.
Ibarra-Brown, from the University of San Diego Black Student Union, pointed out that there is a need to decolonize higher education. We need to value black lives at all times. These live are abused in the criminal system, the educational system and asked the media to value those lives before they are taken. She said, that to the media blacks who are dead are far more valuable than those who are alive.
She spoke about the demands that students at USD have issued, to follow those of the University of Missouri, as well as many other campuses. You can find the list of universities here:
Some of the specific demands to USD are as follow:
- We demand that President James Harris publicly state that Black Lives Matter. We demand that he do so without the clause “All Lives Matter” – for though all lives do matter, Black lives in particular have been the target of 400 years of unabated brutality. Such a clause invalidates the struggle and full humanity of Black people.
- We demand that the Center for Inclusion and Diversity, the United Front Multicultural Center, and other centers on campus dedicated to diversity and social justice be radically decolonized and student-run. This includes a reevaluation of the operations of these centers, the nature of the support and funding they receive, and the extent to which they achieve their professed intentions.
- We demand that representatives from the university’s administration acknowledge the colonialist legacy of Junípero Serra, who established the Catholic California mission system that massacred the vast majority of native peoples in California. We demand that Serra Hall be renamed to a designation chosen by a coalition of native students, staff and faculty.
After the speeches the group moved on to where Lamontez Jones died at 5th and F. The march included chants such as “Out of the Bars and into the streets,” as well as “Who’s Streets, our streets.” They also made an emphasis on how this is now declared Black Lives Matters Friday, a day that should be remembered until all injustices stop.
Some of the merchants half closed their carts, and security was all over the place. This included some officers from San Diego Police.
They did do a die in on F and 5th and then went onto Horton Plaza where they marched though the mall, in a peaceful if loud protest. Ibarra-Brown read the history of the Black Lives Matter movement to the crowd, like she previously did in front of the Hall of Justice where the march ended.
She reminded the crowd that the movement sprang after the death of Trayvon Martin in 2012. She also reminded them that this was about lives, which were more valuable than any cheap trinket people were getting from sales.
The march remained peaceful, but loud, with an export from San Diego Police. There were no arrests.