Protesters march through Downtown on 4th of July, demand police accountability

Black Lives Matter protesters gathered outside Long Beach City Hall on Saturday as part of a continuing, nationwide wave of demonstrations against police violence. In Long Beach alone, there have been dozens of protests and rallies since May 31.

“This is a revolution,” protester Kellsy Valenzuela said. “This is what we are fighting for—to defund the police. This isn’t a trend.”

As the sporadic booms of fireworks echoed throughout Downtown, the crowd of about 100 marched north on Magnolia Avenue holding signs and chanting the names of Black individuals like George Floyd and Breonna Taylor who have been killed by police.

At one point, the group marched westbound on Ocean Boulevard. Long Beach police motorcycle officers tailed the group but did not intervene.

The crowd was relatively young, consisting of mostly high schoolers and college students.

Kimberly Alvarado said she was “tired of seeing cops get away with murder.”

“This is a social- and human-rights issue,” she said. “It’s very important for youth to participate.”

The demonstration ended back at the steps outside City Hall, where marchers gave speeches. Protester Carolina Nuñez spoke about the Hispanic community coming out to support the Black Lives Matter movement.

“We need to show the Hispanic community that we need to come together and stand with the movement,” she said.

Protester M’Andre Mitchell echoed Nuñez’s statements. “We can stick together, no matter the color,” he said.

The protest is one of many that took place on the Fourth of July holiday. Outside Los Angeles City Hall, a rally drew hundreds of people, some beating on drums, others waving signs.

City News Service contributed to this report.

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Sebastian Echeverry is the North Long Beach reporter through the Report for America program. Philanthropic organizations pledged to cover the local donor portion of his grant-funded position with the Long Beach Post. If you want to support Sebastian's work, you can donate to his Report for America position at lbpost.com/support.
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