By Emily Alvarenga and Tammy Murga
While hundreds gathered Thursday in Santa Clarita to peacefully protest, others were there to provide support in a different way.
Among those holding signs were numerous people handing out water, snacks and even masks to fellow protesters, while cases of water were also scattered on the ground, free for the taking.
“Well, I don’t have a sign, so I decided I might as well do something else to help out those protesting,” 16-year-old Canyon Country resident Brennen Callahan said.
Like Callahan, many teens decided to show their support by handing out supplies, including SCV residents Emily Sands, 14, and Kyra Titner, 19.
“Everybody out here is protesting for equal rights and equality, and I feel that it’s important for everybody to stay hydrated and healthy out in the heat,” Sands said.
“It’s 100 degrees out, everyone’s out in the sun, (and) I don’t want anyone to need any emergency services, especially under the circumstances that we’re in now,” Titner added.
Near the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station stood a nurse in her scrubs, and next to her was a cooler, filled with water and granola bars.
“I don’t think many thought about bringing water,” said Stephanie, who declined to give her last name. “They’ve got to stay hydrated to handle this journey they’re on.”
Nearby, California Highway Patrol officers were also seen handing out water bottles to protesters, while a man pushed a cart full of cold water bottles for anyone who wanted to reach in and hydrate.
Over at Bridgeport Park, where several hundred more protested, some attendees heard the crowd was headed to the intersection of Valencia Boulevard and McBean Parkway to join others, and decided to bring them water.
“We saw someone with several packs of waters and we just offered some help; we’re just trying to keep everyone safe and hydrated,” said Jordan Minns, a 25-year-old Canyon Country resident. He walked along with three other friends who carried packages of bottled water. “Everyone’s got their own part to do and it’s great to show up but they have to stay hydrated because it’s really hot right now.”
Besides water, snacks and masks, demonstrators also encountered markers and tape to write a message. The supplies were taped to a tree, with a label that read, “Take what you need. Speak your truth!!”