SCV groups behind Saturday protest say they have nothing planned for Thursday

Hundreds of Black Lives Matter protestors stand on the corner of McBean Parkway and Valencia Boulevard on Saturday, May 30, 2020. Dan Watson/The Signal

The group of young adults that arranged the Black Lives Matter protest Saturday, which brought out hundreds of protesters, says they do not have any protests planned in the Santa Clarita Valley for Thursday.

Earlier this week, a social media post started a rumor that hundreds of Black Lives Matter protesters would be taking to the streets Thursday in the SCV. The city responded to the rumors, saying that they had received no confirmation there would be a large protest.

The rumor spurred discussion of a counterprotest known as “Protect SCV,” and the invite was spread on Facebook. A number of local leaders who have organized protests in the past, most notably the one last Saturday, said their groups had no plans to protest in the SCV on Thursday, but were aware of some who still would be.

According to Layla Hughes, an 18-year-old Santa Clarita resident who graduated from Learning Post Academy six months ago, said she and a group of 10 other students, whose ages range from 15 to 20 years old, planned Saturday’s protest.

“We’re protesting the deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor and everybody else who has been the victim of police brutality,” Hughes said on Wednesday. “But it’s a movement and we’re trying to make it clear to everybody that this isn’t going to go away. We’re trying to change the system and change the way people in America look at black citizens, brown citizens.”

Hughes said that her group plans to have protests in the SCV in the future, but that they have told their fellow protesters who were there on Saturday to not attend on Thursday. Hughes added that if there is a protest Thursday, their group would not be responsible for it.

“We didn’t plan the protests for Thursday, but a bunch of the organizers are going to the ones that are in L.A., going to as many as we can that aren’t here while we try to plan a new one here,” said Hughes, adding that she had heard rumors that other people from other organizations might still protest.

In addition to Hughes’ group, which she said doesn’t have a formal name, other groups have also said they will not be attending rallies in Santa Clarita on Thursday.

The groups CA25 United for Progress and the Democratic Alliance for Action released a joint statement on Wednesday saying they have not heard of any Black Lives Matter protests occurring in Santa Clarita on Thursday.

“Out of an abundance of caution, we recommended to our members and supporters that they not attend or participate in any action in the city of Santa Clarita on Thursday, June 4,” according to a joint news release.

However, despite these three groups saying they will not be in attendance, David Barlavi, a Saugus Union School District board member, said that he, along with a number of other people, will still be out in public Thursday protesting, despite these groups saying they would not be participating.

“We’re going to be out there to honor the memory of George Floyd and fight for criminal justice reform,” said Barlavi.

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