Spearheading the many marches and messages through megaphones in the name of George Floyd and the Black Lives Matter movement in the Santa Clarita Valley on Thursday were some of the community’s very own students.
Near the conclusion of the protest with about 800 people, including many local high school and college students, a sea of loud demonstrators came to complete silence, followed by a nearly 9-minute moment when all took a knee in silence for lives lost.
“Everybody out there, I love you. Now, let’s all just have a moment of silence just to show the police that (have) decided to come around that we are here peacefully,” said Valencia resident Donté Ashon Green, 25, alongside Isaias Miranda, 23, and Symone Holmes, 25.
The students encouraged protesters to register to vote, learn about laws that directly affect communities of color and how to change them and join them in contacting their elected officials. One student invited demonstrators to protest outside of City Hall on Friday. City officials announced Thursday that City Hall would be closed Friday.
Hours before, several other students protested with their friends and family at the intersection of Newhall Ranch Road and McBean Parkway. Among them were a group of four friends from Canyon and West Ranch high schools, who said they hoped their diverse circle would set examples to bystanders.
The group included Ximena Duran, a 15-year old Latina; Madison Brown, a black 15-year-old girl; Dylan McBeth, a white16-year-old boy; and Celine Sanchez, a 16-year-old Latina. They were among the hundreds who protested near the intersection.
“I feel like it shows to police and everyone how many different races are coming out here today and protesting and showing that we and they care about black lives,” said Brown.
McBeth said he believed it was important for the youth to come together and protest now more than ever “because it’s not fair that a mother’s child doesn’t get to come home because they were shot and killed for something that they didn’t even do.”