On June 5, 2020, I went to a protest for George Floyd in Sunnyvale, California. I was hesitant at first to go. I’ve been reading for the past week about protests that have gone violent and looting and I didn’t want to be a part of that. The group that organized the protest though was the Peninsula Peace and Justice, who have done many nonviolent protests in the area.
Before the protest, I wandered around downtown Sunnyvale. Several of the businesses were boarding up their windows as a precautionary measure. I don’t blame them. After the looting of the past week, I felt really bad for the business owners were having enough problems with the downturn of the economy.
There were a lot more people who attended the protest than I expected. This is both good and bad.
On the one hand, it was great to see how many people care about racial justice. It was a diverse crowd, of all races and ages. There were families with children in strollers. Parents taking their teen children. Elderly people. Young professionals.
From a pandemic point of view, though, it was a social distance nightmare. Everyone was wearing masks and were very polite. But as the crowd grew larger, it was difficult to keep social distance. At times, I felt uncomfortable knowing the COVID 19 pandemic hasn’t passed yet.
Due to worries about the COVID 19, I prefer smaller protests like the one I attended in Mountain View last week rather than a larger protest like this one. Since the Mountain View protest was relatively small, I was expecting the same thing for today.
At City Hall, there were several speakers. It was hard to hear them unless you were closer. But the closer you were to the speakers, the more crowded it was. I heard one speaker emphasize that the movement doesn’t think all police officers are bad. But too many unarmed Black people have died and the system needs changing.