A protest against racial injustice organized by Berkeley High, the fourth one in Berkeley organized by students at the school, drew a crowd of about 100 participants Saturday.
The Say Her Name demonstration was held “in recognition of all the identities that have been neglected in the fight against police brutality and systemic racism.”
Protesters, who included parents with young children, some on bikes, gathered in front of Berkeley High around 1 p.m. They then marched to Willard Park. Nancy Rubin, who took the photographs here, walked with them as far as Shattuck Avenue and Dwight Way where everyone sat in the intersection and remained silent for 8 mins 46 seconds, the time that has been reported as being how long Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin pressed his knee into the neck of George Floyd, who died during the May 25 arrest. His killing sparked a nationwide civil rights uprising.
Locally, protests happened in cities other than Berkeley in the days after the killing. Perhaps the first significant demonstration in the city, on May 28, in which a small group of students gathered outside the Berkeley Police headquarters and then marched down I-980 to downtown Oakland, was organized BHS senior Ayisha Friedman. On June 23, teenagers from Berkeley High brought the Black Lives Matter movement to the Berkeley Hills, with a three-hour march from Ashby BART to Codornices Park. Speeches focused on the city’s history of redlining and segregation and participants urged wealthy, white communities to take on challenging conversations and actions to address systemic racism. BHS students Shayla Avery, 16, and Ultraviolet Schneider-Dwyer, 17, organized that protest, as well as the one on June 9 where hundreds of students marched from San Pablo Park to Berkeley High, and concluded the event by painting Black Lives Matter in giant yellow letters on Allston Way.