About 100 protesters gathered in support of the Black Lives Matter campaign in Huntington Beach on Sunday, June 14 — also the day dozens of bicyclists rode from that city to Newport Beach to celebrate President Donald Trump’s birthday.
Both events were peaceful, and neither resulted in any reports of altercations or arrests, Newport Beach police officials said. The two groups did not gather at the same time.
Demonstrators outraged by incidents of excessive force by police and the in-custody deaths of unarmed black people nationwide started gathering at Huntington Beach Pier at about 2 p.m. What began as a small crowd swelled to include about 100 people by 4 p.m.
The event was dwarfed by a protest held in Los Angeles County that had attracted thousands of people. It was also smaller than similar demonstrations held at Huntington Beach Pier over the past few weeks. However, some traveled more than an hour to take part in the protest.
“I feel like there’s enough people in LA now,” Panorama City resident Laurence Geronilla, 19, said. “My presence might make more of a difference here.”
Chris Pyon, 29, of Anaheim, holds a sign wishing a happy birthday to Bryce James, son of LeBron James. “I think we all know it’s someone else’s birthday too. But I think the James family has done more to uplift people than the current administration.” @ocregister pic.twitter.com/59nVFWVSK4
— Eric Anthony Licas (@EricLicas) June 14, 2020
Earlier gatherings at the pier had been accompanied by pro-law enforcement counter protests. However, those expressing support for the Black Lives Matter campaign did not encounter significant opposition on Sunday.
“There is nothing to counter-protest. There is nothing for them to be out here for,” Aliso Viejo resident Timothy Harvey, 31, said. “Because what we are protesting, is there are still people in this world that believe black lives don’t matter at all, and that’s not OK.”
Earlier, several dozen riders celebrating Flag Day and the president’s birthday assembled at Huntington Beach Pier at about 11:30 a.m., Newport Beach Lt. Eric Little said. American flags and banners bearing the words “Trump 2020” were hoisted onto poles attached to bicycles, and fluttered behind participants as they rode to Balboa Pier. Photos taken along the way at Newport Pier showed at least 40 people who had been a part of the gathering.
Happy Birthday President Trump from Trump birthday bike riders @realDonaldTrump @Geoclewis @CaliConserv1 @kimberleyUSA11 pic.twitter.com/l962Cp4EHA
— formal protest guy (@ProtestGuy) June 14, 2020
A peace and unity rally in Laguna Beach also took place Sunday. About 25 people joined the gathering, which was described as “completely peaceful,” by Laguna Beach Police Sgt. Jim Cota.
Source: Orange County Register
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