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Protesters block highway, set off fireworks to show solidarity with Black Lives Matter

Peninsula residents join demonstrations at major intersections, public spaces

Protesters kneel in front of City Hall in Palo Alto on June 1 to protest the death of George Floyd while in Minneapolis police custody that happened exactly one week ago. Photo by Magali Gauthier.

Hundreds of protesters marched through Menlo Park, Palo Alto and East Palo Alto on Monday to protest police brutality in the wake of the death of George Floyd, who was killed while in Minneapolis police custody last week.

Floyd's death, captured on a bystander's video, has triggered widespread demonstrations across the U.S. Some have resulted in violence.

Demonstration clogs city streets, freeway

Protesters march down northbound U.S. Highway 101, blocking all lanes of traffic, between Oregon Expressway and University Avenue in Palo Alto on June 1. Photo by Magali Gauthier.

An estimated 100-200 people, many of whom were students, marched through Palo Alto and blocked lanes on Oregon Expressway leading to U.S. Highway 101 at about 3:30 p.m. on Monday, according to emergency-radio dispatch reports. At about 4 p.m., protesters crossed the Oregon overpass and walked onto the freeway, blocking northbound lanes. A California Highway Patrol unit was sent to the scene, dispatchers said.

By about 4:30 p.m., the group was walking north toward University Avenue, and East Palo Alto police officers blocked the area of University Avenue and Donohoe Street near Ikea so the group would exit. Additional police units blocked the next northbound exit at Willow Road in Menlo Park from protesters.

The chanting crowd mostly exited the freeway and then headed west over the University Avenue/Highway 101 overpass and toward downtown Palo Alto. Palo Alto police also sent units to Town & Country Village and Stanford Shopping Center in case the crowd headed toward either.

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However, the group of about 150 to 200 youth assembled outside of Palo Alto City Hall, where they got down on one knee together and raised their fists in the air. Their protest ended at about 5:40 p.m.

Meanwhile, about 10 to 15 protesters tried to enter the freeway from University, where police blocked the entrance.

East Palo Alto police also tracked a group of youth on bicycles who were starting to converge near Ikea and at the Ravenswood 101 Shopping Center. They expected to keep an eye on the area after dark, according to dispatch reports.

There were still scattered protesters near the freeway and University Avenue at 6:08 p.m. Most people were on the sidewalk but some caused traffic slowdowns by being in the street, according to police dispatch.

Action carries over into the night

Demonstrations continued into the evening, with people gathering and dispersing and then joining new groups. Most of the activity took place in Palo Alto and East Palo Alto, though some people took their protest to Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park. While the majority of people remained peaceful, there were dispatcher reports of attempted break-ins of buildings, fireworks were thrown at police and one incident of an officer pulling a gun.

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About 100 protesters and numerous vehicles gathered in East Palo Alto at 6:30 p.m. and headed west over the University Avenue/Highway 101 overpass, where police blocked traffic in that direction. The protesters moved onto southbound Highway 101 from University, occupying all four lanes, according to dispatch reports. Multiple local police units and CHP officers were also on the freeway.

At 6:45 p.m., the protesters crossed onto the northbound side of the freeway and temporarily blocked traffic in both directions between University and Embarcadero Road.

At 6:50 p.m., the CHP cleared southbound lanes of the highway, but in a game of cat-and-mouse, some protesters jumped back and forth between the northbound and southbound sides of the highway, as law enforcement tried to corral them and move them toward the Capitol Avenue off-ramp near Ikea.

Amid the confusion, police also reported contending with at least two wrong-way drivers.

A large crowd of protesters speaking out against the death of George Floyd block traffic at Donohoe Street and West Bayshore Road near the Ikea store in East Palo Alto on June 1. Photo by Lloyd Lee.

A second wave of largely peaceful protesters grew to between 200 and 300 people by 7:30 p.m. as they converged on the East Palo Alto Police Department headquarters on Demeter Street, according to police dispatch. Police asked for assistance from the San Mateo County Sheriff's Office and other cities' law enforcement.

About 150 of the protesters marched down Clarke Avenue toward Ravenswood 101 Shopping Center.

Throughout the evening, it appeared that there was no single leader of the protests and no one particular destination.

A long motorcade of protesters continuously circled the Menlo Park-East Palo Alto area, with Menlo Park police officers and San Mateo County sheriff's deputies directing the procession by blocking off certain parts of the streets or following from behind.

Protesters hold signs that call for an end to police brutality during a protest in East Palo Alto on June 1. Photo by Lloyd Lee.

Many people sat on the window sills or sunroofs of their cars, holding signs and chanting, "Black Lives Matter." Hip-hop music was the soundtrack of the evening with rapper YG's "FDT (F--- Donald Trump)" regularly blasting out of several cars.

East Palo Alto residents watching from street corners or the front lawns of their home said they've never seen and heard so many people demonstrate before in their community.

"(Protests) usually move to the larger cities," said Ziva Delrio, 25, a 14-year East Palo Alto resident. "We're such a small community, so we don't get these kinds of numbers that would feel like it would make a difference. It's really nice to see my city do it. That's why I forced my mom to come out with me."

"I grew up here. I live among these people, people of color," she said. "I'm a person of color, so I feel for their pain."

"It was so aggravating honestly," Delrio said of George Floyd's death. "There's so many other places on the body that you can put your knee on without putting so much pain on a person and still being able to do your job properly."

A woman, center in red T-shirt, with a megaphone leads demonstrators through a chant at Donohue Street and East Bayshore Road in East Palo Alto on June 1. Photo by Lloyd Lee.

J.T. Faraji, 43, an East Palo Alto-based artist who previously led a protest against a $9.1 million donation from Facebook to help expand the Menlo Park Police Department in 2017 and helped lead Monday night's protests with the aid of a megaphone, said the protest represents a long battle against overpolicing in his neighborhood.

"This is a fight we've been fighting — against criminalizaition in our neighborhood, overpolicing in our neighborhood — and it's all linked in with this police murder," Faraji said. "It's not just George Floyd. It's all these things that have been accumulating."

He acknowledged that some police officers feel as outraged about brutality as he does.

"One moment that made me really proud tonight was seeing several East Palo Alto police officers take a knee," he said. "If all of those other cops from those other communities would have taken a knee, it would have stopped right there. People just want to feel respected."

East Palo Alto resident Nona Turner said the protest was necessary. Though she didn't condone the looting she has seen in the media, Turner felt she understood where some of the anger was coming from.

"They want to be heard. We need to be heard," Turner said. "This has been something that's been happening for so long. It just took one more murder to take it over the top."

The smell of burnt rubber lingered in the air on some streets. Fireworks and firecrackers regularly popped off throughout the evening.

San Mateo County sheriff's deputies redirect protesters and drivers from West Bayshore Road to Donohue Street outside of the Ikea store in East Palo Alto on June 1. Photo by Lloyd Lee.

A few agitators confronted sheriffs and police officers, nearly tipping what was largely a loud but peaceful demonstration. Around 8:45 p.m., someone tossed a firecracker toward sheriff's deputies. It rolled underneath their squad car, which was parked in the middle of the intersection at Cooley Avenue and Donohoe Street.

One officer drew a gun while another commanded, "Get down on the ground."

Farachi claimed that those individuals were not with the protesters. The younger protesters would even stomp out the firecrackers before he could call on people to put them out, he said.

"They weren't with us," Farachi said. "We don't want that — that's not our message."

Around 9 p.m. police learned that the crowd might be headed toward Facebook's headquarters in Menlo Park and notified authorities, who set up a tactical command center at the social network giant's campus.

As many as 75 vehicles took part in a caravan that stretched from O'Brien Court in Menlo Park and down Kavanaugh Avenue to Gloria Way in East Palo Alto, according to dispatchers.

At about 9:30 p.m., multiple vehicles were seen going the wrong way east on Willow Road Sheriff's deputies asked police to shut down local roads because of the marchers.

A protester holds a sign with a message in Spanish, which roughly translates to, "If there is no justice for the community, there is no peace for the government," during a protest in East Palo Alto on June 1. Photo by Lloyd Lee.

About 150 demonstrators and a vehicle caravan also headed to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg's home in Palo Alto, dispatchers reported. Security personnel reported to police that the demonstrators had arrived at his home at about 10:55 p.m. The protesters stayed briefly before returning to University and Woodland avenues and heading back to East Palo Alto.

Some vandalism took place during the night. Early on, police scrambled to intercept people who were reportedly trying to break into a building in the 1200 block of Weeks Street by prying plywood off of it.

While the procession to Facebook was going on, someone broke a window at the AutoZone on University Avenue in East Palo Alto. A large group of people was seen armed with guns held in the air at Willow Road and Ivy Drive, according to police dispatch.

Fireworks hit a patrol car and a small fire ignited the vegetation at the Highway 101 cloverleaf interchange near University Avenue. A few demonstrators helped put it out, according to police dispatch.

Someone also threw fireworks on the freeway at about 11:15 p.m. People were also lighting off fireworks at the intersection of University and Donohoe, prompting police to tell people to go home or they would be arrested.

Around midnight, a group of protesters threw rocks at fire engines that were out on calls, according to a dispatch report.

Observing a moment of silence

Hours earlier, Menlo Park's protest began at 11 a.m. with a separate group of people who knelt on the lawn at Menlo Park's Burgess Park in total silence for 9 minutes to mark the amount of time a Minneapolis police officer knelt on Floyd's neck on May 25, killing him. Only the sounds from nearby birds could be heard.

The event also included chants, speeches and a march to El Camino Park in Palo Alto, which was peaceful, with many teenage students and families with children, many wearing masks, in attendance.

Both Menlo Park's mayor, Cecilia Taylor, and police chief, Dave Bertini, offered remarks in support of the diverse group of protesters.

Taylor, the first African American woman to serve as mayor of Menlo Park, told attendees that she is the fourth generation in her family to experience racial profiling.

"That, for me, as an elected official, I want to change while I'm in office. That's a part of my duty," she said. "I stand on the shoulders of my ancestors. But I hurt too. I fear for my stepsons' lives. I fear for my nephews' lives every day. … I fear for my husband's life. And all I can do is pray, and make change with policy and continue to connect with people who want to have comprehensive conversations about change in America, about change in our cities, about change in our communities."

Bertini said that the police officers present were there to protect the protesters. "We understand your anger," he said. "We are here to keep you safe."

Before and after the 9-minute silence, people shouted chants such as "No justice! No peace! No racist police!" and "What do we want? Justice! When do we want it? Now!"

Hundreds march out of Burgess Park in Menlo Park to protest police brutality and the death of George Floyd while in police custody on May 25, on June 1. Photo by Magali Gauthier.

After the silent protest, the group marched from Burgess Park to El Camino Park in Palo Alto along Alma Street, where it reconvened for speeches and remarks from students and adults who wanted to share their comments.

Several other demonstrators said they attended because they felt it was too important not to.

"There have been way too many instances for me to stay silent," said Penelope Penfold-Patterson, a Menlo Park resident and student at Menlo School. "It's time for it to end."

Others said they attended because they wanted their community to show solidarity and demonstrate, as one attendee who asked not to be named put it, "that we don't live in a bubble."

Students and adults passed the megaphone around, sharing their experiences and advocacy ideas. Atherton and Menlo Park are among the wealthiest communities in the country, one speaker said. "If you're not donating yet, what are you doing with your money?"

Kylie Cheung, a recent college graduate, said she grew up in Fremont and was uncomfortable with anti-black sentiment she had witnessed among some upper middle-class, non-white people, including among some Asian Americans. "It's not enough to be non-racist," she said. "We have to be anti-racist." She urged the community to divest police funding and invest funds in health care and housing.

The protest was organized by 16-year-old Menlo-Atherton High School student Daniel Roman, who said he was feeling frustrated at seeing the news of Floyd's death. Organizing the protest was a first for him, and he was nervous, he said in an interview.

He created an online invitation on Friday night to see if people would be interested in holding a small protest.

However, word of the event quickly exploded after the invitation spread on social media. By the time the protest began, he said that he had initially expected only 40 or 50 people to attend but RSVPs had ballooned to 430.

There to help lead the protest were more experienced activists Henry Shane, a junior at Kehillah Jewish High School in Palo Alto and Erin Jinishian, a senior at Menlo-Atherton High School. Shane and Jinishian met while working at True Food Kitchen in Palo Alto and began attending climate strike rallies together. They said they found the activism empowering and offered their experience to Roman when they learned he was planning the Menlo Park protest.

They said they'd been worried the event could get unruly. "That's the risk you take," said Jinishian."That's part of protesting."

Shane said that the event organizers discussed how to organize the protest, noting that the audience is primarily white or non-black, and may not have had experiences that enable full understanding of black experiences. Jinishian's poster summarized her perspective: "I will use my voice to amplify yours."

Protesters kneel and observe a nine-minute moment of silence for George Floyd, who died May 25 in Minneapolis police custody, at Burgess Park in Menlo Park on June 1. Photo by Magali Gauthier.

Many protesters carried posters bearing statements like "Black Lives Matter," "Silence is Betrayal," "Showing Up 4 Racial Justice," and "Defund the Police."

One mother, Cathleen Hartge, attended with her 3-year-old son. She explained to him that they were there because "people need to stop making sad choices and being mean to people who don't look like them."

Menlo Park resident Samira Sankaran, while marching toward Palo Alto along the Alma Street bike path with family member Mallika, said they initially attended to participate in the silent protest and see what was going on, but then joined in the march because they felt it was important.

Menlo Park Councilwoman Betsy Nash was also in attendance. "It's wonderful to see so many people," she said, and added that the protest was making her think about promoting equity in the city's development plans, including efforts to get a pharmacy and grocery store in District 1, which has a greater proportion of black and Latinx residents than other areas of Menlo Park.

As the protesters filed out of El Camino Park to begin their walk back to Burgess Park, Taylor said she hoped the event would provide an opportunity for community change. She wanted to reassure youth that everything isn't corrupt; that their health and wellness matters.

Protesters march down Alma Street in Menlo Park on June 1 to speak out against the May 25 death of George Floyd while in Minneapolis police custody. Photo by Magali Gauthier.

The event marked what appears to be the first large gathering in the community since the COVID-19 pandemic shutdowns started. While initial efforts to keep people 6 feet apart were followed, people gathered into closer proximity as the marching began.

The Santa Clara County Public Health Department sent out an advisory Monday that it "recognizes that peaceful protest in response to the pain, anger and mourning due to deeply rooted inequities and systemic racism is a fundamental right that is critical to the health of our democracy. As residents of the county exercise this right, we respectfully remind everyone that our community is still facing a health crisis as COVID-19 is still present."

The department urges people who have been in close contact with others in large gatherings to get free COVID-19 testing within three to five days of exposure. Find a free testing site here.

A weekend filled with protests

The protests are the latest in a series of public demonstrations since Friday, including two held in Mountain View on Friday and Sunday. Event organizers from the group Mountain View Voices for Peace and Justice say the event attracted as many as 250 people to the intersection of Castro Street and El Camino Real, eliciting supportive honking from passing vehicles. On Sunday, a silent protest was held outside of Town & Country Village shopping center in Palo Alto, where many condemned Floyd's death from the corner of El Camino Real and Embarcadero Road.

Community gathers participate in a silent protest outside of Town & Country Village shopping center in Palo Alto on May 31. Courtesy Ruth Rose.

Protests throughout the Bay Area and across the country have proliferated since Friday. Floyd was detained by police officers in a small neighborhood south of Minneapolis on May 25 after he was accused of using a counterfeit $20 bill at a deli. Video footage of the incident shows Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin pressing his right knee on Floyd's neck for nearly nine minutes. Floyd was taken to a hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Chauvin, who was fired after the incident, was arrested on May 29 on charges of third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.

Organizers of the Mountain View protests urged participants to wear masks and spread out as much as possible to adhere to public safety guidelines during the coronavirus pandemic, using all four corners of the popular intersection. They said the public display was not just for the death of Floyd, but other attacks fueled by racism and the disproportionate impact COVID-19 has had on black and Latino communities.

"We are not only protesting the death of George Floyd and other high-profile killings of African Americans, but the institutional racism that has caused the disparate impact of COVID-19 on communities of color," said Lenny Siegel, a former Mountain View councilman who led the event.

Friday saw large protests in San Jose that extended into Saturday, where participants marched through downtown streets, blocked Highway 101 and in some cases clashed with police. The city later announced on Sunday a weeklong curfew following "civil unrest, including looting and rioting, in the downtown area of San Jose that resulted in arrests, injuries, fire and significant property damage."

An even larger evening protest in Oakland drew thousands of people and, though it started peacefully, by nightfall led to smashed windows, fires and spray-painted buildings.

Local, state leaders react

The video of the incident prompted widespread outrage, including criticism from many law enforcement agencies, with police chiefs throughout the country condemning the officer's actions.

"We condemn the actions and inaction of the police officers in Minnesota and we do not tolerate or condone this type of behavior in Palo Alto at any level," according to a joint statement issued Monday by City Manager Ed Shikada; Police Chief Robert Jonsen; the Rev. Kaloma Smith, chairman of the Human Relations Commission and pastor of University AME Zion Church; and Pastor Paul Bains, president and co-founder of the nonprofit Project WeHope and Palo Alto police chaplain. "No police department is immune from public scrutiny, nor should it be."

The group called for "change through equity and inclusion" and sent their condolences to Floyd's family. "We recognize the calls for systemic change that this and other tragedies demand."

Jonsen also sent out tweets over the weekend, one of said the "wise insight of others can help us move forward together."

Mountain View Police Chief Max Bosel released a statement calling the incident "aberrant, inexcusable and inexplicable," saying it runs contrary to the "tremendous service" officers perform each day.

During his daily press conference on Monday, Gov. Gavin Newsom addressed the protests that have sparked across the state.

Speaking from Genesis Church in south Sacramento, Newsom recognized people's right to peacefully protest, but admonished those who were using the moment to loot businesses and incite violence.

"For those of you out there protesting, I want you to know you matter and I want you to know I care — we care," Newsom said. "You've lost patience, so have I. You are right to feel wronged."

Newsom did not outline any specific plan to address violence or looting during protests, but said the state is working with local leaders and ready to deploy over 4,500 members of the California National Guard.

"The looting, the violence, the threats against fellow human beings — that has no place in this state and in this nation. We as a society need to call that out."

Signs that seek "Justice for George," in response to the May 25 death of George Floyd while in Minneapolis police custody on display outside Palo Alto City Hall on June 1. Photo by Gennady Sheyner.

This story will be updated as more information becomes available.

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Embarcadero Media Staff Writers Kate Bradshaw and Kevin Forestieri contributed to this report, in addition to Palo Alto Online Digital Editor Jamey Padojino, Staff Writer Sue Dremann and Editorial Assistant Lloyd Lee.

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Protesters block highway, set off fireworks to show solidarity with Black Lives Matter

Peninsula residents join demonstrations at major intersections, public spaces

by / Palo Alto Weekly

Uploaded: Mon, Jun 1, 2020, 3:13 pm
Updated: Tue, Jun 2, 2020, 12:38 pm

Hundreds of protesters marched through Menlo Park, Palo Alto and East Palo Alto on Monday to protest police brutality in the wake of the death of George Floyd, who was killed while in Minneapolis police custody last week.

Floyd's death, captured on a bystander's video, has triggered widespread demonstrations across the U.S. Some have resulted in violence.

An estimated 100-200 people, many of whom were students, marched through Palo Alto and blocked lanes on Oregon Expressway leading to U.S. Highway 101 at about 3:30 p.m. on Monday, according to emergency-radio dispatch reports. At about 4 p.m., protesters crossed the Oregon overpass and walked onto the freeway, blocking northbound lanes. A California Highway Patrol unit was sent to the scene, dispatchers said.

By about 4:30 p.m., the group was walking north toward University Avenue, and East Palo Alto police officers blocked the area of University Avenue and Donohoe Street near Ikea so the group would exit. Additional police units blocked the next northbound exit at Willow Road in Menlo Park from protesters.

The chanting crowd mostly exited the freeway and then headed west over the University Avenue/Highway 101 overpass and toward downtown Palo Alto. Palo Alto police also sent units to Town & Country Village and Stanford Shopping Center in case the crowd headed toward either.

However, the group of about 150 to 200 youth assembled outside of Palo Alto City Hall, where they got down on one knee together and raised their fists in the air. Their protest ended at about 5:40 p.m.

Meanwhile, about 10 to 15 protesters tried to enter the freeway from University, where police blocked the entrance.

East Palo Alto police also tracked a group of youth on bicycles who were starting to converge near Ikea and at the Ravenswood 101 Shopping Center. They expected to keep an eye on the area after dark, according to dispatch reports.

There were still scattered protesters near the freeway and University Avenue at 6:08 p.m. Most people were on the sidewalk but some caused traffic slowdowns by being in the street, according to police dispatch.

Demonstrations continued into the evening, with people gathering and dispersing and then joining new groups. Most of the activity took place in Palo Alto and East Palo Alto, though some people took their protest to Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park. While the majority of people remained peaceful, there were dispatcher reports of attempted break-ins of buildings, fireworks were thrown at police and one incident of an officer pulling a gun.

About 100 protesters and numerous vehicles gathered in East Palo Alto at 6:30 p.m. and headed west over the University Avenue/Highway 101 overpass, where police blocked traffic in that direction. The protesters moved onto southbound Highway 101 from University, occupying all four lanes, according to dispatch reports. Multiple local police units and CHP officers were also on the freeway.

At 6:45 p.m., the protesters crossed onto the northbound side of the freeway and temporarily blocked traffic in both directions between University and Embarcadero Road.

At 6:50 p.m., the CHP cleared southbound lanes of the highway, but in a game of cat-and-mouse, some protesters jumped back and forth between the northbound and southbound sides of the highway, as law enforcement tried to corral them and move them toward the Capitol Avenue off-ramp near Ikea.

Amid the confusion, police also reported contending with at least two wrong-way drivers.

A second wave of largely peaceful protesters grew to between 200 and 300 people by 7:30 p.m. as they converged on the East Palo Alto Police Department headquarters on Demeter Street, according to police dispatch. Police asked for assistance from the San Mateo County Sheriff's Office and other cities' law enforcement.

About 150 of the protesters marched down Clarke Avenue toward Ravenswood 101 Shopping Center.

Throughout the evening, it appeared that there was no single leader of the protests and no one particular destination.

A long motorcade of protesters continuously circled the Menlo Park-East Palo Alto area, with Menlo Park police officers and San Mateo County sheriff's deputies directing the procession by blocking off certain parts of the streets or following from behind.

Many people sat on the window sills or sunroofs of their cars, holding signs and chanting, "Black Lives Matter." Hip-hop music was the soundtrack of the evening with rapper YG's "FDT (F--- Donald Trump)" regularly blasting out of several cars.

East Palo Alto residents watching from street corners or the front lawns of their home said they've never seen and heard so many people demonstrate before in their community.

"(Protests) usually move to the larger cities," said Ziva Delrio, 25, a 14-year East Palo Alto resident. "We're such a small community, so we don't get these kinds of numbers that would feel like it would make a difference. It's really nice to see my city do it. That's why I forced my mom to come out with me."

"I grew up here. I live among these people, people of color," she said. "I'm a person of color, so I feel for their pain."

"It was so aggravating honestly," Delrio said of George Floyd's death. "There's so many other places on the body that you can put your knee on without putting so much pain on a person and still being able to do your job properly."

J.T. Faraji, 43, an East Palo Alto-based artist who previously led a protest against a $9.1 million donation from Facebook to help expand the Menlo Park Police Department in 2017 and helped lead Monday night's protests with the aid of a megaphone, said the protest represents a long battle against overpolicing in his neighborhood.

"This is a fight we've been fighting — against criminalizaition in our neighborhood, overpolicing in our neighborhood — and it's all linked in with this police murder," Faraji said. "It's not just George Floyd. It's all these things that have been accumulating."

He acknowledged that some police officers feel as outraged about brutality as he does.

"One moment that made me really proud tonight was seeing several East Palo Alto police officers take a knee," he said. "If all of those other cops from those other communities would have taken a knee, it would have stopped right there. People just want to feel respected."

East Palo Alto resident Nona Turner said the protest was necessary. Though she didn't condone the looting she has seen in the media, Turner felt she understood where some of the anger was coming from.

"They want to be heard. We need to be heard," Turner said. "This has been something that's been happening for so long. It just took one more murder to take it over the top."

The smell of burnt rubber lingered in the air on some streets. Fireworks and firecrackers regularly popped off throughout the evening.

A few agitators confronted sheriffs and police officers, nearly tipping what was largely a loud but peaceful demonstration. Around 8:45 p.m., someone tossed a firecracker toward sheriff's deputies. It rolled underneath their squad car, which was parked in the middle of the intersection at Cooley Avenue and Donohoe Street.

One officer drew a gun while another commanded, "Get down on the ground."

Farachi claimed that those individuals were not with the protesters. The younger protesters would even stomp out the firecrackers before he could call on people to put them out, he said.

"They weren't with us," Farachi said. "We don't want that — that's not our message."

Around 9 p.m. police learned that the crowd might be headed toward Facebook's headquarters in Menlo Park and notified authorities, who set up a tactical command center at the social network giant's campus.

As many as 75 vehicles took part in a caravan that stretched from O'Brien Court in Menlo Park and down Kavanaugh Avenue to Gloria Way in East Palo Alto, according to dispatchers.

At about 9:30 p.m., multiple vehicles were seen going the wrong way east on Willow Road Sheriff's deputies asked police to shut down local roads because of the marchers.

About 150 demonstrators and a vehicle caravan also headed to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg's home in Palo Alto, dispatchers reported. Security personnel reported to police that the demonstrators had arrived at his home at about 10:55 p.m. The protesters stayed briefly before returning to University and Woodland avenues and heading back to East Palo Alto.

Some vandalism took place during the night. Early on, police scrambled to intercept people who were reportedly trying to break into a building in the 1200 block of Weeks Street by prying plywood off of it.

While the procession to Facebook was going on, someone broke a window at the AutoZone on University Avenue in East Palo Alto. A large group of people was seen armed with guns held in the air at Willow Road and Ivy Drive, according to police dispatch.

Fireworks hit a patrol car and a small fire ignited the vegetation at the Highway 101 cloverleaf interchange near University Avenue. A few demonstrators helped put it out, according to police dispatch.

Someone also threw fireworks on the freeway at about 11:15 p.m. People were also lighting off fireworks at the intersection of University and Donohoe, prompting police to tell people to go home or they would be arrested.

Around midnight, a group of protesters threw rocks at fire engines that were out on calls, according to a dispatch report.

Hours earlier, Menlo Park's protest began at 11 a.m. with a separate group of people who knelt on the lawn at Menlo Park's Burgess Park in total silence for 9 minutes to mark the amount of time a Minneapolis police officer knelt on Floyd's neck on May 25, killing him. Only the sounds from nearby birds could be heard.

The event also included chants, speeches and a march to El Camino Park in Palo Alto, which was peaceful, with many teenage students and families with children, many wearing masks, in attendance.

Both Menlo Park's mayor, Cecilia Taylor, and police chief, Dave Bertini, offered remarks in support of the diverse group of protesters.

Taylor, the first African American woman to serve as mayor of Menlo Park, told attendees that she is the fourth generation in her family to experience racial profiling.

"That, for me, as an elected official, I want to change while I'm in office. That's a part of my duty," she said. "I stand on the shoulders of my ancestors. But I hurt too. I fear for my stepsons' lives. I fear for my nephews' lives every day. … I fear for my husband's life. And all I can do is pray, and make change with policy and continue to connect with people who want to have comprehensive conversations about change in America, about change in our cities, about change in our communities."

Bertini said that the police officers present were there to protect the protesters. "We understand your anger," he said. "We are here to keep you safe."

Before and after the 9-minute silence, people shouted chants such as "No justice! No peace! No racist police!" and "What do we want? Justice! When do we want it? Now!"

After the silent protest, the group marched from Burgess Park to El Camino Park in Palo Alto along Alma Street, where it reconvened for speeches and remarks from students and adults who wanted to share their comments.

Several other demonstrators said they attended because they felt it was too important not to.

"There have been way too many instances for me to stay silent," said Penelope Penfold-Patterson, a Menlo Park resident and student at Menlo School. "It's time for it to end."

Others said they attended because they wanted their community to show solidarity and demonstrate, as one attendee who asked not to be named put it, "that we don't live in a bubble."

Students and adults passed the megaphone around, sharing their experiences and advocacy ideas. Atherton and Menlo Park are among the wealthiest communities in the country, one speaker said. "If you're not donating yet, what are you doing with your money?"

Kylie Cheung, a recent college graduate, said she grew up in Fremont and was uncomfortable with anti-black sentiment she had witnessed among some upper middle-class, non-white people, including among some Asian Americans. "It's not enough to be non-racist," she said. "We have to be anti-racist." She urged the community to divest police funding and invest funds in health care and housing.

The protest was organized by 16-year-old Menlo-Atherton High School student Daniel Roman, who said he was feeling frustrated at seeing the news of Floyd's death. Organizing the protest was a first for him, and he was nervous, he said in an interview.

He created an online invitation on Friday night to see if people would be interested in holding a small protest.

However, word of the event quickly exploded after the invitation spread on social media. By the time the protest began, he said that he had initially expected only 40 or 50 people to attend but RSVPs had ballooned to 430.

There to help lead the protest were more experienced activists Henry Shane, a junior at Kehillah Jewish High School in Palo Alto and Erin Jinishian, a senior at Menlo-Atherton High School. Shane and Jinishian met while working at True Food Kitchen in Palo Alto and began attending climate strike rallies together. They said they found the activism empowering and offered their experience to Roman when they learned he was planning the Menlo Park protest.

They said they'd been worried the event could get unruly. "That's the risk you take," said Jinishian."That's part of protesting."

Shane said that the event organizers discussed how to organize the protest, noting that the audience is primarily white or non-black, and may not have had experiences that enable full understanding of black experiences. Jinishian's poster summarized her perspective: "I will use my voice to amplify yours."

Many protesters carried posters bearing statements like "Black Lives Matter," "Silence is Betrayal," "Showing Up 4 Racial Justice," and "Defund the Police."

One mother, Cathleen Hartge, attended with her 3-year-old son. She explained to him that they were there because "people need to stop making sad choices and being mean to people who don't look like them."

Menlo Park resident Samira Sankaran, while marching toward Palo Alto along the Alma Street bike path with family member Mallika, said they initially attended to participate in the silent protest and see what was going on, but then joined in the march because they felt it was important.

Menlo Park Councilwoman Betsy Nash was also in attendance. "It's wonderful to see so many people," she said, and added that the protest was making her think about promoting equity in the city's development plans, including efforts to get a pharmacy and grocery store in District 1, which has a greater proportion of black and Latinx residents than other areas of Menlo Park.

As the protesters filed out of El Camino Park to begin their walk back to Burgess Park, Taylor said she hoped the event would provide an opportunity for community change. She wanted to reassure youth that everything isn't corrupt; that their health and wellness matters.

The event marked what appears to be the first large gathering in the community since the COVID-19 pandemic shutdowns started. While initial efforts to keep people 6 feet apart were followed, people gathered into closer proximity as the marching began.

The Santa Clara County Public Health Department sent out an advisory Monday that it "recognizes that peaceful protest in response to the pain, anger and mourning due to deeply rooted inequities and systemic racism is a fundamental right that is critical to the health of our democracy. As residents of the county exercise this right, we respectfully remind everyone that our community is still facing a health crisis as COVID-19 is still present."

The department urges people who have been in close contact with others in large gatherings to get free COVID-19 testing within three to five days of exposure. Find a free testing site here.

The protests are the latest in a series of public demonstrations since Friday, including two held in Mountain View on Friday and Sunday. Event organizers from the group Mountain View Voices for Peace and Justice say the event attracted as many as 250 people to the intersection of Castro Street and El Camino Real, eliciting supportive honking from passing vehicles. On Sunday, a silent protest was held outside of Town & Country Village shopping center in Palo Alto, where many condemned Floyd's death from the corner of El Camino Real and Embarcadero Road.

Protests throughout the Bay Area and across the country have proliferated since Friday. Floyd was detained by police officers in a small neighborhood south of Minneapolis on May 25 after he was accused of using a counterfeit $20 bill at a deli. Video footage of the incident shows Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin pressing his right knee on Floyd's neck for nearly nine minutes. Floyd was taken to a hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Chauvin, who was fired after the incident, was arrested on May 29 on charges of third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.

Organizers of the Mountain View protests urged participants to wear masks and spread out as much as possible to adhere to public safety guidelines during the coronavirus pandemic, using all four corners of the popular intersection. They said the public display was not just for the death of Floyd, but other attacks fueled by racism and the disproportionate impact COVID-19 has had on black and Latino communities.

"We are not only protesting the death of George Floyd and other high-profile killings of African Americans, but the institutional racism that has caused the disparate impact of COVID-19 on communities of color," said Lenny Siegel, a former Mountain View councilman who led the event.

Friday saw large protests in San Jose that extended into Saturday, where participants marched through downtown streets, blocked Highway 101 and in some cases clashed with police. The city later announced on Sunday a weeklong curfew following "civil unrest, including looting and rioting, in the downtown area of San Jose that resulted in arrests, injuries, fire and significant property damage."

An even larger evening protest in Oakland drew thousands of people and, though it started peacefully, by nightfall led to smashed windows, fires and spray-painted buildings.

The video of the incident prompted widespread outrage, including criticism from many law enforcement agencies, with police chiefs throughout the country condemning the officer's actions.

"We condemn the actions and inaction of the police officers in Minnesota and we do not tolerate or condone this type of behavior in Palo Alto at any level," according to a joint statement issued Monday by City Manager Ed Shikada; Police Chief Robert Jonsen; the Rev. Kaloma Smith, chairman of the Human Relations Commission and pastor of University AME Zion Church; and Pastor Paul Bains, president and co-founder of the nonprofit Project WeHope and Palo Alto police chaplain. "No police department is immune from public scrutiny, nor should it be."

The group called for "change through equity and inclusion" and sent their condolences to Floyd's family. "We recognize the calls for systemic change that this and other tragedies demand."

Jonsen also sent out tweets over the weekend, one of said the "wise insight of others can help us move forward together."

Mountain View Police Chief Max Bosel released a statement calling the incident "aberrant, inexcusable and inexplicable," saying it runs contrary to the "tremendous service" officers perform each day.

During his daily press conference on Monday, Gov. Gavin Newsom addressed the protests that have sparked across the state.

Speaking from Genesis Church in south Sacramento, Newsom recognized people's right to peacefully protest, but admonished those who were using the moment to loot businesses and incite violence.

"For those of you out there protesting, I want you to know you matter and I want you to know I care — we care," Newsom said. "You've lost patience, so have I. You are right to feel wronged."

Newsom did not outline any specific plan to address violence or looting during protests, but said the state is working with local leaders and ready to deploy over 4,500 members of the California National Guard.

"The looting, the violence, the threats against fellow human beings — that has no place in this state and in this nation. We as a society need to call that out."

This story will be updated as more information becomes available.

Comments

Student
another community
on Jun 1, 2020 at 4:41 pm
Student, another community
on Jun 1, 2020 at 4:41 pm
21 people like this

Four years ago our Rabbi said the following at SJ City Council:
Web Link
Same lesson, different application.


Resident
Old Palo Alto
on Jun 1, 2020 at 5:08 pm
Resident, Old Palo Alto
on Jun 1, 2020 at 5:08 pm
26 people like this

Thank you student for posting that. Of course Rabbi Levine is correct. He is well educated in religion, philosophy, history, and political science. I am sure that most educated Jews and Christians would agree with him. However...the problem we are dealing with arises when people have no education or understanding of the bible, or the Ten Commandments. They have a completely different set of morals and values than ours. Thank you again sharing this.


Small Business Owner
Adobe-Meadow
on Jun 1, 2020 at 6:07 pm
Small Business Owner, Adobe-Meadow
on Jun 1, 2020 at 6:07 pm
91 people like this

Time to get people back in school and back to work. These people obviously no school nor work to attend to. Time to fully open California now. The lock down insanity continues. Newsom and Cody and local media will not learn their lessons that you cannot shut down an economy for the risk of .01% death by Covid.

I agree the lockdowns have disproportionately hurt those who do not work in Big Tech. We are not all in this together.


Resident
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 1, 2020 at 6:43 pm
Resident, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 1, 2020 at 6:43 pm
8 people like this

Anyone able to comment on what was happening at Oregon/101/University. Middlefield was a mess.


resident
Stanford
on Jun 1, 2020 at 7:15 pm
resident, Stanford
on Jun 1, 2020 at 7:15 pm
26 people like this

[Post removed.]


Charles Pacquett
Charleston Gardens
on Jun 1, 2020 at 7:16 pm
Charles Pacquett, Charleston Gardens
on Jun 1, 2020 at 7:16 pm
5 people like this

[Post removed.]


Mark
Old Palo Alto
on Jun 1, 2020 at 7:23 pm
Mark, Old Palo Alto
on Jun 1, 2020 at 7:23 pm
125 people like this

This article is trying really really hard to affirm that the protest was peaceful. Blocking car lanes is anything but peaceful. It is dangerous to both the protesters and the drivers, and they held people who are just trying to go about their everyday business hostage. These are trying times. Some of these people were just trying to get to their jobs, which aren't as secure as they used to be, or may have dependents (kids, seniors) who need them and are waiting for them back home. The message they are trying to send is important, and I believe it should be spread. But I wish they would be considerate of the consequences of their actions for other people and be smarter about how they get their message out.


Vote
Palo Verde
on Jun 1, 2020 at 7:37 pm
Vote, Palo Verde
on Jun 1, 2020 at 7:37 pm
50 people like this

Bravo for these young people for stepping out of their comfort zone to show up and stand up for what is right and good and just.

Let's peacefully keep going and get out the VOTE in November. Send the one occupying the white house packing. Tell him to take his oppressive policies and hate-stirring messages with him.


Susan
Old Palo Alto
on Jun 1, 2020 at 7:44 pm
Susan, Old Palo Alto
on Jun 1, 2020 at 7:44 pm
62 people like this

Mark, blocking car lanes is exactly what is needed to get the message across that police needs to stop racial profiling. As an Indian woman and a single mom of two grown children living in Palo Alto, I have seen plenty of discrimination towards my own kids growing up. I was pulled over by a white cop for making a legal U-turn. When i rolled down my window and presented my license to the officer, he puts his hand on the gun while talking to me. I can bet he wouldnt do that while talking to a white woman/man. Private schools in Palo Alto & Mountain View wouldn't offer spot to my kids when they were preschool age but instantly had a spot ready and available for a white kid. Many private schools would rather have a white kid than a black/brown kid. [Portion removed.]


Ced
East Palo Alto
on Jun 1, 2020 at 8:22 pm
Ced, East Palo Alto
on Jun 1, 2020 at 8:22 pm
50 people like this

In a balanced society where everyone would get their fair chance to equality and freedom a protest on a freeway would be totally unnecessary if not banned. Unfortunately we are NOT in that society...yet. It is NOT business as usual. Everyone MUST feel the discomfort so that all FINALLY get heard and JUSTICE takes precedence for ALL!
We should thank our youngsters to take a necessary stance, I am proud of them! And thank you to the PA police and CHP to protect their right and support them!


Sophie88
another community
on Jun 1, 2020 at 8:47 pm
Sophie88, another community
on Jun 1, 2020 at 8:47 pm
72 people like this

Teenagers have no school to attend to and perhaps find the protest the most fun outdoor event to participate in the past 2 and half months lock down period. Meanwhile essential business workers, owners are stuck in the traffic after a long day.


Nayeli
Midtown
on Jun 1, 2020 at 8:52 pm
Nayeli, Midtown
on Jun 1, 2020 at 8:52 pm
42 people like this

As long as the people are peaceful, let them march for a cause that they believe in. Hopefully, our local protests won't be hijacked by those individuals who choose to riot, loot, destroy property or engage in violence.


Lynne
East Palo Alto
on Jun 1, 2020 at 9:08 pm
Lynne, East Palo Alto
on Jun 1, 2020 at 9:08 pm
42 people like this

[Post removed due to deletion of referenced comment.]


Student
Professorville
on Jun 1, 2020 at 9:26 pm
Student, Professorville
on Jun 1, 2020 at 9:26 pm
32 people like this

Really ashamed to have missed this. I will be attending a protest on Sunday (6/6) that I saw on Twitter though. It is planned to start at noon at Palo Alto City Hall. I would encourage all to come to show solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement and support and love to the black and brown people of our community.


Resident 2
Midtown
on Jun 1, 2020 at 9:36 pm
Resident 2, Midtown
on Jun 1, 2020 at 9:36 pm
26 people like this

[Post removed.]


Newby
Old Palo Alto
on Jun 1, 2020 at 9:41 pm
Newby, Old Palo Alto
on Jun 1, 2020 at 9:41 pm
48 people like this

Palo Alto has a lot of racism. As the parent of biracial children I see it nearly every time I go to the grocery store or elsewhere in this community. I have a privilege that is not afforded to my children and as a white observer its clear. This is a community that has grown more quickly than many are comfortable with and if you think that there is not bias toward communities of color in Palo Alto, your not paying attention. As a predominantly white community it falls to us to have these conversations and fix the problems. This is a well-resourced community, with a lot of smart folks - we can do better. Instead of arguing or getting so angry about a bit of delay in traffic, why don't you say "what can I do to make Palo Alto better for my neighbor"? It can start with you - use your privilege and let's make Palo Alto a leader!


Kathryn
Downtown North
on Jun 1, 2020 at 9:57 pm
Kathryn, Downtown North
on Jun 1, 2020 at 9:57 pm
20 people like this

Righteous actions. Keep it up.


Anon
East Palo Alto
on Jun 1, 2020 at 10:06 pm
Anon, East Palo Alto
on Jun 1, 2020 at 10:06 pm
12 people like this

Glad I missed this commotion but working in the City is no fun either. Honestly I’m so over it all of it.


Dan
Midtown
on Jun 1, 2020 at 10:08 pm
Dan, Midtown
on Jun 1, 2020 at 10:08 pm
37 people like this

Walking onto an active freeway is never very smart. Glad no one was killed.


dalit
another community
on Jun 1, 2020 at 10:32 pm
dalit, another community
on Jun 1, 2020 at 10:32 pm
33 people like this

@Susan,
The police usually have there hands on their gun, for a traffic stop, this is what they are trained to do, they have no idea who they are pulling over. Furthermore, do not feel like this has only happened to you because of the color of your skin. 40 years ago I was riding a bike with a friend on the handlebars, it is called double riding. A marked police car drove by and yelled at my buddy to get off the bike, then he drove off. A couple seconds later my buddy jumped back on the handlebars and off we went , at the time we did not think we were doing anything wrong. As we entered the local grade school around the corner, two unmarked vehicles came racing at us from across the grass. Officer Stagner jumped out of a white van with his revolver drawn. All this, for double riding on a bicycle. When we went to the police station to file a complaint, the cops lied through their teeth about speeding on the field and drawing the gun. Do not feel that you were singled out because of the color of your skin. This crap has been going on for years.




Juan
Barron Park
on Jun 1, 2020 at 10:46 pm
Juan, Barron Park
on Jun 1, 2020 at 10:46 pm
56 people like this

To the user "Newby" and their comment about Palo Alto being a racist place. I am Latino and have lived here my whole and have never experienced such things. You are being overly sensitive. This is not a peaceful protest when people are blocking the flow of traffic on a state freeway. [Portion removed.]


Anonymous
Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jun 1, 2020 at 10:57 pm
Anonymous, Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jun 1, 2020 at 10:57 pm
12 people like this

I think rallying/protesting at City Hall, other state facilities makes sense. I disagree with dangerously blocking traffic on any highway or bridge. It’s dangerous for you, too.
If this is to “make others feel pain,” then I think rather it may endanger people or inconvenience them, but not convince them as to your cause. They may not know your cause!
Or maybe....wait...they already agree with your cause %(if they see your placards, hear on car radio about the protest), but are...endangered (late to crucial medical treatment) or inconvenienced (to work, childcare, eldercare, etc.) - but...you don’t care about that, it appears.


Online name
East Palo Alto
on Jun 1, 2020 at 11:40 pm
Online name, East Palo Alto
on Jun 1, 2020 at 11:40 pm
37 people like this

Protesters in Mexico have been blocking Major highways for decades.
Some years back, a guy from San Luis Potosi was telling me about how he and his family ran into a "student" protest at a toll booth past Cuernavaca. They arrived at the blockade in the afternoon and were stuck in traffic for about an hour. Then the protesters started throwing rocks. This poor guy got his car pelted with rocks while his little kids and wife were terrified. Windows smashed hundreds of dents in the car they were able to turn around and go back to Cuernavaca. By the time they got there it was dark. Not one hotel would accept them due to the condition of the car. They had to sleep in the car, cancelled their vacation then headed home. He and his family traumatized for life.
Fast forward to last week where protesters blocked 101 south at Santa Clara street. The image of the "protester" with the crowbar in hand smashing the drivers side window of the White SUV with the drivers head inches from the glass. If it was me I would fo anything to get myself and my family out of harms way. Anthing!
Unfortunately, such actions might get you thrown in jail in California.
There is a huge difference between peaceful protests and violent criminals harming innocent people and their property. This has got to stop. I have seen linited TV coverage of Gavin Newsom on addressing the situation. Bring out the National guard if need be.


Resident
Barron Park
on Jun 2, 2020 at 12:01 am
Resident, Barron Park
on Jun 2, 2020 at 12:01 am
20 people like this

I support peaceful protests. I supported peaceful lockdown protests and I support peaceful protests against police brutality. However the media and the Left vilified peaceful lockdown protests because somehow people must never risk a single life, but now the Left celebrates violent riots destroying property and killing people. Bunch of liars -- you can see from this that "lives" were never the issue for them, it was only about politics the whole time.


JB
another community
on Jun 2, 2020 at 1:02 am
JB, another community
on Jun 2, 2020 at 1:02 am
27 people like this

You all seem to miss that people are dying. I don't care whether your day was interrupted. I don't care whether you had a hard time getting home.

There are bigger problems than your privileged existence. Maybe if you had to worry about your kids dying because they went for a run, you'd understand. [Portion removed.]


The Left are unhinged
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 2, 2020 at 1:05 am
The Left are unhinged, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 2, 2020 at 1:05 am
44 people like this

The Millenials and Gen Z want their voices heard because they didn't grow up in Leave It to Beaver, Brady Bunch families, they feel ignored and they need to be part of a movement since they didn't feel the love from their parents. Parents have failed at teaching them strong work ethic because it's the participation trophy generation, they want everything for free. Meanwhile, the far left are satisfied, they want to keep everyone on welfare so they can keep their power. They want to allow illegals into our country so they can gain their votes, it's all about power, they don't care about the people at all. They don't care about the blacks, they've kept them in the projects on welfare so they are segregated.


Pissed Off.
East Palo Alto
on Jun 2, 2020 at 1:13 am
Pissed Off., East Palo Alto
on Jun 2, 2020 at 1:13 am
12 people like this

CHP has to be fired. My wife couldn't get across the Dumbarton tonight and when I called them I was hung up on 4x in a row until I finally got a dispatcher who was able to tell me a fraction of what was going on. LEO's need to burn for this. There's no point in spending tax money for LEOs that break the law themselves and then refuse to keep the hwys clear of vandals. What a wast of money all around.


Wait, what?
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 2, 2020 at 1:34 am
Wait, what?, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 2, 2020 at 1:34 am
19 people like this

@Pissed off
You are angry because your wife didn’t have a cell phone to call you?


Resident
Downtown North
on Jun 2, 2020 at 2:08 am
Resident, Downtown North
on Jun 2, 2020 at 2:08 am
17 people like this

If you're not black, please don't speak about how racism doesn't thrive in liberal Palo Alto or Silicon Valley (@Juan). Sin of slavery of our African American brothers and sisters or the death of Flloyd did happen as much as many entitled people try to pretend it didn't happen.

Want to know about systemic racism? Even in elite private schools - do the math.
Let's take Nueva - a gifted private school. You write a test to see if you're gifted and then apply. You need a specific score to be gifted.

Interestingly, the majority of the school is white. In the middle of Silicon Valley filled with Indians and Asians and people all over the world, the majority of gifted students at Nueva are white?

Do the math on Castelleja, the all girls private school in old Palo Alto. Go on one of their school tours. Stand at the back of the classroom and do a head count of how many Asian or Indian girls there are compared to white girls. Ironically the "Asian girls" are actually only half Asian and half white... but even when you count half white girls as ethnic, the classrooms are dominated by white girls. Disproprotionately.

Then at the end of the tour, they gather all the parents touring into an auditorium. Sit at the back and do a head count. There are only perhaps 5-8 white parents, and the rest are all Asian or Indian. All parents who are eager to get their girls enrolled into Casti. in the Bay area are mostly non-white.
Yet the ones who are accepted are disproportionately white.

It would be great to see ethnicity broken down by applications versus who are accepted for both Casti and Nueva.

This is called systemic racism to ensure a wealth inequality. Noam Chomsky did a great documentary on this. It's inbuilt into real estate. You'll read the disclosures with neighborhood agreements stating you can not sell, or rent a home to a whole list of visible minorities.

There is such a deep fear in Caucasian folks that if they compete on a level playing field with other non-white folks, that they will lose out, they do things like disproportionately accept mostly white kids into private schools (even if ratio of application is not overwhelmingly white in places like Nueva in Silicon Valley).

It's hard to believe systemic racism exists. We have a video of a black man being killed in under 9 minutes in broad daylight by the policeman and here we are with folks posting how inconvenienced they are by the protests, not feeling the outrage systemic racism exists.

Imagine if you go from being a white male (yes Juan - you qualify as white male) and become black over night with curly hair. Dark skin. Imagine that and how people treat you right away. Bet you'd be protesting too.


Ivy Chang
Barron Park
on Jun 2, 2020 at 2:09 am
Ivy Chang, Barron Park
on Jun 2, 2020 at 2:09 am
6 people like this

[Post removed.]


Resident
Old Palo Alto
on Jun 2, 2020 at 2:13 am
Resident, Old Palo Alto
on Jun 2, 2020 at 2:13 am
23 people like this

@ Susan [portion removed.] I was once stopped for speeding on Middlefield by an officer who was not white, and he also had his hand on his gun when I was getting my license out of my purse. No big deal, it's their training.

The kids who attend Stratford school live outside of PAUSD. Many are commuter parents. All students who live in Palo Alto are welcome at PAUSD. [Portion removed.]

When my sons went to preschool at the Eichler Swim Center on Creekside drive, they were the only Caucasian students and it made no difference to them or us - parents and children had loads of fun. I was the only parent to host many parties for everyone at my home for all the preschoolers and their parents.

I have lived in Old Palo Alto for over 20 years, and before that - 40 years in the Triple El neighborhood. I have never been invited to any kind of "picnic" with a neighbor in either neighborhood. We have always had neighbors and kids stop by, and occasionally stay for dinner. Our block parties in Old Palo Alto are friendly and open to everyone. [Portion removed.]


mina
College Terrace
on Jun 2, 2020 at 2:26 am
mina, College Terrace
on Jun 2, 2020 at 2:26 am
7 people like this

[Post removed due to same poster using multiple names]


Resident
Midtown
on Jun 2, 2020 at 2:34 am
Resident , Midtown
on Jun 2, 2020 at 2:34 am
5 people like this

[Post removed.]


Donna
East Palo Alto
on Jun 2, 2020 at 2:58 am
Donna, East Palo Alto
on Jun 2, 2020 at 2:58 am
32 people like this

To person ranting about schools and Noam Chomsky. You [portion removed] completely miss the reasons why children of color are not in nice schools. It's because of their family culture and unit, it has nothing to do with race. Whites are 70% of the population, but are 5th in income. While Indians, filipinos, taiwanese are the top 3 money makers and are minorities. You look for a systematic form of oppression when the results and evidence clearly contradict that. We need to help restore the family unit in the black community and not use documentaries (which are probably some of the worst most biased ways to gain information) to create welfare programs that keep blacks in poverty. Over 70% are born to single mothers and raised by a single mother and/or grandmother. Where are the fathers? You can't have a strong thriving culture when the family unit is torn apart!


Solution
Downtown North
on Jun 2, 2020 at 3:18 am
Solution , Downtown North
on Jun 2, 2020 at 3:18 am
7 people like this

[Post removed.]


Resident
another community
on Jun 2, 2020 at 6:52 am
Resident, another community
on Jun 2, 2020 at 6:52 am
17 people like this

Interesting that most of the protestors seem to be kids. Where are the middle aged people or older generation? I wonder how much of this has to do with the fact that schools are closed. I support protests but I wonder how many of these kids that are blocking streets understand the dangers of what they are doing.


Resident
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 2, 2020 at 7:18 am
Resident, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 2, 2020 at 7:18 am
16 people like this

There is a very hypocritical scenario in all this.

Protests with people close together, not wearing masks, even police seen hugging protestors, all seem to be not only allowed, but celebrated, bottled water handed out freely and often thrown about

But if I decide to meet a friend to walk, I have to remain 6' apart and recommended to wear a mask, then we can't even sit on a park bench to drink our own water. If I don't I get called out for breaking social distancing rules in the SIP.

The SIP is now a mockery.


Stay off the freeway
Menlo Park
on Jun 2, 2020 at 7:38 am
Stay off the freeway, Menlo Park
on Jun 2, 2020 at 7:38 am
28 people like this

You’re bored, I get it. Go ahead and protest. Go to city hall, a park or anywhere else but the freeway. Do you really think a single person stuck in that traffic you created was thinking “gee, I guess black lives really do matter”? Not likely.

I really feel for the local police, CHP and firefighters who have to deal with all these idiots. Because of a few bad apples our public servants have been stripped of all their authority and ability to do their jobs.

Newby: You’re delusional. I’ve lived her for 34 years and not once have I seen what you’re talking about. [Portion removed.]


Shawn
Midtown
on Jun 2, 2020 at 7:59 am
Shawn , Midtown
on Jun 2, 2020 at 7:59 am
Like this comment

[Post removed.]


Stay off the freeway
Menlo Park
on Jun 2, 2020 at 8:09 am
Stay off the freeway, Menlo Park
on Jun 2, 2020 at 8:09 am
4 people like this

[Post removed.]


Old Joe
Barron Park
on Jun 2, 2020 at 8:13 am
Old Joe, Barron Park
on Jun 2, 2020 at 8:13 am
4 people like this

[Post removed.]


Shawn
Midtown
on Jun 2, 2020 at 8:14 am
Shawn, Midtown
on Jun 2, 2020 at 8:14 am
2 people like this

and Iam giving you the sympathy you obviously need ……..
Hope your drive today is better and young kids demonstrating don't interfere with you


Stay off the freeway
Menlo Park
on Jun 2, 2020 at 8:36 am
Stay off the freeway, Menlo Park
on Jun 2, 2020 at 8:36 am
25 people like this

Old Joe, so you’re saying you also see racism every time you go shopping in Palo Alto?

Listen, I went to M-A high school and was called “cracker”, “white boy” etc on a weekly basis. I heard the N word fly around like it meant nothing. There was racism on all sides at that school.

That said, I have not once witnessed anything I’d call “racism” go down in public and if I did, I’d be the first person to call them out.

What irritates me is that everyone is so quick to hit the racism panic button anytime they experience or whiteness any sort or resistance, confrontation or opposing opinions.

- Your forever neighbor :)


Joe
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 2, 2020 at 9:13 am
Joe, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 2, 2020 at 9:13 am
Like this comment

[Post removed.]


Resident
another community
on Jun 2, 2020 at 9:27 am
Resident, another community
on Jun 2, 2020 at 9:27 am
14 people like this

What these protestors don't understand is, how can someone focus on this movement when they could be driving on the way to the hospital (in labor about to have a baby, for a medical procedure or surgery, to the ER, to an important medical appointment), on the way to pick up their kids, on the way to work (particularly doctors and nurses that we all rely on), on their way to see a loved one who is dying, not feeling well that day. Even if this was a very minor inconvenience, nobody is going to agree with a cause or build support for it when confronted in such an in your face way to try to make them feel "uncomfortable" so that they can "relate" to black suffering. There may even be black people or other minorities in the very traffic that they are stopping. But this is beyond a minor inconvenience and could really ruin lives or even lead to deaths of people on the way to the hospital.

I understand that we all need to feel the emotions that black people feel, but there are so many other types of injustices in the world, so much suffering, so many problems. Do we go around trying to force these problems on other people and make them feel uncomfortable or ruin their day so they can experience how we feel? Although I realize that black people do have it worse, and racism is a major issue, I think what is getting lost in this is that other people are suffering and struggling too, and may not have the capacity to devote their full attention to this right now or to be inconvenienced because they have their own struggles, that perhaps the average black person wouldn't understand. Someone may have just lost a parent and be grieving over that; and then how is getting stopped on a freeway going to change anything? How is a small business being looted going to change anything? Let's be kind to each other and mindful of the fact that although black people do struggle more and have very difficult lives that others are not immune to suffering and may be going through difficult times right now. I 100% support protests and with this cause. Black people should be treated fairly. But let's allow those that want to participate to do so, and leave other innocent people who maybe cannot participate right now (even though they believe in the cause) alone.


Online Name
Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jun 2, 2020 at 10:05 am
Online Name, Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jun 2, 2020 at 10:05 am
6 people like this

"Interesting that most of the protestors seem to be kids. Where are the middle aged people or older generation?"

Many middle-aged and older people would have attended this protest if we'd only known about it.

Something has to be done to hold bad cops accountable and to end the militarization of the police. Remember when Redwood City tried to give back the money granted for TANKS, other armored vehicles and riot gear a few years ago to spend on something more useful? No dice, said the feds.

As for racism in PA, there's plenty of discussion of this elsewhere because it does exist. A friend, a white woman lawyer, born and raised in Palo Alto, was married to a black guy, also a middle-aged lawyer. They lived downtown but got really really tired of the husband, clad in his suit with briefcase in hand on his way home from the train, got stopped and questioned by the PA police whenever a black man was accused of a crime.. Often it was the same officer questioning him which bordered on -- or was -- harassment. They moved to LA about 4 years ago.

Maybe if cities started taking the legal settlements for police brutality suits out of police pension plans, the good cops would start pressuring bad cops to control themselves? Just a thought.


Ellen Ford
Mountain View
on Jun 2, 2020 at 10:11 am
Ellen Ford, Mountain View
on Jun 2, 2020 at 10:11 am
12 people like this

Some of the comments above are stunning; I hope some may be from bots, not my neighbors. I could say a lot, but I’m going to strongly recommend watching Trevor Noah’s eloquent piece about this; it does more to actually promote new understanding than I would.

Web Link

If you care enough about this issue to post or read this section of Palo Alto Online, you owe it to yourself and your country to watch this through to the end.


Resident
another community
on Jun 2, 2020 at 10:14 am
Resident, another community
on Jun 2, 2020 at 10:14 am
7 people like this

@Online Name

Feel free to organize your own protest, then. Middle aged and older people have nothing stopping them from organizing a protest if they are so passionate about this cause.

Furthermore, if there was true passion by older adults to support this cause, they could have looked up details of protests nearby. I have seen primarily young adults and kids protesting all across the country; this isn't unique to Palo Alto. You would think if middle aged and older people across the country wanted to protest they could easily spend 10 minutes looking through either social media or news articles to find protests they could participate in. If I was passionate about something I sure would make an effort to find an opportunity to participate in a protest like this. It sounds like there may be more of a passive interest in participating than anything else.


Joe
Midtown
on Jun 2, 2020 at 10:16 am
Joe, Midtown
on Jun 2, 2020 at 10:16 am
12 people like this

@Susan
Please try to state the fact, not making out of story to stir the hate.
I'm Asian, have lived in Palo Alto for almost 30 years. All three of my kids attended local schools, none of us have never experienced the racial treatment you mentioned.
We all want to make the PA community better, but unlawful behavior, like getting on the freeway is not going to help the cause, but dangerous to everyone around. This makes people suspect their real intention.


Mark Weiss
Downtown North
on Jun 2, 2020 at 10:38 am
Mark Weiss, Downtown North
on Jun 2, 2020 at 10:38 am
Like this comment

I would say that in many places and possibly here freedom of assembly and civil rights have been hacked by thugs looters foreign agents Russian trolls and the far right meaning hate groups.
It’s great if people especially young people who are not addicted to material wealth like their parents in the rat race decide to work in social change.
But people in this community would be better off staying home until leadership and public safety Deal with the first crisis of public health pandemic and making sure that we are not under siege by thugs.
Cute young girl with midriffs exposed holding platitudes basically provides cover for criminal activity.
It can’t happen here right?

By the way I lived in San Francisco during the Rodney King riots which were based on class more than ethnicity statistics show And vowed to never again work for corporate capitalists. Twenty six years clean.


YP
Crescent Park
on Jun 2, 2020 at 10:40 am
YP, Crescent Park
on Jun 2, 2020 at 10:40 am
26 people like this

Ok so let me get this straight , our public officials who admonished and shamed us to maintain social distancing, avoid gatherings (taping off benches, tables in parks for instance and until recently couldn't even go to church) now seem to turn a blind eye to health impact of mass protests? I guess if it fits their social agenda then social distancing not required. Hypocrites


Mark Weiss
Downtown North
on Jun 2, 2020 at 10:48 am
Mark Weiss, Downtown North
on Jun 2, 2020 at 10:48 am
3 people like this

I would argue that Facebook, Google, Palantir, Hewlett Packard, apple, applied materials, are the root cause of both the looting and the disconnect between the public safety and the people so this episode is for the reason to add a business tax to the November ballot exempting companies smaller than $100m in revenue.
I would say that despite the inconsistency with me using this medium the Internet enables the divisiveness we’d be much better prepared for both the pandemic and the riots if these things had never been invented or if economic justice had coevolved with the proliferation of semiconductors and computers and social media


Sydney
Southgate
on Jun 2, 2020 at 10:49 am
Sydney, Southgate
on Jun 2, 2020 at 10:49 am
19 people like this

I was apart of the march. It was very powerful and moving. It breaks my heart to see that only the young generation in Palo Alto care about innocent black lives being taken. This comment section hurt me so much because you think that a minor inconvenience is worse than people being murdered. We are not thugs we peacefully walked. The fact that this got so much hate shows the ignorance of some people. Why is bringing awareness to this topic so controversial ?? I’m very disappointed


Person
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 2, 2020 at 10:52 am
Person, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 2, 2020 at 10:52 am
8 people like this

@ Ellen Ford

Trevor Noah does a good job recapping what has happened in recent weeks, and how terrible injustices exist against black people. He makes some good points, and articulates himself well. However, in my opinion, his condoning of riots and violence is wrong. There are a lot of individuals and groups of people that have been wronged in this country, and we cannot support for each group to start rioting and acting violent to express their anger and frustration, no matter how warranted it is.
Barack Obama condemns looting and violence, as do many others. We should not make it ok for people to burglarize stores and steal. Most of them don't care about the cause; they just want free stuff. These are not actual protestors but rather opportunists, and many leaders within black communities agree. The siblings of George Floyd spoke out against this violence, pleading for it to stop. His own siblings. Making excuses for these people is only going to empower them. Next thing you know they will be breaking into your car, and then your house. Violence should not be tolerated, and if it is in any way, it should not be against innocent people. If any type of violence is ok, they should go to a public space and vandalize statues and benches. Or break windows, but don't run in and rob stores of every single piece of jewelry and every valueable item in that store. Don't vandalize businesses or cars of other innocent people. Especially, especially if you want their support for your cause. Many of these innocent people have been wronged too and have their own deep rooted anger.


Appreciate Journalism
Midtown
on Jun 2, 2020 at 11:06 am
Appreciate Journalism, Midtown
on Jun 2, 2020 at 11:06 am
10 people like this

This article is very detailed and well written. Thank you to all of the journalists who contributed. I am a paid subscriber to the Palo Alto Weekly.

I got caught in the traffic jam on 101 north between San Antonio & Oregon Expressway. I was returning from picking up medicine for my very ill pet. I was able to get off at Oregon and be home in time to administer the medication.

It would be interesting to hear from other people who were caught in these traffic jams about what was the purpose of their drive and how it affected them positively, neutrally, or negatively.

I read plenty about this issue. Being stuck in a traffic jam caused by people on the freeway did not heighten my awareness.


Resident
another community
on Jun 2, 2020 at 11:13 am
Resident, another community
on Jun 2, 2020 at 11:13 am
11 people like this

@Sydney

Its not that only young people care. To be honest, I think younger people may just have more time on your hands right now to find out about protests, organize protests, and participate during the day. Many young people are out of school and don't have jobs or kids to take care of. It's just the reality. And in light of all of the violence that happened on the first night of the protests, I think some people who otherwise would have participated were scared away, rightfully so.

Please read the comments above if you are truly interested in why people are upset with protestors walking on to and blocking the freeway. I left a comment up above myself. I can understand why this tactic was used and the intention behind it, but I don't know that it was all that successful. It did bring attention to the cause, though mostly negative, and I don't think it generated a lot of support. And although this particular protest was peaceful, there have been many other instances of people marching on to the freeway that were not peaceful. Cars are being mobbed and vandalized all across the country. You have to understand that people are going to be wary of protestors out on the roads because of what they have seen happening on TV, including what happened in San Jose on highway 101 on Friday.


Law enforcement need our support too
Nixon School
on Jun 2, 2020 at 11:13 am
Law enforcement need our support too, Nixon School
on Jun 2, 2020 at 11:13 am
40 people like this

I feel sad for law enforcement. A few bad apples have smeared the entire police community. Now, nobody seems to care about the indiscriminate violence directed at police officers all over the nation in response to this case. Police reform is necessary, of course. But when I see all the looting, violence, fires, and lawlessness, it makes me wish for MORE police presence. They need our support. Once the mob starts roaming and breaking into your business, torching your house, and flipping over your car, you're going to wish you had supported your law enforcement officers when everyone had turned their backs on them.


Mark Weiss
Downtown North
on Jun 2, 2020 at 11:22 am
Mark Weiss, Downtown North
on Jun 2, 2020 at 11:22 am
Like this comment

In 1979 at Gunn High, when I was a 15 year old virgin and not a 56 year old grand uncle in law, some fellow students, some of whom I knew slightly from football or basketball were arguing 50 feet from me during brunch in The Bat Cave. Members of the Black Student Union wanted to know why Kinchelow, Keplinger and Kramer wrote their initials in 50 foot white letters on the side of the theatre. As the discussion got more animated, there were hundreds of us watching, listening, trying to understand. I still don’t know the answer because rather than explain their prank push came to shove, then fisticuffs and soon easily a fist fight involved 20 boys, in each case black versus white. I saw a guy, B- kick another guy, on the ground, a golfer, in the face — L-, he was hospitalized I heard later, broken jaw. In my day none of us had knives, but I saw a teammate using his comb as a weapon. A close friend of mine was not in the fight but he went home immediately and wouldn’t talk to us for days.
I think it would be interesting to gather these men together years later and see what anyone says they have learned.
I remember one guy breaking it down. “I told him ‘KKK’ was no-no-no”.
Mr. Kinchelow wrote a letter to the Times Tribune claiming that his family for generations stood for tolerance and inclusion and he’d work further with his son to not disgrace their name further.
Maybe some would argue that if we had Facebook then they’d have worked it out over social media without coming to blows. My sense, as I stated in a previous post, is that a mediated experience impedes human interaction in most cases or as an aggregate.
We’ve devolved since 1979.


Online Name
Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jun 2, 2020 at 11:28 am
Online Name, Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jun 2, 2020 at 11:28 am
10 people like this

I repeat my comment above that if the money cities have to pay out to settle lawsuits against police brutality etc. came out of the police pension fund, you might have the good cops pressuring the few bad cops to get their act together. You might also have less of the stonewalling about whether an officer got fired or resigned like PA recently did.

@Resident, older people have been very active in recent local protests. The 5,00 people at the RWC women's march rally, the various anti-Trump demonstrations downtown and at Town & Country immediately come to mind. Again, the protests aren't always covered. Example: I was shocked to learn that a student gun control rally in Redwood City was even bigger than the 5,000-people women's march one. NO media coverage at all.


Parent and Student
Crescent Park
on Jun 2, 2020 at 12:12 pm
Parent and Student, Crescent Park
on Jun 2, 2020 at 12:12 pm
Like this comment

Zuckerberg's house? .....why? what did he do?


DickD
Crescent Park
on Jun 2, 2020 at 12:20 pm
DickD, Crescent Park
on Jun 2, 2020 at 12:20 pm
Like this comment

Today if you're not sell educated you can't get a better than average job, that is appropriate to your better level of education; poorly educated get junk jobs & low pay . . . no matter what else you have going for you. We have to get with it and educate minorities who are left out and forced into dense housing - thus higher incidence of things like the current virus mess correlated with high housing densities of low income people.

With financial pressures those at the bottom of the scale feel "sqeezed" and react with criminal behavior - what other options do we offer?. If you're not educated you can't give your kids what they need to move upward.

All around this we need strong educational efforts for all to "kill off" the everyday clear and unambiguous facial profiling, prejudice and corresponding gross behavior - from the very beginning of education. That applies as well to our police who do not now get special training on the horrible use of excessive force.

Everyone has comparable rights as well as obligations.

Those of us who are privileged are not superior to those who are not.


Resident
East Palo Alto
on Jun 2, 2020 at 12:41 pm
Resident, East Palo Alto
on Jun 2, 2020 at 12:41 pm
12 people like this

"If you're not black, please don't speak about how racism doesn't thrive in liberal Palo Alto or Silicon Valley (@Juan). Sin of slavery of our African American brothers and sisters or the death of Flloyd did happen as much as many entitled people try to pretend it didn't happen." etc.

This post has the hallmarks of a radical ideologue. Claims a system of oppression that doesn't exist and goes on to contradict their own ideology by saying a latino man wouldn't know what it's like to be the target of racist comment while literally being racist toward the individual. Please get a grip on your senses.


Resident
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 2, 2020 at 12:50 pm
Resident, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 2, 2020 at 12:50 pm
13 people like this

A few weeks ago, there were people protesting the SIP. People who wanted to get back to work, to reopen their businesses, to start earning money to feed their families, to bring back the economy. Those protests were scorned by so many people as being irresponsible and dangerous, spreading Covid, people demanded to know why they couldn't stay at home and do as we have been told to spread the stop of the pandemic. Those people who were protesting were quite often African American and various other people all who were impacted because they were not earning money. They had a real need and were protesting for their rights to work, their rights to reopen their businesses and their rights to earn a living.

Now it seems it is a very different story about protesting. Instead of protesting that people of all races could get back to work, there are protests about BLM. Perhaps some of these protesting are the very same people.

I think that perhaps we should just look at the hypocritical rhetoric here. If it was not OK to protest being unable to work, why is it now OK to protest better treatment for African Americans.

Is it because the protests about the rights to work were for everyone? Or is there another reason?


Student
Palo Alto High School
on Jun 2, 2020 at 12:50 pm
Student, Palo Alto High School
on Jun 2, 2020 at 12:50 pm
17 people like this

For anyone and everyone who was upset by the protestors on 101. You all are oblivious to the fact that African-Americans are dying in our country for the wrong reasons. There was no violence on the 101 yesterday. No car windows smashed, just peaceful teenagers. Your minor inconveniences do not compare to the problems America is facing today. If you are upset by the protestors maybe you should step into our shoes and try to understand our cause. Many have said that it is dangerous to block lanes of highway traffic, but there was no danger. The lanes were blocked and no collisions nor screeching of brakes were heard. Our message will not be spread walking on our neighborhood streets and will only be spread once people's everyday routines, such as commuting down 101, are interrupted by our cause. I'm proud to say I was the first to step out into traffic yesterday. If you believe your daily routines are more important than the goal of this protest, you are part of the bigger problem in America.


Boo Hoo
Ventura
on Jun 2, 2020 at 12:51 pm
Boo Hoo, Ventura
on Jun 2, 2020 at 12:51 pm
13 people like this

To all those who were inconvenienced by this protest get a grip on reality. The reason for the protest is because 'BLACK LIVES HAVE NOT MATTERED' and people of color have been KILLED by the people who are supposed to protest us. People of color DO NOT feel safe.

and for those who don't understand why 'All lives matter' is not appropriate think of it like this -
A group of people sit down to eat. Everyone gets served a plate of food except Bill. Bill says, hey I don't have any food, I am hungary to which the rest of the people who all have food say - 'we are all hungry' and continue eating while Bill still has nothing.


If you chose to protest, please wear masks
another community
on Jun 2, 2020 at 1:41 pm
If you chose to protest, please wear masks, another community
on Jun 2, 2020 at 1:41 pm
7 people like this

If you chose to protest, please wear masks and please bring extra masks for other people.

Over 20,000 African Americans have died of COVID-19, the largest hit group. Social activism is about making positive change, and at least, and do no harm, so don't bring back a silent killer into the homes of the very people you seek to be allies to. Although one is outdoors, close proximity over extended periods of time and shouting add to the risks. Stand up for your beliefs, just do it safely.


Online Name
Midtown
on Jun 2, 2020 at 2:40 pm
Online Name, Midtown
on Jun 2, 2020 at 2:40 pm
2 people like this

Anti mask laws

From Wiki:

United States Edit
There are anti-mask laws in many U.S. states and the District of Columbia.[1]

New York State's anti-mask law was enacted in 1845, to provide for public safety after disputes between landlords and tenants.[2]
Many anti-mask laws date back to the mid-20th century, when states and municipalities passed them to stop the violent activities of the Ku Klux Klan, whose members typically wore hoods of white linen to conceal their identities.[3][4]
In the 21st century those laws have been applied to political protesters such as those affiliated with the Occupy Movement or Anonymous – wearing Guy Fawkes masks.[5][6][7][8]
In some areas motorcyclists have been arrested using anti-masking laws.[9]


Member
Old Palo Alto
on Jun 2, 2020 at 3:02 pm
Member, Old Palo Alto
on Jun 2, 2020 at 3:02 pm
14 people like this

Blocking traffic has to be the most self-indulgent act by these mostly teen protestors. I am all for expressing discontent but preventing regular working folks from getting home to their kids or to their jobs is selfish. What did that accomplish? How would these HS students feel if protestors blocked them from taking an important test? or missing a critical soccer game? Do something meaningful. Volunteer. Donate. Help black students in your community.


Student
Palo Alto High School
on Jun 2, 2020 at 3:09 pm
Student, Palo Alto High School
on Jun 2, 2020 at 3:09 pm
7 people like this

@Member above

When I stepped on to that freeway I had a cause. If you were to stop me from taking a test or missing a sporting event with the same cause, I would not question you for a second, I would join you. Sad to see people like yourself in my city.


Mark Weiss
Downtown North
on Jun 2, 2020 at 3:36 pm
Mark Weiss, Downtown North
on Jun 2, 2020 at 3:36 pm
Like this comment

To the point of masks per se there’s also a science-fiction comic-based TV show on cable where cops in the near distant future wear masks as do the white supremacists and I think Don Johnson wears both, spoiler alert.


John Jackson
East Palo Alto
on Jun 2, 2020 at 3:58 pm
John Jackson, East Palo Alto
on Jun 2, 2020 at 3:58 pm
13 people like this

There is nothing peaceful about occupying a freeway. It risks people's live both the marchers and the drivers. It is a violent act similar to brandishing a weapon or threatening suicide. If people stop for the marchers, then what? If they continue their driving then they are threatened with mob violence or being forced to hurt people.

It is absolutely violent.


Resident of Your City
Old Palo Alto
on Jun 2, 2020 at 4:29 pm
Resident of Your City, Old Palo Alto
on Jun 2, 2020 at 4:29 pm
14 people like this

@Student Above

So if the protest is over a cause you believe in it’s OK to block the freeway. What if someone else has a cause they believe in? Still OK to block the freeway? Or do you have agree with their cause for it to be OK?


Andrew
Mountain View
on Jun 2, 2020 at 5:37 pm
Andrew, Mountain View
on Jun 2, 2020 at 5:37 pm
2 people like this

[Post removed.]


The truth is out there
Professorville
on Jun 2, 2020 at 5:41 pm
The truth is out there, Professorville
on Jun 2, 2020 at 5:41 pm
6 people like this

[Post removed.]


Charles Pacquett
Charleston Gardens
on Jun 2, 2020 at 5:44 pm
Charles Pacquett, Charleston Gardens
on Jun 2, 2020 at 5:44 pm
6 people like this

Perhaps instead of letting the peaceful protesters block traffic, we should just have the police fire flash bangs and have police on horseback drive the protesters out of the road while choppers fly overhead. Then we can walk to a Nearby church we’ve never attended, and hold up a bible that isn’t ours and that we’ve never read and take selfies. Surely that would be OK wouldn’t it ? I heard that’s what “Law and Order” people do. A good lesson for our youth about respect for others.


C. Pacquett
Charleston Gardens
on Jun 2, 2020 at 5:50 pm
C. Pacquett, Charleston Gardens
on Jun 2, 2020 at 5:50 pm
4 people like this

@Andrew, it’s mostly white kids doing the damage. Plenty of video on most any info outlet you can choose to use. Even Fox News showing same conclusion.

BTW, your post is mighty poorly cloaked. But I see what you did there.


Resident
Old Palo Alto
on Jun 2, 2020 at 6:19 pm
Resident, Old Palo Alto
on Jun 2, 2020 at 6:19 pm
1 person likes this

[Portion removed.] Stratford students are primarily non-resident students from commuter parents, and have historically taken students from surrounding areas like Mountain View and Los Altos. Castilleja enrolls many girls from outside Palo Alto. They travel from Menlo Park, Atherton, Redwood City, and south cities.
Most residents prefer the education at PAUSD to Castilleja - since PAUSD is able to offer more rigorous courses which are in line with what they will be experiencing in college. The costs for an excellent education at PAUSD are embedded in our property taxes.


https://www.bjs.gov/index.cfm?ty=tp&tid=922
Midtown
on Jun 2, 2020 at 7:13 pm
https://www.bjs.gov/index.cfm?ty=tp&tid=922, Midtown
on Jun 2, 2020 at 7:13 pm
10 people like this

Facts are facts, even if they don’t fit the media narrative.


Student
Palo Alto High School
on Jun 2, 2020 at 9:27 pm
Student, Palo Alto High School
on Jun 2, 2020 at 9:27 pm
5 people like this

@Resident of my city

If “someone else’s” cause is a positive cause with a message of equality against injustice, I will fully support them blocking the freeway.

And to my buddy John Jackson

Holding a sign saying “Black Lives Matter”, while blocking the freeway, will never compare to brandishing a weapon. No “mob” was aggravating drivers. Very silly of you to bring such things up.

Get a grip on reality here.


Resident 2
Midtown
on Jun 2, 2020 at 9:39 pm
Resident 2, Midtown
on Jun 2, 2020 at 9:39 pm
8 people like this

Yippee! The technician arrived and did a software upgrade so my door handle will work again on my Tesla. All for only $3457, thank goodness it was the equivalent of a only a few hours of work with my stay at home tech salary. Now I can get my lattes with out any more pesky door handle problems.
While working in the garden today I could here the freeway. What happened to the protesters? I was hoping they would block the freeway all week, so that I can enjoy my garden in silence, all the while raking in, my enormous tech salary. Oh well, looks like I will head inside to play some ping pong. Please bring back the protesters, we need social justice now!

But seriously folks, there is nothing funny about the current situation , if this disparity keeps up we will unfortunately see much more social unrest.

Marie Antoinette.


Student
Gunn High School
on Jun 4, 2020 at 12:13 pm
Student, Gunn High School
on Jun 4, 2020 at 12:13 pm
1 person likes this

@Resident perhaps you could lay down some hard statistics instead of assuming some abstractly structured racism, isn't it obvious why most Nueva/private school attendees in the area are white? Even if the results are disproportionate to applicant demographics like you tenuously claim, might you become familiar with the idea that some people can score better on tests than others?


Jenn72
Mountain View
on Jun 6, 2020 at 2:32 am
Jenn72, Mountain View
on Jun 6, 2020 at 2:32 am
2 people like this

Susan, a) I am a white woman and have ALWAYS seen the officer's hand on his gun whenever I've been pulled over. Please do not assume! They keep their eye on every move I make as well which is why I ask if I can do each thing (open glove box, etc) before I do it. (Btw, I also put my keys on my roof, turn on my interior lights keep my hands GLUED to the top of my steering wheel and move my hands relatively slowly when I do move them after asking the officers) b) blocking freeways has not only caused me to have ZERO interest in what the protesters blocking had to "say" (vs the peaceful protesters whose views I support) but I started thinking, forget the average trip someone is making, what if someone was trying to get a loved one or beloved pet to a hospital and they died because the barricade killed them. Thinking of this made me sick and extremely angry at these particular protesters. THUS- has made me start to re-question ALL of the protesters. Why? Because that's what a protest that can kill does. That is NOT progress.


Jenn72
Mountain View
on Jun 6, 2020 at 3:22 am
Jenn72, Mountain View
on Jun 6, 2020 at 3:22 am
1 person likes this

@Boohoo: I too am outraged at the injustice, but don't you dare call blocking a freeway non-violent because if any of my loved ones died because I couldn't get to someone??? YOU are the reason. If you are a high school student, you do not have the life experience yet to know how this could occur, but you can be terrified while trying to get somewhere: you've received a call that a loved one is in the emergency room at the hospital, or you are trying to get a young child with strep throat in severe pain to the doctor, or needing to get to an elderly parent for a very crucial reason, tearfully panicking trying to get a beloved pet who will otherwise die to the vet, these are devastating things, you will likely experience in your life. I need you to read this next sentence PLEASE: If you are planning to tell me that the acts against African-Americans by racist cops is also a tragedy- I ALREADY AGREE with you and am outraged by these horrors!! Your creating a personal tragedy for me will do NOTHING but make me hateful as well. It would cause me years of trauma that I would forever blame on YOU and YOU ALONE. If that were to have happened, (and it surely did for someone), who will they be picturing did this to them for the rest of their lives? The police?? NO. They will blame you. YOU will be their new agenda and they will likely want to support whoever is against YOU. KILLING MY LOVED ONES WILL NOT GAIN YOU MY SUPPORT.


Honestly
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 6, 2020 at 3:36 am
Honestly , Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 6, 2020 at 3:36 am
4 people like this

Racism will never end and those who think it will are naive. This is feel-good rhetoric by the Gen Z who need something to fight for and believe in. Why don’t they start tutoring them to help them succeed in school? Help them for real instead of simply protesting because it’s in vogue now.

If blacks can get their act together and start contributing positively to society, surely they’ll be treated better. Their culture needs to change their stereotype. Can they do it? Anyone see the movie based upon a true story, “The Pursuit of Happyness”? Poor black, homeless guy works hard and wins the internship, eventually becoming wealthy from his strong work ethic.

My best friend from college is black, extremely intelligent, very successful in his career and financially, lives in Alabama, where he grew up. He dislikes affirmative action (and was never a recipient) because he believes that the best should be hired; they should not be hired simply as a token of diversity, it leads to blacks being disrespected. He also told his son that if he is ever stopped by the police, follow the orders or it escalates the situation, do exactly as told. It’s the same for anyone else who is stopped by police, do as told.


Resident
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 6, 2020 at 7:52 am
Resident, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 6, 2020 at 7:52 am
4 people like this

I want to follow on from "Honestly" above.

I haven't commented much on this topic since I don't think I have anything worth saying which hasn't already been said. However, on the subject of education I do remember an interview I saw on tv a few years ago after another time when riots and protests were taking place. An African American reporter was asking a group of young black teens why they wanted to protest rather than be in school? The response he got from a teen of about 15, 16, really shocked me. He said "I don't want no white man's education". If this really is a typical viewpoint then it is very worrying. If these young males do not see that then how can we help them? The black reporter was obviously well educated and trying to help the group by asking for their opinions so he got what was an honest opinion which may not have been said to a reporter of another race. All the group nodded in agreement to the statement of not wanting white man's education, but they couldn't answer the question of what they did want. The reporter tried to get them to say what they felt would help them and they did not know apart from saying things we hear all the time, repeating the same phrases of equality or justice over and over which they could not explain what it looked like. This group couldn't see education as something that made them equal in their own eyes.

If there is an attitude of not wanting to be educated or not seeing that helping themselves as much as getting help from others then there is a much bigger divide than appears on paper. Spending all the money in the world on improving the school experience or community services won't help those who do not want to be helped.

I am fully in support of helping to overcome racism. I think though that the problem is so deeply set in values and culture differences that we have an insurmountable problem.

I don't know the answer, I just hope that society can find it.


Jason Eldredge
Old Palo Alto
on Jul 1, 2020 at 10:17 pm
Jason Eldredge, Old Palo Alto
on Jul 1, 2020 at 10:17 pm
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If you have to proclaim that your life matters........it probably doesn't.


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