Update: Many Protest In Eastvale

 

Photo by: Emily Aguilar Protesters hold signs and chant as the walk down Limonite in Eastvale.

Photo by: Emily Aguilar
Protesters hold signs and chant as the walk down Limonite in Eastvale.

By Emily Aguilar

Eastvale – In the mid afternoon on July 9, Hamner and Limonite had to be closed for a brief period due to a peaceful protest in Eastvale. Multiple Police Officers were found on the Limonite perimeters and just above them, a CHP helicopter was flying over the city. This was due to protesters who showed up on Limonite and Hamner to protest against police brutality and mistreatment against people of color.

Even before the protest began, many Eastvale residents were fearful about the event, due to the hype on social media.

However, the protest was defined as a peaceful protest, with Eastvale City Manager Michele Nissen confirming that no arrests were made, no use of force was utilized, no complaints were lodged with the Sheriff’s Department about officer conduct, no one was injured, no property was damaged and not even a rock or bottle was thrown by rally participants.

One counter protester even came out to the event, a former Vietnam veteran who wore a Blue Lives Matter shirt. The veteran told Eastvale News he chose to stand in solidarity with police officers. He expressed his gratitude for policemen who sacrifice their lives in order to keep the country safe, and prevent the country from “bringing on a revolution.”

But a revolution was not the goal for this protest, as event organizer, Dimario “Little John”, said the event was conducted to show unity. In response to those who state Black Lives Matter protestors are anti-police and disruptive, Dimario stated that he wants people to believe that the BLM protestors are “united” and “come together to fight against these constant recurrences.” He also defended BLM’s recent image by asserting that certain protesters, such as “the Dallas shooter,” are people who “come in with their own agendas,” and should not represent the entire movement.

Over fifty protestors– teenagers, parents, children, and grandparents of all races — arrived on the Limonite and Hamner corners at 1 pm. In response to the chanting protesters, drivers honked in solidarity and in disagreement. The protesters responded to negativity by wishing them a good day.

Photo by: Emily Aguilar

Photo by: Emily Aguilar

After an hour had passed, the protesters marched toward 7-11. On the way to 7-11, protesters chanted the following: “What are we? One! What do we want? Equality”, “no justice, no peace, no racist police”, and “Black lives matter!” All the while, police cars followed the protesters, ordering them to stay off the street and remain together. The protestors complied.

However, while on the way back from 7-11, some protesters broke away from the rest of the group and blocked the Hamner and 68th Street intersection. The blockade lasted a few moments, and most of the drivers cheered and honked in support. Because of the positive feedback from the 68th Street blockade, the protesters decided to block the Limonite and Hamner intersection. But that decision did not have the same positive response.

When some of the protesters went into the intersection and blocked traffic, quite a few drivers were angry and began to honk, some shouted profanity at them, and a few racist remarks were heard. But the protesters who strayed away chose to sat in the intersection or they chose to stand still, refusing to move at all.

Parents, adults, and teenagers begged the protesters to get off the street and listen to the police’s demands.

The stand-off continued for nearly 20 minutes. A line of policeman stood before the protesters, waiting for the protestors to move off the street. Drivers, still impatient, honked and yelled at the protestors, slowly driving around them. Sidewalk protesters continued to plead for them to get off the street. However, the street protesters only raised their arms and chanted “hands up, don’t shoot,” alluding to the Ferguson shooting in 2014, as a way of demonstrating that they did not want the policeman to attack.

After a total of 30 minutes, the protesters returned to the sidewalk as instructed. Captain Horton recently stated at the Eastvale City Council meeting that the street was shut down for a period of time after the encounter because the Sheriff’s Department felt it was acceptable. However, it was reopened for oncoming traffic and the rally was still considered a successful event.

The protesters came together one last time after the rally to reflect on the day’s events. Dimario expressed his plans to organize another protest in the near future, adding that he will make sure it is more organized.

Dimario also expressed that the purpose of the day’s events was to create unity. “We are all brothers and sisters,” he said. He added that he wanted the police to realize that “we’re not going to allow [police brutality] to happen out here…We’re here as a union; together as one.”

Before dispersing, the protesters held a group prayer before leaving, praying for the well being of all people of color and for the Eastvale policemen themselves.

This article was edited by editorial staff.