Saturday I went to San Francisco to participate in the blocking of the Bay Bridge. The Plan was for hundreds of protesters to march on to the Bay Bridge and block traffic while protesting against police brutality.
As you can see above, I went to the protest wearing my Zeta Phi Beta paraphernalia and an all black cadet bucket hat . Three years ago I joined the BEST sorority in the world, Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated, a historically black Greek letter organization.My sorority’s motto is “A community conscious, action oriented organization.” This means that we as members are fully aware of what is happening in our communities at all times, and ready to get involved and do what is required of us to contribute and make a difference. Joining this sorority was the best decision I have ever made. I used to be a very passive person who would standby as tragedy strikes, but now I am extremely involved.
My friends informed me that the protest started with solely 7 people in attendance. The plan was for everyone to meet in San Francisco at 1pm and then literally make their way across the Bay Bridge. Because of other plans, I did not make it to the protest until 4pm. By then there were hundreds of people and cops all over the city! Cops stood in riot gear and blocked the entrance to the Bay Bridge, restraining people who tried to evade. The crowd was very diverse and people at the protest ranged from ages 5 to 60. Posters and fists were held high as people stood up for there rights. It was a beautiful sight.
As soon as I arrived at the Bay Bridge entrance, protesters begin to realize that there were too many cops for us to advance. Therefore, we begin to march to another freeway entrance. I could not believe what I saw when we got to our destination. There were around 50 police officers lined up as protesters literally stood on the freeway entrance. As soon as I got on the freeway, activists yelled out SIT DOWN SIT DOWN and hundreds of us sat down on the freeway. I sat down and read all the home made posters. I was so impressed by the unity I was apart of. But suddenly I heard screams and shouts. People were crying! I asked what happened and found out that a cop had put his hands on two little girls to move them out the way. People were screaming insults and taking pictures of his face. The tension on that freeway was intense.
After the crowd relaxed, a lady got up and spoke into a blow horn. She thanked us for being there and told us that we made a difference by being out there today, and that we should be proud of ourselves for making a difference. She then proceeded to warn us that the police were there to protect us during our peaceful protest, but they would not let us congregate on the freeway forever.She told us that the cops would give us a warning to leave and then they would give us a second warning where we could get arrested if we do not comply. She asked us how many of us wanted to get arrested and 5 out of the hundreds of people raised there hands. The lady explained to us how that was our personal decision, but we all had a duty to protect the younger protesters around us.
Around twenty minutes later the police gave us the first instruction to leave and everyone obeyed for the most part. Seeing everyone’s passion for the issue and hearing everyone’s speeches and ideas gave me hope and created a fire I have never felt. A lot of people agreed with me about boycotts being the solution. I have heard ideas such as only supporting black businesses, taking our money out of the banks and boycotting major brands such as Target and Coca Cola. For this boycott to have any effect EVERYONE (not just blacks) need to be dedicated and determined. I will continue to pray for a quick solution.