SEASIDE, Calif. (KION) While violence broke out at demonstrations around the county, that was not the case on the Central Coast. Peaceful demonstrations took place in Seaside, Santa Cruz and Monterey on Saturday.
The rain didn't deter protesters from showing up and speaking their minds. Especially not in Seaside, where the sidewalks and streets were flooded with people.
“I should be able to walk anywhere I want without being harassed by the police," protester Shenae Morrow said. "Without being handcuffed. And the same for my son.”
“It’s what we’re taught," protester Eraya Johnson said. "As a young child we learn that the police do not like us.”
Packed on the corners of Broadway Avenue and Fremont Boulevard, people waved signs and chanted. They were condemning George Floyd's death and calling for change in law enforcement.
“You know, I’d just like to see more diversity on the police force,” Morrow said.
But this wasn't the only protest on the Central Coast today. People also demonstrated in Santa Cruz and Monterey.
“Well, as you can see, Monterey is really white,” protester Sophia Leonard said.
And supporters said the lack of diversity made it that much more important for them to be there.
“To make sure that other people around the state, around the country, can see that it is not just a black issue. It’s an issue for everyone,” Leonard said.
The Monterey demonstration was organized by local politicians, including City Council Member Tyller Williamson, who said change isn't just needed in how policing is done, but in how it's funded when the city is strapped for cash.
“The lack of budget cuts from the police department versus other services,” Williamson said.
These budget cuts come as COVID-19 has Monterey under financial pressure for layoffs and massive service cuts. The city is under physical pressure, as well, with protesters wearing masks and maintaining social distance.
More protests are expected in Seaside and Santa Cruz in the coming days.