CAPITOLA, Calif. (KION) Protesters gathered in Capitola's Monterey Park on Wednesday night to support the Black Lives Matter Movement.
“I’m tired of feeling oppressed and feeling like I don’t matter. So I’m here to make some change,” protester Megan Hunter said.
“I hope that we inspire other people to continue to join us and move forward,” protester Milan Broadhurst said.
The demonstration comes on the heels of several reported hate crimes on the Central Coast.
Over the weekend, Santa Cruz Police said a black man was attacked on the street by a suspect identified as Cody Chavez, who has since been arrested.
Also in Santa Cruz, a fight two weeks ago at a restaurant, where witnesses said several white customers yelled racial and homophobic slurs at a Filipino employee. No arrests were made, but the employee was initially fired and a customer banned. After backlash, the employee was offered his job back.
Further south, in Monterey, suspect Daniel Birchell was arrested for yelling slurs at a black man last week.
“I’ve been harassed, I’ve been bullied, I’ve been physically charged,” Hunter said.
Protestors said incidents like these happen, but they’re not necessarily reported.
“These hate crimes have been happening for a long time. It’s definitely bringing it to light,” Broadhurst said.