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Protesters gather for the second day in downtown San Luis Obispo

Wednesday protest.jpg
Posted at 4:31 PM, Jul 22, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-23 12:50:39-04

UPDATE (10:15 p.m.): Protesters in San Luis Obispo took a different approach Wednesday from Tuesday's demonstrations: they were quiet and used their signs to broadcast their message.

There was an emphasis on staying peaceful, not breaking any rules as they made their way from the SLO County Courthouse to the Santa Rosa overpass where protesters sat for about an hour or so before making their way back downtown.

They say they felt this approach was necessary as this comes on the heels of two protesters being arrested just last night.

"I think having a silent protest after the fact is important especially for all the people that are criticizing the movement and saying we're a bunch of rioters and we're causing destruction. This really proves that we're not just out here - we're trying to get a point across," said protester Michelle Mansker.

Some people took to social media during the past 24 hours to share their concerns with Tuesday's event, some writing comments like: "Black Lives Matter is a bunch of crap. These protests are like crying wolf now."

For those in the streets however, they say there are real race issues they face in this community every day.

"I think that a lot of people are unaware because maybe they don't experience so they've never seen it and they've never heard it," Mansker said.

There is another protest scheduled for Thursday that will start the courthouse and walk-up Santa Rosa Street again.

The protest is expected to start around 4 pm.
ORIGINAL STORY: Protesters gathered for a second consecutive day in downtown San Luis Obispo on Wednesday.

The gathering began at 4 p.m. in front of the county courthouse.

A social media post announcing the protest encouraged participants to "Stand & sit with us, hold signs, and acknowledge the violent treatment of innocent BIPOC youth in the SLO community."

The protest came a day after a few hundred demonstrators blocked Highway 101 during a march through downtown San Luis Obispo. Following the protest, the organizer, identified as 20-year-old Tianna Arata, was arrested on several charges after police say acts of vandalism occurred during the event.

Shortly after gathering downtown on Wednesday, protesters walked along the sidewalk to the San Luis Obispo Police Department. The street in front of the police department was blocked off.

Organizers described Wednesday's demonstration as a "quiet protest" and said that they hoped to get their message across about the need for change in San Luis Obispo County.

"This movement isn't going to die, it's not going to go away," said Cavin Stokes. "We need change. We want change. I am so happy that people, no matter what, still want to be out here of all races, want to be a part of this."

Participants said they planned to stay on the sidewalks and avoid conflict with police.

Just before 6 p.m., protesters left the intersection of Walnut and Santa Rosa streets and walked along the sidewalk toward the downtown area.