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Protesters honor George Floyd's life at Santa Maria solidarity march

Protesters honor George Floyd’s life at Santa Maria solidarity march
Posted at 4:48 PM, Jun 04, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-05 02:13:44-04

Several protesters gathered in front of Santa Maria City Hall Thursday for a social justice solidarity rally and march honoring the life of George Floyd.

According to a Facebook post from the Fund for Santa Barbara, the event was scheduled to take place from 5-6:30 p.m.

Multiple nonprofit organizations participated in the event, including the Beatitude House, NAACP Santa Maria-Lompoc, Future Leaders of America, Democratic Club of Santa Maria Valley and Central Coast Alliance United for A Sustainable Economy (CAUSE), according to the Facebook post.

Lawanda Lyons-Pruitt, president of the NAACP Santa Maria-Lompoc organization, said the social justice march is intended to facilitate dialogue between community members on how they can tackle racism in their homes, at work and in their communities.

The promotional flyer circulating social media asked protesters to follow social distancing measures and wear a mask.

According to the program, the event began with an opening ceremony, followed by prayers and reflection speeches from Rep. Salud Carbajal (CA-24) and Santa Maria Mayor Alice Patino.

Protesters then marched through city streets, which is expected to end at the Santa Maria City Hall.

Community members attending the march held up signs and chanted "Black lives matter," "No justice, no peace, no racist police" and the names of other Black victims of violence, including Ahmaud Arbery, Philando Castile and Breonna Taylor.

Santa Maria leaders have implemented a citywide curfew from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. every night through June 8 in response to looting and vandalism that occurred at a separate protest Sunday night.

It is unclear whether arrests will be made for those who are outside past the curfew.

Floyd died on Memorial Day after an ex- officer with the Minneapolis Police Department kneeled on Floyd's neck for nearly nine minutes while Floyd was in custody.