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Protesters take to streets in San Luis Obispo and Santa Maria demanding justice for George Floyd

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Posted at 5:01 PM, May 31, 2020

Protesters on the Central Coast are joining crowds of people around the world to demand justice after the death of George Floyd.

People gathered at Mitchell Park in San Luis Obispo Sunday morning standing in solidarity with the African American community.

"Until we all have equal rights and we are all treated equally, none of us are free," said Julie Jensen-Chou, a protester.

The protest was organized by Race Matters SLO County, a community-based organization that's aimed at building an anti-racist Central Coast.

“Unfortunately, this is one more instance of a black life being devalued and it really shows us that we are dehumanized all too often," said Julie Lynem, an organizer with RACE Matters SLO County. ""I know in the city of San Luis Obispo, community stake holders have been working in conjunction with the police department to have better relationship with people of color, so I believe we have a motto that others could follow."

Equality advocates are calling on the community to have conversations about justice for all.

“Challenging family members and friends who you know they’ve said some wrong things, challenge them so that if they have any racial violence in them, it will stop somehow," said Courtney Haile, an organizer with RACE Matters SLO County.

Crowds were also seen blocking streets in Santa Maria near S. Broadway outside of City Hall. Protesters made their way toward Main St. holding signs and chanting for justice.

An employee at the Target on Los Osos Valley Rd. in San Luis Obispo said the store is closing at 5 p.m. Sunday due to nationwide protests.

Protesters said Sunday's protests were not only about the death of George Floyd, but about the many other African Americans who have had to endure any form of racism throughout their lives.