‘Stay in the streets’: Organizers gather at LA City Hall to continue work born out of George Floyd’s death

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Demonstrators march the streets of downtown Los Angeles chanting, "Say his name, George Floyd," May 25, 2021. Photo by Zaydee Sanchez for KCRW.

Activists gathered at LA City Hall today to honor George Floyd, who was murdered last year by former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin.

“Stay in the streets” was the theme of the rally, as activists pressed for more action on defunding police and transforming the criminal justice system.

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A demonstrator in downtown Los Angeles holds a sign that says, “Fund services, not police,” May 25, 2021. Photo by Zaydee Sanchez for KCRW. 

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A demonstrator in downtown Los Angeles wears a shirt that says “defund the police,” May 25, 2021. Photo by Zaydee Sanchez for KCRW.

“This is a movement, not a moment,” says Dr. Chasity Jennings-Nunez, who was among the crowd. “It requires all of us to stay focused, to stay dedicated, to continue to make change, because it's not going to happen overnight. And even if it does, there are many forces out there who don't want it to continue.”

Jennings-Nunez was joined by her goddaughter, Angela Robles, who chose to come march.

“I've noticed that it's not a simple ‘Oh, we did it once and it's over.’ We have to continue to fight. Because if we don't, we're not going to be heard. We're not going to be listened to. It’s a constant struggle. So that's why I'm here today.”

Organizations like Black Lives Matter LA are pushing for People’s Budget LA, which would divert money from the city’s budget away from the LAPD. 

“Justice would mean taking funds that are typically put into law enforcement strategies that have not proven to keep us safe, and instead investing into community services, mental health programs and other things that we can do to prevent crime,” said Carson Malbrough, who was also in the crowd.

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Baba Akili (lower right), one of the leaders of Black Lives Matter LA, safely leads the crowd to the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, May 25, 2021. Photo by Zaydee Sanchez for KCRW. 

In the wake of violence between Hamas and Israel, some activists took today’s anniversary as an opportunity to renew the connection between the movement for Black lives and the Palestinian movement. Organizers invited a speaker from the Palestinian Youth Movement, Ibrahim Younes, to address the crowd. 

“When we stand against police brutality here in the U.S., we are standing against police brutality worldwide, including in Palestine,” said Ibrahim Younes.

This relationship has historical roots. During the Black Power movement of the 1960s and 1970s, some Black activists saw the Palestinians as a kindred people of color, waging the same struggle for freedom and justice as themselves.

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An activist in downtown LA holds a sign that says, “Choosing when to care about racism is racist,” May 25, 2021. Photo by Zaydee Sanchez for KCRW. 

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Demonstrators march the streets of downtown Los Angeles chanting, "Say his name, George Floyd,” May 25, 2021. Photo by Zaydee Sanchez for KCRW. 

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Masked activists rally outside LA City Hall to honor George Floyd, May 25, 2021. Photo by Zaydee Sanchez for KCRW. 


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Some activists brought their children to the rally at LA City Hall to honor George Floyd, May 25, 2021. Photo by Zaydee Sanchez for KCRW.