Protesters honor Dr. King's legacy - and demand change
OAKLAND, Calif. - "No justice, no peace. No racist police!"
A small but vocal group of protesters marched to Oakland City Hall with a simple message.
"We want you to stop killing us! We ain't asking - we're telling you to stop killing us! Stop murdering us!" said Amin Cooley of Oakland.
Some 57 years after Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech in Washington, his call to action still resonates, especially in today's climate.
"What are you waiting for? Another killing? Another video?" asked Nelson Rivera. "Another attack on our community to bring us down? Well that's not what we're waiting for."
With the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and others killed by police, and now the police shooting of Jacob Blake, civil rights is still a pressing issue now, much as it was back in 1963. But many had hoped for greater headway since then.
"It's very disappointing that we're here, but you know we have to rise up and we have to do something about it," said Stephany Magana of Daly City.
Speakers adapted Dr. King's speech with a plea connected to the current national reckoning over race and policing.
"People should not be afraid to leave their homes and be afraid they will not see their family again simply because of the color of their skin," said a woman at the rally.
"It's heartbreaking," Magana said. "We're tired of everything going on. Every day it seems like it's something new. And at this point, you know, if black and brown unite together, we're stronger together."
But despite their pain, there was still hope.
"Dr. King would be proud today to see white people, Black people, Hispanic people together, marching for the same cause," Cooley said.
Rivera agreed, saying, "We need to stand together with the black community that's been suffering so long, because we're all in this together.'
Another protester, James Richie of San Leandro said, "Nothing has really changed, but we're trying, we're pushing it as hard as we can for every little win, every little win."