Fullerton City Hall was a place of unity and love that took place on Saturday. The peaceful protest brought out many to support progressive initiatives in an effort to make the city a better place for all.
One of the protest organizers Faith Forcucci-Morris, a Fullerton College alumnus, was grateful for the participation of more than 1,500 protesters fighting for equality on Highland Avenue and Commonwealth Avenue.
After attending the first Fullerton protest, Forcucci-Morris believed that there needed to be another protest to share the message of social injustice.
“I didn’t see anything being advertised, I was looking early this week and then I decided well no one’s doing it, I’ll do it myself,” she said.
Forcucci-Morris didn’t believe that there were going to be many people at the protest but highlighted the younger generation that was present.
“I think young people are forces of nature on Instagram and social media, they get the word out so quickly, so it’s amazing to see this kind of support in the community and to see how many people are upset but ready to take some action,” she explained.
“Say his name! George Floyd! Say her name! Breonna Taylor!” and “No Justice! No Peace! No Racists Police!” were only two of the many chants that were echoed throughout Fullerton. State and city officials were present to hear and speak out about the issues that have surfaced since the death of George Floyd as well as the countless black men and women that have been murdered.
The speakers that were present included Congressman Gil Cisneros, Assemblywoman Sharon Quirk-Silva, Fullerton City Council members Jesus Silva and Ahmad Zahra, Pastor Willie Holmes, Activist Camille Hernandez, Phyllis Macharia, Kennedy Macharia and Youth Leader Ace Brown. All of the speakers delivered a powerful message about their experiences with police or the inequality that African Americans are still facing in 2020.
Council Member Zahra showed positivity while arriving at the peaceful protest.
“This is really how change happens. We need to all come together and if we don’t do this, if we don’t show our elected officials, including myself, the needs of the community, if you don’t communicate what we need, we’re not going to be able to make real change,” Zahra said.
Two of the speakers’ messages reached out in a different way. Fullerton Union High School student Chloe Serrano and Troy High School Sophomore Class President Ahsha Jones.
As a young black girl, Jones said she was afraid for her family’s life, including that of her brother. After her speech, she said she couldn’t even believe that her message was heard.
“That was amazing. I didn’t expect the reaction to be the way that it was,” Jones said. “Hearing that I got the point across and that people felt moved by what I said, that impacted me.”
Since Serrano and Jones are too young to vote, both young leaders want to find a solution to be involved to fight social injustice in society. They explained that not only did they want their friends to understand what they are fighting for, but they also wanted the older generation to hear their help to fight for justice with them.
Joy McClarnon of Fullerton attended the peaceful protest with a sign reading “All mothers were summoned when George Floyd called for his momma #BlackLivesMatter.” McClarnon joined alongside her daughter and former high school students in solidarity to make a change.
“Being a mom of a mixed kid, this is very important to me… this has always bothered me,” McClarnon said. “My parents grew up in an area where the fourth of the population were KKK members, so I’m trying to change this generational issue.”
McClarnon’s advice to her generation is that they need to listen because if they “can’t hear each other, we can never change anything.”
The protestors were making a change near the Fullerton Police Department. Before the speakers delivered their messages, protestors were wondering if the Chief of Police Dunn or a representative of the Fullerton Police Department were going to be present during the protest.
“The City of Fullerton was the site of a large, peaceful protest today,” said Fullerton Police Chief Robert Dunn, in a department press release. “It is the goal of the Fullerton Police Department to help facilitate the Constitutional Rights of people to protest.”
The press release mentioned that there were no arrests made and no damage was reported during the protest at City Hall.
The crowd was comprised of people of all ages, as well as, sexual orientation, gender, race, and religion that came together to demand justice for George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmed Avery and many other black men and women that have been killed due to police brutality.
Many members of the community of Fullerton felt made an impact on Saturday in an effort to show discrimination and social injustice will not be tolerated anymore.