By Don Ford

CASTRO VALLEY (CBS SF) — It was promoted as a peaceful protest and for the time being, that is exactly what it was, but peaceful doesn’t mean quiet.

Hundreds of protestors gathered in Castro Valley at Redwood and Castro Valley Blvd. Monday. It’s been seven days and the anger, sadness and frustration was just as high Monday as last week.

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But this protest was different. One man was sending messages on his phone, telling us, “I’m telling the people on Instagram, this is how you supposed to protest, without tearing up the community right here! This is good!”

Car after car honked their horns as they passed by, drivers loudly proclaiming their support for the demontrators protesting the death of George Floyd at the hands of police in Minnesota. Earlier in the day, clerk at the local Right Aid stopped people at the door, telling them, “We are closing because of the protestors, they asked us to close.”

Merchants said the sheriff’s office cautioned businesses to close early. Keith Simas owns a local Chevron station and wasn’t taking any chance, installing plywood on his windows. “We’re just out here and trying to be prepared and keep our property safe,” said Simas.

Across the street, the Liquor King was also getting ready, with plywood going up and extra “Black Lives Matter” signs of for solidarity. Store owner Rajleen Arora supports the peaceful protestors, but said, “It’s not the protestors that are doing this, it’s later on at night there’s other people just coming out and taking advantage of the situation.”

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Monday’s protest started at 2 p.m. Following loud chants, everyone took a knee and had a moment of silence for eight minutes – the same amount of time it took for George Floyd to die with a knee to this throat.

At 2:30 p.m. they filled the intersection, blocking most traffic for about 10 minutes and marching down Castro Valley Blvd afterward. No burning buildings. No smashed or looted stores.

Protestor Paula Ambrose summed up the day: “There have been some folks who have thrown things out their windows but this crowd has remained calm, because we want to keep the main thing the main thing,” said Ambrose. “And the main thing is, black lives matter, black lives matter.”

 

 

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