Photo by Jessica Boyer/KHTS
Several Santa Clarita Valley residents exercised their First Amendment rights on Thursday evening on the corner of Valencia Boulevard and McBean Parkway.
Dozens of protesters held signs to protest the court ruling of the Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman case.
“This is, in my head, much more than Trayvon Martin or the young lady who is serving a 20 year prison sentence. This is more about the perception of minorities in our country, and that’s where we need the change, “ said Harry Reed, a protester representing the Democratic Alliance Action. “There are 18 states with the Stand Your Ground law and it needs to be changed. The way we view our fellow citizens needs to be changed.”
Many people drove by the protesters, some honking others using obscene hand gestures.
“If my husband and I had been lucky enough to have a son, and we had experienced what happened to Trayvon’s parents, we would be crushed.” said Kathy Marsailes, a protester. “I don’t understand how anyone can’t feel that. I think there is so much racism.”
Bob Reed, a protester representing The Democratic Alliance Action held the DAA sign and reflected on how he had been a victim of racism.
“The good thing that comes out of this is the continuing dialogue that hopefully leads to more understanding.”
Protestors of the Martin-Zimmerman case had planned this event after the court ruling had been released.
“I’m here today because I’m appalled about what’s going on around the country, also with the Stand Your Ground law. I think were vilifying minorities,” said Carole Lutness, chair of the SCV Fair Elections Committee.
Lutness felt that Stand Your Ground is a horrible law and that the idea of “everyone is my enemy” is very primitive idea.
“The Stand Your Ground law is in 20 states now and we need to be careful of this dog-eat-dog, vigilante system. This happened to a young man who was an honor student who was set to go to college and was portrayed as a thug,” Lutness said. “The internet shows George Zimmerman had multiple arrests, his cousin or niece accused him of sexually assaulting her, and he made documented racist comments on his Facebook page, I think it was. I don’t understand why we are making him a hero. My whole worry is about pitting people racially against each other.”
On the opposite side of the street, Cindy Krebs and her sons, Mark and Alex held a sign that read “Impeach Obama”.
The two different protests were not involved with each other and were each protesting their own, different subjects.
Cindy said how she had not planned to protest on her day off of work, but was fed up with the way Obama is leading the country.
“I want Obama impeached because of Benghazi and because of IRS targeting. There are too many problems and too many cover ups. I’m mad and I’m not going to take this anymore. This is the first time ever that I have protested,” said Krebs. “I’m not a Republican, I’m not a Democrat, I’m fed up.”
Officers from the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station closely patrolled the area in the case that any protesters were attacked.
“Silence equals acceptance, and I’m not going to be silent anymore,” Krebs said.
– Jessica Boyer