Demonstration in solidarity

Coastside residents, including some from the local surfing community, have organized a peaceful demonstration to stand in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement. The event, set for 5 p.m. today, Thursday. Residents are asked to come wearing masks to the dirt parking lot across from the jetty with chairs and signs or to participate in isolation outside their own home.

Cass Cleave, who works for local nonprofit Sea Hugger, is one of the organizers of the event.

Cleave and fellow organizer Thomas Agramonte said they created the event after “a domino effect of inspiration” brought the Black Lives Matter movement to the community.

"Half Moon Bay is a small town community that we are proud to be a part of,” Agramonte wrote in an email to the Review. “We want to show our support and stand up for racial justice, equal opportunity and a sustainable future for all. "

Cleave said the community as a whole has been helping get out the word, and while she doesn’t know how many people to expect, she hopes participants will stay safely distanced from one another.

El Granada resident Monique Kitamura, who shared the event on Nextdoor, is helping organize logistics. She said the event will likely include some speeches from community members, a moment of silence, an information table with printed resources and an invitation for residents to walk together along the beach during low tide following the event.

She emphasized that the event is meant to be a peaceful demonstration, and is asking residents to stay out of the way of roads, the nearby skate ramp and to not block fire access. She is also asking residents who normally park in the jetty parking lot, which is owned by the Granada Community Services District, to remove their cars Thursday afternoon prior to the event to make space for the crowd.

Kitamura, who is originally from South Africa, said she’s no stranger to racism, and felt sending a message in solidarity with peaceful protests happening worldwide was important. Plus, she said, just organizing and talking about the event has already brought the community together. Beyond her surfing community, Kitamura said her husband has reached out to the local Latino community, translating the flier into Spanish and spreading the word.

Kitamura said she’s hoping community members of all ages will get involved, and said she’s already heard excitement from kids about making signs and participating.

“Let’s teach the children to say enough is enough, to love instead,” Kitamura said. “It is so much harder to hate than to love.”

Agramonte agreed that he’s already seen the ripple effects begin in his community.

“We have had a lot of constructive conversations about everything that is happening in our society and community today, and ways in which we can move forward to provide a bright future with opportunity and justice for all,” Agramonte wrote.

Kitamura said she’s hoping the demonstration will send a message of strength and unity.

“The goal is for people to have a platform as a collective to come and stand together against racism,” Kitamura said. “... Our tiny community is just saying we are not silent, we hear you, we are standing, black lives matter.”

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