Candlelight vigil in Rancho Peñasquitos honors black lives lost

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SAN DIEGO – As protests and demonstrations supporting Black Lives Matter enter a second week, community members in Rancho Peñasquitos came out by the hundreds for a candlelight vigil Tuesday evening.

Some of the people who helped organize the event say where they grew up hasn’t always been the hub of activism, but Tuesday surely showed otherwise.

“It’s so good to see everybody here because we didn’t always get the support,” said Michaela Derbique, who grew up in Rancho Peñasquitos.

“This is my home. This is my community. I feel like it is important to support my community and show up for a matter I believe in,” said Antoinette Robinson, who also grew up in the area.

People packed the intersection outside the Peñasquitos Towne Center with signs and candles, then paused for a long moment of silence before continuing the night of solidarity.

“We wanted to make sure that people have a space here in North County, where traditionally there is a lot less activism, a lot less voices being shared in the public domain.”

Nathan Taulane grew up nearby along with his friend Bryson Armstrong, whom he lost last week to suicide — a sobering reason for Taulane to help organize the meaningful demonstration.

“Those moments where you’re saying, ‘I should’ve reached out, I should’ve called.’ Make sure you just do it. It’s time. This is the moment to really speak up.”

The posters, pictures and amount of people are visual examples, but the support that could be felt is what those who attended held most important.

“There is strength in numbers and there are so many people behind us right now and I feel like hopefully this is the last time will ever have to fight for this,” said Derbique.

A San Diego police captain also showed up to see if the group needed assistance with blocking off streets, but they stayed in the intersection and the demonstration remained peaceful.

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