ESCONDIDO, Calif. — Several hundred Black Lives Matter activists rallied peacefully Friday in front of Escondido City Hall.
The demonstrators began gathering just before 2 p.m. Most carried hand-made signs with messages like “Black Lives Matter,” “Make Racism Wrong Again,” “I Can’t Breathe” and “Say Their Names.”
Organizers said on Twitter that the demonstration was to be non-violent. They asked supporters to wear face masks, bring friends and signs, and to stay home if they are sick. Almost all of the people who showed up wore face masks.
The crowd chanted slogans including “Black lives matter,” “I can’t breathe” and “No justice, no peace,” as cars and trucks drove by the rally honking approval.
Shortly before 7 p.m., the group briefly marched down Broadway towards state Route 78 and Interstate 15 but eventually returned to City Hall. Authorities briefly closed all eastbound lanes of SR-78 at I-15 and the north- and southbound lanes connectors to eastbound SR-78. Eastbound traffic on SR-78 was diverted to southbound I-15.
Escondido police reported no arrests related to the protest. By 10 p.m., most of the demonstrators had left.
A similar demonstration was held in Carlsbad in a park near the beach.
The demonstrations, which mainly consist of chanting and holding signs demanding racial justice and an end to police violence against black Americans, are now in their eighth straight day in San Diego County. They were sparked by the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police on Memorial Day.
Though police use-of-force demonstrations in La Mesa and downtown San Diego last weekend devolved into looting and rioting after dark, daily protests since Sunday have remained largely peaceful, resulting in few arrests and only minor acts of vandalism.
Nonetheless, some 200 members of the California National Guard were deployed this week to the county in an attempt to prevent any recurrences of destructive chaos, with about half of the personnel sent to La Mesa.