LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — A feeling of solidarity radiated through the crowd gathered on the steps of City Hall in downtown Los Angeles on Thursday.
Protestors have stood outside the building and marched through downtown for several days, as part of ongoing protests across the nation against police brutality, sparked by the deadly arrest of George Floyd in Minneapolis.READ MORE: Nurses Get Into Physical Altercation, Temporarily Shutting Down Vaccination Clinic In Beaumont
On Thursday, though they were met with a police presence, the demonstrators largely focused on each other, rather than directing their message at the officers.
“People’s eyes have been opened to something black and brown people have experienced for a very long time, and they’re appalled,” said the protest organizer. “They’re appalled by what they see. It’s touched their spirits at the innermost level.”
In addition to chanting and holding signs, the crowd made space for some to share their stories, giving everyone a chance to be heard.READ MORE: 'A Little Las Vegas': West Hollywood Residents Say New Digital Billboard On Sunset Strip Lights Up Their Homes Around The Clock
“This is our first demonstration together,” said one protestor, who brought his daughters with him. “I wanted to send a message to my girls that they’re living in a society that has to come through some real change. I think that…we [must] teach the younger generation about…the strife that has inflicted people of all color, especially black men and women, living here in L.A. and across the country, that we really have to come together and get some real messages to the people that we can make some change.”
He said he remembers the Los Angeles protests that occurred in 1992, after a jury acquitted four LAPD officers for using excessive force against Rodney King.
Many have drawn comparisons between those historical events and the protests happening over the past nine days. This protestor said that he thinks the ability of organizations to mobilize people around one cause has strengthened the ability to protest this time around.
“I think the organization of the march has been significantly different,” he said. “Last time, in ’92, it was almost organic. It just happened overnight. This time, people were mobilized from organizational perspectives, where we saw people that were coming together as one, with a message.”MORE NEWS: Permanent Supportive Housing Building In Skid Row Celebrates Grand Opening With Virtual Event
No curfew was in effect for L.A. County Thursday night, prompting the crowd to remain on the streets of downtown well past 10 p.m.