RIVERSIDE (CBSLA) — Hundreds of young people came together in downtown Riverside Thursday for a peace vigil in honor of George Floyd.
“It can’t fall on deaf ears anymore,” Jamie Gross, an Eastvale resident, said.
Gross is one of millions of young people across the country who heard the call to change.
“What moment wasn’t it,” she said. “I’m African American. I’ve heard the call my whole life. It’s just, I’m tired of it.
“I’m tired of worrying about what I’m going to be seen as. I’m just Jamie.”
Attending a peace vigil was not the way Paulette Callender, Jamie’s mom, thought she would be celebrating her daughter’s 3oth birthday.
“But she said, ‘I didn’t want to celebrate the birthday when there’s so much pain in this country,'” Callender said. “And I said, ‘You know what, I want to come and stand with you.'”
Gross said standing with her mom and other young people in solidarity was the best birthday gift.
And those in the group said they would take to the streets in peaceful protest for as long as it takes to see real change.
“And no, you ain’t gotta ask your parents or grandparents for permission to fight,” Corey Jackson, political action chair for the Riverside NAACP, said. “You might need to ask them to bail you out, but you know.”
Riverside police had a strong presence downtown, but they said it was only to make sure demonstrators had the space to safely exercise their First Amendment rights.