LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – Dozens of people gathered outside City Hall in downtown Los Angeles Tuesday to mark the one-year anniversary of the death of George Floyd, which sparked protests worldwide and calls for drastic change.
There was music and dancing, but there was also moments of silence and solemnness as activists remembered not just Floyd, but the other Black lives lost in the last year.
“In my generation, it was Emmett Till,” said Akili with Black Lives Matter. “But then there’s been one every generation. We want to stop that.”
Last summer, thousands of people filled the streets to protest police violence. The crowds are smaller now.
“As people go back to work and school, you can’t expect people to be in the streets constantly, but that doesn’t mean a waning of support,” said Dr. Melina Abdullah with Black Lives Matter LA.
Activists say real progress has been made in Los Angeles, including the passage of Measure J to direct more funds to address racial injustice, and getting the L.A. Unified School District to re-allocate a large portion of their school police budget.
“There are advances, but they’re not successes yet, they’re not victories yet, because we are just beginning to turn in that direction,” Akili said.
The protesters are hopeful that real, systemic changes can be made.
“There is still the energy, there is still the support, but we want more of it,” Reverend Najuma Smith-Pollard said. “Part of why we continue to be part of these movements and gatherings is to say we’re not going anywhere, and yes, to rally the people to come back out and get in the streets. Because the work is out here in the streets.”
On Tuesday night, CBSN LA will air a town hall hosted by Pat Harvey and Tom Wait titled, “The Death Of George Floyd: One Year Later.” You can watch that live here.