BLM Protesters Will Form Human Chain

“We’re going to be a human chain protecting these posters,” Serena Salcido, 19, Black Lives Matter (BLM) organizer said. “This is a memorial…I will fight for this.”

Hours after the Visalia Unified School District’s decision to take down the signs outside of El Diamante High School on Monday, BLM protesters gathered outside the school around 8:30pm to protest and announce that they will not comply with the District’s decision. On July 3rd, the date the signs are scheduled to be taken down, supporters of the BLM movement intend on forming a human chain blocking access to the posters.

“I know some of you probably don’t agree and think we should not be protecting them”, Serena motioned to the BLM signs that covered the length of the fence, “But as a Black student, when I see this I feel like I have everyone with me…To see this is amazing. We’re also honoring George Floyd, Elijah Mclain, Breonna Taylor, all the names up here, so the fact that they’re taking it down is disrespectful.”

Staff from VUSD like Brandon Gridiron, Administrator of Equity and Student Services, were present at the protest to continue communication, support their voices, and ensure the safety of students.

While Gridiron supports youth involvement in the protests, he was concerned the signs were distracting students from making a real difference:

“I’ve told students often, I don’t want their voices to be stuck at the fence and for the fence to become a distraction from really making change. I want them to have an opportunity to make their voice heard in such a way that actually makes change.”

It appears that protesters have taken that advice to heart because they do not plan on keeping the signs up forever.

“We will not move until they pull up with the police,” Salcido explained. “When they tell us the last time that we have to take them down, we will all turn around and take the posters down ourselves. They do not deserve to touch our posters.”

The human chain planned for this Friday seems to be more about sending a message than actually protecting the signs.

So what is that message?

According to Salcido, it’s that they won’t stop protesting until they get everything on their list of demands.

“Until they answer and they listen,” Serena continued. “They need to fix the schools. They need to fix the system. They need to stop discriminating against other people because of their skin tones.”

One of the initial motivators of the movement at El Diamante seems to be the alleged inaction within the school district.

Protesters cited incidents when the District has overlooked incidents of racism on campus such as racial slurs and students donning confederate flags on their vehicles and clothes.

A month ago, students created a petition to remove El Diamante principal Jeff Hohne for alleged “racist, homophobic, sexist tendencies” during his time at the school. Students also claim Hohne demanded the signs outside El Diamante get taken down and flipped off protesters. The petition has over 5,000 signatures.

The local BLM movement has consistently demonstrated for over a month now. And it’s clear that youth feel strongly about the cause. Support has grown exponentially with every incident of community pushback.

Other local organizations have now gotten involved to show support like the Voices of Central Valley and Act for Women and Girls. Both groups have been known for being politically active and engaging the community for social justice.

Like many BLM protests across the nation, the goals of the local movement also seek abolishment of white supremacy, abolishment of the police, and calling out local leadership.

To meet the goals, the protesters intend to keep the momentum going and eventually take their demands to city council.

This week alone will see multiple demonstrations in Visalia:

  • Tuesday, demand Tulare County Board of Supervisors charge suspects involved in the infamous Jeep incident on Mooney.
  • Wednesday, Peaceful Kneel outside of the VUSD office.
  • Friday, Human Chain at El Diamante
  • Saturday, Anti-4th-of-July BBQ and Protest

 

17 thoughts on “BLM Protesters Will Form Human Chain

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  1. I’m an educator, a Visalia resident, a supporter of BLM and the voice of youth, and I fully approve this.

  2. Enough is enough. Move on. You had more than enough time. Your novelty has worn off and u are attacking trouble makers that are not high school students.

    You needed supervision from the school and facility as you have put your lives and the communities lives at risk.

    • Enough is ENOUGH
      I’m sick of these slogans, terms. BLM, ALM
      I believe in Social Injustice/Justice for all
      Yessss, change is always needed
      Officials listening up as should be
      These ongoing protests are now, nothing short of nuances & will fuel the destructive opportunists out
      there

  3. Sid they really say an anti 4th of July bbq? I’m sorry but that is so funny to me. What does not celebrating the 4th have to do with BLM? Going a little over the top and distracting the point of BLM. Stick to one movement ppl focus.

  4. Seriously an anti 4th of July bbq? Omg I’m sorry but that is not what BLM should be about. Pick one movement if it is means so much to you. All that is gonna do is distract from the when point of BLM. These kids need to pump their brakes. Dont make a spectacle they are just taking away the meaning of what what they want

  5. You need to point some attention to VUSD as this was not taken care of properly, any adult protest would have gone up and down in a specific timeframe and a permit more than likely would have been required.

    There was a very , very generous leeway given and now they have problems, no longer a teen/tween event it has drawn a criminal element and EL D has a perm label of “The BLM” school for Visalia.

    It is sad to see these kids and young adults didn’t have experience adult supervision to show them HOW to get what they wanted. And to counsel them that change takes time once you ask.

    It is also a shame that if “someone one” from El D gave the ok , they didn’t provide security for the kids and citizens because standing in a median is not safe for the kids, adults or drivers on Akers.

    Demands means you are holding something hostage. What is their hostage?

    Demands means “or else”. Or else What?

    All they know is what they see on tv. Those are not kids and not anyone u want your kids to be caught up with or become, because there are now shootings and death.

    BTW an Anti 4th BBQ shows the immaturity and lack of adult mentors and guidance.

  6. Anti-4th of July? So you’re protesting the day America gained its independence and gave you that right to protest? I’m confused.

    • Why do you think BLM more than, Red, Yellow, Brown or White. Most of my sons best friends were black. In school BL played best in sports, some best at music, their singing is still know as the best in blues you people are making yourselves look bad.

  7. Also, I was told I couldn’t put up signs up on those very fences, so why should you get too?

  8. I agree enough is enough the cop is behind bars he will get what he deserves for taking this mans life what more are people trying to prove all this is doing is bringing hatred and more violence in this world. Move on already all lives matter ..

  9. The most patriotic thing to do is leave them up. The 4th of July isn’t about fireworks. It’s about our freedoms, and the need to tolerate different opinions. If you don’t like it, then don’t look.

  10. Seriously, and respectfully, Gridiron doesn’t quite get it, does he? Students have “taken it outside the fences” and THEY ARE “making real change” by showing up the racist leadership (and citizenry) in their community. There are allies, posers, and a bunch of downright racists being exposed through this powerful demonstration.

  11. BLM if truth be known should stand for bolshavic leftest movement. There are two founders of the movement that say that they are trained marxists\community orginizers. If you read what their tenants say and they are readily available on their web page. You will find that among other things they are against the nuclear family.I think maybe we need to educate our selves on what this BLM orginization is all about really. Everyone should be outraged about George Floyed but just as much we should be outraged at the young man killed in Seattle in CHOP zone his father was on Hannity last night. Maybe you should see which black lives matter, also fact check me on Father’s Day in Chicago a three year old African American child was killed in the back seat of her father’s car. You tell me which black lives matter?

    • BLM donations go directly to the Democratic party.

      Go check their website. Click Donate and it takes you to to ActBlue!

      Politics.

  12. Really? Black lives matter? Then please explain to me why there is so much Black on Black crime, including the strong arm home invasion that Mr. Floyd had previously served jail time for? Were Martin Luther King still living, he’d be sick!

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