#SayHERName: SF Demonstration Brings to Light Overlooked Police Killings of African-American Women
Protestors gathered in San Francisco’s Financial District early Thursday morning blocking traffic to speak out against the ongoing police controversies across the United States as part of a string of Black Lives Matter protests crossing the nation.
The protest began at 8:30 a.m., blocking off Market Street, one of San Francisco’s busiest streets, during morning rush hour traffic. Protestors stood united across Market Street between Davis and Front Street for two hours, causing city wide commute and public transit delays. Muni buses and trollies were trapped behind the group, unable to make picks ups throughout the city.
The protests marked the beginning of a day of action for black women as part of a national campaign to protest against police controversies and gender and racial inequalities. The protestors had signs reading #sayHERname and many women stood shirtless as a way to symbolically represent inequality for women in the black community.
Protestors brought signs and chanted in the streets as a way to call attention to the case of Aiyana Jones, a seven-year-old girl who was shot and killed in a 2010 police raid on the east side of Detroit. Tensions about her death have risen after all of the charges against the officer involved were dropped earlier this year. This case has received additional scrutiny thanks to the protests in Ferguson and Baltimore, which called attention to similar issues.
Though police gathered on Market Street in anticipation of today’s protests, they remained nonviolent and peaceful. San Francisco has long been at the forefront of political movements, and today’s protests – while inconvenient to commuters – reminded us how peaceful protesting can deliver a strong and symbolic message.