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Here’s How Protesters In Oakland Kept Kids Involved and Safe

Some simple guidelines helped save the day.

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Protests have erupted over the weekend in dozens of cities across the country after the publicized murder of Minneapolis resident George Floyd, a black man who was killed by police officer Derek Chauvin who held his knee to his neck for over nine minutes in an arrest for alleged forgery. As hundreds of thousands of Americans took to the streets to protest police violence in Minneapolis, Los Angeles, Louisville, and New York, among dozens of other cities, one group of protestors in Oakland united to give kids a voice. 

A group of organizers in Oakland held a rally outside of the Children’s Fairyland at Lake Merritt that was family friendly and allowed kids to take part to let their voices be heard. One of the organizers, John Fike, said to local affiliate KPIX, “We want to express our anger, but we want to express our anger in a peaceful way, in a family-friendly way.” One nine-year-old said she was in attendance because her sister, who is black, is afraid to go outside. “I want everybody to be able to go outside,” she said.

Kids often don’t get to participate in civil unrest as the protests can become violent at night when cops retaliate against protestors. While many kids were in attendance at marches like the Women’s March in 2016, that was a day-time protest that was approved by the police in many cities. Kids gathered on Sunday at the Children’s Fairyland — a “magical fantasy world” for kids in Oakland — to voice their displeasure at the state of the world, safely and with their families.