A crowd of approximately 500 people gathered on a lawn in front of the Newport Harbor High School clock tower on Saturday afternoon, June 6, starting at 2 p.m. to protest the asphyxiation death of George Floyd at the hands of a Minneapolis, MN policeman on May 25.
The protest is one of hundreds that have been taking place around the country, and around the world, over the past two weeks in response to Floyd’s death.
The Newport Beach protest was organized by two local high school students, who spoke to the crowd through a megaphone. The students invited people up to the megaphone to share their experiences with racial profiling, and why the ongoing protests are important.
After a series of speakers, the crowd – which was quiet, respectful and encouraging – began to march along the sidewalk down Irvine Avenue to the Back Bay, holding up signs and chanting “No Justice, No Peace” and “George Floyd.”
Newport Beach motorcycle officers rode alongside and ahead of the protestors to block traffic at major intersections so the protestors could safely cross the streets.
The June 6 protest comes on the heels of several other protests that were held in Newport Beach on June 3. Other protests planned for Newport Beach in the coming days include Sunday at noon on Balboa Island, Sunday at 2 p.m. at the Back-Bay Science Center, and Monday at 6 p.m. at Newport Beach City Hall.
The Twitter account OCProtests and the Instagram account OCProtests (run by different people) have lists of upcoming protests planned in Orange County.
Newport Beach is a coastal city in Orange County, California, United States. Newport Beach is known for good surfing and sandy beaches. Newport Harbor once supported maritime industries but today it is used mostly for recreation. Balboa Island draws visitors with a waterfront path easy access from the ferry to the shops and restaurants. Its population was 85,287 at the 2010 census.
The Upper Bay of Newport is a canyon, which was carved by a stream in the Pleistocene period. The Lower Bay of Newport was formed much later by sand that was brought along by ocean currents, which constructed the offshore beach that is now recognized as the Balboa Peninsula of Newport Beach.