SAN FRANCISCO – A diverse crowd of thousands of demonstrators outraged by the death of George Floyd tied up San Francisco’s iconic Golden Gate Bridge with the acquiescence of authorities on Saturday, another sign of how their message has resonated even with law enforcement officials in recent days.
Roderick Sweeney, 49, who is black, said he was overwhelmed to see the large turnout of white protesters waving signs that said “Black Lives Matter.”
“We’ve had discussions in our family and among friends that nothing is going to change until our white brothers and sisters voice their opinion,” he said. The large turnout of white protesters “is sending a powerful message. You can see protests are happening around this world, and so I’m hoping change will happen.”
Tow trucks held off car traffic in both directions, and police directed vehicles caught in the middle of the bridge to go around protesters who eventually moved off the roadway peacefully.
Floyd, a black man, died on May 25 after a white Minneapolis police officer put his knee on Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes while he was handcuffed and lying on the ground.
Danielle Chetrit, 22, who is white, said she felt compelled to join the Golden Gate march.
“There are no words to capture the level of disgrace that I feel about these senseless killings,” she said.
The strong turnout by people of different racial backgrounds “goes to show that there are people around the world that agree that ... we have a certain group that’s really suffering and we need to take care of them now,” Chetrit said.