SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) — Thousands jammed onto the Golden Gate Bridge Saturday — in support of social justice and the Black Lives Matter movement.
It was the first ever Black Lives Matter protest to be held on the bridge, and it was organized by a couple of young women.
The teenagers, 17-year-old Tiana Day of San Ramon and 19-year-old Mimi Zoila of Marin, didn’t know each other before banding together to organize this protest. But now, they say this is just the beginning of their activism together.
“We are the people who will make the change in the future, so that it’s different for our children when they do go to school,” Tiana Day said.
Day and Zoila connected on social media just a couple of days before the protest. Zoila said doing a protest on the bridge seemed like it would send the right message.
“I thought as I was driving into the city earlier in the week maybe we could do something on the bridge,” Zoila said. “It’s a national monument and it promotes bringing people together.”
“She posted on social media that she needed someone to help lead the movement,” Day said. “And me being a Black student, I’m only 17, she’s only 19, and I had organized a protest in San Ramon earlier in the week so I thought it would be great if we led it together.”
They say they thought maybe a couple hundred people would show up –but the crowd quickly grew to thousands, walking, chanting and honking across the iconic bridge.
The girls say organizing the march has sparked many conversations about race and police brutality among their young friends.
“A lot of people in high school think its a taboo topic, talking about racial slurs, but I think it’s important to spark these conversations in our communities,” Day said. “I think it’s important to note we are fighting for equality with police, not against them but by their side to end police brutality..”
The two teens from two different sides of the bay say the support they received has lit a fire under them, to bridge the gap of inequality and lead with love.
“There’s a ton of violence and horrible things, but at the end of the day we think people coming together is the most important thing,” Zoila said.
Tiana and her father have started an organization called “Youth Advocates For Change” and Mimi will now be working with them to help the younger generation who want to have a voice in their communities.
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