Large protest planned in Martinez this weekend following multiple hate crimes

Bay Area

MARTINEZ, Calif. (KRON) — A large protest is planned in Martinez this weekend following a number of hate crimes in the city.

White nationalist flyers were found and the city’s permitted Black Lives Matter mural was painted over by two people just last weekend.

Organizers and city officials say they are expecting this to be a very big protest with lots of people coming from all over to participate.

“No one wants Black Lives Matter here. That’s what I said. All lives matter.”

The two people seen in a video could face up to a year in jail, charged with a hate crime for painting over a Black Lives Matter mural in downtown Martinez, a mural that was painted by demonstrators with permission from the city.

The people who painted over the mural did not have permission to do so.

The video went viral and was seen by people from across the country.

“I think it’s very telling as to how divided this nation is at the moment,” Sevgi Fernandez said.

Between this and white nationalist flyers found in Martinez just a few weeks ago, a large protest is now planed for this weekend.

“A majority of Martinez residents found it offensive and wanted something done,” Martinez Vice Mayor Mark Ross said. “And I know that the flyers are still being investigated as we speak fingerprinting is being done.”

The Martinez Police Department says they are not anticipating any problems, but because of the expected size of the protest — they will have adequate staff on hand with officers in the downtown area to protect and patrol businesses and residents.

“Our concern with this one is just a growing tension and the fact that this incident leading into it went viral so we are hearing a lot of angry chatter on social media we are receiving calls throughout the city of people angry on both sides,” Capt. Beth Johnson said. “And so because of that we just want to be sure we have enough resources in place to keep everyone safe.”

Protestors are being asked to park at the waterfront.

The rally will begin at the courthouse. People will then march to Marina Vista, walk towards Ferry Street and then back to the waterfront.

“We have had so many people from Martinez thanking us, so many people asking how they can get involved and coming out on Sunday who have never marched before but are feeling a call to do this now because they want to stand up against hate and racism,” Fernandez said. “And that’s a beautiful thing.”

Several streets will be shut down beginning at 10 p.m. Saturday night. They will not reopen until 7 a.m. on Monday.

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