The traffic light at Interlaken Center in Big Bear Lake has been known as the place for peaceful protest gatherings the past several years. The one that formed there on Wednesday, June 3, continued that trend.

A small group of gathered at the southwest corner and soon attracted more peaceful protesters during the middle of the day showing their support for the Black Lives Matter movement. They stayed on the sidewalks, raised signs and chanted “Black Lives Matter” and “No More Hate.” Many motorists driving by on busy Big Bear Boulevard honked their horns presumably in support.

“I’ve been here since 1 (p.m.),” said one Big Bear resident who preferred not to share her name. “I’ve been doing this for 50 years, and I’m still fighting the same damn battle.”

The woman said more and more people started showing up to join the peaceful protest. She didn’t know who organized the event. For the most part, people passing by have been supportive. “We had one guy stop his car in the middle of the road and start spewing hate,” she said. “We all stood in solidarity for the peace we want. He has the right to free speech, but it’s so hard to hear. There is another way to treat people — in peace.”

The group consisted of mostly young people with some older adults joining in. Each one said they didn’t know who organized at first. They heard about the protest through social media and word of mouth. Those who spoke with The Grizzly said they were from Big Bear, but preferred not to share their names.

One young woman, who said she graduated from Big Bear High School in 2018, said she heard that several high school students were planning to join the group later in the afternoon.

The rally in Big Bear is one of thousands around the country in the past week protesting the death of George Floyd at the hands of the police in Minnesota. Earlier on June 3, the Minnesota state attorney announced that charges are being filed against all four officers involved in the incident.

(5) comments

Shannon

It is important that we be smart, wise, realistic and work together as a community.

This is a complex situation that people would benefit by researching deeply behind the curtain to help expand perspectives. I fully appreciate that emotions are high and people need to be heard. It is not for me or anyone to tell another what or how to believe.

What is **absolute** is that protesters attract and are piggybacked by rioters/looters right now. It is clearly a strategy with powerful forces behind it. None of us have clearance high enough to know who, how and why. As far as I know, we don't have a community gameplan for if and when black hoodies start up the hill. Crestline's veterans are got together the night the SB protests turned riots to discuss strategies. If people feel strongly about protesting, I strongly suggest they also take responsibility and organize preliminary game plans with able and capable protectors in the area - and let us know that is what they are dong. There are limited ways in, so it should be simple.

I know there are best intentions here, but this is naive and dangerous - and publicizing it, without showing we have local protection as Bellevue did, advertises we are sitting ducks. We cannot count on police help in such a situation - they have their hands full. If there have been plans made, please let me know and I apologize for worrying.

caa111309

I'm a local going on 14 years. This is great! I was going to go out there the other day with a sign. I still need to. I have a big sign on my car when it's parked. Saying "Justice for George Floyd." I was told by my husband, whom is one of the mangers at DIY. He said there were hateful Trump supporters out there also, I noticed their picture is not posted here. :-) I will refrain my words. It's people like this that ruins America and what we are supposed to stand for. If you raise you kids to be racist then it will never stop. Trump has failed from day one to show leadership qualities. He is and will go down in the top 10 worst presidents, for the 10 leadership qualities they rank presidents on. They do a survey with Presidential Historian writers and journalist that know about each president. Then they rank every president on 10 leadership qualities. Within the top 25 best presidents with their rankings you have Lincoln#1 and Washington #2, from there you have Kennedy in there, Obama, Clinton and both Bush's. It's not about liking or disliking someone personally; it's about there leadership and Trump has failed from day one and continues on a daily basis.

motoxdude

I applaud those standing-up for this injustice against Mr. Floyd. My only wish is that those making this effort direct their energies to peacefully protesting and Condemning the Violence being perpetrated throughout our wonderful Nation. Those 4 officers involved in this tragic death are well in the hands of our justice system and I pray they are convicted. So, PLEASE, focus your peaceful protests towards speaking-out for the many innocent victims of the "less-than" peaceful protests and against those responsible for the looting, riots and civil unrest... THAT, in my humble opinion, is where the focus needs to be at this time.

ElevatedOne

Very proud of this portion of the community! It's great to see people standing up against and opposed to the loud MAGA voice of the valley. Good job Big Bear and very happy to see this message as the majority of the protesters vs. the other side. Peace, unity, and equality will win and the grand international scale of this protest is proving that. Thank you, thank you, thank you for being on the right side of history in the tumultuous time we are living in.

caa111309

I went out there today and showed my support, it was great I was vocal and gave a cheer whenever some would honk! I will always support and enough is enough. It's been going on way too long; since the time of slavery. Just for the record I am a local going on 14 years and I am a 47 year old white female. I was never brought up to be racist and never would be. It was nice; I was out there with three locals. Two were a biracial couple. The lady was black and the husband white and they had there beautiful girl out there. There were a lot of people honking and showing their support. Then you had a few honking and giving the middle finger. I hope those people read these comments. People that feel this way and show hate are making America not great! It will never be great until people change how they feel!

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