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.