Long Beach Residents Rally for Democracy

8 Nov

About 100 people rallied, on Saturday, Nov. 7, in the rain, wind and cold, outside Long Beach City Hall at 411 West Ocean Blvd., demanding electoral “democracy,” according to a jpeg flyer from a Facebook page of Black Lives Matter – Long Beach, announcing the rally.

The same flyer listed as sponsors Long Beach Forward, LiBRE (Long Beach Residents Empowered), the Long Beach Chapter of Democratic Socialist of America, BLM – LB, QOWS (Queers Obliterating White Supremacy), Anakbayan – Long Beach (a local Filipinx youth and student organization), LBIRC (Long Beach Immigrant Rights Coalition) and the GRRRL Collective, whose Facebook About Page characterizes the organization as “an intersectional, queer, pro-migrant, pro(-sex)-worker, trans-inclusive feminist collective organizing, learning, and healing together in Long Beach.”

Audrena Redmond, who is an activist with Black Lives Matter – Long Beach, emcees, the Saturday, Nov. 7, rally for democracy; Photo by Barry Saks

Audrena Redmond of BLM-LB emceed. In her opening remarks, Redmond, in part, said, “After Barack Obama was elected, (some) people had the audacity to say, ‘Oh we live in a post-racial America.’ I beg to differ and I think the last 12 years have really proven that point…. Race colors everything in this country, our economics, our social standing, education, health care, all of that.”

Vick Bouzi, representing DSA-LB, in part, said, “We gather here today to be sure they count all the votes, which they did…but we’re not here riding for Biden, no. He’s the architect of the 1994 crime bill, that put so many brown and black bodies in prison…. We are not here for Kamala Harris, the self-proclaimed top cop in California…. From the top to the bottom, the Democrats are rotten. It stinks all the way down to Mayor Robert Garcia.” He added the Democrats have a “weak neo-liberal politics that revolves around identity, that revolves around representation.”

Brooklyn Desmond, who said she was once homeless, spoke, on Saturday, Nov. 7, at the rally for democracy; Photo by Barry Saks

Brooklyn Desmond was in the crowd. Desmond, who identified herself has a queer, black person who has been homeless, asked the crowd that instead of ignoring the homeless, when walking over them, that the crowd should respect the homeless by acknowledging and paying attention to them.

At least twice, the crowd shouted out, “Ain’t (sic) no power like the power of the people (be)cause the power of the people don’t (sic) stop.” Others would respond with “Say what?” The mood was celebratory and of relief regarding the results of the 2020 Presidential Campaign. The crowd also chanted, “White supremacy has got to go.” Another repeated chant was “Black lives they matter here.”

Three days earlier, about 70 people of the same groups met at the same location again demanding electoral democracy.

Barry Saks is a member of DSA-LB.

This version of the above story was corrected on Monday, Nov. 9, for the misspelling of Audrena Redmond’s first name. It’s Audrena not Andrena.

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