By Ken Stone and Chris Stone
Brooklynn White, a recent graduate of UC Santa Cruz, had less than a week to organize, but riders of all styles and colors answered her call Saturday at Mission Bay Park.
Her “Skate for Black Lives Matter” saw at least 100 gather at Tecolote Shores for a ride north on East Mission Bay Drive. There they used stencils to spray-paint BLM slogans and logos on skateboards, backpacks, helmets and — in one case — the back of a T-shirt while a woman was still wearing it.
“So many skate companies and their leaders in charge project racial stereotypes and make it difficult for Black riders to have equal opportunities and experiences,” White posted June 21. “With that being said, join on this peaceful ride!!”
After a short talk on COVID and traffic safety, the predominantly white group of skateboarders, rollerbladers, bicyclists and scooter users were escorted by a pair of San Diego motorcycle officers north past De Anza Cove Park to the Mike Gotch Memorial Bridge.
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Some wore or held bibs saying #RideforBreonna and “Justice for Breonna Taylor,” the 26-year-old black EMT fatally shot by Louisiana police in her apartment March 13 while executing a no-knock search warrant.
A few medics took part, offering face masks and sunscreen, and one bicycling woman wore a lime-green T-shirt inscribed with: “lawyer legal observer.” Volunteers offered snacks and drinks on the comfortable weather day.
A week after hundreds rode skateboard in a similar BLM ride in downtown San Diego, riders at Mission Bay Park carried signs such as “Black is Beautiful,” “Stop Killing Us,” “Defund the Police” and “No Justice, No Peace.”
Rylie Lissebeck, a San Diego Latina, said it’s “important to be out here supporting our darker brothers and sisters.”
Two other events took place Saturday — a 10-mile bike ride attracting a reported 50 to 60 cyclists from Balboa Park and a march in Carmel Mountain Ranch starting at Highland Ranch Park.
At 10 a.m. Sunday, Outdoor Outreach, Bikes del Pueblo and Bike San Diego will host The Pedal for Justice bike ride with proceeds going toward the Black Lives Matter movement.
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