They bused in from as far north as Del Norte and as far south as San Diego.
They wore red t-shirts that read “Native Lives Matter” and black ones that read “We Demand Fair Policing” and “We’re Not Targets.”
And, by the time noon rolled around, they had packed the hall outside the governor’s office and were demanding an end to racial and identity profiling.
Approximately 200 people entered the California State Capitol building on Wednesday morning to call for the passage of Assembly Bill 953, which would expand the prohibition against racial profiling to include a host of other identifiers, including gender, sexual orientation, housing status and immigration status.
They packed the hallway outside of Gov. Jerry Brown’s office, guarded by a bronze statue of a grizzly bear and four high-hatted CHP officers with sanguine expressions.
The ruckus they raised was adeptly organized, and highlighted the almost perfunctory nature of today’s peaceful protest culture: No one was arrested and everyone respected each other. An orderly, if boisterous, infiltration.
High-hatted CHP officers assigned to the Capitol building watched quietly by the bathrooms for the most part, intervening to ask the crowd to carve out a lane for passersby, which it did, and to position themselves in front of Brown’s office when it looked like some of the demonstrators might try to get themselves arrested.
At least, that was the original plan.
Here, CHP officers position themselves in front of the governor’s office:
Activists advise people how NOT to get arrested:
Approximately 30 people expected to force officers’ hands by attempting entry into Brown’s office, according to one of the organizers. But it didn’t go down that way, and the demonstration ended without incident around 2:30 p.m.
People on both sides behaved themselves, played their roles and got what they wanted. The people drew some media attention and the officers got an empty chamber (eventually).
On the lawns outside the statehouse, multiple groups competed for hearts, minds and video screens, including a festive Recovery Happens rally that brought its own band. At one point it performed a cover of “Celebration.”