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Unity March for Andy Lopez Unites Diverse Communities in Santa Rosa
On October 30, a "unity" march was held in Santa Rosa for Andy Lopez, the 13-year-old with a toy gun who was shot and killed by Sonoma County Sheriff's deputy Erick Gelhaus on October 22. The march began in the Roseland area of the city, and block by block the group swelled as marchers headed downtown to Old Court House Square where speakers were heard that included the friends and family of Andy.
Hundreds participated in the unity march, which brought together the diverse neighborhoods of south-west Santa Rosa.
An equally large march from downtown Santa Rosa to the Sonoma County Sheriff's department was held the previous day on October 29.
Organizers described the unity march in an event announcement as follows: "This event hopes to bring together the diverse communities of Santa Rosa for a massive demonstration of unity against police brutality, gun violence, and racial profiling in our neighborhoods and a call for justice in the brutal slaying of Andy Lopez. Together we can create change and make Santa Rosa a safe and just home for ALL of our children. This march and vigil will be a continuation and culmination of the many protests, actions, demonstrations taking place around Santa Rosa. We will continue until there is justice for Andy Lopez!"
A video of Andy Lopez's aunt speaking at the unity march (in Spanish) can be seen at:
La tía de Andy Lopez en el centro de Santa Rosa
For more information about Andy Lopez, see:
Justice For Andy Lopez
March For Andy Lopez
David Douglas, from Santa Rosa, an organizer with BAMN - Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action, Integration, and Immigrant Rights and Fight for Equality By Any Means Necessary.
Howard is a resident of Sonoma County.