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Indybay Feature
Wed Nov 5 2014
21st Annual Peace and Unity March in Watsonville
Police Take Leadership Role in 2014 Peace and Unity March
The annual Watsonville Peace and Unity March took place on November 1. This year, for the first time since the initial event in 1994, the Watsonville Police Department was given a large role in determining the route of the march. The event was originally founded by the Watsonville Brown Berets, and the group remained primary organizers of the march from the beginning through 2011, but in 2014 organization of the event became professionalized.

Speaking confidentially during the march, multiple organizers stated that the Watsonville Police Department imposed changes shortly before the event, which altered the planned route, thus eliminating many traditional stopping points and neighborhoods with historical significance to the march. One organizer, speaking confidentially, said he was disappointed with the Watsonville Police Department's orchestration of events leading up to and during the march. Many people who attended the march were receptive to the police presence.

Most participants in the march advocated for peace without presenting any solutions, demands, or critiques, but some marchers displayed messages critical of police and prisons. Sin Barras, a community-based group out of Santa Cruz that works to eradicate the prison industrial-complex, carried a large banner calling for "Peace Without Police."

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Previous coverage of the Peace and Unity March in Watsonville: 2005 | 2006 | 2007 | 2009 | 2011 | 2012 | 2013
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