In July, Tianna Arata helped organize an antiracism protest in San Luis Obispo, hoping to bring the message of racial justice sparked by the police killing of George Floyd to the Central Coast community.
The rally began at a local park. But at some point, more than 300 protesters blocked traffic on U.S. 101. Police say at least two cars were vandalized. Arata, a 20-year-old college student, was arrested.
Her arrest has since become a rally cry for members of Black Lives Matter and other activist groups. On Tuesday, hundreds of people showed up to a news conference and rally outside the San Luis Obispo courthouse to stand in solidarity with Arata.
“Tianna’s freedom is about all of our freedom,” Melina Abdullah, Pan-African studies professor at Cal State L.A. and co-founder of Black Lives Matter Los Angeles, shouted into a microphone as supporters gathered on the sidewalk and held signs that read “Free Tianna.”
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