Families, Children and High School Students Hold Vigil at Lake Merritt

High school students and families with children held a vigil at Lake Merritt in Oakland Monday night, creating a circle of candlelight around the lake to support  the Black Lives Matter movement.

Photo courtesy of KTVU.

Photo courtesy of KTVU.

Groups gathered at about 5 p.m. at the lake in three separate meeting areas.

Some of the children as young as 5 or 6 years old – came from various elementary schools to be part of the protest.

One of the Oakland parents there was Frolayne Carlos-Wallace, who brought her daughter Sarah and another young girl.

“To teach them that this is your opportunity, this is your voice that needs to be heard. And this is one of the first family-friendly actions,” Carlos-Wallace said.

The vigil was joined by large group of high school students and other community members. “Nobody’s going to change the world for me. I have to go out and do it myself. And if that means marching in the rain, making posters or signs, I just have to do it because I can’t wait anymore,” said San Leandro High School student Hassani Bell.

High School students walk out and protest at Fruitvale BART in East Oakland. Photo courtesy Doug Sovern/CBS.

High School students walk out and protest at Fruitvale BART in East Oakland. Photo courtesy Doug Sovern/CBS.

“I’m happy that it’s student-run, because we are the future,” said Raje Lee, another San Leandro High School student, “I feel like a lot of adults and people, they forget that we are the future. So I feel like that the change has to come from us.”

The group of some 300 high school students met before the candlelight vigil at the Fruitvale BART station about 3 p.m. Some of the protestors briefly shut down the BART station.

Others lay down, blocking the AC Transit bus lanes.

“When I was younger, the police busted someone else, no reason at all pointing guns at me and my siblings. We were five, six years old,” said Demarion Carson, an Oakland MetWest High School student.

student protest“I feel people are fed up, but there’s other ways to show your anger and it doesn’t have to lead to violence,” said Oakland MetWest High School junior Kiah Killens.

Earlier in the day at least four Oakland high schools staged a walkout over police killings, joining the rally Monday afternoon at the Fruitvale BART station, in memory of the Oscar Grant, who was killed by BART police.

Students at Oakland High School walked out between 1 p.m. and 1:30 p.m. and students at Oakland Technical High School walked out at 2:30 p.m. Also participating were students from Skyline High School and MetWest High School


Published December 19, 2014