'Lead with Love': Meet the 2 Bay Area teens who organized, led massive Black Lives Matter rally on Golden Gate Bridge

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Wednesday, June 10, 2020
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A peaceful protest brought traffic to a stop on the Golden Gate Bridge over the weekend and two Bay Area teenage girls are the ones who organized it

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- A peaceful protest brought traffic to a stop in San Francisco over the weekend when thousands marched across the Golden Gate Bridge on Saturday. The demonstration was one of several events this weekend around the region and country to support the Black Lives Matter movement and protest the death of George Floyd at the hands of police in Minneapolis.

George Floyd Protest: Thousands march across Golden Gate Bridge

Behind the massive protest, two Bay Area teenage girls who instantly became best friends when they met the morning of the event. When Tiana Day, 17, saw a social media post from Mimi Zoila,19, saying she wanted to have a peaceful protest on the Golden Gate bridge, she knew she had to help. Within 24 hours the two girl worked together to get permits and let the public know about the event.

They had no idea how many people would attend, the permit was for 50 to 300 people, however, thousands showed up and brought traffic to a complete stop in both directions on the bridge. Day described the protest as very peaceful. There was no violence and the police and protesters both were in support of ending policce brutality.

The girls added, "We didn't intend to stop any traffic." Day and Zoila said they didnt want to cause any disturbances and wanted to keep the protest moving.

RELATED: 'Follow love': SF couple hopes engagement during Golden Gate Bridge protest brings attention to greater cause

Day shared about the killing of seven-year-old Aiyana Jones of Detroit when police raided her home and shot her in 2010.

"When I was 7, I would have never said, 'When I grow up, I want to be alive,' but most black boys and black girls say, 'When I grow up, I want to be alive and I want to reach 18 and I want to go to graduation,' and to me that is completely unfair because we should all have an equal chance of growing up and be able to live out our dreams," Day said.

Day and Zoila shared their slogan and hope to continue to "lead with love."

"At the end of the day, just seeing the love, everybody coming together was just the most beautiful part of it," Zoila shared.

Day added, "And everyone was wearing masks as well!"

Day and Zoila have now become fast friends and consider each other family proving that youth really can make a difference.

Since the protest, Tiana Day is continuing with her activism by starting a nonprofit organization called Youth Advocates for Change. She also set up a GoFundMe to raise scholarship money for youth advocates who have performed academically as well as strive to make a change in their community, with an emphasis on black youth.

Watch the full interview in the media player above.

Take a look at the latest stories and videos about the investigation into George Floyd's death in Minneapolis and protests across the U.S.