San Francisco youth hold 'I Just Want to Live' rally in city streets

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Saturday, June 13, 2020
San Francisco youth hold 'I Just Want to Live' rally in city streets
A youth-led march took place in the the streets of San Francisco Friday afternoon.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- A youth-led march took place in the the streets of San Francisco Friday afternoon.

The rally and march were put together by youth from the NAACP San Francisco Branch and NAACP Oakland Branch. The rally started at 4 p.m. at city hall and was followed by a march to the Hall of Justice.

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The faces of this movement vary from an 11-year-old to youth in their mid-20s. Among them are Laurel Bandy, Quincy Allston, Jordan Smith and Andre Diaz Jr.

"I hope this accomplishes universal equality," Said Diaz Jr.

"Some youth are scared, and I hope this eliminates the fear and shows that when we unify and come together we are stoppable," said Bandy.

"It's really nice to have these rallies but we want things done and we want them to be done now. We will be calling the mayor and we expect a meeting," said Allston.

"I just want the whole community and human race to wake up about who we are. We are humans just like you," said Smith.

11-year-old Joshua Peterson shared an essay with the crowd, describing the first time he experienced racism in school.

"(The student) said to me, 'no I don't play with black people.' I felt unwanted and hurt," said Peterson.

They are stories that resonated with many.

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Leading the "I Just Want to Live" rally is 17-year-old Laurel Bandy with 11 others from the NAACP Youth Council from the San Francisco and Oakland branches.

"My school didn't have a policy that advocated for students of color and there was a huge culture that tolerated racism. Through this movement and the movement that I did previously is to show that racism is not going to be tolerated anymore. It's not okay. We are going to make change," said Bandy.

These images reminding many of the civil rights movement and giving them hope.

"How would you compare the movement back in your day to this one? Good question. When I was demonstrating in the 60's it was just people that looked like me. What is different today is that I think the conscious of American is starting to wake up. We have a variety of people out here," said Dan Daniel, California Director for the NAACP.

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The NAACP Youth Council demands police reform.

"Diverging of funds from SFPD towards a reparation program for the black community. Diversions of funds for a mental health program inclusive of the black community and a restorative justice program," said Quincy Allston.

These students are hoping to reunite again on the steps of San Francisco City Hall next Friday and March to the Hall of Justice. Their goal to achieve an end to systemic racism.

We will be streaming the rally and march live at 4 p.m. right here on and on our Facebook and Youtube pages.