Fil-Am elected officials and advocates lead peaceful SoCal Black Lives Matter rallies

CERRITOS, CA — Residents of some of the most heavily Filipino populated hubs in Southern California took a knee in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement, as protests against racism and police brutality continued over the weekend.

Local Filipino American officials gathered in Cerritos, where city councilman Frank Aurelio Yokoyama hosted this peaceful vigil at the civic center and brought along his daughter with him.

“I’m proud that the community came out tonight and again I’m glad Makenna was able to join me tonight with this vigil for George Floyd.”

Artesia city councilwoman woman Melissa Ramoso was among the elected officials fighting back tears during the rally.

“Our country has had enough, we cannot be silenced anymore about the killing of our black brothers and sisters. For 400 years, the black community has been treated differently, unfairly and unjustly. It is inherent racism and they are dying at the hands of those who we thought were to protect us.”

The actions continued into the weekend as hundreds took to the streets in Carson, in the wake of George Floyd’s death while in police custody last May 25.

Local officials joined the community known for its large African American and Filipino American populations, and many residents captured the peaceful gathering on their social media.

With curfew orders now lifted, Filipino activists groups like Kabataan pro-people youth and Af3irm joined large actions, including a candlelight vigil.

A day after Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and the LA City Council announced it will defund the Los Angeles police department, and reallocate funds towards underprivileged communities of color, the Filipino Migrant Center joined for calls to defund the Long Beach Police Department.

The department had settled with a Filipino family 2 years ago over the officer-involved shooting death of Fil-Am Mahrloun Saycon, who suffered from mental illness.

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