Less than 24 hours after its announcement on social media, more than a hundred people gathered at the ITC intersection Monday to stand in solidarity with stateside protests demanding the end of police brutality and racial injustice.
Kalani Reyes says she organized the event because she cared and wanted to spread awareness about the Black Lives Matter movement.
“You lift up everybody. Black rights are human rights. Black lives are human lives and it’s just so sad that some people don’t see that. They think they have to be worthy, but other than being born, that’s your only qualification to be worthy of rights in this day and age,” Reyes said.
In response to the protest, Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero said she is a strong advocate for people’s rights. She stated, “This protest is demonstrating the strength to protect justice. Our community of law enforcement continues to protect our rights and serve in the name of safety for all.”
But yesterday’s demonstration will not be the only protest. Talysa Kakas and Taalani Gilbert, who are both half black and Chamorro, will be holding another peaceful protest this Friday.
They say that their goal is to express their support and raise awareness about racial discrimination.
And although a majority of the police brutality protests are being held in the mainland, Gilbert says that people on Guam should still care about these issues.
“Even if it’s not relevant to who’s here on Guam, it shouldn’t matter if it’s relevant or not. If something is wrong, why aren’t you going to say anything about it?” Gilbert said.
Echoing Gilbert’s statement, Kakas says that racial discrimination does happen on Guam, and that it’s important to raise awareness about it.
“The change I would like to see is that people start acknowledging that there is racism here and that they don’t continue to turn a blind eye and that they do advocate for people who can’t use their voice because they fear they will be harmed. Basically, just raise awareness on Guam. Me and Tals, we both know what it feels like to live on this island and be half-black and half-Chamorro and be looked at differently or be treated differently,” Kakas said.