Hundreds of Truckee-Tahoe locals turn out for Say Their Names Vigil |

Hundreds of Truckee-Tahoe locals turn out for Say Their Names Vigil

Hundreds of people gathered along Donner Pass Road in Truckee this evening to peacefully reflect on those killed by law enforcement and to denounce systematic racism in the U.S.

Raised fists and signs bearing the names of victims of police brutality were held high while dozens of car horns blared in solidarity during the hour-long Say Their Names Vigil.

The event was organized by a group of Truckee citizens in conjunction with Tahoe Truckee Indivisible. Individuals began gathering downtown at 5 p.m., and soon the vigil, which was held in response to the recent killing of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer, stretched from the intersection of Spring Street and Donner Pass Road, past the Interstate 80 overpass, and to the Safeway grocery story.

“We saw the same news footage as everyone else and felt terrible about what’s happening all over the country,” said one of the vigil’s organizers, Janet Atkinson. “Truckee has people that care about this issue too — we care about it, our kids care about it.”

The protest started being organized on Sunday, according to Atkinson, and along with an invite extended toward Truckee Police, Town Council, and the mayor, marked a stark contrast to the violence being seen in cities across the country, including nearby in Reno where rioters broke into city hall.

“A big part of our strategy was to hold a vigil, not a protest,” said Atkinson. “We had to keep this subdued and I think it’s very powerful. People are showing what they feel with their presence. We showed up. It doesn’t always have to be yelling.”

West Shore resident Lindsay Kaufmann turned up to the event, and said it’s the first time she’s ever participated in a form of protest.

“I feel like we need change in our world,” said Kaufmann. “This is peaceful … we hurt ourselves when we hurt one another. When one suffers we all suffer. This protest, you’re speaking your truth, you’re speaking your mind, but you’re doing it at a healthy, conscious level.”

Kaufmann said she was born in Southern California and witnessed the Los Angeles riots as a child.

“I’ve seen it,” she said on protests turned violent. “But here we’re standing as a community and being one.”

*This post will be updated

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