ENCINITAS, Calif. (KSWB) — A California memorial for George Floyd and other people of color who have died in police encounters around the U.S. has drawn a crowd each day since a woman tore down parts of the display.
The Cardiff Kook, an iconic surfer statue that’s donned everything from a Santa hat during Christmas to a surgical mask for the coronavirus pandemic, is now home to the somber memorial.
The Kook is wearing a shirt that reads, “Ignoring politics is privilege. Black Lives Matter,” and signs set up alongside the statue display the names of black people killed by police in the U.S., with pictures of many of them surrounded by flowers and art.
Shortly after the display was created, a woman took issue with the message, and started to rip parts of it down in an altercation that was caught on video.
“What are you doing?” a young woman defending the display asked, as she tried to block the destruction.
“Get this violence out of here,” the other woman said, as she pushed past the supporter to rip flowers off a railing and pull down signs. As she tore into the display, the woman said George Floyd protesters are “brainwashed” and that their demonstration is “staged.”
“Then put up your own stuff,” the protester told the woman. When the ordeal was over, the memorial was in tatters.
But as video spread online, supporters decided to return to the Kook and rebuild the memorial. Each day since then, they have circled around it to share their message, and the crowd has grown every time.
“There was nothing to guarantee that the memorial was going to stay up,” one organizer told FOX 5. “But we wanted to give the opportunity to our community to come and mourn and grieve with us, and to take action.”
Originally, organizers had only planned to leave up the memorial for a few days. Now they say there’s no plan to take it down any time soon.