Women’s Day Protest Groups Conflict over Race in Santa Cruz

Pussyhat (Ethan Miller / Getty)
Ethan Miller / Getty

Conflict emerged between protest groups demonstrating on International Women’s Day in downtown Santa Cruz, California on Wednesday, as a “Brown Squad” focused on racial issues faced off against a “less diverse” group of protesters.

The local Santa Cruz Sentinel described an “intense conflict” between the two protest groups, which it described as follows:

The protest’s two distinct groups clearly had different agendas. The first included roughly 75 younger protesters, mostly women of color, who marched down from UC Santa Cruz. This group’s messaging was focused on racism, white privilege, patriarchal oppression, as well as transgender and queer issues.

The second group consisted of about 150 women and a few men dressed mostly in red who had been brought together by the Santa Cruz General Strike Organizing Committee. Older and less diverse, this group focused on issues primary to the larger International Women’s Day Strike — reserving most of its anger for the administration of President Donald Trump.

The “Brown Squad” was the more radical of the two, according to the Sentinel. It blocked traffic downtown, leading to a tense standoff with a pickup truck driver that was captured on YouTube:

At one point, a member of the “Brown Squad” delivered a speech to the “less diverse” group, exhorting it to address its own internal privilege, according to the Sentinel: ““Ally-ship means getting off your high horse and realizing that other people are suffering a lot more than you … To join those people over there you have to address the darkness within you.”

Footage, apparently of the two groups together, shows some demonstrators wearing masks, a protester carrying a Palestinian flag, and a speech railing against capitalism.

According to the Sentinel, the groups later splintered.

Protests were also held in other cities across the country, though they did not match the scale of protests on the day after President Donald Trump’s inauguration.

Photo: file

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He was named one of the “most influential” people in news media in 2016. His new book, How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.


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