By Reuben Barrack
On June 20th, 2020 thousands of skateboarders and rollers joined together on the outskirts of Balboa Park in San Diego, CA for Rolling For Rights, a peaceful protest demonstrated by pushing through the streets in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement. Organizers and local legends Shuriken Shannon, Tommy Sandoval, Tyrone Olson and Brandon Turner helped facilitate and lead the festivities along with guest speakers Khalid Alexander and members of Xpress! who all provided testimonials and words of encouragement to hype up the push for peace. Welcomed with genuine unity and community involvement, everyone was free to join in at the DIY sign station to create their own posters in order to express messages against police brutality and racial injustice before the event kicked off. Stencils with the Black Power Fist were also readily available to be spray painted and prominently displayed on the grip and graphic of anyone’s board. After the speeches concluded, everyone took to the streets headed towards 6th Ave and El Prado which led to the final destination of Embarcadero.
Seeing so many close friends show up displaying strength in numbers and skating right beside me was one of the most moving experiences I’ve ever had as a skateboarder. There were no agitations from the authorities, wrongful arrests or any property damaged. Despite the lack of inclusion historically for marginalized groups on the periphery of skateboarding, Rolling For Rights really embraced all skaters of different race, class, ethnicity, gender identity and sexuality, serving as a microcosm of togetherness for not only SD but the entire world during these trying times. Furthermore, it’s a step in the right direction, inspiring hope towards a bright future for skateboarding that will be truly accepting.
Photos By Reuben Barrack:
Photos By Eduardo Sanchez (@eduartoe):
Here are a few funds and organizations we recommend donating to for supporting the cause: