Protestors at the National Day of Action for Andy Lopez event on 24th Street BART plaza in October. Photo by Alexander Mullaney.

Activists rallied at 24th Street BART station’s western plaza today to protest police brutality in the shooting death of 13-year-old Andy Lopez last month.

The Mission rally — which was part of a National Day of Action for Lopez — had about 40 attendees, according to Sarah Carlson, 31, a member of the Party of Socialism and Liberation. Similar protests were organized for Oakland, Santa Rosa, Los Angeles, Sacramento and Merced.

“We had to go out and print more leaflets,” Carlson said. “More and more people are paying attention. They want to know and be involved.”

Frank Lara, 29, an organizer with ANSWER (Act Now To Stop War and End Racism) called for those in power to question police officers. The killing occurred on the National Day Against Police Brutality, Lara said. He was at a conference in Sacramento about police brutality.

“It’s ironic for us to come back to a city from a conference in Sacramento and hear that a boy had been killed,” Lara said.

“We believe there should be a people’s movement to connect the issue of rising inequality and poverty to the rising funding to militarization the police,” Lara added. “Gentrification, like in the Mission, is only allowed because of strong police.”

Jose Cruz, a 12-year Mission resident, went to the rally to show opposition to police brutality.

“It’s gotten out of hand,” he said. “It’s not just against Latinos and blacks.”

Cruz works in Santa Rosa at a cell phone store. While he has not had any problems with law enforcement there, he said relations could be better.

“We need to start talking to each other — not through social media — to get back to our roots,” Cruz said.

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Alexander Mullaney is a journalist and publisher in San Francisco. In 2008, he founded The Ingleside Light, a monthly neighborhood newspaper with a circulation of 10,000. In The Ingleside Light he reports on community affairs and publishes the work of both local and student journalists and photographers. He sits on the board of directors of the Geneva Car Barn and Powerhouse, the Ocean Avenue Association, and the San Francisco Neighborhood Newspaper Association. In the summer of 2013, Mullaney organized and managed two community journalism courses for youth with City College of San Francisco and the non-profit Geneva Car Barn and Powerhouse. The pilot program paid students stipends, offered both high school and college credit, and published their articles and photographs in The Ingleside Light. He intends to find funding to offer the program in 2014. Mullaney holds a bachelors degree in creative writing from San Francisco State University. He is studying multimedia and longform writing at UC Berkeley's Graduate School of Journalism. He plans to use his time at graduate school to expand his reportage to produce stories for the public good.

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  1. Unfortunately these professional protesters often don’t know why they’re there and try to make intelligent statements:

    “Gentrification, like in the Mission, is only allowed because of strong police.”

    Right… the strong police allows for gentrification. But hang on…

    “It’s gotten out of hand,” he said. “It’s not just against Latinos and blacks.”

    Police brutality is “out of hand”? Ok, so there’s a strong police in the Mission that like to brutalize us. I get it now.


    Ps. Have you noticed the city will be rebuilding Cesar Chavez?

  2. There is more gang violence than there is police violence. I would rather see people protesting the gangs and driving those losers out of town.

  3. San Francisco cracks me up sometimes. I’ve lived here off-and-on for over 20 years, with a few stints in SoCal and out East, but always coming back to SF. I love it here, but it’s hilarious to see the SFPD as particularly brutal. SFPD are softies compared to the LAPD or the NYPD. They barely even bother you unless you’re up to something REALLY shady or there’s been complaints lodged against you.

    I’ve spoken with SFPD on numerous occasions, and they’re way cool and down-to-earth, especially when you compare them to the boys in blue out east and down south. In fact, I often describe this city as “lawless” because of the amount of stuff I see go down that does NOT get police attention.

    I don’t think I’ve ever even witnessed a foot patrol by SFPD. One look at 16th/Mission, 6th/Market or any patch of the tenderloin tells me that this town has no idea what it means to have real law enforcement patrolling the streets. Not saying we need a “police state” like NYC is gearing towards, but we don’t have the most basic prosecution of quality of life crimes here.

  4. It would make more sense to protest the continuous violence in the Mission District, an actually do something about it. Daily murders by criminals living in the neighborhood need to be stopped.

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