Dear District Attorney Dow,

On behalf of Women’s March San Luis Obispo (WMSLO), we are writing to you to express our support for Tianna Arata and Elias Bautista, who are facing felony and misdemeanor charges as recommended by the San Luis Obispo Police Department (SLOPD), following a protest for racial and social justice on July 21, 2020.

As a longtime member of the Police and Community Together (PACT) group, WMSLO is disappointed to see these out-of-proportion charges brought forward, and urges you not to pursue them, as they are not in the interest of justice.

Having organized numerous peaceful demonstrations in San Luis Obispo County, WMSLO understands the importance of civil disobedience, acts of which have moved this country forward toward a more just future when nothing else would. 

Systemic racism is intricately interwoven in our society. People of color face the consequences daily, and our county is not free from it.

Tianna Arata and Elias Bautista are youth leaders who carry the burden that does not belong to them. In response, those sworn to protect them imply that systemic racism does not exist here, and the Black Lives Matter movement does not hold merit. This is why civil disobedience is necessary.

Fighting for justice includes taking risks, and not everyone has the courage. These two young people took the lead, and now their futures are in jeopardy. There is no justice in putting their lives on the line.

WMSLO respectfully requests that you will consider the future of these young people and the best interest of our community by not pursuing SLOPD’s recommendations. 

Sincerely,

Women’s March San Luis Obispo Organizers

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