Live coverage: Black Lives Matter protest in Santa Maria, California, May 31, 2020

The Black Lives Matter protest in Santa Maria, California today went marching by my home, so I did what any self-respecting journalist would do and ran outside! My phone had enough battery for about 30 minutes of live streaming, which includes the march along Broadway back to the Santa Maria City Hall where protestors sat in the street to observe a moment of silence for George Floyd.

The demonstration was entirely peaceful, and the Santa Maria Police Department kept their distance even as protestors blocked traffic. I did a followup livestream on my Facebook page,, hours later where a smaller group of younger people were still holding out.

Very fascinating day, and definitely the largest demonstration I’ve seen in Santa Maria during my time as both a reporter and an activist. Great to see my community demonstrating with pride and respect.


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Published by Joe Payne

Joe Payne is a lifelong resident of the Santa Maria Valley who teaches music, performs, and tunes pianos ( He's also a seasoned journalist who shares his own reporting and opinion on matters local and national (

One thought on “Live coverage: Black Lives Matter protest in Santa Maria, California, May 31, 2020

  1. Joe,

    This is wonderful reporting on a moment we will never forget. I sit here weeping at my desk, hopeful that we can change our city and when I say we, I mean the young and the old of all races and beliefs. I have been saying we have to listen to our youth. They will lead us out of the desert if we will just follow..

    I’m ready to work with you and all good people to transform our city forever.




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