By Hanah Wyman,
The 34th annual Davis Christmas Tree Lighting on Thursday, Dec. 4 was disrupted by about 15 protesters chanting “Black Lives Matter more than a Christmas tree.”
The protesters surrounded the tree located in the E Street Plaza, holding signs with messages including “Black lives matter” and “racism lives in Davis.”
Protests regarding the Black Lives Matter movement have been occurring on campuses and in towns across the country, including previously in Davis.
The protesters, who arrived partway through the event, took issue peacefully, standing around the tree with their signs and shouting their message.
The organizers of the protest remain unknown, and Black Lives Davis was unavailable for comment.
Davis High’s cheer team was working at the tree lighting near the protesters. Junior Elly Schwab said she thought the protesters were rude.
“I fully support Black Lives Matter. However, this event is for families with young children and having ‘Black Lives Matter more than a Christmas tree’ yelled out was probably very confusing to the kids,” she said.
Junior cheerleader Alex France said she supports the protesters’ cause.
“I mean, we’ve been hearing and seeing this line/hashtag everywhere and I do think it is important message,” France said.
Across the plaza from the protesters, musical groups like the DHS jazz choir and Davis Musical Theater Company performed on stage in front of Davis residents.
“It’s really cool that jazz choir gets to do cool things like the Davis tree lighting because it gives us students a way to show the community what music we’re making,” junior Anna Young said. “It’s much less of a stressful experience [than a concert], so it’s really just fun to be up there performing.”
The DHS cheerleaders were selling food and drinks near the tree in the plaza. Community members purchased snacks and hot chocolate.
Schwab was one of the cheerleaders selling food for a fundraiser for the team.
“It’s really fun to work here because it’s cool to see members of the community and students come together to welcome the holiday season,” Schwab.
Lines of parents and children lined up to meet Santa, also in the E Street Plaza. Small musical groups played in front of the Varsity theater, while the Grinch showed for free inside. C Street was blocked off on either side by police as the event took place