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Unrest in Anaheim Continues: Riot Police Arrest Protesters Outside of Disneyland

Common Dreams staff

Protesters continued to express outrage in Anaheim, Calif. on Sunday in the ninth consecutive day of protests following two fatal police shootings last week. Police once again exhibited a heavy handed response to the protests, arriving in paramilitary riot gear and blocking protesters outside the gates of Anaheim's Disneyland Resort, leading to nine arrests.

Unrest in Orange County's largest city erupted last week following the killing of unarmed Manuel Diaz, 25, on July 21, and the killing of Joel Acevedo, 21, the following night, both by Anaheim police.

On Sunday, hundreds of protesters gathered in front of the Anaheim police department, taking over a parking lot and chanting slogans condemning the police. Some drew outlines of bodies on the pavement. The crowd then marched from downtown Anaheim to within a half-mile of the Disneyland Resort on the Harbor chanting, "Whose streets? Our streets!"

"What's going on here in Orange County is symbolic of a problem with the system," demonstrator Eduardo Perez, 21, told the Orange County Register. "This wouldn't happen to white people. This is racism – simple as that."

The crowd was blocked by a line of police officers in riot gear displaying a heavy show of fire power and two dozen officers on horseback, preventing the group from approaching Disneyland. The blockade forced the closure of one of the main traffic intersections for visitors entering the resort. Police then clashed with protesters and arrested several at the scene.

A separate silent march was lead from Anaheim City Hall. Protesters there dressed in white and remained silent as part of a call for peace. The protesters walked shoulder to shoulder and carried signs reading "We are Anaheim" and "Peace begins with us."

The demonstrations took place before an evening memorial service for Diaz; however, protesters were not allowed to attend the service.

The Orange County district attorney's office, the U.S. attorney's office, and the FBI are investigating the police shootings.

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