2020 in Review: June

    Organizer Claire Anneet (center), who kickstarted the protests in solidarity with Black Lives Matter that have been occurring in central Malibu for more than a week, leads a chant on a megaphone during last Saturday’s protest.

    The optimism that we were getting on top of COVID-19 continued and the county loosened restrictions allowing restaurants, barber shops and salons to reopen. The county’s Safer at Home order was slowly being lifted, one piece at a time, but reported cases were slowly beginning to creep up in Malibu.

    The Black Lives Matter movement sweeping the country following the choking death in Minneapolis of George Floyd by a police officer reached into Malibu and 100 or so local students showed up to protest and lend support to the movement.

    The pandemic was taking its toll on many local business and the Vitamin Barn announced it was closing its doors after 27 years at the location in Stan Kronke’s Colony Plaza Shopping Center. Although the closing was expected to be permanent, the Vitamin Barn reopened a few months later with a new lease and perhaps a growing realization by the center landlords that their own survival depends on having viable tenants.

    In the City of Santa Monica, what started as a legitimate protest ended up in a major riot and looting, including the destruction of many stores and businesses in the downtown area and along Wilshire Boulevard, with everyone pointing fingers and blaming others for what had occurred.