SANTA CRUZ, Calif. - In the wake of recent deadly violence in Dallas, Minnesota and Louisiana, Santa Cruz community members came together Friday to rally against violence.
"It's time for all of us to embrace each other in empathy, compassion and love," said Curtis Reliford, a Santa Cruz resident.
Reliford told KION that he came by the Santa Cruz Clock Tower Friday to spread a message of tolerance at a time when the country needs it most.
"I am going to step up here and take some action and follow my heart on what is going on."
The demonstration in Santa Cruz comes after two men -- one in Minnesota and another in Louisiana -- were killed during separate run-ins with police.
Then on Thursday night five police officers were killed and another seven were injured during a night of violence in Dallas.
"Ain't you sick and tired of being sick and tired?" said Reliford.
The gathering wasn't about blaming anyone, according to Reliford. Demonstrators said it was about people putting their differences aside.
"I don't care if you are black, white, red, green, whatever you call yourself, we all bleed red," said Reliford.
That is a feeling that is echoed by Analacia Cube, the president of a community group called Take Back Santa Cruz.
"We as a community have to come together and we need to find the commonalities and we need to find the stable discourse where we can talk about what is going on in our society," said Cube.
Cube told KION that it is going to require active leadership for this country to get to better place
"We have to find the right people to take us in the right direction. Otherwise, it will just continue to dissolve into violence," said Cube.
Back at the clock tower, Reliford said violence needs to be replaced by something else.
"The only defense we got is love," he said. "That's all we got and that's what we need to sharing with each other."