Activists Shut Down Part of 11th Street in Downtown San Jose

A group of activists closed off a stretch of a major downtown San Jose thoroughfare just before polls closed on election day.

Organizers parked U-Haul box trucks across S. 11th Street at the corners of E. San Antonio and E. San Carlos streets on the eastern edge of San Jose State University.A block to the north at 11th and E. San Fernando Street, cones were placed by organizers to divert traffic. They told San Jose Inside that they did so to protect people from vehicle attacks that have plagued protests against police brutality throughout the nation in recent months. “We didn’t want a pinch point,” one activist said.

Scores of protesters showed up for the demonstration. (Photo by Dan Pulcrano)

The activists said they’re associated with the groups Black Outreach SJ and HERO Tent—both of which emerged from the George Floyd uprisings this past spring and summer.

In an interview on the scene, they talked about how they staged the protest to call attention to the case of Gregory Johnson Jr., a San Jose State student who was found dead in his dorm room 12 years ago.

Johnson’s death was ruled a suicide, but his family—particularly his mother Denise Johnson—has long doubted that conclusion.

The case has garnered renewed attention lately because of efforts by BLACK Outreach SJ—led by rapper-turned anti-racism activist Lou Dimes—and sister group HERO Tent to amplify Johnson’s story.

Dimes said that the group communicated with security teams that protect the fraternity houses along 11th Street but not with SJPD. “We don’t talk to police,” he said.

Attendees roasted hot dogs over a charcoal grill. (Photo by Dan Pulcrano)

About 100 people showed up to the late Tuesday event by SJSU, where Johnson’s lifeless body was discovered in the basement of the Sigma Chi frat house in 2008.

A table was set up for participants to make signs. (Photo by Dan Pulcrano)

Organizers said they planned to stay the entire night and set up tables where some attendees cooked hot dogs on a charcoal grill while others spray-painted signs with the slogans “Black Lives Matter,” “F*ck Fascism” and “F*ck the Police,” among others.


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For the first few hours of the protest, there seemed to be no visible police presence, although a helicopter buzzed overhead during sweeps between downtown and the East Side.

This story will be updated as more information becomes available. 


  1. Come on, this kind of thing is the reason why Democrats are struggling to be competitive with someone like Trump. The George Floyd protests were totally justified, but this business about Gregory Johnson is nonsense. I have read a great deal on his death, and there is no evidence that his death was a homicide. The driving force of media coverage has been his mother, who has refused to accept that her son could commit suicide – an understandably difficult thing to accept. Her denial has been reinforced by these groups who are in search of a figure to rally around as a symbolic victim of racism. Racism is 100% real, but latching onto this conspiracy theory with zero evidence behind it and inconveniencing the public to draw attention to it is not going to win any arguments in the mainstream or change any minds.

  2. Typical moron behavior. Blocking downtown so minority owned businesses will be hurt. Because of this behavior, many shops will be closed and had to spend extra money securing their windows and doors because the actions of antifa and blm and others.

  3. Racist much? Who assumes they don’t have jobs? Maybe they work from home or are furloughed during the pandemic

  4. There has been no looting in San Jose area, racist. Keep refusing to wear a mask and believing QAnon conspiracy theories ??‍♂️

  5. Who says they don’t have jobs? That is a very condescending and racist remark. Lots are working from home or furloughed during this time.

  6. Yes because looting is so rampant in San Jose ??‍♂️. Please take your racist assumptions somewhere else

  7. You have to be an idiot to believe these “activists” were engaged in anything substantially different from putrid Jussie’s street theater in Chicago: staged self-promotion. What they “told San Jose inside” about the motive behind their actions had all the legitimacy of an Adam Schiff pronouncement; their actual level of concern about a long-dead SJSU student revealed in their embrace of those hallmarks of respectful mourning: punk-ass inconveniencing of innocent others and a lowbrow, albeit somber, weenie roast.

    Okay, mission accomplished. It is my misfortune that I am now aware of Black Outreach SJ and HERO Tent and I am thus obliged to hold my nose and scrap them from my memory as I would dung from the bottom of my shoes.

  8. You’re breaking the law, you unemployed loser! Get a real job instead of being “social justice warriors” without a cause! ??

  9. It is ILLEGAL for these soyboys to block traffic on a public highway. So WTH wete the SJPD? Sucking down taxpayer money via their paycheck, while NOT DOING THEIR JOBS? Who gave them the order to not immediately send their SWAT unit out to this crime in progress, and cuff and stuff this walkung garbage into the trunk of squad cars? WHO? PRINT THE PERSONS NAME. It had to be the SJPD Chief, the SJ Mayor, 9r the Governor. We MUST know WHO. And they must be removed from their office immediately, and prosecuted for aiding and abetting illegal activity.

  10. Hey VIET, try not to side with the devil and his followers (Trump and his monkeys); remember they believe Asians are responsible for the Corona virus! I work 24/7, and I am a Christian social justice feminist. I focus on destroying the careers of those in power who are mentally corrupted just like you!

  11. Who’s refusing to wear a mask? That’s the real crime isn’t it? If actual science was shown to prove that face covering was slowing the spread of covid 19 there would be no debate, It may slow the spread but there is more science proving ill effects of improper use of masks, especially when used multiple times, putting it on, talking it off, touching it several times… according to the CDC. I would never criticize anyone for wearing a mask, we all have a right to feel safe, just as some people feel more safe not wearing a mask, weather it be due to anxiety, breathing issues, personal freedom… 80% of people infected were avid mask wearers. One thing that is undeniable is the antisocial behavior caused by compulsory face covering. I asked my sister, a RN why we hadn’t worn masks during bad flu seasons, she said if they were effective we would’ve.

  12. I guess these idiots didn’t get the memo that no one is interested anymore. Not in their made-up cause, not in their pretend-to-be-mourning-the-death-of-a-guy-none-of-them-knew (nor cared about…), none of it.
    Just stop it with your ‘Oh my God, you racist!’

    STOP! Go find something constructive to do!

  13. All these people complaining about Trump, saying he’s a crook, ect are truly crazy. No Trump supporter tresspassed on private property to steal Biden signs, verbally or physically assaulted anyone wearing a Biden hat, damaged someone’s car because it had a Biden bumper sticker on it.
    No Trump supporter have rioted, looted, destroyed cities and attacked police. Imagine Trump supporters destroying cities carrying White Lives Matter signs, think the media would treat them the same as BLM protesters?
    Democrats talk to much, and don’t listen enough. They didnt “sweep” the election because they are so focused on Trump that they kept throwing crap against the wall hoping something will stick, and it finally did. Sleepy Joe.
    Democrats need to seriously re-tool their focus and listen to what people want, and not focus on the Democratic plan. Because they don’t have one.

  14. My dog was maliciously run over by a hit and run driver. Can we all rally and find his killer? I want to make him a reason for protesting against animal cruelty. I have neighboring video footage of the incident which is more evidence then anyone has that Gregory Johnson’s death was a homicide.
    Y’all want to bring attention to someone’s death and get community to support you? Show some evidence … then do it peacefully. Committing a crime is not how you do it …. ask your mom… she always said 2 wrongs don’t make a right. Funny how MLK was able to do so much with just a MIC.

  15. @FERD3 you are totally brainwashed. Black men are getting killed by white police officers EVERY SINGLE DAY. Trump encourages, heck even ENABLES this activity. Trumpsters —Some with guns— attacked a girl in Bakersfield 20 to 1 just for having a BLM sticker on her car! Trump encourages fascism and racism and he’s only paid $750 in taxes for the last 10 years!! Is take ‘sleepy’ Joe any day he will follow Obama’s playbook and lead us into a calmer more United nation.

  16. “Black men are getting killed by white police officers EVERY SINGLE DAY.” — BUDDHASBUTTCHEEKS

    Every day or maybe every other day? Maybe it’s only on weekends and Wednesdays. Maybe it’s only left-handed white cops who are doing the killing. Maybe they’re only killing black men who date fat white women.

    Get the point? If you’re going to offer up a stupid fabrication try to be a little more creative. It will give those of us with functioning prefrontal lobes a laugh and gullible progressives another tall tale to believe in (passionately).

  17. @Phu Tan Elli Well Mr. Vietnamese immigrant hate to break it to ya…but they hate you too! They blame anyone who appears Asian for the “Kung Flu” and the “China Virus”!!! (Would a non-racist, non-divisive president make up these terms????)

  18. Wow Greg stay comfortable in Los Gatos don’t go past Bascom or Saratoga Ave or you might see *gasp* Hispanics! Maybe even Blacks! Lord save you ?

  19. If other, less intrusive, methods had been effective in changing the way blacks are treated by police then it would not have escalated to the point it has. Making generalized negative comments about individuals you know nothing about is the exact response that further escalates the problem. Why does this make y’all so hostile? This type of knee-jerk reaction seems unnecessary. At most perhaps their presence caused you a slight delay, maybe you had to make a right turn then later a left turn to get where you were going. More likely, though, these comments are coming from people whose lives were affected exactly zero percent by this activity. People of color have been treated so unfairly, brutalized, targeted, dismissed, blamed, oppressed, and literally murdered and the rest of society either accepts that, looks away or somehow tries to justify it. Maybe stop trying to play the victim because you were in a bit of traffic. If you truly cannot see why these protests are happening then there’s a good chance they’re happening because of people like you.


  21. What a trip. I love living in downtown SJ. It’s exciting but as of late it’s been pretty boring. We all need to come together and enough w/ this constant fighting of one another. Together we can’t be stopped.

  22. If other, less intrusive, methods had been effective in changing the way blacks are treated by police then it would not have escalated to the point it has. — Michelle Harper

    To truly believe the above statement you must be either incredibly naïve or brainwashed. As deadly force statistics suggest, Black Americans are treated by police with a level of disproportion that is equal to, if not less than, their disproportionate involvement in street criminality. Black Americans own street crime the way they do starting positions in the NFL and NBA. They commit rape, robbery, and murder at rates high enough to make understandable how otherwise decent southerners bought into laws the likes of Jim Crow. Today, lawless Black Americans ruin neighborhoods (and entire cities) to the point that no one, not even other Black Americans (such as NFL and NBA stars), can risk their safety and that of their loved ones by living anywhere near them.

    Ms. Harper’s highly emotional perspective is as devoid of sanity as it is factual basis, which suggests that in decades past she’d have spent her time pursuing harmless stupidities like charting her horoscope and having her palm read. Of course these days, when the least capable minds are mislead into equating emotion with analysis, she may possibly make a run for congress.

  23. Gutless mayor, should stop this and protect city. Vote gutless mayor out and get a military experience person.

  24. How many times will history have to repeat itself before we finally learn? These little pseudo protest poohbutts and their leftist rhetoric and tactics are certainly reminiscent of the Communist party (the KPD) in Germany in the 1930’s. It is only a matter of time before right wing anti-communists, something analogous to the SA, or storm troopers in Germany in the 1930’s get fed up and start using the same methods of intimidation and the same lawless tactics of street violence to battle these communists and other pinkos.

    Let us not forget that when the police failed to act to disperse a mob of leftist protesters, who were chanting anti- America Insults, in Berkeley in 1965, a group of Hells Angels bikers, some being former Army vets, got fed up and waded into the gaggle of pinkos and beat the hell out of them, telling them to “go back to Russia”. Strangely enough, this action prompted the police to finally act and the scene ended up with the Hells Angels, a bunch of outlaw bikers, fighting side by side in support of the police, at least for the most part, for awhile. Is this what we want? Is this what it’s going to take to stop the submissive urination of limp elected political ankle-biters? *sigh* Where’s “Tiny” when we need him?

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