Ben Affleck and girlfriend Ana de Armas used their star power to promote the Black Lives Matter movement and another specific cause as thousands of Americans took part in demonstrations against racial inequality and police brutality on Tuesday. According to Entertainment Tonight, the couple joined the Save Venice march that was held in Venice Beach, California.
The ongoing protests across the country were initially sparked by the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin. However, the event that Ben and Ana attended also had the goal of preserving the First Baptist Church of Venice. The building was a historic black church for around half a century before it was purchased by multimillionaire Jay Penske, the chairman and CEO of Penske Media Corporation. The business tycoon plans on converting the church into a mansion.
At the march, Ben was photographed holding a handwritten sign that read “Save First Baptist Church of Venice.” The 47-year-old Justice League star also held up a smaller piece of notebook paper with the words “Black Lives Matter” written on it in marker. Ben wore a long-sleeved black shirt and jeans. He was sporting quite a bit of facial scruff, and he wasn’t wearing a protective face mask.
As for Ana, 32, the No Time to Die actress was also dressed casually in a black tank top and distressed skinny jeans. She had a black-and-silver sweatshirt tied around her waist, and she sported a pair of dark sunglasses. Unlike Ben, she was wearing a face mask. It was white and appeared to be disposable. She wasn’t photographed carrying a sign.
March for #GeorgeFloyd in #Venice today. Blessed to have @BenAffleck express awareness and concern for the local Historic Black Community in #VeniceBeach that has been long ignored and obstructed by local politicians, LAPD, and commerce bullies. #SaveVenice #DefendOakwood pic.twitter.com/Y1yLOn07GW
— Save Venice (@savexvenice) June 2, 2020
One of the Save Venice activists, Sarah Mahir, told Entertainment Tonight that she briefly spoke with Ben, and he told her that he listened to her speak to the gathered crowd about the efforts to preserve the church. He and Ana also posed for a photo and marched with the demonstrators. Ben even suggested that he might keep in touch with the Save Venice activists.
According to Yo! Venice, the ongoing battle over the historical First Baptist Church of Venice began in 2015 when Jay Penske purchased it for $6.3 million from the church’s bishop, Horace Allen. However, residents of the surrounding neighborhood have argued that the church should be turned into a “community space,” not a single-family dwelling. Previous efforts to have the church designated as a historical landmark have failed.
While doing their part to fight for the church’s future, Ana and Ben were not joined by the actor’s three children from his marriage to actress Jennifer Garner. However, things between Ben and Ana have grown serious enough that she has met the kids — Violet, 14, Seraphina, 11, and Sam, 8. As previously reported by The Inquisitr, the group was photographed taking a walk together last month.