Last night, thousands of Angelenos took to city hall to protest the racist, sexist, and (even excluding those two prior deal-breakers) horribly unqualified businessman our electoral college chose as our next president.
“Black Lives Matter”, “pussy grabs back”, and the never-ceasing “not my president” were battle cries that filled downtown LA as protesters marched past city hall, through the streets of Little Tokyo, eventually spilling over onto the 101 freeway. I would like to note that during this march, not a single bystander in any way seemed perturbed or upset by the protests. Rather, most took to it enthusiastically, honking horns, live-streaming, and raising their fists in solidarity. In fact, below was probably the first time I’ve seen citizens happy about being stuck in a traffic jam.
— FOMO Genesis (@shtickjacobs) November 10, 2016
As the protest moved further down the freeway, we were greeted by a line of officers. Though you could cut through the fury in the air with a butter knife, the protesters managed to keep themselves under control, giving the police no reason to act aggressively.
Below is a live-stream from the 101 by my friend, Maddy, documenting the march towards the police and the eventual standoff. You’ll see that while tensions are high for some, many, many others are able to keep a level head, and achieve the peaceful protest we need.
If I were to give any tips for those interested in protesting:
- Listen to people of color. Their narratives have been pushed to the side for too long, and they are the ones who warned us of this in the first place. Many Latinos passed out pamphlets on how to properly protest, in Spanish no less, another way of showing this is an intersectional battle to be fought. “Si se puede”.
- Protest, but do so peacefully. Do your best not to vandalize, and do not give news outlets the opportunity to describe the events as “chaotic” or “unscrupulous”.
And remember that while, yes, policing in the US needs major reform, many officers are simply other citizens doing their duty and do not deserve our hatred. They deserve our dialogue.I take that shit all back, the police are monsters, and I’ll admit I’ve made too many excuses for them. There is no reason they cannot see what their impact has on communities, especially those of color. Honestly, fuck the police until they get their act together.
- Remind yourself and others that protest does matter. Every time someone says this is “not helpful” or you “need to get a job”, recall that the Civil Rights movement gained so much with peaceful protest in Selma, Alabama.
There are very real reasons why we are protesting. Just because you don’t believe you will be affected by this man’s horrible leadership doesn’t mean won’t. And even Trump doesn’t end up interfering with your life, standing idly aside while he does affect millions of people of color, women, immigrants, and countless other minorities is not simply unpatriotic; it’s wrong.