16
Apr
15

# shut it down

So as an assignment and personal starvation to be proactive I attended my first protest. It was held downtown Riverside California in front of the City Hall building and it was the and I quote ‘shut it down’ protest, a stand against police brutality. About 25 to 30 people gathered in total and we all stood around blowing our whistles and holding our signs chanting in unison

No justice no peace, we don’t want racist police

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It was liberating. To stand next to complete strangers who at the end of the day just so do happen so happen to have a common goal. We each took turns sharing why we were there, and chanting in between stories, applauding with our whistles. The protest then moved inside the city hall to interrupt a city council meeting where we laid on the ground in a 4 minute silent protest in recognition of Micheal Brown; who laid on the ground for 4 hours before his body was moved.

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Following that we were approached by about 15 police officers who just stood their ground, I’m assuming making sure things didn’t escalate. The group then began chanting,

Hey Ho these racist police have to go”

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At this point I began walking away.  This wasn’t my fight. I came there because police officers are abusing their power, end of story. It doesn’t matter if they we’re abusing it against a white person or a black person or hell even a dog, THEY ARE ABUSING THEIR POWER.  So this, standing and yelling calling police offers racist,  who have done nothing wrong just because they are police officers, no thanks. Reflecting on this whole experience I’m glad that I took a political stand in my community, and I learned something about myself.  Although I did mostly agree with everything those people were fighting for, I could stand firm in what I believed in more. It took courage to walk away at that point. To have not only the other protesters watching me, but those police officers as well. It showed what I believed and that’s what I call courageous act.

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