I walked to the White House today from my apartment in DC. My beloved city since 1997. It was early in the morning. I wanted to support the protests against police brutality against African American men and women.
When I first got to the fenced in White House i stood next to a few women who had signs that read #bunkerbitch with Donald Trumps face on it. There were already 50 people there. Young white kids. All in back. Smoking weed. Young African American women with their mothers. African American men of all ages and generations. I stood in the back. I followed the chants screaming loudly.
“Say his name….George Floyd”
“Say her name…Breonna Taylor”
“Black Lives Matter”
I was loud. A woman gave me a megaphone and said “Here! You might need this.”
I gave the megaphone to one of the organizers of the protest. He was grateful. His voice was hoarse from days and weeks. Years of shouting.
Then he handed the megaphone to me and told me he needed to sit for a minute. I asked if he was sure he was okay if I lead the chants.
He said “yeah, can you? My voice hurts”
So I started…
I would scream “Hands up” and my fellow protestors screamed “Don’t shot”
I cupped my lips after pulling down my mask over the megaphone and screamed
“Say his name” and the crowd screamed back
I screamed pulling down my mask so people could hear “Say her name” and everyone screamed
Another 100 people joined our group. I passed the megaphone to another organizer. She started screaming. We screamed back.
On of the young women with her mother asked me
“Do you want a sign? I made plenty.”
I said “thank you sweetheart” and took the bright orange sign she made that read
I began to talk to other people. I was curious what brought people there on a Thursday morning. I spent most of my time talking to an African American man who seemed about my age. late 40’s. We talked about local DC and National politics. I asked if I could get him water from volunteers giving it out.
He smiled. Told me this wasn’t his first protest. He had water and snacks in his backpack. He took the day off from work and planned to stay most of the day.
I was there for about 5 hours. Decided to take the bus home. I held my sign up. On the bus. on the walk home. When I got home I pressed the sign flat on my living room floor. I knew I would keep the sign for the next protest.