Amanda Kovattana

Middle-aged musings in interesting times

Tuesday, June 02, 2020

Black Lives Matter — Redwood City Courthouse

Following the death of George Floyd at the hands of a police officer in Minneapolis on May 25th the citizens sprang into action with a march the following day. I saw that a close friend (a white woman and a community leader) who lived in Minneapolis had attended it. A week later rallies had erupted all over town and when I saw a man I knew from my karate class (a Black musician and teacher) posting about one that was happening that day in Redwood City I decided to go even though I still considered myself to be in quarantine. I just made sure to wear a mask. I didn't make a sign and it was too hot to wear black, but I took my camera and was ready to capture what signs I saw.

The crowd was overwhelmingly white, all in masks and keeping a comfortable distance from each other. I was pleased that there was such a nice turnout by white citizens of all ages and quite a number of young people.
 The speakers who were Black were up on the courthouse steps obscured by the crowd. My karate friend was one of them, but I couldn't see anyone from where I stood. And it was hard to make out what was being said unless they shouted as they did during the kneeling and chanting of George Floyd's name.

 I walked towards the sounds of a drum. I had also heard from my drumming group that there was a rally and thought they might be the source of the drumming, but it turned out to be a Native man in full regalia striking his drum when applause broke out.

At the back of the crowd I found a non-white contingent and was touched at their expressions of solidarity in their signs.

And I was especially pleased to see that an Asian man had given a lot of thought to his sign. "To my fellow Asian Americans" it said and then a quote from Desomond Tutu, "If you are neutral in situations of injustice you have chosen the side of the oppressor". In his basket he had bottled water to give out to people. I was glad to see where I could fit in in this new-to-me terrain of protest.

There was a police presence, but not a hostile one. All the windows of businesses were boarded up because apparently from a statement on the flyer requesting that attendees not take out their anger on small businesses it was assumed that they would take out their anger by trashing large businesses.

On my way out I got a second alert on my phone that there was going to be a curfew for two days presumably to make sure that things didn't get out of control. It seemed like a good time to leave.

This post is backdated to reflect my post to Facebook.

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