Last Saturday I mentioned the idea of going downtown for the first big march in honor of George Floyd, but Alex reminded me that we have a big investment in self-isolation as protection against the corona virus. I stayed home and tried to write instead.
A lot happened in my absence! There was a wonderful scene of a Seattle police car aflame just below a NORDSTROM sign, for instance. Violence and property damage are not to be condoned; but, on the other hand, I suspect that social change will happen a lot more quickly if the Chamber of Commerce comes to believe that it is important.
Last night, Monday June 1st, a photo op occured on our own block, as a crowd of demonstrators marched across 3rd Avenue on Clay Street. This happened just before midnight, well after the 5 p.m. curfew.
Notice how, with typical Seattle courtesy, the first marchers pause to let a car pass. A second car, arriving later, parks instead of pressuring the demonstrators, and seems to join in the mood. Note also how well social distancing is observed!
On Tuesday another march, the Arts March, came by our block on the other side, up 4th Avenue from Benayora Hall to the Seattle Opera — I probably could have glimpsed it from our roof. Later in the day, a crowd got Mayor Jenny Durkan to emerge from the City’s Emergency Operations Center. She promised change that would come from community involvement. “We want you to march,” she said, and that peaceful protesters would not be arrested for curfew violations. She didn’t go so far as to rule out tear gas in answer to violence. Still, this was a welcome contrast to the desire for “domination” expressed elsewhere.