First, thank you to all who read about the first round of protests I wrote about.
On one hand, this evening wasn’t nearly as exciting as the previous one so I wasn’t sure if it warranted a blog post.
On the other hand, I would be an asshole if I only posted content that’s highly sensationalized.
Another reason I wanted to post this was to provide perspective to commonly heard comments that these protests are nothing but unruly riots. In 3 nights of going to these I have not found this the case, at least not in Fayetteville. Yes there has been some vandalism and light destruction, but it’s been a small group of agitators among the majority of good humans and the city is not in shambles. The looters from Saturday night had to drive ~15 miles to leave the protests, they weren’t part of this, that’s just cowardly opportunism.
The protesters as individuals here have been extraordinarily nice and welcoming to me, to include apologizing when bumped into, which is barely a courtesy I get at Starbucks.
This evening ended in perfect peace with acquiescence and reconciliation on both sides. If you’re against destruction and for peaceful protest then you’ll be happy to see this example I’m here to provide.
Let me set the scene a little bit
Tensions in the community for the last two days had been high. The city was deemed a state of emergency and the mayor had enacted a strict curfew of 8pm. I was approaching this crowd at about 7:45 and many people were walking away, I have to admit it felt ominous. The general consensus I felt was that when 8pm came around they were going to disburse the crowd, somehow or another.
Well if you know me at all, you know I had no choice but to stick around and see what was going to happen. So I entered the crowd.
This gentleman, in the above picture he is helping to move the protesters back and in the below picture, is owed a debt of gratitude.
Him and another woman were negotiating with the police for a shared agreement to kneel.
Honestly I didn’t think it was going to happen, but it did.
As far as I can tell he is to thank for it.
So it was agreed the police would kneel with the protesters, and all would go home, and that’s what happened.
Fist bumps to go around.
Many people were quite emotional.
This was my view while leaving.
As protests around the country heat up I wonder if things will continue here in Fayetteville. While I admit it’s often scary to go to these events alone, I intend to continue if I feel I can provide perspective.