Avenue, and the rest of the people stayed for the rest of the rally. I’m actually the last speaker at the rally. You know, I’m just like, “Let me keep this short because people came in to march and we should march. And if we’re serious we should use this moment to be just the beginning.”
We marched a long-ass time. It was exciting—it was like the energy just won’t fucking quit there. So at the end of the march, we do open mics so that people can say stuff, and people just don’t want to go home. And I’m like, “Oh, okay, well, I guess we’re gonna march some more—but also, what are we doing for the future?” And people were like, “We want to show up tomorrow.” And so tomorrow they did show up, and the next day and the next day and the next day after that.
EMILY WOLFENBARGER, 38
It was a really, really hot day. I remember that because a few people got heat stroke and it was early on, at least in Tennessee, where masking was becoming more common. We walked about two and a half miles from the civic center to the courthouse downtown in Maryville. And one of the big things I remember is just wearing a mask in that amount of heat was physically difficult.
My parents were really active with the pro-life movement in the late Eighties and early Nineties. And they both protested full-time for a couple of years there. So I kind of grew up on the picket lines, holding signs and making marches and whatnot. But not as an adult. It’s not something I ever chose for myself since I was just a child. And since Trump was elected I hadn’t read hardly a headline. Then, with COVID, I started feeling like I needed to have a sense of what was going on nationally and globally. So I started plugging back in and listening to what was going on in current events and kind of just trying to become more active and get my bearings again. And then, the week of George Floyd’s death was a real pivot point for me to