they filled the whole neighborhood with tear gas. And that was really what changed people’s attitudes a lot in the city.
The issue is very visceral. People—my neighbors—are being murdered. And it’s just this whole bloody mess. Going out every day was, I don’t know, it was the right thing to do. I couldn’t just look away.
SCOTT DANIEL, 25
I had a lot of free time. I’m a musician and therefore about as unemployed as any freelancer can be in pandemic and therefore possessing a lot of extra time and mental bandwidth. Also I don’t know if this is because of the pandemic or because of the egregiousness of the initiating event or whether it is some sort of threshold that was reached for people… I can’t count the number of times I heard friends or family ask me or each other, “What do we do? What can I do?” And I’ve been acting in a way that I feel reflects my faith in the power of the moment in various ways, fairly consistently since May. But occasionally that’s looked like doing mutual-aid work and doing food deliveries and stuff like that, or doing jail support, which I did once or twice. And occasionally that looked like going to protests, but more than occasionally.
MAYA PENDLETON, 27
The bigger and bigger the crowds get, the more tension there can be, in some ways, because the demands are not always the same. It’s almost similar to what happened when the current president first got elected, and people were protesting in the streets and there was this feeling that, okay, some people are protesting against white supremacy and the U.S. system generally, and then some people are out here because they’re upset that Hillary Clinton didn’t get elected, and those are two very different perspectives. There are some people who were, you know, protesting and kneeling with the police, hugging, all these things. And then there are people who are like, “No, I’m an abolitionist, I believe in abolishing the police.”